5 Tips for Creating Social Media Videos That Get Noticed

Using video in your social media marketing can seem daunting, but if you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time. If you want to create video that not only gets views, but helps convert sales, follow some of these best practices.

If you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time.

The following excerpt is from Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Mike Allton (each of whom contributed additional reporting to this week’s topic), available now via Entrepreneur Press. Pre-order now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books.

Using video in your social media marketing can seem daunting, but if you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time. If you want to create video that not only gets views, but helps convert sales, follow some of these best practices.

1. Get the right equipment from day one

One of the first reasons people often cite for not creating video content is that it’s too expensive to buy the right equipment. Let us help you with that.

Today, virtually everyone in business has a smartphone, and you can use that smartphone to livestream or record video anywhere. In fact, under the right conditions, that video footage can be just as good as anything you’d get with a dedicated video camera. Similarly, most laptops come with a built-in webcam and an audio port to plug in a headset and mic.

Related: 3 Ways to Create Buzzworthy Social Media Images

2. Boost your lighting

The biggest drawback to using a laptop or smartphone to record video is that it is harder to compensate for poor lighting. In fact, if you’re going to invest in anything for recording video, better lighting should be at the top of your list, particularly if you want to record in a dim office.

When you task a camera to record you in poor light, the resulting video is dark and grainy. Conversely, when you’re well-lit, the video is crisp, clear and, most important, your audience can see you nicely.

To that end, the recommended placement of lights is to have two in front of you, on either side of the camera, and one that is directed behind you to eliminate shadows. You’ll find that lights designed specifically for video work can be adjusted and directed more easily than normal household lights, but feel free to work with what you have.

To test your lighting, simply open a video recording program on your computer, such as QuickTime for macOS, and see how your video quality looks. Are you grainy or shadowed? Lit too harshly? Get up and move your lights accordingly and then see how that impacted the quality of the video. If necessary, record yourself briefly and send it to a friend for input.

3. Look ‘em in the eye

Eye contact is effective for establishing a connection with your audience. It’s how you start building rapport. People who never look at the camera risk suggesting to the audience that they cannot be trusted.

That’s not to say you can’t take your eyes off the camera. But the more you can directly look at the camera — making each and every viewer feel like you’re looking at them — the more effective your videos will be.

So practice that! Get into the habit of looking at the camera while you’re speaking. Treat it as though it’s the person you’re talking to. If it helps, imagine it’s a dear friend you’re having a wonderful conversation with.

One trick is to minimize whatever video screen you’re looking at. Make it small and centered at the top of your monitor, so it’s as close to your camera as possible. That way, even if you’re looking at yourself, other guests or a feed of comments from a live screen, your eyes are never far from the camera.

4. Give yourself a break

It’s also important to give yourself time and grace when it comes to creating video content. No one is born knowing how to produce gorgeous videos. It takes many, many hours of practice and experience to get good at it, and even then, like every other skill, it takes a lifetime to master it.

Remember that generally speaking, your audience and viewers are rooting for you! They want to learn from you and connect with you, and they will bear with you as you struggle here or there.

If you’re broadcasting live and say something wrong, just laugh it off and move on. Heck, some of the video clips that have gone the most viral for mine and my co-authors’ 360 Marketing Squad are the blooper reels I inevitably pull out. Those actually serve a wonderful purpose: They show your authenticity, humanity and hopefully your sense of humor.

5. Plan for a test period

Finally, when you’re deciding on your video strategy — where you’re publishing videos and what you’re going to talk about—  also include a time frame for how long you’re going to commit to doing this before you render any real judgment.

It can be discouraging to spend hours filming and editing a video only to publish it and get no views. But don’t let that stop you. Publish the next one, and the next one, and the one after that. Keep pushing out that content and scratching out an audience for yourself. If you’re not sure whether the videos are good, find trusted friends and colleagues who can give you candid, professional feedback, and then keep publishing the videos.

Related: 3 Kinds of Social Media Marketing You Shouldn’t Ignore

It takes a long time to build an audience and even longer to start incorporating feedback and input and get great at making videos. Give yourself sufficient time to accomplish that, and have some reasonable expectations and metrics as a gauge for success.

Live Streaming Video: What It Is, Why It Matters and How It’ll Quickly Grow Your Brand

Live video streaming is a powerful marketing tool, which should become a key focus in your digital strategy.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We live in a time when a brand’s ability to reach its customers online has never been more important. The same is true of individual entrepreneurs, influencers and others. This is where live streaming video comes in. While the popularity of YouTube has long proven video’s importance in the online world, live video’s surge is relatively recent, and is still often overlooked by marketers.

A report from IAB found that by the end of 2018, 67 percent of internet users had streamed live videos, with 47 percent saying they had increased their live streaming over the year before. In fact, Go Globe estimates that as much as 82 percent of online traffic will be dedicated to live video by the end of 2020.

Needless to say, live video streaming should become a key focus in your digital strategy.

Just what is live video streaming, anyway?

Live video streaming is exactly what it sounds like: a video that is streamed live on the internet, rather than pre-recorded and uploaded to a Facebook or YouTube profile. Technically, live video streaming is an all-encompassing term that can even include TV broadcasts that are also made available in real-time over the internet.

