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Creating video for social media can be a large investment. But it’s a worthwhile one. The content that you create needs to be done right and represent the brand well. In today’s online world, video is arguably the most important medium for digital marketing.

Why is social media video content so important?

Video is a massive part of today’s internet, not just social media. Believe it or not, more one-third of all online activity is spent watching video content. That’s too much activity to ignore. The accessibility of smartphones may have played a role in this shift. Users are able to easily scroll through tons and tons of content.  The increase internet speeds and download times have surely have encouraged the growth of this medium.

As you likely have noticed social media platform feeds are dominated by video. That is likely because many platforms give preference to video content. Since it gains high engagement rates for users, it’s beneficial to continue serving video content.

Video content on social media is like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream, it just works.

And not just at an exposure or  brand building level, but for trackable actions as well.

After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product online.

Video ads also have the highest engagement rates of all digital formats at an average click-through rate (CTR) of 1.84%. Those are stats all marketers can get onboard with.

Creating Messaging and Choosing Branding

When creating video content it’s important to be consistent. Keep the look, feel, topics all logically related. Users like things that are clear and easy to understand. Your brand and video content should fit that mold. It should also be bold so that viewers can pick up on it quickly.

The branding doesn’t need to be consistent across all social media sites, however content on each platform should be uniform. Whatever you choose, be sure to have a target audience in mind. The audience you choose might not always be your core customers, however the content needs to be developed with a specific group of users in mind.

Platform Differences

Once you have established a look at feel for your content, you’ll need to consider the way it is shared on social media platforms. Each platform handles video a little differently, so there is a lot to keep in mind. Smart brand managers will capitalize on these specialties, and leverage them to their advantage. Make it as easy and intriguing as possible for users to watch your content.

Facebook

The most unique thing about Facebook is its robust ads network. Enormous amounts of user data available are available for targeting, so you should have no problem reaching new viewers. These targeting capabilities give you the opportunity to speak directly to users who your content will resonate with.

Best practices:

  • Keep videos around 1 minute in length
  • The Ideal aspect ratio for videos is 16:9
  • Be sure to add captions, 85% of videos are played without sound
  • Keep your audience in mind when posting, share when they are available

Example:

Visit California has an excellent content series called Hidden Gems, which showcases some of California’s looked over locations. The videos are shared on Facebook and run a little over one minute, but they do a great job of keeping users engaged with visual descriptions.

Instagram

Instagram is among the newest players to the social media video scene. Unfortunately with Instagram posts, live links can’t be shared, so you will have to add them to your profile. In additional to the traditional profile posts, Instagram has a feature called Stories that is very similar to Snapchat. Usage for Instagram is exclusively through mobile devices, so keep in mind your video content will always be viewed on a small screen.

Best practices:

  • Post timing is still very important, share while followers are active
  • Focus on being creative and unique
  • Leverage relevant hashtags
  • Use third party tools like Boomerang or Layout for content
  • The idea aspect ratio for videos is 1:1
  • Treat Instagram Stories just like Snapchat

Example:

One of the breweries we keep our eye on for inspiration is Lagunitas. They regularly share, fun and quirky videos on Instagram. There’s no sales pitch that they are making, just creative content that features their products.

Snapchat

Snapchat has been all hot topic for social media marketers over that last couple of years. On the platform videos have a maximum life of 24 hours, then they disappear. Videos can last a little as one second or be added to an ongoing story that is hosted for a users. This platform has exploded among younger demographics.

Best practices:

Example:

Two brands that do really well on Snapchat are Birchbox and Warby Parker. Both have really nice creative ways of promoting their product and sharing fun content with followers. Their videos all have a consistent and playful feel. They have even created filters that users are able to put on their own content.

Twitter

News and information focused are the things that drive Twitter. Its fast paced and conversations happen quick. The vast majority of users are used the platform from their phone, 90% of traffic is mobile. Twitter provides a brand’s best opportunity for one-to-one interactions. Users are looking to have conversations and you need to respond to comments on your video content.

Best practices:

  • Ideal aspect ratio is 2.39:1
  • Keep videos 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Don’t assume users will review your feed, aim for sharable content

Example:

Gary Vaynerchk has used Twitter to his advantage as well as anyone else on the internet. His WineLibraryTV channel on YouTube was highly successful which he used to catapult his career in digital media. On his Twitter profile he shares short snippets of business advice and grabs the attention of followers with bold text over the top.

[Warning: His content often contains profanity]

Youtube

YouTube is the the original video social media platform. Many users have made a living keeping their channel updated and sharing videos regularly. Because of this opportunity is has also become highly competitive and difficult to break through.

Rather than using it as a discovery tool for your content, it’s safer to use as a library for your content then link back to videos.

Best practices:

Example:

Bleacher Report’s “Game of Zones” is a parody of HBO’s Game of Thrones using NBA players. The series releases episodes throughout the NBA season and fans flock to Bleacher Report’s profile to watch the series. While this isn’t the only video series Bleacher Report has, they have done a good job of clearly defining a playlist that contains all of the episodes. Each of these videos have a very unique look as consistent  feel.

Now that you have a better understanding of each platform and the audience on each, it’s time to invest the time and budget into creating high quality content for the social channels that will best benefit your brand.

Tyler Tassinari
Tyler Tassinari
Digital Marketing Strategist at

Tyler has a deep interest in all things digital. After studying Business Administration at CSU Monterey Bay, he immersed himself in the world of social media, digital advertising, and content marketing. When he’s not in front of a computer screen, you can find Tyler out hiking and enjoying the great outdoors or hanging out with friends in Midtown Sacramento.