Visual content has always been important in social media, but 2013 has set whole new standards. Facebook has opened up for larger images and visual social platforms like Instagram, Vine and Pinterest have experienced an amazing growth.
But the focus on visual content isn’t just centered on images: video is the fastest growing ad format worldwide. And it’s not videos like we know them, but short videos with a time limit. From what we know from Twitter and Snapchat, it could seem like social media is continuously being focused on short format content.
In the following, we will present you of a why, where and how to use these social video platforms.
Why so popular?
So why are these platforms experiencing this boom? Well, almost everyone can stay focused for 15 seconds, which is the advantage over the traditional longer-form videos we know from Youtube and commercials.
And why should they be interesting for you as a business? Social videos give businesses an opportunity to extend their mobile reach and engage in the rapidly changing social media world. If that doesn’t seem convincing to you, these facts might:
- More than 150 million people use Instagram and more than 40 million use Vine.
- Videos have a larger engagement rate than regular content – on Instagram videos are creating two-times more engagement than photos. And videos on Facebook are shared 12x more than text posts and links combined!
- Oh and finally: According to Neomobile, two thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2017!
Where to go?
Okay, so now you know why you should incorporate videos into your social media strategy. But which platform fits you best and where’s the party at?
Instagram just celebrated its 3 years birthday, but the opportunity to record and share videos was just added in June. The videos can last for 15 seconds, which is perfect, if you want time to showcase your products or do some storytelling.
Vine was one of the pioneers within social video. Some might see the time limit of six seconds as restrictive, but so far videos on Vine tend to inspire to more creativity. The stop-motion function also makes it possible to include many different shots in the video. And finally – Vine videos get more shares than videos from other platforms!
And then there’s the new guy in town; Mixbit. The app was launched in August and by no one else than the founders of YouTube. Mixbit also lets you shoot short videos, but as a bonus it’s possible to edit clips and add already existing ones, and the time span is minutes instead of seconds.
How to do it?
Congrats, now you know why to use social videos and which platform you should use. So this is the last – and hardest – part. What to post and how? No worries, we’ll give you some tips.
Basically, there are three popular ways to use social videos so far:
- Stop-motion filming
Vine re-introduced this retro filming technique and the popularity has exploded ever since. Stop-motion videos make it possible to make dead things move and boost your creativity. Instagram also has this feature, but most people prefer Vine.
General Electrics showing how nature is one big loop in their 6 Seconds Science campaign
- How to
How does X work or how do you use Y? Finally the help is here, because these video platforms have shown very usable when it comes to making ‘how-to’ videos. With short introductions and pictures – voilà – an instruction manual or recipe right there.
How to get the rust off your knifes – Lowe’s Fix In Six campaign.
- Showcase your product
The video format is perfect for showcasing your product. You can either show it in action or show different kinds of it. This approach has been very popular in the fashion industry, but in this video Nissan also makes perfect use of it:
The GT-R goes from 0-60 in 2.7 seconds
An example of using Instagram in this category is this trailer for the movie Jobs, which was only aired on Instagram:
Movie trailer for Jobs
But these are only examples. Be creative and as long as you engage your users, use emotions and first and foremost – make something interesting to watch – everything is possible!