For marketing purposes, however, live streaming typically refers to the content that you yourself are producing and broadcasting online. While you still need quality cameras and microphones to present everything in the best light possible, the resulting video isn’t going to look as polished as content that is professionally edited after filming.

Businesses and other organizations will often use live streaming for press conferences, product announcements or webinars. Live streaming is how many influencers have grown their personal brands, particularly in niches such as gaming. The unfiltered, “in the moment” nature of these streams gets people to tune in.

Related: 5 Content Ideas for Making Money With Facebook Live

Why live streaming matters to your customers

Regardless of your niche, your customers are craving engaging video content — and this can have a big impact on their behaviors. According to survey data from Livestream, 80 percent of internet users prefer live video to blogs, while 82 percent prefer live streaming video to other social media content. Sixty-seven percent of those who watch a live stream bought tickets to similar events.

In a recent email conversation, Vlad Rigenco, founder and CEO of Dood Livestream, explained, “For the consumer, live streaming feels more like a conversation than a prepackaged ad. This helps them develop a stronger connection with the brand, especially if you use your live content to answer questions or respond to comments. Forming a natural, authentic connection with your customers will go a long way in driving conversions and addressing concerns that might otherwise keep them from buying.”

For many viewers, the appeal of live streaming is that it offers a taste of accessibility — a “behind the scenes” approach that feels more unscripted and transparent. This helps establish trust in ways that other marketing tools simply can’t.

Using live streaming to grow your brand

While live streaming can be a powerful part of your marketing arsenal, not all live streaming video is created equal. As marketing consultant Lisa Illman once advised in an Entrepreneur interview, “Stick to content that delivers the 3 Es: educates, engages and entertains.”

The truth of the matter is that while live streaming often appears to be off the cuff, brands should plan what they are going to do and say before going live. It may help to think of live streaming similarly to other marketing tools you may have already used in the past. For example, when filming a video webinar, you would prepare key talking points and use engaging graphics or product demonstrations to keep your audience’s attention. The same principles apply in a live video.

Naturally, the type of content that will work best will vary based on your niche and target audience. However, content such as interviews, Q&As, tutorials and behind-the-scenes access have proven to generally be effective for brands. You could even partner with an influencer to live stream content that ties in with your products or services.

Despite your planning efforts, however, part of making live streaming content feel truly authentic requires a bit of spontaneity and a willingness to adapt as needed. In an interview with Convince and Convert, digital futurist and public speaker Brian Franzo explained, “In one example, I was giving a tour behind the scenes with the goal to make the streaming a ‘backstage pass’ event, when several viewers started asking questions about my new Samsung phone…. So I switched gears, and we started talking about technology because that is where participants wanted to go.”

By putting the customer’s interests first, you will form stronger connections and drive more meaningful engagement.

Related: New To Instagram Live? Here’s How To Show Up Like A Pro

Despite live video streaming’s popularity, many brands and influencers have yet to fully embrace this trend. But by using this format in creative ways that fit your brand and its audience, you can make a big impact in your niche and experience unparalleled online growth.

Facebook Live Video Updates: What Marketers Need to Know

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore improvements to Live video on Facebook and Instagram, paid live streams in Facebook Events, and Messenger Rooms with special guest Luria Petrucci.

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore improvements to Live video on Facebook and Instagram, paid live streams in Facebook Events, and Messenger Rooms with special guest Luria Petrucci.

Tune Into the Social Media Marketing Talk Show

Listen to the replay of this week’s show below. You can also hear the show as an audio podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.

Watch the replay of this week’s show below.

About Our Special Guest

  • Luria Petrucci is co-founder and owner of Live Streaming Pros, where she teaches people how to establish their expertise, build their audience, increase engagement, and increase revenue with professional live video.

Use the timestamps below to fast-forward to our top stories in the replay above.

  • 1:30 Facebook Introduces New Live Video Features for Facebook and Instagram, Live With, and Donations
  • 5:30 Facebook Rolls Out Ability for Pages to Charge for Live Videos in Events
  • 17:10 Facebook Expands Test for In-Stream Ads on Live Videos
  • 26:24 Facebook Expands Messenger With Messenger Rooms, Virtual Backgrounds, and More

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Facebook Introduces New Live Video Features for Facebook and Instagram, Live With, and Donations: With more people turning to Facebook Live and Instagram Live to connect with one another, take classes, attend faith services, and more, Facebook is adding several features to make broadcasts “even more useful” to brands and businesses.

Facebook is bringing back Live With, which allows page admins or profile owners to select a guest to go live with them during a mobile broadcast. Facebook notes that while pages can go live with a profile, they can’t add another page to their live stream. This update began rolling out on Friday, April 24, and will launch globally “in the coming days.”

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Facebook also announced that broadcasters can raise money for causes by adding the Donate button to live videos “wherever nonprofit fundraisers are available.” Similarly, Instagram users can now create fundraisers and collect money for non-profits while live streaming either alone or with others.

