Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
Star Trek fans will immediate recognize the words of the ominous Borg from movies and TV.
But marketers and public relations specialists dealing with digital content might confuse this unstoppable, inscrutable and all-consuming force for the world of social media and its increasingly powerful weapon—video content.
Make no mistake: Video isn’t just coming to take over social media, it’s here now. Here are some recent stats that show how video’s presence has taken over popular sites:
- YouTube: More than 5 billion video views are watched each day
- Facebook: Around 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day
- Twitter: 82% of Twitter’s audience watches video content
- Snapchat: says they generate 10 billion video views every single day
Dealing with evolving technology, evaluating (and understanding) new platforms that seem to spring up on a daily basis and trying to translate KPI’s to the bottom line for the C-Suite is hard enough for marketing pros. Throw video into that mix and many pros might feel like they’re trying to fly a spaceship without a manual.
But by incorporating video into your digital content strategy with the cool, calm logic of a Vulcan, you can set your marketing phasers to “success” and avoid the Wrath of (Insert CEO’s Name Here).
Here are five tips to help incorporate video content successfully into your digital content strategy (with a few more Trek references to boot):
Stay True to Your Brand and Message
If there’s a Prime Directive for marketers when it comes to digital content, but especially video content, this is it (well, maybe half of it… see further down):
Be true to your brand.
In a busy social media world, the desire to stand out can often overshadow the basic concept of message consistency.
Video allows you a new means of delivering your message in a specifically personal and active way that can grab eyeballs. But if that message doesn’t ring true to your brand and core message, or if it isn’t timed in a thoughtful way with other messaging efforts, it won’t lead to conversions or true campaign success.
Too many marketers see social video as just another place to run existing video, be it a TV spot, edited YouTube video or some other existing piece of video collateral.
The best marketers see it as a chance to tell a short (very short when it comes to social media) story that is a unique piece of material.
With Facebook already changing algorithms to place more emphasis on organic sharing will your target audience be more likely to share a video that’s just an information dump or something they’ve already seen on TV?
How about one that either connects with them emotionally or helps solve a specific problem that they didn’t even know they had?
Be the storyteller. Be the problem solver. Don’t be the loud salesman.
Know Where You Are Going with Video
Any great captain, be it of a starship or a marketing campaign, knows that without a trajectory, you’ll never reach your destination.
The same goes for video content in your social media strategy. Before implementing a video content plan, do an audit of your other current digital content.
- What messaging gaps exist in your current content?
- Where is your audience not connecting to your brand?
- Are there new ways you can drive customer acquisition through video that an image or copy-based approach misses?
With a clear understanding of your goals, you can execute efficient videos that have a big impact in a short amount of time.
Use Data to Define True Metrics
And, now, the long-awaited second half of the Prime Directive mentioned above:
Any good content marketing plan connects content with revenue earnings and cost savings.
In social, KPIs such as followers, fans, retweets and even reach are great vanity metrics, but they aren’t enough to connect with executives who want to know the impact of social media (especially the added cost of video) on their bottom line.
Landing page conversion rates, increased retargeting lists and other returns on engagement are great starting places to dig deeper and show just how effective your video strategy is working.
Take it a step further and use data to show how video is filling your strategy gaps either in awareness or even in customer acquisition.
Engage with Your Audience
Curation is an easy way to use video to increase social engagement (“Curation” in this case being a fancy word for “sharing other people’s videos”).
Sharing videos that reflect your brand or messaging — either from customers or even other organizations — shows your company has real people, not just cyborgs, behind their videos. This helps make connections that will boost engagement.
Don’t forget that while video offers a unique way to share your message in social media, engagement doesn’t end there. Apply the same social listening, response and influencing techniques that go with your regular social strategy to your video content.
So, yes. Resistance is futile and video will be assimilated into social media plans.
And, really, why fight it?
With these tips, you can create videos that help your social goals boldly go where no plan has gone before and create the backbone of a content marketing plan that will… you know I had to do it… live long and prosper.