More so than ever before, social media is flooded with video content. However, while almost anyone can produce a video, set up a YouTube account and drive traffic to their content, it takes a lot more than that to create a video people crave, consume and share with their friends.
Despite what many might think, the most successful videos don’t happen by accident. While many brands seem to think there’s a special formula for creating viral videos, I’m here to tell you that if there were, we would all be using it all the time. However, while there may not be a “formula,” there is a way to create successful videos, even on a small budget.
If you’re looking to create and distribute video content for your brand on a smaller budget, let’s take a look at how it’s done.
Creating Your Video Content
Behind every successful branded video, there was a thoughtful process and well-executed strategy involved—and the first part of that strategy involves the creation and execution of your video content.
Luckily, with the explosion of digital content, creating engaging video content doesn’t have to break the bank. Especially with the addition of so many social media platforms expanding their features with video content, there are a variety of ways to get creative with branded videos, yes, even for you B2B businesses!
For example, fashion brand Ted Baker launched its own video series using Instagram stories called ‘Keeping up with the Bakers,’ and the campaign’s main short film was fully shoppable.
“Connecting the online and offline worlds is not only a priority but an opportunity as most fashion businesses choose to ignore it.” – Craig Smith, Ted Baker
While this campaign included other elements that called for a larger investment, taking a savvy, creative approach can reap big rewards. Especially with 92 percent of smartphone users actively sharing videos with their friends.
So, even if you’re working with a shoestring budget, don’t worry—there are still ways to create great video content and reach an audience eager to engage with and share your content.
While this may seem painfully obvious, if you fail to prepare you’re preparing to fail. Often, brands dive straight into filming without first nailing down their purpose or messaging. Not to mention, planning ahead can also save you from going over budget or from wasting the resources you allocated.
In order to formulate ideas, you can pull from previously produced content that has yielded good results with your audience in order to determine what concept will resonate best. You can pull from blogs, interviews, eBooks, white papers, etc. to further atomize your content and its reach.
“Thoughtful content marketers experiment with different content formats in an effort to determine which resonate with their audience (or audiences). With some patience and persistence, marketers stand to increase their reach and resonance by spreading their wings across a wider mix of media.” – Jay Baer, Convince and Convert
2. Location, Location, Location
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on location for a video to create impact. For example, when working on a budget, YouTube suggests trying out cool, free locations to make your video, then check in with your fans’ comments to follow their reactions.
For example, to find locations to shoot your video you could:
- Crowdsource suggestions from your audience
- Use websites like Peerspace or LocationsHub
- Use partnerships and offer credit or product placement in return for shooting at that location or business
3. Be Resourceful
Here’s where it’s time to be thrifty. If you’re working on a small budget, don’t be afraid to utilize the cheaper video options available. As long as your video is done well, your audience won’t care how it’s done.
For example, video testimonials are an inexpensive, easy way to create video content and garner trust with your audience. Video testimonials are known to provide your audience with social proof and are often more impactful and effective than text reviews.
DIY animation videos are also popular and visually engaging for audiences while also being cost-effective. You don’t need an animated explanation video from a top agency that will set you back thousands of dollars, either. There are plenty of DIY animation tools, many of which are inexpensive or free.
Finally, freelancers are also a great, cost-effective way to produce quality content on a smaller budget. Employing an in-house team of video marketers isn’t always feasible for smaller brands and budgets. With sites like Upwork and Fiverr, you’re able to tap into every industry and find the same skill—just at a lower cost.
When it comes to engaging content, video continues to reign supreme, and for good reason. Considering one-third of time online is spent watching video it’s safe to say that creating video content is vital if you want to reach larger audiences. But, simply creating video content won’t be enough.
Since each platform draws different audiences, that also means different desires and expectations, which means you’ll also need to create a strategy and determine which platform is best for your video content.
Distributing Your Video Content
Okay, you made your incredible video, sent it out to the team, then uploaded it to YouTube—all you have to do now is sit and wait for the fame to come pouring in, right?
Sadly, most people tend to think that’s how it works but, the truth is, creating your video is only half the battle. In addition to producing that killer video, you’ll also need to invest in a distribution strategy.
