Video content is all the rage these days. Businesses across the board are bending over backward to develop a video strategy and adhere to the changing online landscape.
A few years back, Mark Zuckerberg publically stated that he believes most online content we consume in the future will be video. If you take a gander at your Facebook timeline, it’s clear that he is sticking to his words!
According to The State of Video Marketing 2018, more than 80% of marketers believe that the importance of video is increasing.
As 2019 continues to fly by (seemingly at light speed), this prediction is certainly holding up!
Now, you might be reading this and thinking:
- “I don’t have the budget to produce video content.”
- “Video doesn’t apply to what I do.”
- “I don’t know where to start!”
Getting a social video strategy up and going is something that just about every business should be doing these days. The good news is that getting into the game is not as difficult as it might seem.
When it comes down to brass tacks, there are 3 major components to a successful social video strategy.
1. An understanding of the major social video channels.
2. A video marketing plan.
3. A strong creative strategy.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the details of how to start a social video marketing strategy from scratch!
Find the Most Ideal Video Platform(s)
The success of any video strategy ultimately comes down to the platform the content lives on. Think about traditional television. How successful do you think The Young and the Restless would be on truTV or Paramount Network?
When it comes to social video, the topic ranges for the major platforms are much more general. The social giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, essentially welcome video content from all corners of the online world.
While certain niches may fit better on some platforms compared to others, choosing the right social channel is all about the general demographics and format of the video. For example, a long, technical explainer video about a SaaS program isn’t going to do well on a short video platform like Snapchat.
Let’s say you are creating a video series about content management. You are wise to publish the bulk of the videos on B2B-oriented platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter.
Source: Neil Patel LinkedIn
On the other hand, if you create video for travel, food, or leisure, your videos are best published on B2C-oriented platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Source: Travel & Leisure Instagram
You also need to take into account the message, as well as how long it will take to deliver it.
If you are going into the thick of explaining what the product/service does, how it solves common problems, and how it adds value, look at social platforms that allow longer videos.
To put it in perspective, Facebook has a maximum video length of 120 minutes, LinkedIn is 10 minutes, Instagram is 60 minutes, YouTube is 12 hours, and Twitter is 2:20.
Social video is pretty transferrable. Depending on your message and target audience, most video content can gain traction on the major social channels.
Learn the Basics of YouTube Marketing
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world?
If you are doing any sort of video marketing, getting your content posted on YouTube is a must, no matter what other niche platforms you choose. With the incredible rise in demand for video content, understanding the basics of YouTube marketing is absolutely essential – both now and in the future.
YouTube marketing (more particularly YouTube SEO) isn’t all that much different than regular SEO – but it is different.
One of the most notable observations of YouTube searches is that many tend to be long-tail keywords or in the form of questions. To give you an idea, let’s conduct some basic YouTube keyword research.
Let’s say you want to create a video about building a Shopify store.
For starters, you can simply look at the autocomplete feature on the YouTube search bar.
If you want to get a little more in-depth, Ahrefs is a fantastic tool for keyword research.
On the “Keywords explorer” section, select the “YouTube” tab.
Then, enter your keyword and set the function to “Questions.”
The “Questions” feature is one of my favorite marketing tools. Some quick research here can give you all sorts of inspiration for the topics and details you will cover.
To get a bit more specific to your social audience, another gold mine for inspiration is the comments section on your pages. For example, if you look through the comments on Trustpilot’s Facebook page, you’ll see there is a pattern in followers mentioning issues related to “fake” or “fraudulent” reviews.
Let’s plug the term “fake reviews” into the Ahref’s “Questions” tool:
As you can see, there is all kinds of keyword potential for video inspiration.
So, once you’ve nailed down keywords for your videos, where exactly do you use them??
In YouTube marketing, there are three primary places to incorporate your keywords:
- The Title
- The Description
- The Tags
In terms of the title, this is going to be pretty much the same as a regular blog post. It needs a focus keyword and some action-ability to gain those precious clicks.
- How to Create a Shopify Store (900 searches/month)
- How to Set Up a Shopify Store (500 searches/month)
Be sure there’s a search volume for your title!
Additionally, do your best to keep the character limit to no more than 70 characters. There is technically a 100-character limit on YouTube titles, but anything after 70 will get cut off!
Moving on to the description, this is where you get to include the bulk of your keyword-friendly text to be crawled. You’ve got 5,000 characters to work with here. In addition to your keywords, this is where you need to include links to your website, social media channels, and any other relevant brand asset.
If you look at this YouTube video description, you’ll see there are links to just about every external profile of the creator. You’ll also see there are keywords like starting a podcast, launching your podcast, etc.
Lastly, for the tags, these should be created with the super concise keywords that helps YouTube pinpoint the context of your video and categorize it.
These three components are the backbone of marketing a video on YouTube.
One last thing to consider is the keywords you verbalize. In a recent podcast we did with Neil Patel, he talked about how AI engines are getting better at picking up the keywords that are voiced in video content.
Nail Down an Awesome Video Personality
Truth be told, there are probably hundreds – maybe even thousands – of other video creators making content around the same subjects that you are. They are likely discussing similar information, providing similar value, and speaking to a similar audience.
