10 Tips for Successful Social Video Marketing

Katja Kupka Last updated on 20.10.2020
6 Min.
Social Media Video Marketing
Last updated on 20.10.2020

Social video marketing transports messages and values using short films, live streams and stories. Whether YouTube, TikTok or Instagram is best suited for your business depends on your target audience and topics. With the right strategy and our top ten tips, even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a small budget can benefit.

Why video content works

Why are videos so popular on the web? Classic and linear TV is going out of fashion and Internet users are becoming their own lead director. YouTube, being the market leader worldwide, uploads 400+ hours of video material every minute. Most people think of YouTube when hearing the keyword social video or video marketing. But we don't want to forget niche providers like Twitch or rising stars like TikTok in this blog post. 

The right format

Videos can be used in many different ways: from appealing commercials, which use clever storytelling to make brands come alive, to explainer videos.

Explaining to your customers in helpful short films how your products work fulfils two goals: 

  1. Your customers will be happy to get a short and crisp explanation instead of tedious pages of instructions. People's attention span has been steadily reduced by the Internet and social media. 
  2. With good explanatory videos you relieve your hotline and customer service. Your colleagues no longer need to answer questions about the application ten times a day, but perhaps only once a day. 

Publish social videos

You can embed videos on your website, blog or webshop and share them on social media platforms. If you publish videos regularly as a company, it's best to create your own channel on YouTube. 

The right platform

In addition to carefully produced films for image and branding, there are numerous moving images that are only shown temporarily. These include live streams on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter but also short videos in Snapchat or the stories of Instagram or Facebook.

Even if your videos are only visible for a short time, you should be careful. Take a livestream as an example. Think about how you want to proceed before you start and at least prepare the introduction well. Also take into account that during a livestream the viewers come and go as they please. Therefore, it does not hurt to keep coming back to the core topic and repeat yourself. 

10 tips for your social video marketing

Tip 1: Get to know your target group

There is little that can go wrong with videos, as they are popular in all age groups. Nevertheless, the platforms are different. YouTube has long since become a cross-age platform on which even Silver Surfers look for instructions or wallow in memories with excerpts from "Dalli Dalli". The Best Agers are also strongly represented on Facebook and also consume videos there.

Twitch and the rapidly growing TikTok app are only gradually becoming popular with people over the age of 30. Twitch is still hanging on to its origins in the e-game scene and many users know from TikTok that it used to be called musical.ly and was mainly used by female teenagers. Those days are long gone and we even find the news on TikTok, which is working hard to reach half a million users, or lawyers and pharmacists. Those who are active there have to present content to the point and must not bore with their films. 

Nonetheless, style and story are quite different. If you still reach your very young customers with quick picture changes and bright colours, the age group 40+ will prefer something more serious. As usual in marketing, it can help you to work with personas. Instead of addressing the working mother in a row house, you will have a concrete person in mind with Monika. 

Tip 2: Choose the right equipment in combination with a smart strategy

Now the exciting question: Do I need a professional cameraman with expensive equipment or is my mobile camera and a free editing program sufficient? 

The basic technical equipment in video marketing includes

  • a high-quality smartphone or digital camera
  • a tripod
  • an external microphone and 
  • a simple tool for post-processing.

As you can see, the necessary equipment can be put together without high costs. This is an advantage, but can lead to "just go for it". But here, too, a well thought-out strategy should come first - because what really counts is the story you want to convey

Tip 3: Score with relevant content and quality

The net is overflowing with content - and there are now an inflationary number of videos. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need relevant content and creative implementation. The quality should also be right, although your film does not have to be Hollywood-ready. Ideally, your content should be informative or entertaining, or both at the same time.

If you want to produce an explainer video, feel free to add humor. What is important is the recognition value. Take the retail chain Edeka as an example. Their commercials have their own narrative language, which usually shows where the advertising video comes from within seconds.


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Tip 4: Do not forget the core message and the call-to-action

You have a good idea and a creative approach. This can make a stirring film, but did you get your core message across?

