By Stefaan de Vreese
Our previous article on video marketing strategies for small businesses touched on the basics of video marketing for social media. However, given its increasingly pivotal impact on businesses, the topic of social media video marketing merits a more in-depth discussion.
Video and Social Media by the Numbers
The human brain can process visual content 60,000 times faster than text-related content. That’s why viewers can retain 95% of a message when obtained via video. It’s no wonder that video content on social media gets 1200% more engagement than text and image updates. Even text-based platforms like Twitter get more user engagement for video posts.
As of July 2021, 4.48 billion people are on social media–that’s almost 57% of the total global population. The previous twelve months saw a 520 million increase in membership, which translates to a 13.1% annualized growth, or an average of 16 ½ new users every second.
These numbers attest to the efficacy of video and the ever-growing popularity of social media across all platforms and among every age group. Its influence has changed the face of marketing by providing a more direct line of communication between businesses and their customers.
More importantly, it has created a level playing field for small businesses, allowing marketing opportunities once confined to larger companies with massive budgets.
A Guide to the Most Popular Social Media Platforms
It's crucial to determine which social networks your audience uses the most. Creating user engagement varies with every social media platform, so you’ll need to tailor your video marketing strategy for a particular site.
With 2.89 billion active users, Facebook is the largest social media platform. It has the most diverse age-group membership, but its largest audience consists of 25 to 34-year-olds.
Videos that you post turn up on your followers’–and their friends’–newsfeed. Facebook viewers tend to enjoy videos that inspire, amuse, or entertain. Videos with broad emotional appeal such as customer stories or stunning imagery do exceedingly well on this platform. Live streams are also popular as it allows real-time interaction between brands and their audience.
It's important to note that 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound. Make sure your videos are just as understandable and appealing by adding subtitles or captions.
Instead of posting links to videos on different platforms, upload your video directly to the site. Facebook’s algorithms favor this method and offer increased discovery, distribution, and engagement for your videos.
Recommended Video Size:
1280x720px for organic posts
1080x1080px for in-feed ads
Maximum File Size: 4 GB
Ideal Length: 2-3 minutes
Instagram's 1.38 billion users spend an average of 27 minutes per day on the site. 71% of its users are under 35 years old, making it the go-to platform for brands looking to connect with younger audiences.
It relies heavily on visually stimulating images and videos. Video content is shared and viewed through its feed, stories, reels, live stream, and IGTV. Regardless of the category, Instagram users prefer watching brief tutorials, behind-the-scenes, events, and user-generated content.
The use of hashtags expands your audience by categorizing content and driving the discovery process. You can insert up to 30 hashtags on a regular post and up to 10 on a story. With that said, overusing hashtags can have undesired consequences, from annoying potential followers to getting penalized by Instagram’s algorithms.
Recommended Video Size:
1080x1080px for feed posts, ads, stories, and reels
1080x1920px for IGTV
Maximum File Size:
4 GB for IGTV
650 MB for videos up to 10 minutes
6 GB for videos up to 60 minutes.
Ideal Length: under 1 minute
As the second-largest social network, the second largest search engine, and the largest online video platform, YouTube is a video marketer’s dream. 42.9% of all global internet users access the site each month, consuming more than a billion hours of content daily. 70% of viewers bought a product or availed of a service from a brand after seeing it on YouTube.
It’s suitable for any video type and length. Your channel can serve as a hub for videos from other social media platforms. Also, long-form webinars, live streams, and event broadcasts can find an audience here as it’s the only social media platform where longer content is prone to succeed.
The majority of YouTube users are inclined to informative and educational content. That's why your YouTube video marketing strategy should also include how-to videos, explainers, and tutorials with clearly outlined titles and eye-catching thumbnails. Further, ensure that your videos are high-resolution because 70% of YouTube users watch on their mobile phones, where low-resolution content won’t make much of an impact.
Recommended Video Size: 1920x1080px
Maximum File Size: 128 GB or 12 hours
Ideal Length: 10-15 minutes
Since its launch for the international market in 2017, TikTok has become the fastest-growing social media platform. It currently has 700 million users, surpassing that of older platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Tiktok has a very loyal and active user base, each spending an average of 52 minutes per day on the app. With 66% of its users below 30 years old, it’s ideal for brands in youth-oriented B2C industries.
Although the maximum video length is 3 minutes, the platform thrives on short 15-second videos that revolve around music, dance, and trendy challenges. To engage a TikTok audience, your brand’s video marketing strategy needs to be loose, fun, and up-to-date with the latest fads.
TikTok’s integrated Video Creation Kit offers a wide range of editing tools, video templates, and a vast royalty-free background music library. You can also select various sound effects and filters to customize your videos like a pro.
Recommended Video Size: 1080x1920px
Maximum File Size: 287.6 MB for organic videos; 500 MB for ads
Ideal Length: 15 seconds
Best Practices for Creating Social Media Videos
Here are a few tips to help you optimize the potential of your social media videos:
- Provide value
Reward your viewers with something in return for clicking on your videos. Whether it’s entertainment, inspiration, know-how, or humor–your videos should be valuable to your audience in one way or another. Videos that focus solely on promoting your product or service turn audiences off.
- Focus on one subject
Short videos work best on social media, which means you only have so much time to get your point across. The trick is to concentrate on just one subject for each video without deviating from it. If you can’t fit enough information into one video, create a series of short videos that expound on the topic. Tackling several subjects all at once will only muddle your message and confuse your audience.
- Get straight to the point
Social media users have notably short attention spans; you’ll lose them for good if you fail to arouse their interest or curiosity during the first few seconds of your videos. So, cut to the point and say your key message in the first 5-10 seconds. By doing this, you’re letting your audience decide if your video is worth watching further.
- Use text and captions
A lot of videos, especially on Facebook, are watched on mute. Also, people with hearing impairments or those who don’t speak English will find it difficult to relate to your videos, much less understand them. Adding text and captions to your videos will help you reach more viewers. It lets your audience grasp your content better and increases completion rates.
The equation is simple and straightforward. Video influences the purchasing decisions of consumers more than any other type of content. With billions of active users, social media is the most efficient channel for reaching target customers. Therefore, harnessing the power of video with the popularity of social media is vital for the survival–and growth–of small businesses.
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