Sunday, 22 April 2018

How To Use Social Media Video Effectively

It's easy enough to find statistics on how effective video is at increasing conversion rates, stats on the rate of growth of video use on all social media platforms, and the internet as a whole, but do you know how to use social media video effectively?

Cell phone showing social media

As with many new things, a lot of people like to dabble a bit. If they succeed they will continue, if they fail, they stop doing it. This is very much the case with social media video whether the video is done personally or by video production companies. The internet is littered with poorly executed social media video. It's as though the world wide web has become a dumping ground for bad video productions. While there is nothing wrong with giving it a go, social media video is a very unforgiving set up. The viewers have no problem ignoring your video or clicking away while watching it, to go see some other more interesting video. There is no sense of obligation or guilt on the part of the viewer to not hurt your feelings. If they are not interested in your video, you feel the cold shoulder of the masses.

So with a clear understanding that nobody owes you any favors in the world of online marketing and that it's a highly competitive market, let's get to how you can improve your chances of having your video seen and having it make a difference.

The two main differences you want from your video marketing online are traffic and SEO.
These are two separate but equally important parts of the effect of video in social media. They both take a long time to build up and both can change your business marketing forever.Let's begin with traffic.
At the end of the day, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is also about traffic. Although it is about being ranked high in a search engine, if that rank doesn't result in traffic, it is pretty meaningless.
Desk with collection of tools for planning a social media video marketing campaignIt is also important to know that the numbers showing traffic are not the same as traffic. This may be , on the surface, a bit odd. Isn't it all about the numbers? You want to see high numbers on your viewership right? Well not really. The numbers can be a good indication of an increase or decrease in viewership but it does nothing more than that. Unless you are trying to earn money on YouTube from Adsense, the numbers mean little. What you want is clicks on your website or action being taken by the viewer. This is where many video marketing campaigns go off track. The obsession with having the number of views go up can be self defeating .
Firstly, it is important to know that views can be bought. Let that sink in for a second. There are many videos on YouTube and other video platforms with tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of views that have barely even been watched by a handful of people. How is this possible? Its very simple. There are a range of services that offer "real" viewers at a super cheap price. The views are simply bought and the numbers show the growth in views. Many of these services include "subscribers" even "likes" and "dislikes" to make it look authentic. Many buyers are so convinced that they simply spend money on growing the number of views. A completely pointless exercise. If those views don't result in any gain for marketing, then what is the point? There needs to be some form of action after watching the video to make the video meaningful to your marketing.
It can be said though that buying your first few views can help with first impressions but it will not help in the long run. Many people will not watch a video with low viewer numbers. Like the people who will only stand in long queues because they think that other people wanting something is a reason for wanting it themselves, so viewers want to see what other viewers want to see. So starting off with a few bought views can't hurt but what matters is what happens after that. Do they actually keep watching your video? Do they interact with your video? Do they come back for more?

These are the things that really matter. It may seem daunting but it can be achieved. The first thing is to not try to be something you are not. Many would argue that being funny or controversial is the answer. As much as this does work in many cases, it may not work for you. It may not even benefit your business, even though the viewers may be flying in. Remember, effective video marketing has results. Measurable results. Also not all videos need to be super high end like those made by video production companies in Johannesburg. They should however not be unprofessional. Quality is still important.

So lets get to the meat and potatoes part of video marketing on social media. Now whether you are using a video production company or you are making them yourself, the same set of ideas apply.
They are Relevance, Targeted and Constancy.

Lets start with relevance. This not only applies to the content of the video but relevance to your business. Having a puppy video may bring in an audience but if you sell industrial equipment you are wasting your time. Your mission is not to provide entertainment. Your mission is to bring in a buying audience. You can be entertaining in the process but the focus is not entertainment. Try to find topics that interest your target market.

This brings us to the targeted part. Being targeted does not mean having a general coverage of a vaguely similar audience. A target is precise. The age, gender, social standing, industry, price bracket etc are critical bits of information about your market that can make or break your targeting of the correct audience. When your videos go out they need to appeal to that audience.

Then consistency comes in. You may have heard consistency thrown around in all fields but in social media marketing, this is hugely important. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it takes time for people to trust you and your message. Secondly it's because the audience you created will fall away if they come back to your channel only to find that your messages have stopped.This is where dabbling in social media can be a killer. All the work can end up with no results and, even worse, the sense of despondency will kill your eagerness to try again. Its better to do an average job consistently than have a random bit of greatness.

So how do you get started with your video marketing? Before you put something out there, it is important to cover some basic topics. Whether you use a corporate video production company or make your own videos with your cell phone, the rules are the same. They are image quality, sound quality and packaging. If you are not going to use a professional video production company then
Shot of Video camera as used by video production companies in Johannebsurg
these are very important. Most video production companies in Johannesburg have got these parts down so its a weight off your mind. If, however, you are doing it on your own then these are very important. It would take more than a few blogs to share that information but the basics would be: use light, more light and then some more light. Don't shoot in dark areas without experience. Make sure your audio is loud and clear. Not too loud that it distorts and not too soft that the audience will struggle to hear it. If you can, use a lavelier, or lapel, microphone to improve your voice recordings.
Make sure the video audio is mixed and leveled correctly. Turning up your speaker volume can create the illusion that your audio is fine. When it goes online you will discover the problem. Make sure its loud and clear compared to other audio like music etc.Also having too much graphics in the video can take away from the personal appeal. Having some basic short graphics like nice clean titles and logos can make the video look more professional but don't over do it.

Video being watched on mobile device.Now comes the choosing of the idea for your video. This although technically easier, can be the hardest part for most people. The problems is not just finding a good idea, its consistently finding a good idea. Remember its not just a once off. What can help is to find an idea and make it a theme for a bunch of videos. For example if you sell gardening tools, you could do a series on removing unwanted things in the garden. The first episode could be about weeds, the second about bugs, the third about chemicals etc. If you sold on-line products like training programs you could take tiny parts of the training and share them as teasers. If you owned an exhaust and tyre shop you could give out advice on car maintenance tips or insider secrets to keeping car performance at its best.As you can see the topics for the video productions are similar but not exactly like the product in many cases. The idea is to attract people with similar interests to your product/service you are are selling.

This way they don't feel like you are selling to them. They have a sense of knowing your brand, trusting your message and having a sense of reciprocity. They, when they finally need your product or service, would more likely chose yours over your competitor because they feel like they know and trust you. Once you get this right, like the shampoo bottle says "rinse and repeat".
Having an audience that likes what you are doing will bring in bigger and bigger audiences who will grow in trust and liking of your business.
Many video marketers make the mistake of turning their marketing into a money generating video service. This can be a big problem for many marketing campaigns. While it is nice to make a few extra dollars form your videos, the trust can be damaged. The amount of return from the sales through your business as a result of your video marketing can massively outweigh the small gains from money earned form adverts on your video. Even worse is that your competitors can end up advertising on your video. You bring the audience, they get the results. Your video marketing should be to bring in your audience, to direct them eventually to your business. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your videos can also have a big impact on your SEO. This means that your videos can help with your business ranking. While many video production companies can make great videos, what hey might not be experts in is the application of the videos. Many SEO experts will tell you that embedding and back-linking is key to SEO. The embedding is where your marketing videos, on places like YouTube, are embedded into your website. Then your YouTube video can have a back-link to your website. This works well for boosting SEO. It also helps for your audience to be able to find your videos.

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