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Social Media Videos: The Future of Marketing in a Digital World

Jun 19, 2020 10:05:51 AM

We shifted to a digital-first world when we upgraded the technology. But the ongoing shift into a digital-only world isn't something we planned. Rather, it was something the pandemic is pushing us into. And like it or not, this is the future businesses stepping into.

A future where your audience is connected digitally (and so should you).

To cater to this online community, social media would play a great role. To be more specific, videos on social media would play this pivotal role.

Think about it, now that most people prefer staying indoors, the only way to socialize is with the help of social media platforms. And when people aren’t socializing, they’re watching videos. Look at what your friends and family are sharing on social media. You would probably find videos filling up their timelines. And why shouldn’t they?

The future of marketing lies in social media videos. And you can hop on the bandwagon now to reap its benefits all the way into the future!

Let's take a look at everything that you’re going to find in this article:

  1. What works for social media videos (And what doesn't!)
  2. How to grow your business using social media videos for lead generation?
  3. How to grow your business using social media videos for nurturing?
  4. Best practices for social media videos
  5. How to pick topics to create educational videos around for lead generation
  6. Conclusion

What works for social media videos (And what doesn't!)

There isn't clear segregation of what works for videos on social media and what doesn't. So we're going to list the points out explaining both sides. This should bring more clarity than a simple do's and don'ts list. So let's get started!

1. Short videos (<30 seconds long) work best on social media. You know your audience has a short attention span. And it's getting shorter by the second. So why not make something that can last as long as the audience is interested in it? Now, this wouldn't fit all needs. In fact, there are times when you would want to go for longer videos. That is justified. For example, when you're telling your brand story or discussing FAQs, 30 seconds wouldn't be enough. You would need a lot more time than that, probably a couple of minutes. And that is fine as long as you're keeping it relevant and engaging.

Let’s look at this video by Land O’Lakes to understand it better:

The company has nothing to do with elevators. It serves in the food industry. So what connects the company with this video? The tagline toward the end does. Since the main product they deal in are dairy spreads, their tagline “add a little good” can be easily linked to both a random act of kindness and their product. This helps build a recall value for the brand. And it does that in 30 seconds.

2. Both education and entertainment work for social media. But an interplay of education and entertainment can get you the right audience. If you’re a B2B company or even a B2C company that doesn’t directly work in the entertainment sector, you know your audience is looking for educational content that is entertaining. It makes them feel productive. You might be thinking your product is all about productivity and not entertainment. Well, guess what, you can still talk about in an entertaining manner on social media.

Look at this video by Verizon:

It uses the example of a door to explain what a better network looks like. What makes this video great is the fact that it doesn’t use any technical jargon. It explains the concept in a simple and entertaining way.

3. Following your competition and using the same style of videos they use doesn't work. If anything, it decreases your video's visibility on your audience's timeline. Think about it this way. Let's say you have ten oranges and you have to pick one. You would pick one up randomly. Now imagine you have nine oranges and one apple. What are you more likely to pick up? Unless you're craving oranges, you'd probably pick the apple. Why? Because it stood out. You might say we're comparing apples to oranges. But all we're trying to say is that standing out helps you grab eyeballs. And that can only happen if your content is different from what your competitors are making.

Let’s look at this video by Oscar Insurance:

If you’re in the insurance industry you might’ve known how people have always perceived insurance to be a serious matter. In fact, all the messaging of insurance companies has historically been pretty serious. So when you see this video, it stands out because of the way humor is used in it.

Now that you know what works for these videos and what doesn't, let's take a look at some of the different ways in which you can use social media videos.

How to use social media videos to grow your business?

Social media platforms have too much going on at the same time. On the same newsfeed, you can see photos of your friend's cat as well as your favorite band's latest music video. With so much interesting going on, it gets difficult for businesses to get noticed.

Moreover, the average user on social media has an attention span of less than 10 seconds. So, even if you get their attention, it might not help at all. Unless you have a targeted approach, your audience is just going to forget your message.

Together, these two issues make businesses feel out of place on social media. They feel like they don't belong on these platforms. This makes them reluctant to reach out to their audience on social media.

But with social media videos, you can hit two birds with one stone. Being appealing, they grab eyeballs right from the get-go. And since they are engaging, they retain the audience until the very end.

They enable you to harness the real potential of social media. With these videos, you can tackle lead generation and nurturing. For most small businesses, these are two of the most important aspects that help in growth.