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Instagram now allows users to fundraise for nonprofits while livestreaming https://t.co/CdjDljJZSt by @sarahintampa pic.twitter.com/BhbQIMLaOh

— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) April 28, 2020

Facebook Rolls Out Ability for Pages to Charge for Live Videos in Events: In the next few weeks, Facebook pages will be able to integrate Facebook Live with Facebook Events and charge for exclusive access to these live video events. These Facebook events could be marked as “online-only” and applied to anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences.

.@Facebook to Introduce Paid Livestreams for Musicians and Other Creators https://t.co/JUJqYfO50O

— Variety (@Variety) April 28, 2020

Facebook states this update is part of the company’s bid to support creators and small businesses on its platform. It also provides a way for musicians, entertainers, and other creators to monetize their online performances.

Facebook Expands Test for In-Stream Ads on Live Videos: Facebook expanded its test of in-stream ads on Facebook Live to more verticals. Marketing Land notes the ads will include “pre-vetted” entertainment, news, and sports partners and will only be open to a select number of publishers to determine if “content creators are able to successfully monetize their live video streams with in-stream ads” before a broader rollout.

Facebook expands test for in-stream ads on Live by @soulmilkco https://t.co/suHEmbJMul

— Marketing Land (@Marketingland) April 29, 2020

Facebook Expands Messenger With Messenger Rooms, Virtual Backgrounds, and More: Along with the updates to live video, Facebook introduced a range of new tools to enhance Messenger such as AR effects like bunny ears, immersive AI-powered 360-degree backgrounds, and mood lighting.

The biggest update announced is Messenger Rooms, a new option to set up virtual hangouts or meetings across all of Facebook’s apps. Messenger currently only allows up to six video chat participants at a time, but Messenger Rooms will soon hold up to 50 people with no time limit. It started rolling out in “some countries” this week and will expand to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.

Users will be able to start and share rooms on Facebook through the news feed, groups, and events, making it easy for people to drop in and out of the chat. Facebook notes that it plans to add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal, too.

Other News Mentioned

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About the authorGrace Duffy

Grace Duffy, serves on the Editorial Staff at Social Media Examiner as News Producer. She is a social media strategist, marketer and content creator with a passion for connecting people through technology.

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5 Ways Social Media Videos Will Benefit Your B2B Business in 2020

Don’t overlook the business-building potential of social media videos. Image credit: LordHenriVoton | Getty Images December 6, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When explaining the importance of social media videos to executives at companies that serve the B2B market, you’ll likely be met with dismissive chuckles and disagreeing…

Don’t overlook the business-building potential of social media videos.

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Image credit:

LordHenriVoton | Getty Images


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When explaining the importance of social media videos to executives at companies that serve the B2B market, you’ll likely be met with dismissive chuckles and disagreeing head shakes.

“Sorry, that’s just not what our clients want or care about,” would be a common response.  “Videos are nice for the Facebooks and Instagrams of B2C companies, but in the B2B world, no way. Nobody’s interested in that kind of stuff.”

While I’ve found that point of view to be widely held, it’s also quite dangerous: B2B companies that refuse to explore the business-building potential of social media videos are doing so at their own peril.

Related: 20 Tools for Creating Engaging Social Media Videos and Images

Granted, the kind of social media videos that make sense for B2B companies to create are quite different from those that B2C companies post. In my experience, B2B videos that resonate the best, and are most useful to B2B customers/clients, are:

  • Emotive storytelling that emphasizes the organization’s corporate culture, leadership, and mission
  • Case studies of specific company success stories
  • Demonstration and/or explanation that a product or service delivers
  • Messages from CEOs about key company actions/decisions
  • POVs on trending industry topics from C suite executives

To boost views, shares, likes, and comments, the maximum length of these clips should be 60 to 90-180 seconds at the most.

Regarding social media platforms, while B2C firms communicate to potential customers on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, B2B companies should focus on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Keep in mind that while YouTube is a social media platform, it’s also the number two most popular and used search engine behind Google – which means that posting/sharing B2B videos that integrate strategic keywording on YouTube can yield valuable SEO benefits.

So while the content and channels for social media videos may differ between B2C and B2B efforts, that doesn’t mean B2B companies should sleep on the opportunity that’s available with a vibrant social media video strategy.  The upside is simply too huge to ignore.

Related: 5 Ways to Dominate Social Media Marketing in 2020

Here are five powerful benefits that social media videos can deliver to B2B companies in any industry in the new year – whether they’re providers of services or manufacturers of products:

1.  B2B social media videos create a messaging strategy that aims to educate vs. sell

Executives are always on the lookout for communication and marketing vehicles that offer a new way to sell their products or services.  As strategy consultant Blair Wadman has written, this “close the deal now” mentality will not yield results with social media videos.

“If you can help [your prospects] become better versions of themselves and teach them something useful, they are more likely to (eventually) care about you and your services,” says Wadman.  His recommendation?

“Don’t sell your products or services to your potential customers from the outset. Educate them. Help them solve their challenges.”

Related: How to Stand Out on Social Media, Even With Heavy Competition

Social media videos are the perfect medium for this long game approach. They offer B2B firms a chance to cultivate prospects not by selling, but by unselling their products or services. By consistently offering these teaching opportunities with social media videos, customers/clients will become more informed about your offerings, more confident in your ability to deliver the results that they seek, and — when they’re ready — more eager to open their wallets and become long term buyers.       

