5 Ways to Use Video to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media users are hungry for video, and incorporating it into your Social Media strategy can help your content get in front of more people than if you simply stick to photos, links, and text status updates.

Social media networks provide a lot of video options.

From Google+ Hangouts to Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s launch of Instagram Video, video is fast becoming an essential part of any business’s online marketing strategy.

Here is a 5 Platform how-to on incorporating video into your social media strategy:

1. Vine

For those who aren’t into complex video production, Vine lets you create simple, six-second looping videos to share on Twitter and Facebook.

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Some brands on Vine include Xbox, HTC, Puma, Urban Outfitters and Walgreens.

Here are some ways businesses can use Vine to support strategic goals:

Tease or Demo a Product

In six seconds, you can show off the best features of your business’s products or tease a new product launch.

Preview an Event

Got an upcoming webinar or conference? Give people a quick snippet of what they can expect with a Vine video. Take them behind the scenes of the preparation and make video a part of your event marketing strategy.

Showcase Your Portfolio

Share a six-second video sweep of your latest interior design creations. It’s more powerful than a flat photo because potential customers experience your work in context.

Take Your Audience Inside

Take your fans inside your office, your store, your restaurant, your performance or any other place they usually can’t go to help them get to know your business on a more personal level. Show people at work, hanging out and having fun. Show that the people inside your company are passionate about what they do and customers will be more confident in your service.

2. Instagram Video

Instagram has an edge over Vine thanks to the editing capabilities that Instagram has to offer along with the fact that you can share Instagram posts beyond Facebook and Twitter to Tumblr, Flickr, email and Foursquare.

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Some brands using Instagram video include Taco Bell, Burberry, Starbucks, Disney, Nissan USA, Topshop and General Electric.

Use Instagram video similar to the way you use Vine, with the added bonus of having almost twice the time to get your message across.

3. Facebook Video

Facebook allows verified users to create or upload up to 20 minutes of HD video. According to a study done by Social Media data expert Dan Zarrella — who tracked and analyzed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages — found video added directly to Facebook outperforms other video linked from networks such as YouTube in likes, comments and shares.

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Brands using Facebook video include Chase, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Skittles, Burberry, Hollister, Wildfire and Angry Birds.

Here are ways businesses are using Facebook video:

Commercials

Bring your offline marketing online by sharing commercials for your business directly on your Facebook Page to increase engagement and feedback. Better yet, let your fans help you choose the perfect commercial!

Encourage Fan Video

Boost the activity level on your Facebook Page (and your EdgeRank score) and ask fans to share their best videos of your product. This is a great way to build up your video content without having to even create a video.

Send Personal Messages

Since you can record video directly from your webcam to your Facebook Page, why not send personal messages to fans? It can be anything from a well-known person in your business addressing current news about your business to employees recording their own tips of the week.

RELATED: How To Create a Facebook Thank You Video

Show Your Caring Side

People love businesses that are involved in their community. Continue offering your fans more of your personal side and show how you help your community through service, donations, or by bringing awareness to important issues.

4. Google+ Hangouts

If you’re looking to incorporate live video into your social media strategy, then Google+ Hangouts are your best bet.

Since you can record Google+ Hangouts to YouTube, you can easily share them later on other social networks, just like you would any other YouTube video.

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Some brands and well-known organizations that have used Google+ Hangouts include Glamour Magazine, NASA, Jaguar USA, Clinique UK, National Geographic, Cadbury UK and Coca-Cola.

Businesses can use Google+ Hangouts to:

Conduct Webinars

Educate your audience using a live stream through YouTube. You can reach an unlimited number of viewers who can watch you speak and share your screen, and you can record the webinar for your video library.

Interview People

If you like to record interviews as a part of your content strategy, you can create the Hangout just for two people, record it and upload it to YouTube after the interview is finished.

Broadcast Panel Discussions

Your business can be an authoritative source in your industry when you hold regular panel discussions with industry experts. Your viewers can become a part of the discussion by chatting on Google+ beneath the streaming Hangout.

Hold Business Meetings

Need to collaborate with your marketing team and consultants face to face, but they’re scattered throughout the country (or even the world)? No problem—just set up a Google+ Hangout and you can get a total of 10 people together to discuss your game plan. You can even record it for future reference or for other members of your team who weren’t able to attend.

5. YouTube

Last but not least is YouTube video. If you have videos on YouTube, you can incorporate them into every part of your social media strategy. On most social networks — Facebook, Google+ and Twitter — you can share a link to any video on YouTube and people can watch your videos directly on those networks.

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RELATED: The Complete Guide to Using YouTube for Business

Businesses can use YouTube to:

Distinguish Your Portfolio

Add YouTube videos to various sections of your LinkedIn presence, such as your summary and your individual job listings, to turn it into a more diverse portfolio. Visitors can view your videos without leaving your profile or page.

Demo Products amd Services

YouTube lets businesses show their products in action. This is particularly useful for companies with limited physical distribution channels, including those who mostly sell over the internet. Businesses that use YouTube to allow customers to see their products in action before they buy include toy manufacturers, theme parks and theatre companies.

Create Community

Businesses that have a following or are part of a community can use YouTube as a tool to share and engage with customers. Examples include specialty bicycle retailers and running shops that share produce launches, event footage, video blogs and customer footage via video.

Demonstrate Expertise

Some business people use YouTube to build their reputation as an expert in a field. This might include uploading video tutorials or short video tips, as well as linking to other experts' videos that relate to their area of interest.

Save Bandwidth

YouTube lets you embed video content in your website without increasing your site's bandwidth. This means you can include video in your website without slowing down your customers' download speeds.

Show Your Brand's 'Personality'

YouTube is a chance to add color and movement to your business image. For example, a coffee supplier can not only post footage of coffee tasting events and video tutorials, they can also share video footage from the point of origin of the beans and interviews with the people who choose the varieties they use.

RELATED: Striking An Emotional Chord With Your Audience

Leverage Events or Promotions

YouTube gives you the ability to revisit successful events by showing video footage of them to people who weren't there or who want to recall what happened.

Solve Customers' Problems

Some businesses use YouTube to provide solutions for their customers. For example, they post videos demonstrating how to install their product, or 'screen capture' tutorials showing how to use their software.

A video can be a great way to address a frequently asked question or help troubleshoot common problems with your product. It is better to be proactive about this by acknowledging an issue and showing customers how to deal with it, rather than letting the market do it for you and criticize your product in the process.

You can also use YouTube to offer solutions to people who don't even know about your products and solutions yet. Every day, people post questions into search engines asking how to solve their problems, like 'my pink socks ran in the wash. What can I do?' If your product solves a problem like this, posting a video on YouTube demonstrating it in action is a great way to bring your product to the attention of the people who need it.

RELATED: Marketing Problem to Solution Alignment

Your Turn

These are just a few ways you can incorporate video into your marketing strategy. Check them out to see what works best for your business.

What do you think? What types of video do you use in your business strategy? What videos have you received the most engagement from?

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