When it comes to social media, the power of online video is undeniable. Video creates a personal connection in a way text can’t. It seems that most businesses are catching on to that fact, yet, every once in a while, I still find myself in a meeting with an executive that insists that his target doesn’t watch online video.
Many marketers disregard YouTube as a mere extension of the show America’s Funniest Home Videos. The fact is, YouTube has grown up over the last few years to being the second largest search engine next to Google. YouTube is more than a place to store your videos; it is a social media platform, and it has the ability to level the playing field for companies that want to start a conversation with clients and customers using video.
There are many video sharing sites out there. For social media purposes, YouTube should be at the top of your strategy plan. YouTube also has 60 hours of video uploaded every minute and over 4 billion videos viewed per day.
So how do you get started using video as part of your social media marketing strategy? Create a programming schedule frequency, just like you would for your favorite TV show. If you are going to create content, plan to do it once a week and release it the same day and time every week so that people will know when to tune in.
If you can’t create video once a week, how about shooting for once a month? You can even record them all in the same day and just release them over time. This also gives you content for your blog, something to tweet about, and something to share on Facebook. You can create tent pole programming; which just means creating a special video around holidays like Christmas or Mothers day. This has worked well in the TV world. Charlie Brown Christmas was first aired in 1965 and people still gather around each year to watch it.
YouTube is a community, just like the other social media platforms. It takes time to connect with other users within YouTube to help build your YouTube viewership and subscribers.
YouTube has placed more importance on subscribers in the last few months. You need to interact and not just post. Make sure to like others’ videos, subscribe to their channels, and comment on their videos. You can even use videos to respond to their videos. Old Spice used the power engagement in the follow up to their “Your Man Can Smell Like” videos.
They created 180 video responses. They received 5.9 million YouTube views in the first day of launch. While your company may not have the resources for this type of campaign, the point is that they used video to engage viewers.
One trap that companies fall into is that they think because it is an online video, it doesn’t have to be good. That might have been true in the early days of YouTube but that is no longer the case. The only amateur content that is considered acceptable is user-generated content. There are exceptions to this, but if you are a professional company with amateur marketing, it is going to seem to the viewer that you don’t care about them.
There are many different types of videos that will work as part of your social media marketing strategy. Here are a few:
Video Blog Post this video to YouTube and then post it to your blog. Blogs with video find an increased view rate. You can also use YouTube to drive viewers to your blog.
Testimonial Videos Make your product or service visible and credible. When you say something yourself, it is bragging, but when someone else says it about you, it is fact. Viewers can now picture themselves enjoying your product or service. It also helps people relate to your company.
Training or How To Videos Answer questions people have and help the viewer feel like they have received value from your company. This is also true of videos that answer frequently asked questions.
Company Overview This is one video that I think all companies can benefit from by giving a face to the company and telling the company story.
The bottom line: Video content is easier than ever to create, but creating good content is an art that requires strategic planning and professional effort. No matter how you slice it, good video content with a good picture and sound is an investment of time and money that will provide strong ROI for your social media marketing strategy.