2.  They leverage the growing preference of mobile video consumption over desktop viewing.

Mobile users are watching more videos than desktop users. In fact, more than half of video watching is done on mobile devices, growing 233% since 2013.

Combine that stat with Hootsuite’s data about LinkedIn which, as mentioned above, is the social media channel where your videos should be living:

  • 57% of LinkedIn users are accessing it via their mobile devices
  • 94% of B2B marketers are publishing their content on the site
  • Video posts on LinkedIn are five times more likely to generate user comments
  • 80% of B2B leads generated by social media traffic originates on LinkedIn

If you needed hard figures to validate the importance of having a B2B social media video strategy, those are pretty difficult proof points to dismiss.

3.  They grow lead gen via targeting and creating authentic connections with engaged users.

Want to precisely and surgically target your social media videos to B2B users in specific industries, job title categories, or geographic regions? LinkedIn lets you do that. And if you want to interact with the B2B users who comment on, like, or share your videos, a few quick clicks will facilitate new and potentially profitable business relationships.

Execs who engage with your content on LinkedIn are indicating that they’re interested in and intrigued by your message. Take the next logical step by requesting a connection or messaging them: they’re practically screaming “tell me more about what you offer — please!”  

4.  They provide an edge over your stubborn and less agile competitors.

If B2B firms that compete in your space want to overlook the business building possibilities that social media videos can deliver, by all means — let them.  To paraphrase the wisdom that Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane shared in the film Moneyball, “when your enemies are making mistakes, don’t interrupt them”.

5.  They empower sales teams with new tools to include in their pitches and presentations.

I’ve found that a smartly crafted and visually appealing two-minute video is a more convincing and memorable way to present your message than a two-page presentation or even a two-paragraph pitch email. So to get more mileage out of your B2B firm’s social media videos, your sales team can effectively leverage them as enticing presentation options. This would quickly boost your videos’ ROI, and also give your sales execs new ways to open conversations — and close deals — with prospective buyers.

When it comes to ramping up sales and increasing market share in Q1 2020, B2B CEOs and executives know which outreach ideas would work and which aren’t worth pursuing — usually. If they’re open to examining an option that can yield significant rewards in 2020 and beyond (and is also one that they may have initially disregarded), a social media video strategy that actively supports their sales/marketing efforts should absolutely be considered. 

Where Live Video Fits into Your Marketing Strategy

Live video is a hugely powerful marketing tool. It combines visual imagery with a unique form of urgency, two-way communication, and an appearance on popular social media channels. But like any marketing tool, it shouldn’t stand alone. Live video has to be worked into an overall marketing strategy in which different elements support and reinforce…

Live video is a hugely powerful marketing tool. It combines visual imagery with a unique form of urgency, two-way communication, and an appearance on popular social media channels. But like any marketing tool, it shouldn’t stand alone. Live video has to be worked into an overall marketing strategy in which different elements support and reinforce each other to build trust and desire, and guide leads to the purchase.

Using live video for your marketing at your launch is crucial.

Brands that release their products with spectacular, eye-catching shows have long used live broadcasts to attract as large an audience as possible. Apple’s product launches fill the company’s own auditorium with journalists but also go out to people watching at home at the same time. When designers like Michael Kors release their new collections, they offer live video feeds from the catwalk.

Smaller brands might have less splashy launches but they can still use live video.

The live video will also support the products immediately afterward. Once the product is out and available, hold an AMA or a live product demonstration. You will already have trailed the launch and generated interest. The live video that follows the launch will give you an opportunity to show the product’s benefits and value instead of only describing them.

Later, you can follow up that product demo with more broadcasts that help customers make the most of the product. Beauty firms like Schwarzkopf, for example, have built large audiences with live tutorials.

One powerful marketing strategy is for a brand to associate itself with a campaign for a good cause.

Starbucks, for example, has long taken part in voter registration drives. That association helps to raise the company’s profile and enables it to support a cause that all its customers, however they vote, should be able to support. When the coffee chain takes part in registration drives or helps to organize events to encourage voter registration, it often broadcasts them live. Viewers get to see a street party—often with celebrities—and they see the company’s logo.

Much of today’s marketing strategy is content marketing.

Businesses issue a steady stream of information to customers that help them to remain informed and educated about a topic they find interesting. Customers get to satisfy their curiosity, and the brand gets to show off its expertise, build trust, and create a connection with its audience.

That content comes in a number of different forms. It might take the form of articles, both original and shared. It could take the form of images or the release of data that reveal trends and the results of experiments. But it can also take the form of interviews with other experts.

A surf shop, for example, might interview a surfer about how they use their boards and find great waves. Those interviews could be published as text on the surf shop’s blog. They could be uploaded as video that’s cut and edited to include the best content and make both the shop and the surfer look their best.

But it could also take the form of a live video. That allows audience members to participate. They could use the comment form to ask questions, like a radio phone-in. The interviewee wouldn’t even need to travel to the company itself.

Businesses like BeLive.tv provide third-party plugins that create split-screen interviews, like in news broadcasts. The interviewer could sit in the office while the interviewee remains at home and talks through their webcam or their phone. It’s a very easy way to add interactive, visual content to a content marketing strategy.

