Social media makes video marketing accessible – and affordable – for every business. It’s one of the best ways to reach your customers where they already are: on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other online networks. And since social media users love video, it’s one of the best ways to raise brand awareness and engage customers and clients.
These days, you don’t need any special equipment to shoot a great video ad — a smartphone and enthusiasm for your brand will suffice. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a rundown of the top social media channels you can use to boost your brand with video.
Credit: Rose Carson / Shutterstock.comYouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform on the planet, so it’s a great place to start marketing your business. After you sign up, you can create a customizable channel for your business, complete with colors, logos, slogans and more. Don’t be intimidated — setting up a YouTube channel is simple and takes just a few minutes.
Once your channel is ready, you can upload as many videos as you want. Viewers rate your videos and leave comments, which will raise the overall visibility of your videos among other YouTube users. Anyone can subscribe to your channel, so whenever you upload a new video, they’ll be automatically notified.
If you don’t think you have the chops to put together a high-quality video ad, check out YouTube Director, an app for the iPhone and iPad. The app walks you through the process of making a quality ad, and lets you add text overlays, music and scene transitions with a few taps.
- Be consistent: Upload new videos regularly to encourage viewers to subscribe.
- Include calls to action: Tell viewers directly to rate the video they’re watching, leave a comment or subscribe to your channel.
- Interact: Respond to feedback quickly, and thank viewers who leave comments to encourage further interaction.
- Share: Share links to your YouTube Channel, and embed your YouTube videos in posts on Facebook and Twitter to engage new viewers.
[Read more: 4 Ways to Create Online Video Ads That Work]
Credit: Gil C / Shutterstock.comTaking your video-marketing campaign to Facebook is a no-brainer, given the platform’s huge and devoted user base. Generally speaking, Facebook users love video — they’re much more likely to click and view a brief video clip than to read a text-based post.
To get started on Facebook, you’ll need to set up a page for your business, which is quick and easy. Pages can be fully customized to represent your business, with all the information that potential customers need to know. Users who “Like” your page will see your posts — including any uploaded videos — and those posts will appear automatically in their news feed. Even better, friends of those users might also see the same videos appear in their own feeds.
- Keep it light: Facebook users log on to be entertained, so striving to keep your videos light, and even entertaining, is sure to boost engagement.
- Get interactive: Watch for comments and questions that viewers leave under your videos, and respond to them quickly and professionally.
- Monitor reactions: Facebook gives you the tools to see who likes and shares your videos. Watching to see which videos garner the most positive reactions will help you plan your next updates.
- Broadcast live: Facebook lets you broadcast live video using a feature called Facebook Live. Check it out— it’s a great way to boost engagement and give clients and customers a more intimate look at your business.
[Read more: Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
Credit: Maxxa Satori/ShutterstockLike Facebook, Twitter has a huge, diverse user base, and its regular users are extremely engaged with the platform. That’s why it should be a key part of any small business’s video-marketing strategy.Twitter isn’t just about short, text-based messages. The network also lets users embed videos directly into their tweets, which will then pop up in the feed of anyone who follows your business’s account. Videos can be up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds long — plenty of time to engage viewers with a short clip.
- Be concise: Twitter has always been about keeping it brief. Users view their feeds sporadically, often for just a few seconds at a time, so stick to short, easily digestible clips.
- Engage: One part of Twitter’s appeal is the ability it gives users to engage directly with the brands they care about. When users comment or share your videos, reward them with a response.
- Be timely: Twitter users want to know what’s happening right now. Use your video clips to advertise special deals and ongoing sales, or to let followers see what’s happening with your business today.
[Read more: Twitter for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
Credit: OlegDoroshin / Shutterstock.comUnlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram is a social network that’s dedicated solely to sharing photos and videos. For that reason, it might seem like a network where only highly visual businesses — such as those in food or fashion — can succeed. But with a little creativity, you can probably find a way to make the platform work for just about any brand.
Using Instagram is simple. After you create an account, you can upload images, photos and videos that run for 15 seconds or less. Users who follow your page will see those updates in their feed, where they can like or comment on them — and it’s really as simple as that.
Keeping your business’s Instagram account updated is easy, but the nature of the platform might make it a poor fit for your business. The network’s user base skews relatively young, which can be limiting. And if your business isn’t particularly visual, you might put your efforts elsewhere.
- Show off: Sharing images of your business’s products or services can help you reel in new customers.
- Post deals: Share images with coupon codes and other information about how to redeem special deals. That will encourage users to follow your account closely so they don’t miss out.
- Go behind the scenes: A good way to generate interest is to show people how your product is made, or perhaps give them a glimpse of your office.
[Read more: Twitter for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
Credit: SnapchatIt may be the fastest-growing social media platform out there, but Snapchat is still a niche platform for small businesses. If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, here’s a quick primer. The app lets you upload short video clips — as well as images — and the content is sent directly to anyone who follows your account.
The trademark feature of Snapchat is that users can usually only view each video once before it disappears from their feed, but that restriction actually only applies to videos sent directly to individuals. Content uploaded to your account’s “story” can be viewed by your followers an unlimited number of times for 24 hours.
The ephemeral nature of Snapchat posts — as well as the fact that the app’s user base skews younger than any of the others on this list — means that many small businesses would be better off investing their resources elsewhere. But businesses that cater to young people would be wise to give it a chance.
- Keep it casual: While other platforms encourage highly curated content, Snapchat posts can be simple and casual. If a post isn’t perfect, don’t fret — it will disappear soon anyway.
- Make it fun: Clips of employees or customers having fun with your product will keep young Snapchat users engaged and coming back for more.
- Go behind the scenes: Snapchat is the perfect platform for taking viewers behind the scenes of your business for a glimpse of how it’s run.
[Read more: 3 Effective Ways to Use Snapchat for Your Business]
Credit: PeriscopePeriscope — the most popular live-streaming app for mobile devices — is a great way to connect with your customers on a personal level. The Twitter-owned service makes it easy for you to start broadcasting live video with just a few taps. Customers who follow your account will automatically receive an alert on their smartphone whenever you start a new broadcast, which makes it relatively simple for you to cultivate an audience.
Live streaming has some clear perks over other kinds of video marketing. Since live streams are happening in real time, they help humanize your brand. Instead of seeing a carefully crafted advertisement, viewers feel like they’re seeing a truly authentic, behind-the-scenes representation of your business.
- Demonstrate: If you sell a physical product, Periscope is a great way to show how it works. Customers can tune in to a live demonstration, which can feel more trustworthy than a canned ad.
- Get creative: Periscope can be great for showcasing your company’s offerings, no matter what you sell. For example, realtors can use the app to broadcast virtual open houses.
- Interact: Live streaming isn’t a one-way street. Periscope lets you interact with customers and clients in real time, which is a great way to hold live Q&A sessions, webinars or tutorials.
- Reward: Giving exclusive offers for people who tune in to your Periscope stream is a good way to hook viewers and boost your sales.