Video has proved to be one of the most engaging content formats around. But many brands and agencies are not getting the most out of it. If you’re yet to fully embrace video as the hero of your content strategy, you’re missing out on higher engagement rates and sales. The popularity of video content makes it worthwhile investing in if you want to reach a large online audience. It’s predicted that video streaming will account for 82% of internet traffic by 2022. It’s no surprise that as mobile phone and internet usage goes up, so does the amount of time people spend watching videos. By 2021 people will be watching up to 100 minutes of video every day, compared to the average of 84 minutes per day in 2019. Video is clearly leading the way as a content marketing format, but how best to incorporate it into your strategy? Let’s explore how to use short-form and long-form video, live-streams, and Stories. Plus some tips on how to use video for eCommerce.
Leverage short-form & long-form video
Long gone are the days when YouTube was the primary social channel for video content. Most social channels have now followed suit and introduced native video formats. YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram all offer long-form video, a good content format for educational pieces, interviews, and product reviews or demonstrations. Remember your videos should be answering a specific need of your audience in order to be appealing to them. Choosing to create a longer video gives you the chance to cover technical topics and dig into the detail, but go on for too long and your viewers will switch off. It’s important to keep the balance just right! For example, if you’re creating a recipe video to promote your authentic Italian tomato sauce, take time to edit it down into easy steps so it’s engaging and easy to follow for your audience.
Whilst longer videos have their merits, less is more when it comes to creating the most engaging videos. To capture viewers’ attention in the online world of endless distractions, short and impactful videos are the way to go. In fact, videos under 2 minutes have the best engagement rates, any longer and engagements trail off quite significantly. The rise of TikTok and the 15-second video, along with Instagram Reels has almost created a new format in itself: a short video, usually set to music, based around a challenge with the objective to entertain and connect with others. This highly engaging content is attracting more brands to the platform, launching their own brand challenges, user-generated content, and influencer partnerships. You can get expert tips on this in our dedicated post on getting the most from TikTok.
Embrace Stories and live video
The Stories feature on Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin give brands the chance to offer a new type of content to their audience. Stories are a great content format for building awareness and connections with your online audience. By sharing video snippets of how your products are made, office life, or event highlights, you can share content that is more human and immediate than typical brand content. It’s a very engaging format by nature that allows more interactions with followers through polls, asking questions, and the reply feature for example. Using the call to action to ‘swipe up’ to follow a link, makes Stories arguably one of the most useful Instagram features for driving website visits. Stories allow you to curate content by threading shorter videos together to literally tell a story. Build brand awareness by telling the story of a new product, or how your business was created. Don’t pass up on this opportunity to show the human side of your brand! In the example below, Nike uses Stories as interviews to share inspiring stories from real-life athletes as a way to engage with the wider discussion on sports, equality, and inclusion.
Live video is another opportunity not to be missed. Most social media platforms offer a form of live video streaming, perfect for interacting with your audience in real-time. If you’re not familiar with using live video it might seem like a daunting prospect, but there’s so much to gain, and with a little planning it’ll be plain sailing. There are plenty of creative content ideas to choose from for an Instagram Live. Perhaps a Q&A session with your CEO or an expert on your team? Or the unveiling of a new product line? It doesn’t have to be a strictly formal video though, we’ve seen brands host charity concerts, host book reviews, and dinner parties with celebrity guests via Instagram Live. This is a great format for driving engagement and getting feedback from your customer audience by responding live to their comments and questions. If live video still seems like a step too far, why not partner with an influencer to create live video content for you? Unboxing videos, product reviews, or a how-to video would be an ideal way to showcase your brand through influencer content on Instagram Live.
Use video to drive sales
Video is an important gateway to driving purchases, as almost 50% of internet users search for video content about a product or service before visiting the store. Product-related video content is a crucial part of brand discovery and the product research phase of the purchasing journey. Working with influencers and brand ambassadors to create product reviews or how-to videos is a great way of promoting product sales to a wider audience via social media. Bringing products to life through video will help potential customers get all the information they need, rather than reading long product descriptions on an eCommerce website.
Video content can also facilitate sales through platforms such as Shoploop by Google, where if you like what you see in the 90-second product video, you can seamlessly click through to the website and purchase it directly. Social media platforms such as Instagram are also getting on-board and have added shoppable videos and stickers to their Stories feature. Not to mention, live stream social shopping is shaking things up in the eCommerce arena. Using a video Livestream to showcase and test out products whilst offering viewers the opportunity to make purchases during the stream has been growing in popularity. The format originated in Asia and is used by companies such as Aliexpress who have incorporated live social shopping on their Taobao online shopping website. Make no mistake, this will be a growing trend in other markets too, showing the real potential of embracing video within your marketing strategy!
However you choose to start using video, ensure it’s in line with your brand image and goals. For the uninitiated, why not start with pre-recorded how-tos for your products? After all, that’s what you know best! Once you see the engagements rolling in, you can take it up a notch with live web streams and TikTok challenges!