Utilizing Online Platforms
While putting video content on your site is important, we both know the hard truth: your website probably isn’t where most of your customers hang out. With the availability of multiple platforms to post your video content and the competitive nature of the digital landscape, it would be detrimental for your brand not to aim for or experiment with a multi-channel strategy.
According to the State of Video Marketing Survey for 2017, consumers engage with branded videos the most on Facebook (49 percent), followed by YouTube (32 percent), then Instagram (24 percent). While not every platform may apply to your brand’s goals (or budget), there are a few things brands and publishers need to know when looking to expand their video impact on social.
So, rather than checking your view count on YouTube, let’s take this time to look at some video statistics for the top three social networks, and how you can apply some of their best practices.
YouTube is often associated with being the video OG for popularizing video content before other social media platforms. While it may have more competition today than back in 2005, YouTube still remains an essential video platform.
- Almost one-third of total internet users (over one billion people) are on YouTube. (YouTube)
- YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network. (Conductor)
- YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google. (Alexa)
- Users view more than 500 million hours of video each day on YouTube. (Business Insider)
With over 5 billion video views per day, YouTube is an ideal platform for community building, high engagement and an opportunity for long-term, organic viewership—a trend that is likely to continue to grow in the coming years.
YouTube Best Practices:
- Longer length videos work best on Youtube
- Make sure your video is high-quality
What once began as a way for college students to connect with one another, Facebook has grown into one of the world’s largest social networks. Now, it’s also a leader of video content—making it a powerful tool for marketers as well.
- 100 million hours of video are watched each day on Facebook. (TechCrunch)
- Views of branded content on Facebook have risen 258 percent since 2016. (Tubular Insights)
- Organic Facebook engagement is highest on posts with videos at 13.9 percent. (Locowise)
With over 8 billion average daily video views on Facebook, the social platform has become a force to be reckoned with for digital content. Due to the fact that Facebook can give your video quick growth and high engagement potential, along with the option to use paid promotion to get your growth started or expand your initial reach, it’s an ever-popular choice for branded content.
Facebook Best Practices:
- Videos 90 seconds and longer receive 52.1 percent more shares and 48.2 percent more views than the average of all videos.
- Viewers will watch a live video approximately three times longer than a pre-recorded one.
- Offer viewers incentive with purchase or retail offers at the end to entice them to keep watching.
While Twitter hasn’t seen quite the same rise in numbers as Facebook and Instagram, video views on Twitter have increased by 150 times in the last year alone.
- Thirty-six percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 years old use Twitter. (Pew Research)
- 82 percent of Twitter users watch video on the platform. (Wordstream)
- 93 percent of Twitter video views happen on mobile. (Twitter)
Like Facebook and Instagram, Twitter has moved toward video content in the past couple of years by pushing live videos and other timely, interactive video content. With the 330 million monthly active users on Twitter, the platform is still worth testing if you have a large twitter-based audience. In fact, Twitter itself notes that 80 percent of its users are “affluent millennials.”
Twitter Best Practices:
- Text-heavy videos that don’t require sound
- 30-60 seconds max length
- A title screen to grab attention
While these first three platforms pack a powerful punch, Instagram is still a key player when it comes to video content. According to Animoto, 53.4 percent of marketers see Instagram videos as important.
- 24 percent of consumers engage with video content on Instagram, and 64 percent of consumers purchase after watching branded videos. (Tubular Insights)
- 5.2 million people viewed brand-created Instagram videos during Q1 2017. (PR Newswire)
- Search interest is 3X higher for Instagram stories than for Snapchat stories. (Google Trends)
Given its popularity with younger consumers, Instagram can be a vital part of your video distribution strategy. Especially with the platform boasting over 800 million users, of which the average user spends at least 21 minutes per day on the app.
Instagram Best Practices:
- 15 seconds max length
- High production quality is important
- Consider celebrity content
While there are obviously tons of platforms available to promote video content, these are just a few to get you started. Couple these tips with a creative idea and great execution and your video content will be up and running in no time.
If you’re looking for more help with video content or any other marketing goals, contact PowerPost and gain access to the world’s best talent in Journalism and your own, personal, dedicated newsroom. See for yourself and meet our team with our new series of employee spotlights!