With the first one, you get a set of leads. With the other, you can nurture them as well as existing customers via ads and relevant content.

Let's talk about how each can help your business grow!

How to grow your business using social media videos for lead generation?

Social media is the most cost-effective platform for generating leads. The ads are affordable, and the reach is unbelievable. After all, almost everyone you know is on social media.

But you don't need to blast your message to everyone. In fact, there's a specific audience that'll benefit from your content. Your videos must be geared toward this audience.

For lead generation using social media videos, we're going to focus on education. But the topics you need to educate the audience about would vary from one audience to the other.

Reaching out to a Marketing Manager, your content could revolve around lead generation, for example. But if your audience is someone from the CXO level, lead generation might not work for you. Instead, you would want to make content revolving around brand identity or something else that concerns them.

That said, in our experience, these are the types of social media videos that work well for lead generation:

1. Social Media Videos To Bring Traffic To Blogs

Educational videos are good for both lead generation and nurturing. The depth in which you explain the topics, however, increases a lot in the latter.

For lead generation, you could educate the audience about simple solutions for the problems related with your industry and products.

As you’ll soon see, HUB worked on the same concept. The company works in the insurance sector. Instead of talking about in-depth topics about insurance, the company picked news from top brands and plugged an insurance-related concept with it.

From the Starbucks employee/customer incident to the Washington-based construction business’ incident, HUB plugged its services in a natural way. In all of these situations, they talked about crisis management which is something they’re actually pretty good at.

Here’s one of the videos we made for our client, Hub International:


Our client safeguards different businesses against external and internal risks. They wanted to educate their audience about insurance-related topics.

We handcrafted a series of five bite-sized animated videos for them. These videos helped their audience know about these topics.

With the help of these videos, we redirected traffic from social media to the client’s blogs. This helped them get relevant and better quality traffic.

Read HUB's success story to know more!

2. Social Media Videos to Promote Ebook

You spend countless hours and a lot of resources in making an ebook. After all, they are a great means of lead generation. It's simple, you give them information, they give you their email address (and a few other details, if you ask for them).

But if you share it on social media and expect the ebook to go viral, that isn't happening. In fact, you might have a hard time driving a lot of downloads.

It all comes down to how you're enticing your audience to check your ebook out.

And for that, we recommend ebook trailers.

You don't want (or need) to tell the audience all about your ebook. All you need to do is convince them to go to the landing page where they can find and download the ebook.

It is challenging to attract your audience’s attention and convince them to move from social media to the landing page.

What you might be thinking of doing is to write a few lines of amazing textual content for it. But when you're competing for attention, you need to make sure that you grab eyeballs. And that is where ebook trailers stand out.

They are not only attention-grabbing but also engaging. So you can rest assured about conversions when you try them out.

3. Leadership Content

For a lot of companies, the decision-making process is quite a complex one. This holds true for both B2B and B2C companies. But in the case of B2B companies, there are a lot of people involved in the decision-making process. And that adds to the complexity of the process.

What makes decision-making so difficult? For most companies, it is the lack of appropriate data to support the decision. Without enough data, it is difficult to predict the outcome of a decision. For businesses of all sizes, a wrong decision could end up being an expensive affair. So they remain stuck in the decision-making process until they find relevant data.

Thought leadership videos can help such businesses make the right decision. When you make these videos, you give statistics and your analysis of those statistics. This helps the decision-makers pick and choose wisely. It helps them make an informed decision. And when your audience sees positive returns on those decisions, they trust you more.

It is out of this trust that they keep coming back to you when they need data. They listen to what you have to say about things. They see you as a leader. And that is what makes thought leadership videos important.

But when you make thought leadership videos for social media, you need to be extra careful.

Being relevant on social media is important.

Look at how Qualcomm did it in this video:

The video explained the 5G technology. Great. But that’s something many people have already done. What makes it a leadership video is the kind of insights that are given in it. These come straight from the experiences of Qualcomm which is why they’re so valuable.

4. Commercial Videos

Everyone knows that commercials should be short. But when it comes to social media, you have to get extra creative and make it fun.

Keeping it short and punchy ensures maximum response to your call to action. This doesn’t mean that it always has to be short. There are some pretty long commercials that have worked just as good as the short ones did.

The thing about commercials is that it gives you a high ROI while improving the quality of engagement from the audience. And it does that by building curiosity. Commercials never give you complete information and instead leave you wanting more. They make it clear that this “more” is present on the landing page. This way, they’re able to drive quite a lot of traffic to the landing pages thus bringing the ROI up.

