Social media masterclass: videos

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One of the more recent trends on social media is to include short videos to help promote your small business. All of the major social platforms now allow sharing of video content in one form or another. So, if you use social media for digital marketing, you need to consider video in your campaigns.

Let’s look at some quick tips to help you get the most out of video posts.

1. Research your platform

Before you post any video content, you need to know which social platforms are active with your target audience. That’s because each social network appeals to a different type of audience. And just as the audience on each is different, so too is the way they handle video content. You’ll need to visit the help pages for your target platform and check the latest guidelines on size, length, codec, and so on.

2. Find the best time to post videos

Use each social media platforms’ data analytics to determine when the best time for posting is. Make sure you’re working off the latest information, as what worked a year ago may not be the same as what works now. Look for the best days and times to post your videos. For example, the platform you are targeting might have better engagement on weekend afternoons.

3. Grabbing attention is everything!

It’s a fact that we live increasingly hectic lives and our attention spans are getting shorter, particularly online. To standout from the competition you’ll need to capture your audience’s attention straight away. That means being creative and fresh. Not only will you need an attention grabbing headline for your video post, but you’ll also need to make sure the first three seconds of your video are highly engaging! You need to include an effect Call To Action, perhaps guiding them to a landing page on your website where they can get more information.

4. Silence is golden

You may not realise it, but most viewers watch video without sound! If they’re on the commute to or from work on noisy public transport they aren’t likely to be able to hear the sound anyway. And if they are wearing headphones it’s usually for listening to music rather than surfing social networks. That means you have to ensure your videos are effective without sound! One way to do this is to focus on the visual message and that requires being creative. Another good option is to include text subtitles within the video itself.

5. Consider the aspect ratio of video

These days most of your audience are likely to be using smartphones or tablets rather than a desktop computer. Consider how video will look. If it is in 16:9 format, users will have to rotate their device if they want to see it without black bars. If your platform supports it, consider using vertical video aspect ratios.

6. Thumbnail placeholders

Another useful trick is to make use of thumbnails instead of letting the platform choose the first frame of the video. Some platforms allow you to choose a frame from elsewhere within the video but the best method is to make your own thumbnail and upload it. You could include text and a brand and an image that makes the video’s purpose instantly clear to the viewer. Some platforms also allow carousel ads, in which you can include up to ten videos within the same space!

7. Upload rather than share

Research suggests that uploading the video to your own account is more effective than just re-sharing someone else’s content. Consider your own objective’s though. If you want to increase the number of followers on your YouTube channel, it may make sense to post a video to Facebook that links to your YouTube channel. Whereas if you want to increase traffic to your website, it might be more beneficial to host the video on your website and share the link on your social media accounts.

8. To autoplay or not to autoplay?

Consider the impact of video on your viewer. If they are out and about they’ll probably be using mobile data. That means it might be costly for them if you have autoplay enabled. A more appropriate solution might be to enable autoplay only if they are on a WIFI connection.

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Luke Chaffey
Luke Chaffey is a senior member of the KBB Digital team, and heads up the search marketing division. With a keen eye on innovation and developing digital trends, Luke regularly attends the Google Partners Masterclass, and is also a prolific writer for websites such as Yahoo, The Australian Government (Digital Business sector), Kochie’s Business Builders, Smarter.Digital, KBB Digital.

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