Live video is the only marketing tool that combines immediacy, visual imagery, and interaction. Work it into your marketing strategy and you’ll give your sales efforts a powerful boost.

image credit: ySxubvil

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Joel Comm

The Functional Futurist

Joel Comm is New York Times bestselling author, blockchain enthusiast, podcast host, professional keynote speaker, social media marketing strategist, live video expert, technologist, brand influencer, futurist and eternal 12-year old. With over two decades of experience harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audiences inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create highly effective new media campaigns. His latest project is as co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast, a top cryptocurrency show making the future of digital payments easy to understand.

Pixel 4 marketing video shows how face unlock works for payments

What you need to knowA bunch of new marketing videos for the Pixel 4 have leaked. They give us our first look at how face unlock works for authorizing payments. We also get another glimpse at the new Assistant UI and Motion Sense gestures. To say that the Pixel 4 has leaked a lot would…

pixel 4 face unlock authorize payment leaked video 2 - Pixel 4 marketing video shows how face unlock works for payments

What you need to know

  • A bunch of new marketing videos for the Pixel 4 have leaked.
  • They give us our first look at how face unlock works for authorizing payments.
  • We also get another glimpse at the new Assistant UI and Motion Sense gestures.

To say that the Pixel 4 has leaked a lot would be the understatement of the century. These last couple of weeks have been filled to the brim with new Pixel information, and today, that’s continuing.

The folks at XDA-Developers recently got their hands on more leaked marketing videos for the Pixel 4, acquired via the Pixel Tips app.

There were three videos uploaded, but the one we want to talk about first is the one that shows off how the Pixel 4’s face unlock feature works for authorizing payments.

In the video, we get an example of someone buying an app on the Play Store. After tapping the main buy button, there’s a prompt to press 1-Tap Buy at the bottom of the screen. This causes a “verify purchase” overlay to appear with a face icon indicating that a face scan is being performed. Once your face has been verified, you can tap the Confirm button.

The face verification appears to happen quite quickly, with another leaked video from earlier this week also showing off the impressive speed of the Pixel 4’s face unlock for bypassing the lock screen.

The video for the Motion Sense gestures further reiterates what we’ve already seen, but it shows the gestures more clearly than what was offered before. Once again, we see that you can swipe your hand over the Pixel 4’s display to silence alarms, dismiss incoming calls, and skip through songs in supported media apps.

Lastly, the Assistant UI video is the least interesting of the trio. The new Assistant is functionally the same as it is in its current form, but the tweaked UI gives it a fresh coat of paint and helps it stand out to be more visually interesting.

Google is hosting an event on October 15 where we’re anticipating the Pixel 4 to be officially unveiled, meaning we don’t have too much longer to sift through the endless stream of leaks before everything’s laid out on the table.

Google Pixel 4: Leaks, Release Date, Specs, and News!

Video Marketing Strategy: The Power of Video During the Customer Journey

Want to use video marketing more effectively? Looking for a proven video strategy? To explore how to develop an effective video marketing strategy, I interview Ben Amos on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Ben is a video marketing expert and host of the Engage Video Marketing Podcast. He coaches video marketers and video producers and…

Want to use video marketing more effectively? Looking for a proven video strategy?

To explore how to develop an effective video marketing strategy, I interview Ben Amos on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Ben is a video marketing expert and host of the Engage Video Marketing Podcast. He coaches video marketers and video producers and his course is called the Online Video Strategy Blueprint.

Ben shares why marketers should focus on developing a video strategy, the key elements of the customer journey when it comes to video, and more.

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Getting Started With Video Marketing

Developing a Love for Video Production

Ben’s interest in video production began when he was a kid. His dad had a big, old VHS camcorder, the kind that sat on one shoulder and needed a battery pack that sat on the other shoulder. From an early age, Ben began tinkering with the camcorder and got hooked on creating videos of his own. He edited the videos from VHS to VHS and was fascinated with video as a form.

His interest in video led him to a job as a film and television teacher and eventually to starting his own video production company. After 7 years of teaching high school students how to make videos, he wanted to actually get out there and start making videos for himself. He’s run his production company for 12 years and has seen the world of video change a lot over this time.

Starting a Video Production Company

When he started his company, YouTube was just barely becoming a thing. The videos he was creating were for weddings and local businesses in Queensland, where Ben is based. Over time, most of the videos he created for businesses started being posted online. Companies wanted people to see their videos and were often uploading this content to YouTube.

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Ben noticed a shift in the industry 5 or 6 years ago and it became clear that change was needed. His company was regularly producing video content for businesses across Queensland. His clients were pleased with his work but the videos weren’t providing results once they were uploaded to YouTube.

In one particular case, a client spent $5,000 for a video and was stoked with the final product. It was a great video. Ben’s company was proud of it, got paid, and moved on. Six months later, Ben checked back and found that it had only garnered 34 views on YouTube. This was the only place the video was available and it clearly didn’t provide a return on investment.

Creating a Strategy-Focused Video Marketing Agency

Business owners don’t really want to create videos. They want results from their videos. They want their businesses to grow, change, or reach more people. This insight made Ben realize that he needed to understand the marketing side of video production so he could provide better results for his clients.