How to grow your business using social media videos for nurturing?

When you work on lead generation, there would be many people who would visit your landing page but not fill the form. There could be multiple reasons why they refrained from filling the form up. But if they showed up on your website, they’re pretty close to becoming your lead. To bring them to the other side, you need to nurture them.

There could also be people who have filled the form. You need to nurture them for them to become great customers. We made this section to help you out with this step as we believe it is one of the most important steps in your customer’s journey.

Nurturing is a life-long process. You don't stop nurturing your leads when they become your customers. You continue to nurture them and provide them your best. And the best place to do it is where they are—social media.

More often than not, nurturing is in the form of educating about core competencies. But it doesn't have to end at that. You could keep communicating with them to give them updates about the company.

You could let them know what another customer had to say about your services. You could also inform them about your latest feature, product, webinar, or event.

There's a lot you can communicate with them about. The only catch is you need to be quick and engaging. Animated social media videos thrive in such situations.

Let's look at how you can use animated social media videos in different ways to nurture your leads:

1. Explainer Videos

Remember when we told you that educational content can be used for nurturing on social media as well? Explainer videos are exactly how that happens.

When you need to explain concepts related to your business in great depths, explainer videos help. You might think that explainer videos aren't a great fit for social media. Untrue. Explainer videos work great for nurturing even though they're pretty long.

The duration of social media videos increases when it comes to nurturing. And the reason why longer duration works is because now the audience is interested in your products and services and wants to make a purchase. But something holds them back. This something can be trust or timing and the best way is to keep in touch or gain trust by establishing that you're a leader.

2. Testimonial Videos

How many times have you bought a product after someone recommended it to you? A lot of times, I bet. You learned about the experience that someone you know had with the product and you decided to buy it.

You trust the people you know more than you trust the brand. So when you are trying to build trust with your audience, why not try testimonials?

Testimonials are quite effective on social media owing to how they connect people. Do that in the form of a video and now you're turning heads.

Videos are all the rage on social media so it is quite natural and productive for you to go for them. Look at how Erie Insurance won the hearts of their audience with their testimonial video:

Even though the video takes you through the journeys of three clients, there's clarity. At no point did the video stop making sense.

3. Feature Update

Sometimes, you release a product and also get decent traffic on your landing page but people don’t convert. More often than not, the reason behind that is the people coming to your landing page expected certain features that your product lacks.

What you could do in such cases is to release a new version of the product with the required changes. This would help you convert the ones that went away when they didn’t find the required features.

You would obviously work hard to make your product the best your customers get with this update. So when you release a feature update, why not let the users know about it on social media?

For your audience on social media channels, think in terms of feature update videos. These videos are quite engaging and are easy to consume.

Look at this video by Asana:

The video talks about Asana’s new timeline feature. What makes this video great is that it not only informs the users about the new update but also talks about how they can benefit from the update. This ensures customer loyalty.

4. Product Launch

Launching a product is a big deal. You've worked countless hours on it and are excited about the big launch. When you've left no stone unturned in making the product the best it can be, why not launch it the right way?

The launch should build hype about the product. Riding on this wave, your product hits the ground running. But that wouldn't happen if you aren't able to pique your audience's interest in your product.

This is why you need a product launch video. These videos are eye-catching and have a high retention rate. This raises their conversion rates as well.

When you launch a product with a video, you show the people a glimpse of what their life would be with the product. It intrigues them and makes them convert to see the product in action.

Look at this video by Goldi:

With this video, the viewers get to know what to expect from the product. And if it is right up their alley, they convert.

5. Brand Story

One of the best ways to humanize your brand is with the help of your brand's story. When you talk about what led to the creation of your brand and its journey, people listen. They listen because these are the stories we inherently like.

With brand story videos, you can connect with your audience on an emotional level. At this level, your audience understands you as a brand and relates to it. This humanizing of your brand increases its overall appeal and creates lasting connections.

When a buyer connects with your story, they become loyal to your brand and stick by your side forever. But you need to keep in mind that you need to earn this loyalty by giving your brand story video your best shot.

Look at how TOMS did it:

Not only did it take the viewers through an amazing journey but it also established a connection. And that is what builds loyal customers.

6. Webinar Promotional Videos

Webinars give you an opportunity to let your potential customers know why you're good. Not only are they great for lead generation but also for nurturing existing clients.

