Why video is more critical than ever for your business (social buzz column) | nnbw.com

Why video is more critical than ever for your business (social buzz column)

Caren Roblin
Social Buzz

Congratulations, your business is on social media.

Now what?

Well, if you haven't heard yet, Facebook's latest algorithm change is just highlighting the ongoing trend of needing video content to truly engage with your audience.

According to recent statistics from Social Media Today, 90 percent of consumers say video can help them make buying decisions; mentioning the word "video" in your email subject line increases open rates by 19 percent; and video on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 80 percent.

Still not convinced that video is our present and our future?

By 2020, about 80 percent of all internet traffic will come from video, according to CISCO. In fact, even now, about one-third of total time spent on the internet is spent watching video content, according to Social Media Today, and 74 percent of all internet traffic was video in 2017.

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This consumption is similar across social media platforms.

On Facebook, 500 million people watch videos every day, Social Media Today says. Twitter says videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than photos and three times more likely than GIFs. Consumption of video on Instagram has increased 40 percent, according to Buzzfeed News.

Video really is a key (and possibly intimidating) way that you can convey the story of your business to your clients (and potential clients) — and engage with them on a whole new level.

Here are some easy ways for your business to tip toe into video content marketing to not only grow but better engage with your following, thanks to Buffer Social.

Brainstorm like it's going out of style

Rule No. 1: Your first idea is not necessarily your best idea. And, let's be honest, the best ideas happen when more than one person is involved.

Whether you bounce ideas off of friends or schedule an official brainstorming meeting with colleagues, be open to everyone's ideas and encourage a no-bad-ideas mentality.

For inspiration, look at what competitors are doing, think about what you as a consumer would want to see and/or think about what questions your business is always getting asked. Could a video potentially answer any of those FAQs? It's possible that whatever you decide to do can be "evergreen content" in the way that it can be used again and again.

Plan, plan, plan and plan some more

I would say that 80 percent of a successful video (or any project) comes down to planning, but this still is the most overlooked step in the process.

For video specifically, you could write a script or create a storyboard illustrating how you envision your video looking. Remember that the key to successful videos is a simple message with something that grabs a viewer's attention early on. Best advice? Don't overthink it.

Beyond that, where are you shooting the video? When? Who's involved? Do you have the right equipment? (Hint: Your smartphone can shoot a video as well as most legitimate cameras with a lot less headache.) Are you outside? If so, will there be noise interference around you? If you're inside, is there an echo where you would like to shoot?

The more you think ahead, the smoother your video shoot will go.

Shoot your video masterpiece

This will either be the fun part or the daunting part, but if you've planned well enough, most of the struggle should be minimized.

Whether you're using your phone or a camera, fully charge the battery first. You'd be surprised how fast a battery can drain when shooting video.

You'll also want to consider using a tripod. Handheld video will have some amount of shaking that can be jarring to viewers. And if you are dealing with any sort of background noise, consider using a small microphone. There are many inexpensive versions out there.

Lighting also matters and may actually determine whether you should be outside or inside.

Edit your video (to actually make it a masterpiece)

This step might feel the most intimidating, but there are many free to low-cost applications that make the video editing process easier–and, dare I say, fun?

A few examples you can explore, according to Sierra Nevada Media Group's video producer, Owen Poole: Pocketvideo, Power Director and Quik are great choices for mobile (including iMovie if you have an iPhone); Adobe Spark is a simple browser-based video editor that also handles graphics; also, DaVinci Resolve and Avid Media Composer First (if you're editing on a desktop computer) are both free and very powerful.

Just remember that if your video is narrated or has any speaking in it at all, add captions. According to Digiday, 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound.

When you finish editing, watch it both with and without the sound. Then have others do the same, and take any feedback into consideration.

Share it far and wide

When starting out with video, it's completely acceptable (and almost expected) to share the same video across all social media platforms that your business is on, as well as your company website.

But as you get more comfortable, think about different versions of a video for each platform: longer for Facebook with more narrative, the shorter the better for Instagram and perhaps an animation for Twitter, for example.

Video, in general, can feel daunting — particularly if you're busy simply running your business — but the ROI is there. It's worth it to your business to at least try.

Remember to start small and experiment. Unless you actually offend your audience, there really are no failed social media posts or videos — simply learning opportunities to grow from.

The more you practice, the easier and more natural it will get.

Looking for more guidance when it comes to video and social media? Contact my colleague, Brook Bentley, social media and content manager at SNMG, at bbentley@sierranevadamedia.com for a free social media consultation and video discussion for your business.

Caren Roblin is Director of Content at Sierra Nevada Media Group, which publishes the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. You can contact her at croblin@sierranevadamedia.com.

Video inspiration

Here are a few examples of brands doing video right, plus their account handle to find them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see more:

Dove (@Dove)

Intel (@Intel)

Artifact Uprising (@ArtifactUprising)

GoPro (@gopro)

Always (@always)

Zendesk (@zendesk)

Dollar Shave Club (@DollarShaveClub)

Weight Watchers (@weightwatchers)