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What Are the Secrets to Creating Social Media-Friendly Videos That Sell? Here Are 5 Answers. It's not enough to just create a pretty video with 4k cameras. In modern marketing, you need video that sells.

By Anna Johansson Edited by Dan Bova

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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When you study the brands that are getting social media right, you notice that they all have a few things in common. In particular, they all seem to invest in high-quality video content that engages audiences, increases reach and drives sales. The only question is, how can your business do the same?

Related: 7 Secrets for a Successful Video Marketing Strategy

Video: The secret sauce to successful social media marketing

When you browse your personal social media newsfeeds, what sort of content do you see? For the most part, it's all visual -- videos, memes, graphics and images that direct readers to news articles and blog posts. And this isn't an anomaly or random coincidence. Successful social media marketers understand that visuals, and video in particular, are the key to standing out amid an endless sea of content and posts.

For a bit of perspective on the importance and role of video in social media marketing, consider what the data says, according to Wordstream: One-third of all internet users -- more than 1 billion and counting -- are YouTube users. They watch 500 million hours of video per day. On Twitter, an impressive 82 percent of users watch video content. Facebook has a similar penetration rate, with 500 million users watching video on the platform each day.

In total, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. And in the coming years, experts have anticipated that more than half of all activity will consist of video consumption. In other words, traditional content marketing will take a back seat.

If you aren't maximizing video in your own advertising or marketing strategy, you're missing out on a massive opportunity to propel your brand forward.

It's not enough to just create a pretty video with 4k cameras. In modern marketing, you need video that sells. Here are five specific actions you can take to create compelling marketing videos:

1. Speak directly to your audience.

The message or story is the most important element of an effective video campaign.

According to Paul Xavier, a commercial filmmaker who manages over $100,000 /month in commercial campaigns, it's imperative that business leaders think about how their videos directly educate & entertain viewers.

"A video doesn't have to go viral or be funny to sell. It needs a message that shows how your client's product or service is the best solution for the viewer problems," Xavier wrote on his blog.

In other words, online video should be created and shared with purpose. It's not enough to just create online video. You need to create compelling video that sells. And to do so, you need a strategy.

2. Use storytelling.

Not all online videos need an overt CTA to be successful. In fact, there's ample evidence to suggest that story-based videos perform better than direct sales videos. As marketer Ash Read wrote on Buffer Marketing Library, "The best video content tells stories that connect with the viewer. The better you tell stories about yourself, the more likely your viewers are going to understand what your company is offering and what it can do for them."

Related: 17 Ways to Get More Views, Engagement and Shares on Your Facebook Videos

Read said he uses this Budweiser video -- which imagines how legendary broadcaster Harry Caray might have called the Cubs 2016 World Series victory -- as an example.

3. Start with a hook.

Did you know that, as Visibile Measures reports, more than 20 percent of viewers click away from a video within 10 seconds or less? If you want to maximize your reach, start with a powerful hook that draws people in. Otherwise, only a fraction of your viewers will make it to the end.

4. Use a compelling thumbnail.

Believe it or not, something as simple as the thumbnail you select for your videos can affect your views and engagement.

When it comes to selecting a thumbnail, it's best to use an image that's descriptive and eye-catching. Allowing blurry or busy frames is unwise. The crisper you can make your thumbnail, the more it will suggest that the video is high-quality.

5. Remarket for ongoing exposure.

"People are exposed to a seemingly infinite number of brand messages every day, which makes it increasingly hard to cut-through and stay top of mind," ThinkWithGoogle explains. "With so much content, memories overload quickly and brand messages fade fast: just because someone has seen your ad once, they won't necessarily remember it."

In order to give your online video a boost and make it more memorable for your target audience, be sure to invest in remarketing and other strategies that maximize the exposure people have with your video over a select window of time.

Related: 19 Tools for Creating Engaging Social Media Videos, Images and GIFs in Minutes

Adding it all up

Want to take your social media marketing and online advertising efforts to the next level? You need to incorporate online video into your strategies. But you also need your video to stand out. By investing in the right people, processes, technologies and systems, you can enhance your efforts and drive superior results.
Anna Johansson

Freelance writer

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer who specializes in social media and business development.

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