What makes one better than the other?
At the end of the day (regardless of what you are talking about), it’s the host’s personality that people connect with. A good host is what keeps followers coming back, gets them excited about new content, and gives them something to relate to on a personal level.
Think about all the famous late night talk shows. Why do people prefer The Tonight Show instead of The Late Show or vice versa? The host.
Now, a killer video personality isn’t something that can be created out of the blue; charisma is not easily manufactured. While it can certainly be honed and developed, the best video personalities are organic.
There are several key traits that define an excellent video host.
1. They smile!
There are few things in life more inviting and comforting than a nice, genuine smile. A good host is one that smiles while they talk and projects a confident, approachable vibe that people are drawn to.
2. They have high energy!
No one wants to see a video that sounds like it’s hosted by a lifeless robot. The host is responsible for setting the tone in a video. They need to pump viewers up and get them excited to watch. This involves doing things like speaking clearly, projecting, using positive body language, and so on.
3. They let it flow from the heart!
Generally speaking, it’s painfully obvious when a video host is reading off a script word-for-word. The host ideally has a strong background knowledge of the topic and can genuinely speak on it without having to rely on a script. Additionally, to reiterate, excellent hosts have a great deal of natural charisma. They can make it work with an outline and improvise when needed.
In order to have a (or be) an exceptional video host, you need to have a strong understanding of your target viewers, how they talk, the influencers they look up to, and so on. Ultimately, if you miss the mark with the host, all the valuable content in your video can essentially be rendered useless.
Develop a Catchy Series
Undoubtedly, this is the best (and most foundational) way to build a following with social video.
To reference the mainstream again, creating a series has been the bread and butter of success in both TV and film. Take a look at the most popular movies on the planet:
- Star Wars
- Lord of the Rings
- The Avengers
- Indiana Jones
- Back to the Future
What’s the thing that all these uber-popular franchises have in common?
They are all series.
The purpose of any series is to give people something new and exciting to look forward to. This concept applies directly to social video. Whether it’s your YouTube Channel, Facebook Profile, or any other form of social video, creating a series can do wonders to build up an audience and get your name out there.
One of my favorite social video series is Blendtec’s “Will it Blend”
They ask their audience for recommendations for what random items they can stick in their blender. They’ve done everything from an iPhone X to marbles to one of Justin Bieber’s albums!
Here is my personal favorite:
It can definitely take a while to find that golden idea for a series. The most important thing is that you find one with tons of potential for expansion in the topic(s) you cover.
For example, if you are an SEO agency, you could start a weekly video series that discusses the latest buzz floating around the industry, as well as tips to appease Google’s constantly-evolving (and mysterious) ranking algorithm.
You are only limited by your own creativity here!
Lastly, to rehash a bit, even the most ingenious video series can be deemed a dud by a poor host. Make sure you have this part figured out before you plan out a series! Seriously, this can’t be stressed enough!
Be Smart About Influencer Collaborations
The perfect influencer collaboration can potentially stamp your ticket to the viral heights of the online world. However, working with the wrong influencer can stamp your ticket to the viral pit of misery.
We all know what happened with the infamous Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner…
The key to a successful influencer collaboration is a strong overlap in messages. We see influencer campaigns fail all the time because general metrics like follower counts and engagement levels are prioritized over the actual message being promoted.
Sure, Kendall Jenner has millions upon millions of followers with engagement levels through the roof. But what does any part of her general message have to do with racial injustice or police brutality? What does she know about systematic abuse? Nothing.
When you work with an influencer for a video collaboration, there needs to be a strong level of congruency.
- What is your goal with this collaboration?
- How does this particular influencer’s purpose support it?
- Is their previous content compatible with your message?
- Does their brand persona mesh with yours?
Keep in mind, influencer content is based in emotion. People look up to these figures, therefore, your collaboration should work to reach people on a personal level.
This process definitely requires a great deal of research and digging.
Take Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner campaign for example. The Subaru brand generally speaks to adventurous people who enjoy the outdoors and live life to the fullest.
So, a couple years back, they partnered with video influencer Devin Graham for a video with him and his buddies launching off a cliff on a slip-n-slide with parachutes. The video proudly features the crew driving around a Subaru Impreza WRX to get to their badass destinations!
This campaign worked well for many different reasons. Most importantly, the persona that Graham represents is one that isn’t afraid of risks and loves extreme outdoor activities. Subaru and Graham were a match made in heaven!
Often times, the hardest part of finding the perfect influencer is simply knowing where to start!
Social video is the online content of the future. Regardless of what you or your business represent, a strong video strategy is going to be an extremely valuable asset as time goes on!
In full honesty, building a social video plan cannot be done in an afternoon. Moreover, it might take a few tries to get it right. The good news is you can always keep fresh creativity going until you strike gold! Hopefully, this post has given you a good idea of where to start!
About the Author: Kevin Svec is the Chief Content Strategist at E2M Solutions Inc. When he’s not working or hanging out at one of San Diego’s beaches, he is managing Impulsive Wanderlust, a travel + leisure website he founded – here is a marketing-focused piece he wrote on SEO Tips for Travel Websites. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn and Twitter