Whether you love it or hate it, video is the future of marketing. But the big question is, are you equipped for an effective social media video strategy? If not, I’ll discuss how to properly plan one for your business so that you can learn how to set goals, choose the right social platform and boost your audience engagement to next-level heights. Let’s get started.
Why a social media video strategy is important
It can be tough working with video, especially if you didn’t go to film school or have little marketing experience. But with the introduction of live streaming, demand for brand authenticity and accessible editing apps, it’s easier than ever to dip your toes into the video marketing world.
So, how can you use social media’s reach and potential, while also being mindful of your brand and content experience?
Start by having a strategy in place and ensure it’s sustainable for the long term.
Additionally, you’ll want to make it flexible enough to change with the times and a relevant fit to what your audience responds best to. The ways you use video and other social media content aren’t mutually exclusive, so your efforts should always support your team and business goals.
Setting your goals and intentions
Social media is essential for everyday entrepreneurs, but it’s a waste of valuable time if you’re not using it properly. Creating a video and then repurposing that same video across all your social networks is basic-level marketing, because it doesn’t require any extra effort.
However, if you want your videos to work in unison with your other content, you’re going to have to take a step back and define your objectives. Let’s take a look at three ways you can begin to do that.
1. Define your purpose
A video can be a powerful tool to connect with your audience, but it’s not enough to just post a video and hope for the best. It’s important to ask yourself the following questions as you plan out your video content:
- What is your reason for uploading this particular piece of content?
- What’s your brand about, beyond profit?
- How do you want to show up and engage on social media?
- How do you want your audience to view you?
The video content that has value for your audience has a clear message and a clear call to action.
Video content is not always about showing off your products or services — you can use a static image for that.
Instead, it’s about telling an emotional story and engaging people on an impactful level. It’s important to think about what the purpose of each video is and how it should be different from any other video that you have released before.
2. Set measurable goals
It’s much easier to measure your success if you have a clear goal in mind. If you are unsure about what your goals are, then you can start with something simple, like: “I want to increase my followers by 10%.”
When you set measurable goals, your progress becomes clearer and you’re able to see how effective your changes are. This will allow you to make the adjustments needed, to reach your ultimate goal(s).
Hopefully, your feed will start looking more stylish and coherent. It should also reflect your improvement, so you’ll need to make sure your goals are something you can measure directly — that way it keeps you on track and motivated.
3. Create a content calendar
Finally, make sure there is an element of surprise in your videos so that people don’t get bored watching the same type of content over and over again. The best way to guarantee you’re not posting stale or repetitive content is to keep track of it all.
After you’ve set your goals for the year or quarter — and have broken them down into achievable monthly goals — you should categorize your videos based on their type:
- Customer success stories and more
This will help you better organize your plan and make it easier to create a timeline for completing the tasks involved in post-production.
Then, once you have all of your goals and tasks outlined in your calendar, you can start scheduling out when they should be completed. This will help prepare you for what you want to release and when it should be published. It also makes tracking your metrics much easier, but I’ll cover that later.
As you plan your social media strategy, it’s also important to keep in mind the different holidays and special occasions that’ll be happening throughout the year.
This will help you plan for the dedicated content you want to post during these times. And, while many different types of posts can be created for these occasions, having a cohesive collection of both photo and video content will increase the likelihood that users will remember your brand.
For example, a potential Valentine’s Day post could consist of a photo with a romantic quote, followed by a video of a personal story. The type of content that is posted will depend on your followers and what they’d like to see.
Related: Planning ahead — How to create content calendars and why you need it
Reviewing and renewing your audience
Speaking of your followers, when was the last time you evaluated your target audience? In today’s digital age, it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest trends and changes in technology. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be an opportunity for growth if you know how to take advantage of it.
One way that companies adapt is by updating their target audience with the latest video marketing trends. This means they focus on the people that are most likely to engage and buy from them — not just anyone who might scroll past. And, establishing a better connection with customers helps increase their chances of getting more sales.
