Spice up Social Media with Videos

3 Aug

Have you gotten on the video bandwagon yet? Creating short videos is a great way to promote your business. No matter what you do or sell, or how large or local your business, short video “tidbits” will be well-received by your prospects and existing customers. And you don’t have to be a Hollywood producer or have Coca-Cola’s budget to produce engaging, sharable videos.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Oh, jeez, that sounds like a lot of work, and what on earth would we even do?” — relax. Read on, to learn 10+ ways you can use short video to snazz up your social media marketing.

What’s the big deal about video?

There are now multiple social media platforms where you can create and post mini-videos, greatly expanding your sharing reach beyond the behemoth YouTube:

  • Vine (6-second videos)
  • Instagram (15-second Instavids)
  • Facebook (videos that can be 2 or 3 minutes long)
  • Google+ news feeds
  • Pinterest pins
  • LinkedIn Professional Portfolio videos

Video can reinforce your authority, humanize your business, build trust and in the process, facilitate engagement and increase conversions. Adding video to your social media marketing mix boosts SEO, too. If your video shows up in search results, you’re sure to attract more attention from searchers.

What about content?

Almost anything makes good subject matter. You can be strictly informative, or be light-hearted and entertaining.

1. Use short video for “show and tell.”

  • Do a voice-over format, where viewers can focus on watching your images – presentation slides, drawings, photos, text or moving video – while listening to an unseen speaker. Or let your images speak for themselves and set your video to music.
  • Do a “talking heads” format – a series of single-subject excerpts from a longer interview with a guest expert (or you – you’re an expert on your business!).
  • Do a how-to demonstration, where the speaker demonstrates and explains step by step how to put together or use your product. Or where you explain how you perform a particular service, whether it’s preparing someone’s taxes or decorating your famous cupcakes.

2. Crowdsource by inviting customers to upload photos or video clips showing themselves using one of your products in unusual ways or locations, then create a montage of real-life testimonials. Embed it on your webpage that describes that product.

3. Real estate agents have been using 360o degree video tours of homes for sale for a long time. Adapt this concept for yourself, with video tours of your hotel rooms, spa, gym – any place prospects want to see in advance. Or tour your production facility and other usually-unseen enclaves within your business.

4. Show off a new product, but remember to talk about the benefits. No product has value unless it can do something for your customer.

5. You can make a video of anything you can photograph. When your staff gets together for their next community volunteer day, don’t just take pictures, shoot short video clips of them on scene, talking about why they volunteer.

6. Do a “live cam” streaming feed of your office cat snoozing in a sunny window . . . wait for it. . . ahhh, big yawn and a flick of the tail.

7. Create a video of your veterinary office staff taking on a goofy new puppy patient.

8. Do brief feature stories about staff members. People prefer to do business with people they know.

9. Teach customers how to select the right product.

10. Video customer testimonials. They don’t even have to talk — if you’re a dentist, do a 10-second video that shows 25 patient smiles. Start with a fun introductory headline – We’re all smiles here at Dr. Dan’s Dental – end with your contact information and a link to your website, add some jazzy bluegrass music under the photos, and you’re ready to share.

Need more ideas?

Thinking up topics is as easy as asking yourself what prospects and customers most want to know about your products or services. Think about how you can deliver each answer as a short video that can be shared via social media to proactively address your prospects’ questions. Create an entire series of “did you know…?” posts or emails.

Go beyond cinéma vérité and add special effects. You’ll find loads of tools online that make editing easier, enable you to add filters or special effects like split screen, animate your visuals, enhance the quality of your video. You can add music under your video or add text over it.

What’s the most important takeaway from all this?

Short. Less time = more sharing.

You see 10-second or even shorter videos on television and your computer screen all the time without realizing it. Ten seconds is plenty of time to make a point, memorably. But, yes, you can make your short video longer than that. Just remember we all have pitifully brief attention spans these days. There’s a threshold where viewers go from interested to “whatever,” and you want to be finished before they’re finished with you. Leave them wanting more.

Better yet, leave them with a link where they can get more. After all, the point here is to market your business, even if the video content isn’t a direct sales pitch. Use short videos to drive traffic to your website, a blog article or e-book that expands on the topic or a tip sheet they can download and print out so they don’t forget the points you just made.

If you need lots of time, hold a webinar. You can make a video of that, too.

Think of these ideas as kick-starters, and give short videos a try. Ask your best customers what they think – it’s a great way to connect with them, and you’ll get useful feedback, especially if you make it fun and designate them your “short video beta testers.”

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