It's All About the Video

The last week of the year is a time to contemplate the year ahead. Why did you think hosting family members across the political spectrum for Christmas dinner would be a good idea? How much champagne is too much champagne? Should you actually make New Year’s resolutions this year? (Or not.) And, most importantly, how do you make your social media marketing more kick-ass?

We scoured our brains (and the internet) to think about the most important social media predictions for 2017. We chatted, we browsed, we Googled, we commented… and we kept encountering one major thing: 

Don't underestimate the power of video

Brands will feel the pressure in 2017 to start using video better. Nearly every social media prediction across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram notes video and live video as their main focus point. It’s easy to see why. A full one third of online activity is watching video. People love watching everything from tiny kittens (it actually makes you feel happier, it’s science) to a perhaps less-than-accurate population count of Americans moving to Canada.

So, how can you master video in 2017?

  1. First off, figure out the story you are trying to tell. Don’t create a video just for the sake of creating one; what do you want to say to your customers and followers? What are they looking for? What is your underlying goal -- is it to build trust in your expertise so that customers are more inclined to call, or is it to share your brand values and make your audience feel inspired? Talk to someone about your ideas and see if you can communicate them in under 30 seconds.
  2. Think about how you scroll through your feeds; you scroll and scroll and stop when something is bright, attention-grabbing, interesting, entertaining, or so useful to you that you have to stop… at least for a few seconds! Your job is to communicate your message in the few seconds that your audience watches. In fact, 60% of viewers stop watching a video by 2 minutes. Keep this in mind when it comes to live videos, too. Your audience may want to hear your 5-minute how-to guide, not the 15 minute version. (By the by, did you know “how-to” videos are the most popular search on YouTube?).
  3. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of using video content on different channels. Think about who you are trying to reach and how they typically consume the kind of information you want to put out there. Maybe your Facebook fans would love that casual live video of your office puppy, but the business contacts and bloggers you chat with on Twitter might not. Read these tips to guide your thinking on live video.
  4. Finally, think of videos as quality over quantity. Create one video well and spend time promoting it, versus creating many quick videos of lower quality. Run that video by test audiences and use their feedback. Build in time for changes and edits so that it’s right, and so you can use it for the long-term on your website, in presentations, and more. This will set a high standard of quality for your audiences, and build trust in everything else you create, too!

And keep in mind that making videos is really not as expensive as you may think. While some have higher production values, some just involve you using a decent cellphone camera to record an event or your thoughts. Here are some great ideas for videos that cost less than $50.

Need inspiration? Check out these great Facebook live videos or this amazingly successful video that increased a startup’s sales AND stars a puppy.