Next, I’ll break down how to review and renew your audience using the following steps:
Step 1: Define your target audience
If you haven’t done so already, you should start by finding or redefining your target audience by outlining the demographics and psychographics that make up your ideal group. What does each one mean? Let’s explore them both in more detail below.
Demographics: These consist of characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, income level and education level.
Psychographics: This set of characteristics includes lifestyle preferences, values, attitudes and interests.
Step 2: Use your data insights to shape your content
The next step in understanding your target audience is to figure out their needs and wants. You should research what they care about most, based on their demographic information and psychographics. Doing this often will ensure that you’re keeping up with their changing needs and popular trends.
Again, the more you know about your audience, the better your content will be.
If you post a video, it’s important to know what kind of video content your audience engages most with before you upload it. You can find this out by looking at the video content they are watching and sharing elsewhere.
How to decide on your platform(s)
With so many platforms to post on, it can be hard to know which one is best for your needs. Currently, there are at least 20+ active social media platforms available for video uploads, which is a lot of social content — no matter how extroverted you may be.
Many factors go into deciding which platform to use, but the most important factors include:
- What type of content you are posting
- How much time you have available
You can’t expect to be everywhere at once. It’s all about quality over quantity. Pick the top two to four social networks that work best for your business and focus on posting unique content there.
As a side note, it’s normal to feel like you’re missing out by not posting everywhere. But it’s unreasonable to consistently manage more than four social platforms at a time, especially as a small business owner.
If you’re having a hard time choosing, a good first step would be to look at the data and features of each platform that best suit your brand. Some key features to look for as you research platform options include:
- Security settings
- Monetization capabilities
- Available integrations
- Video editing tools
- Reliable content delivery
- Access to video analytics
Creating content on one platform is very different from doing it on another. For example, features on TikTok differ from the ones on YouTube.
So, find a platform that sparks joy — not only for you but your target audience as well. Find out where and how they spend time online and be where the people are.
Pro tip: TikTok users often spend their time across multiple platforms. Check out some of the overlaps below:
- Facebook (84.6% overlap)
- Instagram (83.9% overlap)
- YouTube (80.5% overlap)
With this information, you can plan a social media video strategy that includes the most effective platforms.
Types of video
Once you update your social media strategy with more video content, keep the individual characteristics of each platform in mind.
Remember, not every video is created equal. There are many video types to consider, so it’s important you know which ones will best suit your needs before you start creating them.
Generally speaking, there are four main video types on almost all social media platforms:
- Stories: These are short-form videos that are only viewable for 24 hours.
- Short-form videos: These videos will vary in length (ranging from five seconds to three minutes) and they’re typically used to share jokes, ideas or opinions.
- Long-form videos: These are usually more than ten minutes long and are often used for educational purposes or vlogging (a form of blogging that’s done through video).
- Live streaming: This means that the person recording the video is broadcasting what they are doing to a live audience.
Ultimately, video content is a powerful way of telling your story and can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Key notes to consider
When thinking about the video types you want to incorporate into your social media strategy, keep the following tips in mind to help streamline the process.
One recording session could produce multiple videos: Different sections of content could be used for promotion or edited together to create new videos, like compilations or highlight reels. Everything and anything can be made into content, so don’t limit yourself to what you can produce.
Determine the intent of your audience: Consider what you want your audience to do after they’ve seen or interacted with your content. Do you want them to buy something? To sign up for an email list? To like or comment on the post? This is called an “action” and you must have a goal in mind when creating any piece of content.
Embrace your updated social media video strategy:
Based on the features of the platform(s) you have chosen, you can start to embrace your updated video strategy. Again, incorporating video into your customized social media strategy is a powerful way to connect with your followers and create a more personal connection.
Keep in mind that the more content you produce, the more likely you’ll need to revisit your older videos to ensure it’s up to date. Inevitably, this might mean that some of your content will have a short life span as it ages. But with the right combination of keywords and evergreen topics, a three-year-old video might still be relevant to your users today — if you put in the work.
Video optimization is the process of improving the context of a video for search engine ranking.
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be accomplished by understanding what keywords you want to rank for and which ones your competitors are targeting. You can then use these keywords to create your content.
