In the beginning, there was the content. There were blogs, email chains, MySpace, etc. On Valentine’s Day, 2005, Youtube was created, and it ushered in the age of video, kind of. The idea of something being viral was yet to be a thing, and the ease of content sharing was still relegated to emails urging readers to forward to 5 people so they would find a blessing by midnight. At that point, the debate between the pronunciation of GIF vs. JIF was yet a twinkle in our eyes.

Today, video integration is a must in many marketing strategies, but with the number of people telling us how to produce video it’s becoming a little tough to cut through the crud and really identify what makes a compelling video strategy for your business. Do you need to invest thousands of dollars in video equipment? Should you go through an agency or get your cousin who just got a Canon Mark IV for Christmas to shoot a promo for your business? Here’s the truth. There are so many things that your business can do to capitalize off of the video space in this social media age, but it can be a moving target. Here’s what you need to know about video on social media and how to make it work for you.

I. Thou shalt be relatable.
If you don’t know your audience and what matters to them, you will not reach them. Don’t miss golden opportunities to connect your audience and what is important to them to your brand. Find relevant stories and how they relate to the people you already connect with. It is not as easy as everyone doing the Ice Bucket Challenge and expecting to garner the same traffic as the hundreds of videos before you. How can your business take a different approach that is uniquely you, but speaks to your unique audience? Will video enhance your current product offerings? About 50% of internet users will look for videos on products or services before interacting in person.

II. Thou shalt hedge your bets
Plan for the content that you want to see, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Don’t blow your budget to create one good, expensive, video and neglect the other parts of your digital marketing campaign. By the end of 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic, as reported by KPCB. Do not allow that number to make you throw all caution to the wind when there are tried and true methods of producing results based on your needs.

III. Thou shalt be mindful of your platform.
This takes input from people who have had experience in producing video content. Details as minute as video length and how you hold your smartphone are important depending on what you want to do. Live videos on Facebook and Instagram and videos on Snapchat should be produced vertically; otherwise, landscape is the accepted course of production. Let’s try not to make our customers have to tilt their head to view a 1-minute long video. Unless you’re a chiropractor, then maybe the aim is to attract a new clientele. How you integrate video into different platforms is also important. Open rates on emails boost by 19% and click through rates jump by 65% just by putting “video” in the header.

IV. Thou shalt be spontaneous — but on brand.
The juxtaposition here is that we recommend planning but also spontaneity. If you know what is on brand for you and your business, then moving based on trends becomes a lot easier. If you are a veterinarian and you have taken the time to know your voice then jumping on the latest cat video train becomes a lot easier. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just make sure you have the right size and be ready to put air in the tire at a moment’s notice.

V. Thou shalt not be afraid to say no.
Someone once said, “it is better to make a small good impression than a big bad one.” Social content goes both ways. Just as much as you can be known for great heartwarming content that gets shared with millions in minutes, you can also be known for making a foray into a lane you never intended to go to. Take Pepsi. They had it all. They had a Kardashian, a refreshing beverage, social timeliness, and different races represented in a visually stunning ad running as pre-roll on Youtube. The problem, nobody wanted Pepsi to talk about social issues and how they can be solved by a can of carbonated sugar. Know your brand and know that every relevant topic in the news doesn’t need your input. It is better to create evergreen content that is solid and gets people to know who you are than to have customers start to project on your business, what you are not.

Video content is invading our space and is becoming the ultimate way to connect with your audience. The stats back that up and are not relegated to businesses with a B2C model. Even B2B customers see video content as an effective marketing strategy. Start telling your story, to your customers on your terms. Our team at WRAL Digital Solutions can help you accomplish that.