We recently had a call with a client where we advised them on the best ways to distribute an upcoming video campaign online, and that conversation helped us realise something. Many businesses are onboard with why they should be creating video content, but are still unsure of how to promote it to an online audience. Nothing saddens us more than when a great video campaign goes to waste, and we’ve seen it happen; clients wishing they’d done more with their content and regretting that they hadn’t.
Last year we covered four best practices for leveraging your video content online, but it’s time to delve into how to help your video reach the right audience in an increasingly noisy social sphere.
Focus on the social channels that make the most sense for your business
Knowing your target audience is not only key for creating your video, but also determines where you should share it online, so if you haven’t already, be sure to pin that down before going any further. Alongside your target demographic, the nature of your business also dictates where you should hone your social media efforts. Focus on the channels that are the most beneficial to your business and, more importantly, match the demographics of your target audience.
Brandwatch, who provide powerful social listening and analytics to brands and agencies across the globe, told us: “Firstly, it's essential to go where your audience is. As a B2B SaaS company, it wouldn't make sense for us to pour resources into an Instagram account when we can focus our attention on LinkedIn and Twitter, where we know a large proportion of our audiences are.
Secondly, organic and even paid brand reach on social is constantly reducing, so it makes sense to have a quality over quantity approach, focusing efforts on a few sites that deliver ROI rather than spreading your messaging in a less targeted and directed way across multiple platforms.”
Extend your storytelling to your call to action
Having a clear call to action helps encourage your audience to engage further with your brand. Without one, viewers are likely to swipe or scroll away without taking the action you intended them to, but having a call to action for the sake of having one won’t necessarily produce good results.
The language of your call to action is incredibly important. Today’s consumers are savvy enough to know when they are being sold to, but that’s not to say you can’t be creative with how you sell to them. We’re always talking about the importance of storytelling and how more brands are now utilising it in their advertising campaigns, but the need to connect with viewers doesn’t just stop at the creative content. Your calls to action are just as decisive and can be the difference between a ‘click’ or a scroll-away.
One of our favourite examples of an engaging call to action comes from Reebok’s 25,915 Days campaign. The campaign encourages us to push our bodies to their physical limits and derives from the fact that there are 25,915 days in the life of the average human. It delivers an incredibly powerful message and its call to action isn’t short of compelling either: “calculate your days”.
This strong CTA binds the entire piece together, with its echo of the wider campaign and its personal qualities cementing Reebok’s core message: make the most of your days by “honouring the body you’ve been given”.
A call to action that resonates your campaign’s message, and inspires rather than urges viewers to take that extra step, will help your campaign feel less like an ad and more like a holistic viewing experience (the best kind, in our opinion). In any case, that call to action will be the last thing a viewer sees before they become a customer or a missed opportunity.
Use paid promotion to help your video reach new audiences
Having a social media distribution strategy is key, but sometimes organic posts just aren’t enough, especially if you’re a small business trying to stand out in a very crowded digital environment. Paid promotion is a great way to amplify your video campaign and can help you reach more of your target audience.
On Facebook, you can ‘boost’ your video post to a bigger audience or use it to create an ad with Facebook for Business. The average length of the top performing videos on Facebook is approximately 90 seconds, and as part of its big push for longer videos, content of this length and above will be ranked higher in the news feed. When boosting a post or creating an ad, Facebook encourages you to include the most important information and your call to action within the first 90 characters of text.
With Instagram you can create sponsored posts through Facebook or through the app itself, but the latter is only possible if you have an Instagram business profile. You can create your own unique targeted audience or Instagram can automatically generate an audience for you based on people who might be interested in your business.
Twitter Ads allow you to set up a targeted video campaign using a previous tweet or creating one specifically for your promoted content. To start, set up your campaign based on the metrics that best fit your campaign’s objectives, whether it’s awareness, video views or clicks and conversions. You can tailor your audience based on factors such as location and interests, and also align your campaign with specific keywords or events.
On YouTube you can run an ad campaign to help drive more views to your video and channel using Google Adwords for video. Your video ad can appear before a video starts or alongside it on the YouTube watch page. You can help your video reach the right audience with placement targeting, which runs your ad on channels that your potential viewers also watch, or interest category targeting which helps you reach new audiences based on their interests.
Sadly, LinkedIn still doesn’t support video uploads, but you can embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo URLs. Create a LinkedIn post as normal with your video link included and use the ‘sponsor update’ option to help your video reach a wider audience on the platform.
It’s important when running a social video campaign to think about who it is you’re targeting, what you want to achieve and whether certain platforms and approaches make sense for your individual business goals. Go with what feels right for your brand and don’t be afraid to use paid promotion to give your content an extra boost. Set reachable, measurable goals; don’t just aim to ‘go viral’ and don’t expect your campaign to make you the next Buzzfeed or VICE. You certainly don’t need to be them to succeed with social video.