Now, 6 years later, Ben’s company positions itself as a video strategy agency. They help businesses define the strategy behind the videos that they’re creating and produce content with that strategy in mind. Then they manage the distribution of that content across all sorts of digital channels as well.

Ben also helps people understand how to do the same thing for their own businesses. He launched Engage Video Marketing Podcast 2 years ago as a way to connect with awesome people across the world doing amazing things with video marketing.

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Why Marketers Should Focus on Video

Ben cites findings from the latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report as proof that people are focused on and pay attention to video. According to the report, 60%78% of marketers plan to increase their use of video on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram this year.

Marketers know that attracting the attention of their ideal audience and engaging them long enough to communicate an idea from the business or brand requires a video strategy. Video has a powerful one-two punch that attracts and draws attention.

People are more engaged with video than any other form of communication, especially the written word. Ben finds that people would much prefer to watch a video than to read something. Even audio content like podcasts can get engagement but it’s harder to maintain someone’s full attention with audio. Users are often multitasking when listening to audio so their attention isn’t 100% on the information being shared. Video ticks all of those boxes.

Biggest Video Creation Challenge Marketers Face

The Democratization of Videos

When Ben started his video production company, he invested more than $30,000 in video equipment such as a decent-quality camera, editing tools, and other items. At the time, specific equipment was needed to create quality videos.

Today, the ability to create and use video in any communication and marketing strategy is in everyone’s hands. It’s their smartphone. There’s no need to invest a lot of money in video equipment that you probably have no idea how to use. Anyone can now create a video with something that’s right in their pocket. As a result, video is everywhere.

Every social platform now has native video and almost all have video ads. Some have a short-form video format too. With such a variety of possibilities, social media channels, tools, and ways to create a video, many marketers are overwhelmed and stick their heads in the sand. Some don’t do video or take action because it all seems too confusing and difficult.

Defining a Video Marketing Strategy

Another major challenge marketers face is creating video that’s effective. They’re merely “creating video for video’s sake” and are in no way setting themselves apart from the avalanche of average video content that’s already online.

Some marketers are willing to experiment with video or dabble with the latest video tools simply because somewhere along the way, they were told to focus on video. Perhaps they’re simply creating video because everyone around them is creating video. Maybe they’ve been told that they have to create video to stay relevant.

The problem is that many have no defined strategy behind what they’re doing. They also don’t really understand why they’re making video and what they intend that video to do for their business. Nor do they consider how that video is going to make a particular member of their audience take a particular action.

The world of video is a noisy place. Video without a good strategic point of view behind it isn’t going to cut through the noise. It just adds to it.

Starting With a Business Goal in Mind

Most people who are focused on creating video for video’s sake adopt a form approach to their video content creation process. In this case, the form is the video format. They start by asking what they should make a video about. They brainstorm ideas with a team, set out to create the video, and then just stick it somewhere online, hoping to get eyeballs and attention on it. They count the views and move on to the next video.

Taking a more strategic approach to video means starting with the question, “What do we need to improve in our business?” Identify all of the things that will move the needle for the company. Then decide if making a video is the right way to accomplish these goals. If so, define the technical and creative approach to make that happen.

This should inform how to use the video to improve your business. It also determines which metrics and data will prove that your video is achieving the desired outcome.

How Video Improves Business

To get started adopting a strategic approach to video described above, look at the full marketing funnel and the customer journey for your product. Your typical customer goes through a process of making a decision that hopefully ends with buying from you.

In most cases, the decision-making process starts with some kind of emotional trigger or realization. This is characterized as the Awareness phase of the customer journey. From there, customers move through Awareness to the Consideration phase, where weigh their options and compare their different choices. The next phase is Conversion, when they make a rational decision to part with their cash in the final purchase.

The fourth and final phase is Advocacy, or loyalty. This is where customers are so pleased with their purchase that they’re not only willing to buy from you again, but to talk to other people about you, too. The stage after a purchase is an important part of the full-funnel video strategy and the goal here is to delight.

Analyze all four stages of the entire journey a customer goes through to buy from you. Look for places within each of these phases of Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, and Advocacy where there might be a breakdown or gap. As you work through the funnel, identify how you can plug the gaps in your customers’ journey with video and consider these to be your campaign goals.

To illustrate, ask if you need more cold audiences to be familiar with your brand, come into your ecosystem, and better understand what you sell. If that’s the case, then you know to start developing video content that builds awareness or positions your brand. If you need to tap more of your warm audience, then produce videos that will expand this kind of reach.

Key Elements of the Customer Journey in Video

When developing a video marketing strategy, examine all four phases of the customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, and Advocacy. Video can work beautifully in all four stages of the customer journey, but you don’t necessarily have to use video in every single stage.

Focus on the areas of the funnel that need the most attention or that can make the biggest difference for your company. Then create videos that are specifically designed for that phase of the customer journey.

In the case of Social Media Examiner, we have a large, engaged audience of people who are already aware of the brand and consume our content. For our goal of getting more people to buy tickets and attend Social Media Marketing World 2020, Ben advises that most of our video marketing content should focus on the Consideration, Conversion, and Advocacy stages of the customer journey.

