how to use online video marketing

What, Why And How: Online Video Marketing

There are two big social media trends to look out for in 2016. One is video, the other is conversational commerce. Seeing as last week’s post was about conversational commerce, let’s talk about video.

What, video? That’s so 2014…

Content marketers and social media experts have been banging on about video for years now. For most of those years, we’ve been saying it’s our top annual trend, a claim that suggests trends only last for 365 days. In reality, they take a lot longer to establish.

The Drummond Puddle Watch pulled in 550,000 viewers and was the top worldwide trending topic

Video is approaching its peak; most people have heard of gifs, YouTube is an established content channel and live-streaming is moving into the mainstream through apps like Meerkat and Periscope.

The growth of video has resulted in a bundle of video apps. Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, there’s a lot of choice. Let’s go through the strengths of online video and how to approach it.

Why? Autoplay, Video Integration and Audience Engagement

Autoplay is the best thing about video on social media. Videos and gifs automatically play in your Facebook timeline and native video, gifs and Vines all autoplay on Twitter. This makes your post much more eye-catching and, as a result, a lot harder to ignore.

A link to a lengthy article isn’t particularly enticing. Your audience doesn’t know how long it will take to read and they’re likely to bounce the second they get bored (that’s if they bother to even click the link). But a five minute video, we know how long it will take and it’s not at all taxing to watch.

This gif is flippant, but pretty apt

Videos on Facebook and Twitter work for everyone involved. For Facebook and Twitter, they keep people on their site or app. Integrated video means you don’t need to click a YouTube link, you can stay in their gated community. Providing everything the user wants in one place is the dream for Facebook, it’s why they’re working on shopping and news features that keep you in the app.

For agencies and companies, videos improve brand recognition and audience engagement. 65% of viewers will watch more than ¾ of a video and time spent on a site increases by an average of two minutes when video is used. Impressive stats = impressed clients.

For Facebook and Twitter users, integrated video is really useful. Autoplay means all we have to do is scroll down, if a video catches our eye we can click to watch, if we get bored we can keep scrolling and it will stop playing.

How does Snapchat fit in?

Snapchat is a little more difficult to get your head around. 2016 is the year of monetisation for Snapchat. Having spent the past 5 years building up their user base, they’re starting to look more at their bank balances than their monthly active users. Big brands will be excited for the expected Snapchat advertising API, but smaller companies shouldn’t be avoiding the app.

James here. Looks like this video is gone. Shame

If your business is used by anyone aged 14-35, create an account and start promoting the name, just as you do with Facebook and Twitter. Use the story feature to promote a daily deal (just like Domino’s) or show off the fun you have around the office when you’re on a recruitment drive. Stories stay on Snapchat for 24 hours and your clips can last up to ten seconds. Behind the scenes, watch for the offer code, product reveals, each of these work well on company Snapchat accounts.

How? The video creation checklist

Audience engagement massively increases when videos are used, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a successful video. Think of these key factors when creating a video or finding a gif to post on your company’s Twitter and Facebook feed:

Do the first five seconds hook you in?

Autoplay gives you a grace period of a few seconds during which you can capture the imagination of your audience. This means no slow starts, no long-lasting title screen to start the video off. Begin your video in the best possible way, a visual so good you can’t look away or a voiceover so smooth it’d make Morgan Freeman jealous.

Does the video/gif fit your brand?

This is more of a point for gifs. Usually a funny five second clip, gifs are increasingly used by companies to show that they’re “down with the kids.” Using a gif from a popular TV show or film can result in shares and retweets, but it can also result in groans. Make sure the gif suits your brand and audience. If your target market is dog owners, don’t post a cute cat gif, they’re likely to click away. Your Hotline Bling gif might be great, but will your following of men aged 41-55 get the joke?

Our audience is full of Drizzy fans, so we can post Hotline Bling gifs

Does your video look professional?

If your video looks amateurish, so do you. Good sound, a high quality picture and decent editing are requirements. It doesn’t have to win the Oscar for best cinematography, but there’s a certain level of quality to maintain when creating your own videos for social media. Thankfully, most smartphones and tablets are more than capable of recording a good video, but do make sure to rewatch the video before you post it, just to make sure.

Examples to learn from


BuzzFeed are the undisputed champions of social video. Tasty is the recipe section of BuzzFeed, pulling in 789 million video views in November alone. At the time of writing, Tasty has 33 million likes on Facebook. The page started in July 2015. A bajillion likes, just from minute long recipes. So what can we learn from them? Watch the recipe video below.

When we think of recipe tutorials, we think of TV chefs spending fifteen minutes teaching us the method. Not Tasty. In less than a minute, we learn how to make Buffalo Chicken Potstickers.

The video works on a number of levels. The food looks good, so we want to taste it. The recipe looks simple, so we’re more likely to have a go. The video is short, so we’re likely to watch it all. The minimalist look and twee music appeals to BuzzFeed’s millennial market. It gets straight to the point, no extraneous opening sequence.

Tasty’s videos are perfectly created for their audience, they stand-out in a cluttered timeline and their successful videos are easy to repeat. Follow their lead and always create videos with your audience in mind. Fill a niche, perfect your formula, repeat.

Whiteboard Friday

The biggest struggle every content marketer faces is getting people to read your article. We don’t have the best materials to work with; one thousand words on the power of social listening is never going to be that fun. Despite this, Whiteboard Friday is incredibly watchable. Rand Fishkin’s weekly posts are frequently shared, they’ve created a face for their brand and manage to explain dry topics in an entertaining way.

It’s time for content marketers to explore video. Considering how easily the industry adopted BuzzFeed’s clickbait listicle formula, why aren’t we doing the same for video?

If clickbait listicles translate so well into video, why the hell haven’t we done the same for video? My excuse is a total aversion to hearing my own voice, what’s yours?

Honda – The Other Side

Sadly, the original “Press R” video has disappeared from YouTube, so we’ll have to make do with the video explaining why The Other Side won Gold at the Cannes Lions.

Clearly this is a high-end, high-spend ad. But there’s one simple principle that underpins its success. It makes full use of online video. On TV, in the cinema, it’s not the same experience.

Not all of us have the technological knowledge to make a video change whenever a button is pressed, but we can all think of the advantages to online video. Come up with a novel use and watch your share count go through the roof.

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