With the help of webinars, you can add value to your existing customers by teaching them. This could be something about your product/service or even a concept related to what you have to offer.

The only problem with webinars is getting enough people to enroll. And that is something webinar promotional videos can help you out with.

With these videos, you can build hype for your webinar and ensure maximum participation. The best part of these videos is that they can be used on social media platforms. This gives them a wide reach.

7. Event Promotion

Regardless of the size of your company, events are a big deal. More often than not, many dedicated teams work on various aspects of the event to make sure it goes well.

With so much effort put in to make the event a grand success, you would want as many people as possible to attend it. And that isn't possible without promotion.

If you're promoting your event on social media, what could be a better way to do so than with an event promotion video? These videos perform many tasks at once.

To start with, they get noticed by users which increases conversions. It also builds hype for the event and that attracts more people. Lastly, it also gives an insight to the audience about what they can expect from the event.

Look at how Tedx Kalamata's organizing team did it:

The video uses kinetic typography with a few animated objects to tell a story to customers. This helps the organizers connect with the audience better.

Best practices for social media videos

When you're making social media videos, there are a lot of things that affect their efficiency. If you're not careful about these things, you might end up making a video that doesn't perform well.

And you don't want that to happen after spending a lot of resources on the video. So it is best to get the video right in the first go. And that is why we're telling you about a few of the best practices you should keep in mind while making your video.

Without further ado, let's begin!

1. Always Have a Strategy

Without a strategy, you're like a cloud drifting in the direction of the wind. And that's an absolute waste of your marketing budget.

With a proper strategy, however, you can define a path for your company to reach a specific goal on social media. While you're at it, remember to put it all in numbers. You need to define the number of followers you would want the page to have by the end of this week, this month, and this year.

Likewise, you would need to define numbers for the rest of the aspects of your presence on social media. All you need to keep in mind is to keep these numbers as realistic as possible.

Moreover, you have certain marketing goals. Your content should always be geared toward these goals. Without a strategy, you wouldn’t be able to see measurable results so you wouldn’t know if you’re putting the right content online. So always have a strategy.

2. Know Your Competition

The better you know your competition, the better it is for you. Following your competitor's journey on social media can tell you what's working in the industry and what isn't. This can help you prepare your campaigns better.

Moreover, you want to stand out, right? So you wouldn't want to do much of what they do. For example, if they're into live-action videos, you could try animation. If they're into a specific style of animation, you could try some other style of animation.

Do whatever it takes to stand out.

3. Track Everything

Your failed campaigns can tell you a lot about what you should be avoiding. The learnings from these campaigns can help you define the newer campaigns in the best way.

Tracking successful campaigns can help you templatize things. This helps you speed the creation process up. Moreover, you can run A/B tests against these campaigns to know the extent of success that you can achieve.

When you track everything, you learn what your audience wants to see on social media. And then you give them that.

4. Make It Mute-Proof

Most of the people on social media prefer to run the videos on mute. This is because you aren't always alone and/or near your headphones.

When you add subtitles to your videos, you make sure that your message reaches the audience. This can give you an especially great ROI on your commercials and promotions.

Moreover, you ensure those with hearing impairments can consume your videos.

5. Be Unique

When something works out for someone and it becomes viral, everyone copies it. This makes it boring since now every single post on your timeline has the same format.

This is when you can stand out by being unique. When you put out unique content, you are easily discernible. And trust me, people remember you for being unique.

Another Google could be good but it'll never be as good as the first one. So, be unique.

Keeping these best practices in mind, you need to roll out some videos. But rolling out videos is not that easy. Sometimes, even finding the right topic for creating educational videos to generate leads gets difficult. For such times, we have a technique that worked out for us. We believe these would work out for you as well. So read on!

How to pick topics to create educational videos around for lead generation

To start with, stop thinking of educational videos as videos based on concepts revolving around your product/service. While it is an important subset of educational videos, there's certainly more to them.

With that out of the way, let's talk about topics you could pick for educational social media videos.

1. Videos Around Important Dates

Unsure of what to post about on social media? Events like mother’s day or the independence day can always rescue you in such situations. Since most of these events happen to fall on the same dates every year, it’s difficult to miss out on any of them.

What makes this type of social media videos special is its ability to connect with the audience on an emotional level. But that doesn’t happen when you simply wish your audience. It happens when you start important conversations around the events.

