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5 Ways to Use Video to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

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Does your social media marketing need a boost? It could be time to introduce video. Video is an excellent way to engage your audience. Not only can you really display your brand identity, but you can also convey important (and complex) information with greater ease. Still, it can be difficult knowing where to start. Here are five ways that you can start using video to improve your social media marketing now.

 

1. Broadcast Regular Live Video Updates

Live video is becoming an important way for brands to connect with their audience. Live video feels more personal than other types of video: you can communicate directly with your followers in real-time. Live video is best used for short, informative videos, or updates on current situations. Live streaming video can be used to touch base with your customers frequently, reminding them that you’re available to interact with.

A few examples of powerful live video include:

  • Question and answer sessions. Q&A sessions can be used to address any concerns that customers may have, while generally educating them regarding your products and services.
  • Behind the scenes sneak peeks. You can take your audience “behind the scenes” at your business, to experience everything from the sales department to the manufacturing floor.
  • Fast updates. If there are updates that don’t merit their own video content, you can use live video to give a brief overview of the changes taking place. This keeps your followers aware of new and on-going situations.
  • Deals and promotions. Time-sensitive information such as limited time deals and other promotions can be distributed via your live broadcast. Not only does this get the word out faster, but it also gives your audience the feeling they have been part of something exclusive.

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By including your followers in your company’s daily operations, you’ll be able to foster a long-term relationship with them. The more your customers interact with your brand, the more invested they will ultimately be.

That being said, there is one complication when it comes to live video content: it generally requires that you already have a significant following. For the most part, your live videos are going to be enjoyed by those who are already fans of your business. Other video-related strategies are going to be needed to build that following first. Which brings us to the next point…

 

2. Build a Following With Valuable Content

Content marketing is the art of creating and distributing non-promotional content that your followers need. The more content you can provide to your core demographics, the more likely your core demographics are to regard you as an authority and interact with your brand.

Video content can be used for content marketing, by producing thoughtful videos that your core demographic would be interested in. As your library of videos grows, your audience reach will also grow.

Examples of content marketing include:

  • A real estate agent posting a video tutorial on buying a home. Those who are interested in buying a home will be interested in this content — and, consequently, will be introduced to the real estate agent.
  • A medical clinic posting a video regarding common symptoms of an illness. Those who have those symptoms will be looking for a doctor, and will consequently find the information they need and a related clinic at the same time.
  • A salon posting videos of new hairstyles. Those who are interested in reviewing the new hairstyle trends are also likely to be looking for a new hairstyle themselves.
  • A restaurant posting video recipes for some of their most popular dishes. They will attract an audience interested in their type of cuisine, which may include individuals who would rather purchase a meal than create it.

None of these videos are selling the company, its products, or its services. Instead, they are developing a body of content that their audience would be interested in. The more exposure a company has to its audience, the more likely the audience is to interact with the business.

Modern audiences are naturally very resilient to marketing material. If someone attempts to sell a product or service to him or her directly, they will often shut down completely. Most customers don’t want to follow a channel that is solely self-promotion. Instead, modern audiences want content that they personally find valuable to themselves.

A company that produces material that is too promotional or too corporate runs the risk of alienating its clientele. Once customers have been alienated, it can be an uphill struggle to get them back.

 

3. Create Testimonial and Informational Videos

Testimonial videos are among the most trustworthy videos that a company can produce. In a testimonial video, an existing customer or client can talk about how the business, its products, or its services impacted their life. Testimonial videos give real insights into the benefits of working with a company — and they build trust because they are authentic.

Meanwhile, informational videos can be designed around specific products and services — giving viewers more information about what makes each product or service special. These are distinct from other content because they are directly promotional. They are intended to present a reason why viewers should consider becoming a customer.

Customers often want to know how a product or service is going to solve their problems, as well as why they should work with a specific business. This type of promotional, informational content generally comes after content marketing. While content marketing initially brings a potential customer in, it’s promotional videos that show the customer why they should commit to a purchase.

Consider regularly posting highlights of your most popular products — and asking your existing customers whether they would be interested in providing a testimonial. Often, the less scripted a testimonial is, the more likely it is to feel authentic and meaningful. Customers who are sharing their real stories will also have key insights into what your prospective customers are looking for and what their major concerns may be.

 

4. Highlight On-Going Events and News

Events such as conferences and news can be a great way to bring in a new audience. While these videos aren’t going to be as long lasting as other videos, they are more likely to trend while an event is going on. These videos don’t need to be shot live, which is what makes them differ from a live stream: instead, these videos can be prepared as an overview of a conference, trade show, seminar, or other event.

Posting news-related video can be an investment for a business, as it means they will need to be continually creating new content. News-related content doesn’t have a long shelf life, but it does tend to bring in more viewers faster — which could be very important for an organization that is attempting to rapidly grow. For most companies, a mix between current content and evergreen content is desirable. Current content brings an audience in, while evergreen content encourages the audience to stay.

When thinking about which events and news will spark an interest, you should consider your customer demographics. Any content that is likely to be of interest to your core demographics is likely to bring more of them in. Once you’ve developed a solid following, you can begin branching out into a larger pool of in-depth information.

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5. Develop a Solid Call to Action

Your audience can’t take the next step towards building a relationship with your business if they don’t know what to do. A call to action is the segment of your video in which you tell your audience what the next step is.

A good call to action may:

  • Ask the viewer to subscribe to a video channel.
  • Ask the viewer to contact the company.
  • Ask the viewer to learn more about a product.
  • Ask the viewer to sign up for a mailing list.

It’s critical that a call to action be simple. It should outline a single step that a viewer should complete once they’ve finished the video. A call to action should also increase the odds of the viewer interacting directly with the company. Many companies make the mistake of making their call to action too long or too complex, or failing to tailor the call to action to their content.

Further, a call to action needs to gently urge the customer in the right direction — it can’t always jump directly to conversion. In the sales funnel, a call to action should be moving the customer towards the next step of their journey, rather than moving them directly to the end.

Without a call to action, a viewer may watch a video, close it, and forget that the company ever existed. It’s in the company’s best interest to make sure that viewers establish some form of relationship with the company, whether it’s adding their name to a mailing list or subscribing as a follower.

 

These are only a few ways that video can expand your social media marketing experts. Studies have shown that people are more drawn to videos than any other form of media. Producing videos and integrating them into your existing marketing campaigns is the perfect way to improve your engagement and increase your brand awareness. To get started, consider working with a video production company to outline your goals and identify the best ways to meet them.

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Article by Joe Forte, owner and producer at D-Mak Productions, a Scottsdale video production company specializing in producing corporate, commercial, digital and branded media content.

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