Listen to the show to hear Ben further discuss how video marketing content that focuses on the bottom of the marketing funnel could have the biggest impact on selling tickets and increasing attendance at Social Media Marketing World 2020. He also shares ideas for what kind of content we should develop.

Stage One: Building Awareness

The ultimate goal of awareness videos is to get the most eyeballs on them. Get them out there in the right way and post them natively on the platforms where it makes sense.

In most cases, it isn’t possible to directly track that someone watching your awareness video has converted to a client or moved further down the funnel. Think about awareness videos as a necessary part of your branding like your website, logo, signage, and similar things.

Ben shares an example from one of his long-time clients who used his company’s video marketing strategy across the full funnel throughout all four stages of the customer journey.

This client runs a local property management company in a small town. One of her key goals upon initially launching her business was obviously building awareness among the local community about who she is and what sets her over and above her competition. The video content created in this first goal of brand positioning sought to get people to emotionally buy into “who she is” before asking them to buy from her.

Trigger Emotion

People buy with emotion and then justify that decision with logic. All purchase decisions, whether it’s a doughnut or the services of a property manager, begin with some sort of emotional trigger.

The first videos Ben’s agency created for his property manager client told her brand story. She used these early videos to share testimonials from her clients and the rental property owners themselves.

She made the videos personal by genuinely and authentically revealing her big “why” behind her agency, how she treats her clients, and what gets her out of bed in the morning and fires her up. The idea was to allow her brand to be positioned alongside the emotions her potential customers are likely already feeling.

Create content that talks to the emotional pain, excitement, or other feelings your ideal audience has at the Awareness stage of their journey.

Use the Power of Storytelling

The power of storytelling is critical in the Awareness stage. Creating an emotional connection is necessary for drawing people toward your brand and into the next phase of your marketing funnel.

In the case of Ben’s client, the storytelling approach allowed her to say what she’s all about, position herself as the guide or mentor to her clients, and spell out exactly how she’ll make their lives better. Her brand story videos showed that she’s trustworthy, experienced, and can drive positive outcomes.

Ben notes that it’s critical that the brand is never the hero of the story. The brand should be seen as the mentor or guide that helps the customer—who’s actually the hero—achieve a better outcome.

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The story must also be relatable. You need to know who’ll hear the story, how it’ll make them feel understood, and what pain they’re feeling. Most importantly, you’ll have to show that you have the answers they need to make their life better and easier.

Overcoming Discomfort With Video

It’s natural to feel discomfort and awkwardness when you’re on camera to tell your brand story. There are many resources to help you overcome this fear. There are also many ways to approach telling a story on video.

A business owner doesn’t necessarily have to be the one on camera. Nor do they have to pour out their heart or tell their story. This is especially true if the feelings around it aren’t authentic or genuine.

To visualize this, Ben’s video production company works with its clients through an extremely relaxed interview process that’s unscripted and as easy as a conversation. He then pulls all of the content together and edits it into the right story structure.

Start With Why

If you’re at a loss about where to start creating video content for the Awareness stage, Ben suggests creating content in its simplest form—start with the “why.”

Ben references Simon Sinek’s idea of starting with the why—why you exist, why you do what you do, why you love what you love, and so forth. In its simplest form, it can be “Look, this is why I do what I do.”

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For Ben’s property management client, that could be a 30-second video on why she loves property management. She could tell viewers why it fires her up to achieve outcomes for people, get better results, and attract the right tenants so that their property investments return over the long-term. She could tell viewers why their property journey is going to be smooth sailing if they work with her. Whatever your “why” might be, it emotionally positions you with the right people. That resonates with people.

Stage Two: Consideration

Ben shares that once the videos in the Awareness stage were created for his property management client, they were rolled out in various ways across different channels. He then moved to the Consideration phase and created social engagement content.

Recognizing that the goal in the Consideration phase involves social engagement, the focus is on social media as one of the most powerful tools to use to get people to pay attention to you. You want them to come on a journey with you. You want them to build a relationship with you as a brand or business.

Establish Relationships

When it comes to video, social engagement content comes down to good content marketing. It can be helpful content that addresses frequently asked questions or a how-to video that positions your business as an expert with information. Approach the content in a way that benefits and provides value to your ideal customer.

Relationships don’t happen with one pretty video and then you’re done. They happen gradually. For this reason, Ben proposes doing a series of weekly video blogs like he continues to create for his property management client. Each week, the company produces a video blog that focuses on educational, how-to content for their clients.

These weekly videos don’t have to be highly produced or look like short films. They simply provide value in a way that builds trust and positions the business owner as an expert long-term.

Often the questions are common ones that can be answered anywhere else online. Responding to them through video allows the business owner to connect on a more emotional and personal level with her customers. The power of video is that people are connecting with the brand on a more human level than they can ever do with a written blog, for instance. It provides information and entertainment at the same time.

There’s also an added level of reciprocity in play when you freely provide value to your audience without the expectation that they buy from you. When they’re ready to buy, they’re more likely to choose your company or your brand simply because of the trust you’ve established over time.

Determine the Best Placement for Social Engagement Video

Social media is the best fit for social engagement videos but you do have to decide on the primary social platform for these videos. This might be YouTube or Facebook. It might even be Instagram and IGTV or LinkedIn. Whatever platform you use as your primary channel for your video, create content with the native considerations in mind.

