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Maximising Social Media Engagement using Video

What are the best ways of maximising Social Media Engagement using Video?

When thinking about maximising social media engagement using digital content, there are a tonne of things you need to consider. The list could be endless, but I’m going to highlight some of the main considerations you should be making when using digital content as a marketing tool on your social media channels.

There’s a great podcast from The Social Media Examiner Show on Spotify called “26 Ways to Use Video for Your Social Media Marketing”. It’s an 11 minute podcast which takes you quickly through ways to use video for social media marketing. It doesn’t go into great detail on each of the points, so it’s perfect for giving you a taste for the subject and get your mind turning over the information in the background.

As a digital content production company we know that there is a big difference between video that is created for television and video that is marketed through social media channels. So let’s get started shall we?

Know your audience

I know this may sound really obvious, but you might be surprised how much content doesn’t drive at a particular audience. You need to know what your audience needs and wants to see from your digital content. You also need to know who your audience are and which social media channels they are engaging with. There’s no point in creating a 5 minute brand story video for Facebook when your audience are using Instagram.

It’s also worth remembering that on different social media platforms, your audience and what they want to see might be different. Someone that’s 51 might not react in the same way to a funny cat video, as someone who is 21. Something that appeals to a male audience may not appeal to a female audience. You need to make sure you are giving people what they want in a relevant and engaging way. It’s imperative that you know who you are targeting and why, because months of hard work with a video production agency creating great content that results in no engagement because it didn’t appeal to your audience, would be a complete flop.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are my audience?
  • What do they want to see?
  • How do they want to see it?

Be inclusive

When creating digital content video for social media engagement, you want to appeal to everyone, make sure its inclusive. But what does “inclusive” mean? Being inclusive means you aren’t excluding anyone and you are allowing everyone an opportunity to engage with your content.

A really good example of a video being “exclusive”, is a video where you have to have the sound playing to make sense of the content. Often people aren’t in a position where they can have the sound up on a video. They might be in a meeting, on the bus or in a social environment where it isn’t appropriate to have music blaring from your phone. You need to make your video content engaging both with and without sound. This could be by including subtitles in your video so you can read along with it, or including exciting visuals and text which put across the main points.

Making sure you don’t alienate your audience with your video content is important. Often, I see videos where a lot of knowledge has been assumed; the creator is expecting the viewer to have the same level of expertise on a product as they do. Most of the time this isn’t the case and if you bombard a viewer with intricate details and terms they don’t understand, they will stop watching your video. If we make someone feel stupid, they stop engaging immediately. Don’t be afraid to pitch your content at the lowest level, those who are interested in the finer details will go and find that information. Don’t exclude the many to cater for the few.

Equally, if you fill a video with content that is solely aimed at a male audience, you can’t expect a female audience to engage in the same way. If your content comes across as particularly masculine or feminine, you have immediately alienated half or your audience. These things can be easily overlooked and sometimes they are hard to recognise when it’s your project. Get someone that isn’t connected to your brand to watch your video and answer the following questions:

  • Does my video engage you with and without sound?
  • Do you understand the point I am making?
  • Does my video appeal to you?

Don’t waste their time

Time is precious and valuable in this day and age. If you can make your point in 10 seconds rather than 1 minute, the social media world will thank you. When planning your digital content video for social media engagement, remember that you need to catch your viewer’s interest in 10 seconds or less, or they will move on. Lots of users won’t even watch a video if they see it is much longer than 1 minute long. A third of all time spent online is spent watching videos, so your audience will know a good video from a bad one and they will know immediately whether they are going to continue watching it.

Remember there are different time limits for videos on different social media channels:

  • YouTube – no limit
  • Facebook – 2 hours
  • Instagram – 60 seconds
  • Twitter – 30 seconds
  • Snapchat – 10 second clips
  • Tumblr – 5 minutes

Click here for Marketing Land’s neat guide to social video. This is a great visual showing time limits, whether the platform uses auto-play and what counts as a view.

Difference between engagement and reach

Engagement is about building a relationship. Engagement means loyalty, commitment, interaction and it can mean love. Reach is about ‘how many’, your stretch, your radius, your sphere of influence and how well you are getting your name out there. Reach vs engagement is how many people see your video vs how many people do something about it.

If you are selling your brand you will get reach, but if you are selling your brand story you will get engagement. Sounds simple eh? But it’s much harder to sell your brand story. You all have a brand story, but do you know how to get it across to your audience in a meaningful way?

So if you want to maximise social media engagement using digital content, make sure you know what you want to achieve. If that goal is clear, everything else will come into place a lot more easily.