If you’re not already using social video to promote your business in some way, chances are you’re in the minority. But the real question is not whether you’re using social video but how you’re using it and how effective your output is?
The question of effectiveness tends to fit into two camps when it comes to marketing content for business using video. There are those who judge effectiveness on whether or not the video itself led to direct action or sales and those who judge effectiveness on whether it was well received and appreciated. You could class them as ‘results driven’ and ‘audience building’ and there are strong advocates who will shout loud for both approaches. The reality is that social video is much more complex than just click throughs or likes and neither side is absolutely 100% right.
The main trouble with taking the ‘results driven’ approach is that people who consume your video may not share the same objective as you when they watch it. You probably want them to notice you and take action, to connect with you or buy from you in some way. They, on the other hand, might just want to be entertained and don’t want any commitment. The ‘audience building’ approach has its down sides too. It requires a commitment to producing content as a ‘gift’ to the viewer in order to build a longer term connection and many businesses feel that this is something they can’t afford to do.
When we run our Video Skills Workshops, we always encounter more people who are in the ‘results driven’ camp because that’s the nature of business, they are looking to use video as a tool to gain marketing results. However the reality of social video is that the platforms are predominantly a leisure space and so there is a conflict between a brand publisher’s needs and the audience’s needs.
The key to overcoming this and mastering social video is simply to give the audience what it wants. To use Social Media and social video within these platforms to entertain and inform, with the objective of gaining their trust and then further down the line being able to build more of a sales based relationship.
But this approach doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice tangible results from your content on the altar of ‘audience building’. Interestingly, as soon as you create content that gives something to the audience, without requiring action on their part, they will respond where otherwise they might have simply scrolled on. That is a tangible result in itself – you’ve gained interaction!
You have to interact successfully with someone before you can sell to them, so creating entertaining content that doesn’t ask much from the audience does actually deliver results! If a viewer feels comfortable with your page and the content you produce, if it offers value, useful information, humour, entertainment, knowledge, they will follow you. Kerching, another tangible ‘result’!
Once they are following you, they will see what you are doing, know about your products, hear about your news and if they are interested in what you have to sell, quite possibly buy from you. But they most likely would never have done any of this if, on your first contact with them, you had pushed for action there and then.
There will always be businesses for whom the ‘audience building’ approach simply doesn’t fit their objectives but equally, for many, it could be more effective than they might think. It changes the conversation you have with potential customers but it also offers up the opportunity to be seen as a specialist in a field and therefore an influencer. The dynamic shifts from trying to get people to pay attention to commanding attention because the audience has already placed its trust in you.
The opportunities found within ’social video’ are boundless. It’s all there for the taking if you place the audience first and adapt your approach to informing and entertaining them.
There will be much more on entertaining viewers with promotional content in a future post. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about this approach and how it an help you create engaging content, drop us a line in the contact section.