For example, videos primarily created for YouTube will look and be sized differently than videos shared on IGTV. Of course, videos can always be repurposed for secondary and tertiary platforms, too. However, Ben advises brands to focus on a primary video platform and use the other ones to drive views and engagement to it.

Paid Retargeting Versus Organic Ad Strategy

Up until this point in our interview, Ben has described an organic video strategy for moving people from the Awareness phase through the Consideration phase. He acknowledges that businesses can begin running paid retargeting campaigns to drive people more directly and quickly through their marketing funnel.

He notes that a drawback of running paid retargeting campaigns is that they may rush people through the customer journey and not give enough time to properly position your brand. The idea behind running an organic strategy is that it allows customers to consume your social engagement content over time and it primes them for when they’re ready to buy.

Stage Three: Conversion or Purchasing

Just because your videos have made people aware of your brand and positioned it as the right choice for their needs doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy anything from you right now. It’s unrealistic to assume that people will directly go from watching a whole bunch of social engagement videos to making a purchase. In fact, there may be barriers preventing them from making a purchasing decision.

The goal in the Conversation phase of the customer journey is to get people across the line and to becoming a paying customer. To do this, consider all of the reasons someone might hold back from making a purchase, and then come up with rational ways to address these concerns. The way you use video in this stage must adjust as well.

Develop Client Onboarding Videos

Using the example of the property management client, Ben explains how their video strategy shifted toward more client onboarding-type content in the Conversion phase. Anyone who made an inquiry about her services in the Awareness and Consideration phases is now seen as being in the Conversion phase of the journey. The goal is to get them to sign the contract to become a client.

The business owner sends a relatively long video via email to anyone who has made an inquiry. The video is 10 minutes long and isn’t made public nor shared on social media. It goes directly to her customer leads and walks through what it would be like to be onboarded as a property owner with her company.

She explains the benefits of being a landlord working with her property management agency. She details the services she provides and answers questions about things like managing arrears or handling payments. She reviews how her company operates and any other information she would give in a sales call or face-to-face meeting.

By doing this through video, she’s practically automating the process, getting her face in front of leads, and addressing any final questions they might have. She shows them what they’ll experience if they choose to make that purchase. The call to action from the email is, “I look forward to meeting you at our signup meeting.” Since she’s eliminated all of the barriers through her video, the person is ready to buy once they come in for that meeting.

Tracking Watch Time and Views

Depending on how this type of conversion video is implemented within a marketing strategy, it can be really powerful to directly track engagement with them at the bottom of the funnel.

In the case of sending one-to-one video via email from the property management company, Ben can track what percentages of the videos are being watched. He uses different tools like Vidyard and Wistia to track an individual’s engagement with a video. The company knows if a person coming to a signup meeting to finalize a deal watched their video, how much of it they saw, and other metrics and data.

This information can also help adjust the sales conversation ahead of where viewers typically drop off.

Gathering Testimonials and Case Studies

The other types of content that work well for the Conversion phase are testimonials and case studies, which are different than the emotional client stories discussed at the top of the funnel. These videos focus on the experience and excitement around your product, service, or event. They’re meant to encourage people to buy from you and overcome any barriers they have in making that purchase.

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Stage Four: Advocacy

Now that people have paid money and become your clients, it’s critical that you don’t let them go. In the Advocacy stage, it makes good business sense to do things to continue to impress your clients or keep them happy.

Identify Touchpoints Following a Purchase

Ben recommends injecting video into different touchpoints that a typical client would have after they purchase from you. Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you could re-engage them as part of an immediate onboarding process, or 6 or 12 months later. Look at those different touchpoints and figure out how can you use video to improve the experience people have with your brand.

Create Personalized Video

One of the best ways to use video in the Advocacy stage is to create personalized videos at scale where possible. Apps such as Bonjoro and Vidyard make it possible to record and share personalized videos with your smartphone.

Bonjoro will even alert you within the app when someone buys from your online store or website. It tells you who made the purchase and what they bought. You can then shoot and send a quick personalized video on Bonjoro. You could say something as simple as, “Hey Mike, thanks so much for jumping into the course! I can’t wait to learn more about you and your business. So if you’ve got any questions, let me know. But I’m so pleased that you’ve joined me here.”

Once the personalized video is sent, it overcomes any buyer’s remorse your customer might have felt. It assures them that they’re in the right place and made the right decision in buying from you. It improves the customer experience, increases retention, encourages people to refer you to others, and just builds better relationships with your customers.

Discovery of the Week

Detoxify.app is a web-based tool that helps you detox from the distraction of social media apps when needed. To use this tool, go to the Detoxify.app site and select any addictive app from which you would like to take a break. These include the most popular social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.

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Detoxify.app creates a fake bookmark or app icon to replace the original app on your phone, which you can then hide in a different folder or somewhere else on your device. Anytime you tap on the replacement icon moving forward, it will open a web browser that takes you to the Detoxify.app landing page instead. A pop-up reminds you that you’re taking a break from the app.

Detoxify.app is free to use and available online.

Listen to the show to hear more about Detoxify.app.

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on creating a video marketing strategy? Please share your comments below.