Alison Murdock is the founder and chief marketer at Trusted CMO, a marketing services firm that helps early-stage startups go to market.
Social media content is nothing new for marketers.
We curate and consume so much of our lives on social media, whether it’s footage of a fun team-building event for work or sharing about having a drink with our friends. But when the pandemic and stay-at-home orders hit across the globe, our consumption of content skyrocketed.
In fact, in a survey conducted in May 2020, 51% of U.S. adults reported using more social media due to the outbreak.
With the introduction of TikTok and other social networks designed to share user-generated short-form videos, we could now laugh, cry and cringe together by all watching the same 30-second video. Even if you don’t use TikTok, you likely know someone who does, as the number of TikTok users in the U.S. was 18.8 million in 2018 and was projected to reach 45.4 million in 2020. And now, we’re conditioned to engage with visually interesting information and immediately captivating content, as these quick videos provide.
Videos are fast-moving and easy to understand. This is one reason why, according to Twitter, tweets with video see 10 times more engagement.
What’s more, they’re immediately consumable and can trigger more user engagement, such as likes and reshares, which also increases the distribution and shelf-life of your brand message. Once you’ve caught a viewer’s attention, you can expect more conversions or sales. In fact, according to 2018 data from video creation service Animoto (via Small Business Trends), 93% of marketers said they got a new customer because of a video they posted on social media.
Social media has raised the bar for our marketing approach and content. Why would we make our audiences read lengthy articles when we can deliver a message more quickly and with the potential for more impact?
The lingering issue is that many marketers and communicators struggle to make videos because video creation appears to be time-consuming, costly or complicated. In fact, it seems easier to write a short blog post.
These misconceptions have got to change, starting now. But where should you start? Here are some steps to guide you.
Step No. 1: Empower Your Team To Create Videos Internally
Start your video-creation process with those who live and breathe your company’s mission: your team. I know what you’re thinking — they don’t have any video-production expertise. At this point, all you need is for your team to create a story based on the key message you want to share and the action you want to drive. You don’t need anything fancy: just a logical flow of ideas.
Step No. 2: Use Easy-To-Use Video Creation Tools
Now that you have your storyboard, what do you do with it? Most of us don’t want to spend our weekends learning iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Adobe. Additionally, no one wants to spend money on an external agency if it’s not necessary. Instead, spend an hour or two looking at the newest online video creation offerings that almost make videos for you and can save you countless hours and dollars. Tools such as PlayPlay or Canva offer drag-and-drop, easy-to-use solutions.
Step No. 3: Ensure Consistent Branding
As you plan your video, you’ll want to make sure you establish your brand identity at the beginning. Whether you use your logo, colors or signature song, your viewers should immediately recognize your brand, irrespective of the channel or platform.
Step No. 4: Use Existing Content As Inspiration For Videos
At this stage, you might be thinking to yourself: how can I make social media videos a part of my long-term content strategy? And to that, I say: use the content you have already produced. Creating a video doesn’t mean starting over; in fact, it can also mean repurposing the work you have already done in a new format. You could promote a podcast from last year or showcase a customer case study you published last week.
Step No. 5: Publish To The Social Platform Best Suited For Your Video
Congratulations: Now you have a portfolio of videos. It’s time to start posting them. TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, your website: the opportunities are endless. To narrow down your decision, refer to social media demographic statistics to select the channel or channels that will be most effective for your needs. Since many of these platforms have adopted the “TikTok-style” short video implementation, your video will likely fit and attract viewers wherever you choose to place it.
You Can Do It
Creating social media videos may seem daunting at first. And there’s a bit of art and science to it. Following the steps above will not only help you get started but also give you the opportunity to fully embrace your newfound marketing medium.
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