So, how social are your videos, really?
Everyone wants to get in on social video marketing. Video is shared through social outlets at truly astounding rates. Several years’ worth of video is watched via Facebook every day, and having someone Tweet about a video pretty much guarantees more views. According to YouTube’s own stats, every time a video is shared on Twitter, it gets six new viewers.
Plus, of course, the real allure of social video marketing -as well as most social media marketing in general- is that you get to save buckets of money by, in effect, getting your own customers to do your marketing for you. (Boy, there’s an idea that would have made old Ogilvy’s head spin if he were still around.)
Here’s the thing, however, that you have to keep in mind: social video isn’t a free ride. Even in this case, you can’t expect something for nothing. The process of creating social video marketing content and having your fans share it is still an exchange of value-for-value, and you should keep that in mind when crafting your social videos.
The Value Exchange of Social Video Marketing
Social media isn’t a “Field of Dreams.” Just because you upload it, they will not necessarily come – not unless you give them a reason to. Internet users are aware of the give-and-take between business and customer, probably more keenly than any other generation of consumers before. You aren’t “tricking” them into doing your marketing for you; they are knowing and willing participants in the process.
Put pretty simply, if you create interesting entertaining videos, people reward you for that by sharing them with their friends. It’s a nice example of applied self-interest, really. Folks like to show fun things to their friends, so they’ve got an incentive to share, and they also recognize that it helps boost businesses they want to support. When done properly, it’s a real “everybody wins” situation.
However, this process starts with you. You have to put out videos that people want to see, click on, and share for any of this to happen. You provide the value, initially, and then your fans and customers reward you for it.
Making Social Marketing Videos That “Click”
So, if you want a social video that gets spread widely, you need to focus on making it appealing and entertaining for as many people as possible. Here are a three ideas to ponder when you’re thinking about how to create your next social video.
It can’t solely be about yourself. Understand, there’s nothing wrong with creating vlogs or other me-focused works to spread your messages. But they’re very unlikely to “go viral” or become mass hits. Most of the biggest social video marketing efforts that have succeeded did so because they combined a company message with a larger message or story that has more widespread appeal.
When in doubt, be funny. Humor is excellent for social videos for two big reasons. First, humorous videos are among the most widely shared. Secondly, humor is an excellent teaching tool. If you make someone laugh while you deliver a message, they are far more likely to remember it. (Invoking other “raw” emotions such as fear and anger are also good at reinforcement, but are rarely a good fit for social videos except in politics.)
Be interactive. Utilizing clickable video elements adds loads of appeal to your videos. Inspiring a user to interact with your video is directly creating engagement. Clickable video is also better at getting viewers to stay through the end of a video, rather than getting bored halfway through and moving on.
The best social video marketing efforts succeed because they recognize that they’re exchanging value-for-value. In this case, that swap is basically “Entertainment in exchange for free publicity.” If you let this key point guide your video production, you’ll create far more effective social videos.