As many PR agencies and professionals assume social media responsibilities, they're being required to have not only a strong understanding of what video and social media content is successful, but also an understanding of variables like reach (sharing), frequency (engagement, series and campaigns) and recall. Beyond counting views, likes and followers, They’re being expected to understand what impact video and social media are having on brand awareness and ultimately sales.
Your clients’ videos and surrounding messages have the potential to reach farther and more consistently than any TV ad by being shared, commented on, discussed and even remixed, again and again. The trick is to first ask:
- Why should anyone care about our videos?
- What kinds of videos work best?
- When is the best time to launch video campaigns?
- How do we engage new fans?
- How committed are we to social media marketing the videos and joining the conversation?
Give people videos they’ll care about and share
Sharing is the new “reach," and the magic that makes social media work. My agency has produced lots of viral, commercial and other types of online videos, and if there’s one thing that always gets me, it’s a blind eagerness on the part of clients to believe that most people will care about their videos and their campaigns. They won't... at first. Your job is to make them care and share. Do this by putting effort and creativity into great concepts that entertain, move or otherwise delight viewers. Good videos are easy to relate to, they appeal to certain groups of people and carry a balance between entertainment value and message. Too heavy on the entertainment leaves viewers unaware of what you want them to do, and too heavy on the message makes videos feel like ads.
Video web series increase sharing and engagement
Video series and engagement are the new “frequency.” One of the best ways to build a fan base is to offer a consistent flow of content that they can look forward to, identify with and share. One-off videos are great for promotions and product releases but to really build and retain an audience over months and years rather than weeks, I can think of nothing better than a web video series.
Another advantage is the ability to adjust on the fly, based on viewer sentiment and feedback, and zero in on fans’ interests and objections. So be sure to listen! With a series, you can also play off a number of social media marketing tactics surrounding special events, world events, current events and of course, holidays.
Plan video and social media campaigns around the holidays
Over the next five months we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New years, the Super, and Valentine’s Day. Take advantage of social media marketing opportunities, when people are looking for content to share and feeling extremely social, both on and offline.
Create holiday-related video and social media strategies. That doesn’t mean every Halloween video has to have a pumpkin in it. A video for an office supply retailer could involve several employees arguing about who does what for the big Halloween party, or simply 2 employees at the water cooler talking about what a witch their boss is.
Crash the holiday haunts that already exist. For every holiday, there are already groups of people chatting away. Join in and expose them to your videos and campaigns.
Make your fans into rockstars
Create video content that welcomes fan interaction and then promote their activity to the rest of your client’s fan base. Call attention to a particularly funny comment on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube or an amazing video. Do a follow up video that includes a “best of our fans.” Others will see this and be motivated to participate!
As part of a social media campaign my agency recently ran for a top video game, we developed a video series that included shout outs to the most interesting fans each week, based on their social media interaction with the game. We also ran several large and small contests that required fan involvement and promoted their responses whenever and wherever possible.
Don’t just launch videos and forget them
Think of videos as the lure, designed to get people talking online and interacting. You and your client have to become part of that conversation. You can’t re-launch videos every day like you can with TV spots, but you can engage people who haven’t seen the videos yet. Reach out to targeted groups of people and influencers that have a reason to care and interact with them. Join in on discussions about the videos and other initiatives in the campaign. Fans love to see brands weighing in and contributing to the conversation!
Video is really powerful if used with passion and purpose. Don’t waste your clients’ budget and brand equity by delivering anything less than amazing and effective work. Above all, have fun and never be afraid to take chances, roll up your sleeves and get dirty!
I’d love to hear any of your ideas in the comment section below!