This blog post has been written by our guest blogger, Maria Dhanoa. Maria enjoys working with video and creating digital content as well as having experience with social media. She is currently a coach for the Google Digital Garage project in Birmingham.
Out of all the things you use your device for today, I bet that one of those things includes watching videos. Am I right? Just for the record, I am not a psychic, what I am is a Snapchat enthusiast!
Over recent years, video content has taken social media by storm, therefore it isn’t surprising to know that the majority of social media platforms out there now have video features; they are difficult to ignore if you are a digital marketer, and it’s even more difficult not to watch these bite-size pieces of visual content. I’m sure that we can agree that we are probably all quite partial to a 2 minute long ‘Tasty’ series video! So why not create video content for our audiences to indulge in?
Digital Storytelling is an activity that anyone with a smartphone can get involved in, the accessibility factor is immense which is another reason to jump on the video content creation band-wagon. If you’ve made it this far through the blog, you’re probably wondering how many capabilities social media platforms have, and how as a digital marketer, you can make the most out of these features.
I’ll be highlighting some of the video capabilities that social media platforms have in common and unique features they have.
I’m not talking fairytales and fables, I’m referring to Snapchat and Instagram style stories. So, what is a story in this sense? A story on both Snapchat and Instagram consists of a maximum of a series of 10-second video clips that you can record to create an almost mini-movie that happens to expire after 24 hours! Now having said that, I wouldn’t recommend going all Stephen Spielberg on your audience and creating a 10-minute long story at the beginning of your business’ video content journey.
Why is that?
Attention spans are relatively short on social media platforms, anyone want to take a guess how long? It is actually a total of 3 seconds, yes, 3 seconds, so as digital marketers we have a narrow window of opportunity on which to grab the audience members attention via our thumb-stopping content. So let’s begin by creating that digestible bitesize content while we are establishing our audience’s behaviour on social media.
These ‘stories’ don’t only have to consist of a 10-second video clip either, you can also include still images in your masterpiece!
For both platforms, you can:
Delete individual still images/snaps or 10-second video clips from your story too if you later feel that particular ‘scene’ doesn’t quite fit in.
Monitor how many views you received per still image/snap and video clip from your audience.
Add CTA’s on the actual still image/ video clip itself, whether you’re telling your audience to ‘ buy now ‘, or ‘sign up’, accompany your CTA’s with your brand colours and fonts, and you can also add emoji’s and gifs!
How can we make these stories more interactive I hear you ask, you can run polls on your Instagram stories and on Twitter posts. These polls will really help to increase chances of engagement on your stories, due to the short and sweet nature of them only requiring seconds (which is all we have ) to click an option, plus they help to find out what your audience’s preferences/likes/dislikes are.
The power of the poll can be seen in the recent ‘Yanny v Laurel’ epidemic that has the world debating on whether or not in a ‘Laurel and Hardy’ snippet, Laurel is, in fact, being called ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’ . This question is being asked in various polls over the internet as you read this, why not join in and cast your vote!
Using links on your stories is a capability both Snapchat and Instagram share. The ability to tag and link on the actual video clip or image itself makes for great connectivity and cross-marketing. So let’s say for example you have cupcake business and you have a social media influencer with a 10k+ following, who agrees to promote one of your cupcakes on their Snapchat or Instagram story. The social media influencer can simply tag or link to your social media business page in their story, through which potential new customers will be taken to either your business page or through to your website! On that note to unlock this feature, you must have a 10k following.
Let’s talk live streaming for a minute, what is it exactly? Well, live streaming is when a video is being recorded and viewed in real time! Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have this feature. Live streaming is great for connecting with your audience. How? During the live stream, the audience has the option to ask questions via the message function. Instagram more specifically allows you to ‘go live’ with the individual’s watching! So if you have the privilege of having an influential brand ambassador, a fan would want nothing more than to have some sort of contact with their idol! What other benefits does live streaming have? Apart from the hyper-connectivity it provides a brand with their audience, the audience is also 3 times more likely to watch a live video in comparison to a regular video, 3 times!
So whichever social media platform your brand has a presence on, there is a video solution for pretty much all of them. As digital marketers, we are aware that knowing and connecting with our audiences is paramount, doing so with the king that is content is essential, video is high in accessibility so why not make the most of it!
The call to action that I will leave you with is: “on your marks, get set, FILM !”