Such videos help build communities amongst the audience. And when that happens, lead generation no longer remains a problem. Once they get to know you, reaching out to you is not a problem since you already have most contact information on the social media platforms. If you’re missing something out, you could always put a link to your contact page in the post.

Look at this video by Kronos:

This video that was made for the International Women’s Day, is a great example of how you can make videos around specific important dates. Even though the video is on the longer side, it is engaging enough to keep you hooked throughout the video.

It leaves the viewers with a question that starts a conversation, “What’s possible for the next generation of workforce management?”

2. Videos About Current Events

Sometimes going with current events works amazing for brands. For example, let's say you see a piece of news that you think relates quite naturally with what you do. So you go ahead and make a video telling your audience about what happened as well as your own views/analysis.

But be careful, you shouldn't have to force a correlation between the news piece and your company. Because when you do that, it shows and nobody likes that. More than anything, it harms your company's image.

3. Videos About Research/Analysis

Now, you might not always have the right piece of news. When that happens, you have a host of other topics you can pick up. For example, if you see a recent trend in the industry, make a video about your analysis of the trend. Did ground-breaking research recently? Share it with your audience in a video.

Look at this video by Dell EMC:

It represents the company’s key observations from their TCO report for a product of theirs. A lot of companies use such infographic videos for sharing their research reports visually.

While this report was about a product of theirs, you could analyze your industry and share the reports of that as well. It boils down to what you want to share with your audience that would add value to their lives.

4. Videos About Evergreen Topics

If none of that applies to you, try going for some evergreen topics that resonate with your brand.

For example, you could go for some pop culture references. So, if you’re a marketing company, you could make a video about the things you can learn about marketing from Netflix. Or try making videos around some inspirational entities. This could be on the lines of “What makes Apple’s designs stand out?”. Videos showing your company's values work great too!

Think about your audience. Think about their aspirations and motivations and make videos around that. You could also make videos around their needs and pain points.

Look at this video by Gatorade:

This video uses one of the techniques we just mentioned—pop-culture reference. It talks about the famous sprinter, Usain Bolt. By doing this, the video attracted both Bolt’s as well as Gatorade’s followers. And that resulted in a huge success for the brand as the video stands at well over 15 million views.

5. Videos Around KRAs

Regardless of whether you’re a B2B company or a B2C company, your target audience is an individual and not a company. This individual has certain KRAs to be taken care of to ensure the company achieves its strategic goals.

What if, while scrolling on social media, this individual finds something related to these KRAs? As you might’ve guessed, the individual would be attracted to it and would want to know how she could become more productive.

Making videos around KRAs helps you reach out to the right people in a targeted way. Moreover, since you successfully show that you understand the audience, you’re able to gain their trust which later translates into sales.

Look at this video by IBM Watson Talent:

The video talks about how recruitment has been changed by technological advancements. If you’re an HR personnel, this would be of great interest to you. Not only would you like to watch the video but also share it in your professional circle.

What makes this video a good example is its description which leads you to their landing page. As a business, you too can put links in the descriptions of your videos for lead generation.

There's a lot you can do when you know the direction you should be working toward. With these ideas, you could make videos for your audience.

And that’s all we had for you for this blog, but before you leave, here are some things you need to remember:

  • Keep your videos engaging: the more engaging your videos are, the higher the conversions would be.
  • Stand out: make a statement and be loved by your audience by doing something the others in your industry aren’t doing.
  • Always have a strategy: without a strategy, your video marketing efforts would be haphazard and wouldn’t do you much good.
  • Track everything: tracking gives you a clearer picture of how your video is performing so that you can tweak it when needed to make it better.
  • Add subtitles: since most of your audience on social media is watching videos on mute, adding subtitles can get your videos more engagement.
  • Make videos around important dates: some dates are hard to forget and the videos around them can help you form deeper connections with the audience
  • Make videos about current events: they help you stay relevant in the eyes of your audience and establish you as a thought leader
  • Convert your research into videos: results from researches can be quite comprehensive but can be represented in an easy-to-consume form with videos
  • Make videos around evergreen topics: videos can always be made about pop culture references, inspirational entities, and audience’s aspirations, motivations, needs, and pain points
  • Make videos around KRAs: for a lot of people, their needs and pain points revolve around their KRAs, so making videos about around them grabs their attention

This should make success on social media a breeze, but if you still run into problems or have questions, let us know in the comments below! If you need help with social media video production, you can always reach out to us here! And stay tuned for updates because our experiments make it into this blog every now and then.

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