Social Video StrategyThe statistics don’t lie. People love video.

Forty-four percent of people watch five or more videos online every single day.

And that means social video represents a wildly valuable opportunity for businesses across all industries.

Social video is one of the few places where small and medium-sized businesses can compete with larger competitors.

The playing field is relatively equal, making it a great place to concentrate video marketing efforts.

That said, simply having access to the tools doesn’t mean everyone knows how to use them, or use them well.

Both of these challenges present a real, or perceived barrier to entry for small and medium-sized businesses. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls content creators, businesses, and yes, even agencies, have made and how to fix them.

What’s more, we’ll explore how to avoid them before they happen as well as fix them if they do.

Forgetting the Muted Viewer

Statistics from as far back as 2016 show that 85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off, and that number is increasing across all platforms.

If you’re not captioning your videos, you’re missing an entire audience and reducing the likelihood your social video will be seen.

And since 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound, the viewer will be less likely to stick around if the focus of isn’t clear.

Captions can go a long way towards getting people to stick around and watch the entire video.

When creating social video, it’s important to make sure your content isn’t reliant only on vocal instructions.

Add clear captions to strengthen your message and achieve your goals. You want to ensure the muted viewer absorbs the focus of the video without sound.

Follow a few simple but important rules:

  • Use appropriate language for your target demographic and region.
  • Keep it short and simple. Videos (especially Facebook, with the 20 percent text rule) work better with less text on them.
  • Use concise language and sentences. Your social video should be able to speak for itself. The text is there to enhance the meaning or transmit relevant information such as day, time, website address, etc.
  • Keep it clear. You don’t want to confuse people.

Targeting the Wrong Channels

You must go where your customers are.

Facebook is still the most popular social media channel by a wide margin, and Instagram is second.

But what if you need to target a specific niche in the B2B or B2C markets?

Well then, look to the power of LinkedIn and YouTube.

YouTube is perfect as a video hub, creating a home for all of your content. And LinkedIn has the potential to reach and target industry-specific professionals.

To make sure you’re effectively targeting your social video:

  • Cross-promote on multiple channels.
  • Use hashtags and tag appropriate audiences in your caption.
  • Individually pitch your video to niche groups on networks, like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Failing to Grab Viewer Attention

On social media, you only have a few seconds to grab attention before the viewer moves on.

After all, there are important cat photos and baby pictures to see!

Start your video off in a way that makes the viewer want to stick around. And keep them watching all the way through the appearance of your call-to-action.

One tried-and-true method that still works is asking a question (verbally and with captions).

Longer Videos Don’t Equal Higher Engagement

The most successful social media videos are short and sweet.

For Facebook, that means a minute or less. And even though you may be tempted to go longer (you’ve got all this space you may as well use it, right?), don’t.

Facebook supports video content and supports it well, but it’s not “the place” for video.

So if you want to create an hour-long presentation, then go ahead and post it to YouTube. Because even after one minute, Facebook views tend to drop off.

If you find your social video content isn’t getting the views or gaining the traction you’d hoped for, check the length. Odds are it’s too long.

Low Production Quality

The quality of your social media videos can tell consumers a lot about your business.

Remember, every piece of content you put out there is an extension of your brand. So it’s important to put your best foot forward every time.

Videos can be costly to produce, so leverage creative tools like Promo.

Good tools can provide you with access to premium footage and photos which you can edit when creating your amazing video.

No Call-to-Action (CTA)

Regardless of the focus of your social video, don’t forget to include a strong call-to-action at the end.

The CTA instructs your audience on how they can take the next step and buy products, services, or simply engage with you.

The best CTA’s are:

  • Clear action — “buy now,” or “click here”
  • Clickable — include a link where people can visit
  • Communicate — tell customers where they can continue to engage with you

Not Creating a Social Video Hub

Keep in mind, videos posted directly to Facebook have 10 times the reach compared to those which link elsewhere, including YouTube.

Consider your strategy carefully.

Realize that many times you may need to upload video to multiple channels in order to drive the most traffic.

Think about which approach works best or is most efficient for this purpose.

Also, keep in mind that hosting videos on your website is fine if you can manage the space required, but it can lead to longer load times (and viewers will bail quickly).

If you want to strengthen your SEO ranking and attract a larger audience, create and maintain a video marketing channel on YouTube or Vimeo.

By arranging videos in Playlists, adding keywords, descriptions, and titles you’ll increase your brand strength and SEO power.

Posting Video at the Wrong Time

Consider that most social media platforms feature a newsfeed of some sort. And depending on how busy your audience is, content can become buried.

This may be most obvious on a platform such as Twitter, but it’s also a “nature of the beast” issue on all social platforms.

But you can maximize your potential reach by posting content at the ideal time on an ideal day.

This may require a bit of experimentation on your part.

Your ideal time may vary based on your industry, the social media channel, or the preferences of your target audience.

A helpful tip is to create a video editorial calendar listing the specific days and times to publish your content.

Social Video at Its Best

Video marketing is one of the most useful, fastest-growing mediums available to businesses of all sizes.

By harnessing the power of social video, you can position your business and your brand in a better place to reach your target audience.

Use these tips to create videos that viewers will want to watch, sound or no sound.

Photo by Thomas Russell on Unsplash

Hila Shitrit Nissim

Hila Shitrit Nissim is VP Communications at Slidely, the #1 Video Creation Platform and the maker of Promo. Hila was formerly VP Marketing of the Viola Group, Israel's leading technology-focused investment group. Hila has over 17 years of professional experience in global marketing, content strategy, branding and PR in the vibrant hi-tech industry.

View all posts by Hila Shitrit Nissim