Films are very well suited to get a message across. Don't overload the short film: concentrate on the one message you want to address and don't try to send out several appeals at once. In order for unfocused viewers to understand the message, it should ideally appear twice or even three times: at the beginning, during the film and again at the end. If you want to attract viewers to your webshop as call-to-action, your endcard should show the URL.


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Tip 5: Attract viewers with a crisp introduction and storytelling

To make yourself noticed in the background noise of the Internet, you need a great cover and a comprehensible title that attracts attention. Of course, this alone is not enough. The first few seconds must captivate the audience. To make the video go viral, it appeals to the emotions and motivates users to share the message in their network.

Maybe you remember the successful commercial #coming home from Edeka. That was highly emotional storytelling at its best, just maybe a little too predictable. With a dramatic development, a hero and an adversary, you're sure to get the attention of your viewers. 

Tip 6: Not too long and not too short

Due to the "information overload" of most Internet users, their ability to concentrate for long periods suffers. Therefore, there are only a few long formats that still work. Explanatory videos fall into this category if they are well made, as do films by celebrities. The well-known saying "brevity is the spice" seems to have been invented for YouTube and Co. In addition, it should be clear after a few seconds what it's all about - otherwise the impatient user will immediately switch to the next film. 

Tip 7: Carry out a regular success analysis

You can see how well your video is received on YouTube by looking at the likes and dislikes. To learn from the results of your monitoring, you should go deeper into the analysis. The Analytics in YouTube show you where the viewers come from, when they jump off and what percentage of them watch the film until the end. If many viewers jump off after 20 seconds, there is something wrong with your film at this point. Will it be boring or incomprehensible? It also helps if you identify the hotspot of your film. Do my users watch the video repeatedly?

If you compare your published videos so far, you may find that your viewers prefer longer movies. Also, keep an eye on your competitors' videos: How long are their most successful films?

Key figures include the number of video views and the number of subscribers. The view-through rate and the engagement rate are also meaningful. The engagement rate relates likes and comments to the views of the video. In YouTube, the like/dislike ratio is another important parameter.

Tip 8: Remember the subtitles

Since many people watch videos without sound, you should provide subtitles. Another reason for subtitles is the goal of making your movies accessible. YouTube can automatically create subtitles. You should check them before you upload the video. Depending on how clearly people speak in your video, you may have made mistakes. 

Tip 9: Publish a video regularly

On social media platforms, a regular rhythm of publication is nice, for example once a week or just once a month. If you keep to this sequence, loyal fans know when they can expect new content. With a weekly rhythm, a fixed weekday for uploading the new film is a good idea. But here again, you have to take a close look at your own target group and ask the analytics mentioned under point 7: Do followers pay if you publish a new video too often or do you lose fans if you offer a new film too seldom? 

Tip 10: Maintaining the community

Check out the comments of your fans and react to them promptly and publicly, unless they are trolls. Take possible criticism from your fans seriously and benefit from the free market research through viewer feedback. If you activate the "community" tab on YouTube, you can exchange views with your fans and communicate with them between uploads of videos. For example, you can give an insight into the making-of of a particularly popular video. You can also link and anteaser other contributions.

Final thoughts 

With videos and stories you can clearly convey your products and topics. Which platform is suitable depends on your target group: Older people are more likely to reach you on YouTube, younger people on TikTok or Twitch. With a captivating introduction, a stirring story and cleverly chosen call-to-action, you can target fans and customers. Maintain your community, check the statistics regularly and don't forget to pay attention to the accessibility of your films. 

Do you have questions for Katja about social video marketing?

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Katja Kupka is a specialist for social media and PR. She writes for blogs, trade and online magazines and manages social media channels. She advises and trains companies, NPOs and freelancers on social media marketing and texts for online and social media. She has worked for many years in the financial sector, industry and auditing. O'Reilly publishes her practical handbook "Social media marketing".

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