The more relevant, high-ranking keywords you use, the higher your chances of earning a top spot in search engine results pages (SERPs) — often referred to as “natural,” “organic” or “earned” results.
Wondering how else to get noticed? There are a few other advanced techniques to ensure you’re doing everything you can to get found. For instance, you can:
- Utilize keywords in the video’s title, tags and description
- Add captions or include keywords in the video and thumbnail file names
- Include high-definition video quality and appealing thumbnails (helps entice viewers to click on your video)
- Optimize how your videos sound to increase the chances that viewers will watch the video all the way through.
Doing these will help search engines better understand what your video is about and who to show it to.
Additionally, there’s a lot of discourse online about SEO best practices. And it’s constantly changing as websites like Google update their algorithms to identify low-quality content on the internet and rank it accordingly. As a result, it’s nearly impossible to cheat the system.
Post and promote
Knowing when your audience is online will help you determine the best day and time to upload your content. The more people that view it after it’s been posted, the more search engines will recommend it to others — which helps boost that video’s performance.
Also, one of the best ways to get your video content seen is by uploading it onto several networks. You shouldn’t think of videos on social media as one-and-done.
Creating videos for just one social media platform isn’t enough.
You need to upload them onto multiple networks or else they’ll get lost in the noise.
Some management platforms like Repurpose.io can help automate this process for you. Imagine not having to manually publish your video at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday to each individual social media account. Instead, it all just happens instantly after it goes live on your preferred platform.
As mentioned earlier, repurposing videos is a basic level marketing strategy. But there are ways you can be more intentional with this process. Take a look at the following ways you can repurpose video content across social platforms:
- Post a teaser video: You could post a teaser on your Twitter page for a long-form video on YouTube.
- Promote a link to your livestreams: Try adding a livestream link to your Instagram story so you can ensure lots of people will join in at the right time.
- Post video links on forums or blogs: You could even embed them in your website’s blog posts.
It’s all about content cross-promotion. Promoting your content on other platforms and channels will help you increase traffic and exposure. The idea is to create a win-win situation for all aspects of your social reach. So as you get more exposure on one, your other platforms and channels benefit from the increased traffic.
Understand and analyze metrics
The last thing to consider in any social media video strategy is probably the most important: analyzing it.
To understand the effectiveness of your efforts, it’s important to know how to measure your success. The metrics you measure will depend on your goals and objectives from earlier.
Some metrics that are commonly used for measuring video marketing success are:
- Reach (number of views)
- Engagement Rate (ratio of views to viewers)
- Average View Duration (time spent viewing a video)
- Video Views per Channel Subscriber
It also helps to understand how your videos are performing, what is the most engaging part of your video, who’s watching it, and so on. Each network provides different sets of metrics. For example:
- YouTube analytics can tell you how many views a video has, how long the average viewing time is, and who the viewers are.
- Facebook analytics will tell you how many people saw your video, what percentage of those people watched your video for at least three seconds, and for how long they watched it.
- Instagram analytics will show you the percentage of people that saw your post, clicked on it, and liked it.
- Twitter analytics will show you the number of impressions that a tweet has had, as well as the number of engagements (think likes and retweets) that it has had.
All of this data will better inform you of what content is favorable among your viewers and what isn’t. You wouldn’t continue to upload the same type of content week after week if your audience isn’t engaging with it.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Even if your numbers are going up, don’t be afraid to try something new. You might just find a hidden niche that both you and your viewers enjoy.
I hope this guide helps get your social video strategy off the ground or, if you’ve already started, allows you to take your strategy to the next level. In the eleven years, I’ve been uploading my content to YouTube, my channel has seen many different kinds of videos. Not all of them were winners, but that’s okay.
The success of your social media strategy depends on:
- How you engage with your audience
- How you use video content to attract more attention
- What your specific goal is with each post
Every marketer or small business owner should have a plan to update their strategies often. If you don’t, it’s hard to grow your brand and reach new customers.
It’s important to know how each platform can support your goals and niche audience before you start using it. Tailor your videos and overall strategy to connect the different channels and your audience, then watch your engagement skyrocket.