When it comes to video marketing and social media, one of the most common complaints I see brought up – by content creators and businesses alike – is the issue of underperforming content.
In many instances, it has more to do with unrealistic expectations than anything else. Like people expecting 10.000 followers after putting out consistent video content for only two months.
But more often than not, it’s due one or two critical failures in their production process that ends up working against them and undoing the hard work they’ve put into creating said quality videos in the first place.
For example, you can make an excellent animated explainer video, but if it’s based around an utterly unappealing subject to your audience, nobody will click on it. Or you can be funny, and charming in your Instagram live videos, but if you fail to promote them, it’s unlikely that people will show up.
Being aware of these issues and their respective fixes are the initial step in growing any social video marketing strategy that has already figured out the bulk of the production process and is only in need of refining a few of the kinks that come from not readily evident sources.
To help you with that, I wanted to share with you five easy fixes that will undoubtedly help boost engagement on any social marketing videos you are putting out.
#1. Get to Know Your Audience:
I want to start with this one because the number of social marketing strategies I see with little or no focus – and even less understanding – of their target viewership is frankly staggering. It’s a common problem with businesses that lack a dedicated staff to run their social media content creation activities, and with modest content creators looking to make the leap into bigger audiences.
In any endeavor, trying to progress without a plan is difficult in the best situations, and works proactively to undermine your efforts in the worst case scenarios. So, it isn’t surprising to see so many social marketing strategies having problems with their content when they fail to figure out who they are creating content for!
Whatever your industry, understanding what your audiences are interested in is necessarily step 0. You need to be aware of what key concepts – related to your content – they identify with, and most importantly, you need to have at least a sense about what they expect from you.
Investing time and effort in creating videos and throwing them at the wall to see what sticks is a surefire way to waste resources and wear yourself out. Those resources are best spent, to some extent, honing into your audiences wants and expectations, and then letting that information guide your content creation process. This will generate a massive positive feedback loop you can use to improve the effectiveness of the whole thing.
#2. Use Effective Call-To-Actions:
Few other fixes can improve engagement and viewer response to your videos than effective use of CTAs.
One approach is to be direct and ask for any action you’d like your audience to perform. And yes, it is that simple. Most people forgo hitting the like button, sharing your content on their social media, or subscribing to your content, not because they don’t want to in principle. Most of the time, it just doesn’t occur to them until something prompts them!
Something as simple as adding the line “please retweet” at the end of a tweet dramatically increases the chances of people doing so, and the same behavior seems mirrored across different social network platforms.
Do you want further proof? Pick one of your favorite YouTuber’s, one with a big audience, and take a look at one of their latest videos. I can guarantee that at some point (most likely the beginning or end of the video, sometimes both) they prompt viewers to like, share, and subscribe. It’s not a coincidence.
Using CTAs is not the online determining factor, but it can increase the response and engagement your content is seeing seemingly overnight once you start using them.
You can be upfront about it, or take a subtler approach, by posing questions or asking viewers opinions at the end of your videos to encourage them to engage. Either way, you will have more people sharing and interacting with your content.
#3. Upload Content Natively:
Hosting your videos natively gives you an advantage, plain and simple.
This means that whatever platform you choose to broadcast your videos on, you should whenever possible, upload it to that platform instead of redirecting traffic to a different site.
For example, if you make a short and cute animated explainer video, post it on your YouTube channel, and wish to also share it with your Instagram audience, your best bet is to re-upload it (or a shorter version of it, as a sort of tease) on your Instagram natively. Rather than merely linking to it in a text post, or embedding it (as you could, say, on Facebook.)
Uploading natively helps your content perform better, as each platform’s algorithms give some sort of priority to content hosted locally, and audiences tend to grow used to and prefer the media player and aesthetics of native content.
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#4. Mind Your Lengths and Video Structure:
Different social media networks have different preferences and lean towards the type of content they prefer. Keeping in touch with the preferred formats and content lengths can be a determining factor in how well your content performs on a given platform.
Snappy, on-the-go social networks like Instagram or Twitter lean to brief content, while others like YouTube and Facebook react more favorably to longer pieces of content.
It is essential that you consider these preferences in the planning stages of your video making, to ensure whatever you end up with will be appreciated by the intended audience.
#5. Copy Optimization:
The world of content online is intrinsically bound to copywrite.
The best video around is utterly ineffective if people aren’t watching it. Spending a lot of energy making the perfect video, then just hitting upload without a second thought about what you can do to increase the chances of people actually finding it, watching, and interacting with it wastes that effort.
Once your video is ready, you need to spend some time optimizing its companion copy, with an emphasis on making it stand out.
There are plenty of optimization opportunities you can take advantage of, and different platforms offer different ones. Some, like YouTube, give you plenty of areas for where to apply SEO and user-friendly copy, while others, like Twitter, are far more limited. But when it comes to video, there are two areas you can count on as available in almost every social network: Titles and Descriptions.
Optimizing Titles: Think about the contrast between a video titled “An analysis of the internal components of a Rolex,” and one titled “Ever wonder what’s inside a 10k-dollar Rolex? Find Out:” you get two, dramatically different effects with virtually the same amount of words, and both include a potentially beneficial keyword “Rolex” Try to emulate this and have your titles include your main keyword while appealing to human viewer’s interest.
Optimizing Descriptions: Although more critical in some platforms than others, descriptions can be a great benefit if you know how to use them. In platforms that give you more freedom in your social marketing videos´ description, you should aim to suggest and link to a couple of your other relevant videos, using CTAs and smart copywriting to improve the chances that people will click them.
On more limited platforms, like Instagram, make sure to always include your keywords and the most important related words in the form of tags and hashtags, to maximize its chance of exposure.
To Sum Up:
Today, creating good content, sadly, is just not enough. In a world where anyone can pull their phone out of their pocket and be buried by an avalanche of entertainment with just a couple of taps, you need to be clever and plan ahead to give your excellent content a chance to stand out and be found.
While there are many other strategies you can use to start ramping up the performance of your social marketing videos, the few suggested here are relatively easy fixes to start implementing, and ones that will bring an almost immediate benefit once you do. Giving you more bang for your buck. So, go out there and start optimizing your content, and enjoy seeing your accounts grow!
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