Now that Facebook allows page administrators to organize video, it’s much easier to use video to engage a social following on that platform. Twitter allows users to capture, edit and share right off their smartphones. It only takes a minute to upload video to a LinkedIn profile or company business page. Social media is highly accessible.
However, failure to tailor your video to specific audiences could reduce the effectiveness of your video investment. Who wants the time and money devoted to video evaporating without seeing positive ROI? And worse, who wants poor video to hurt their brand.
As with every aspect of branding and engagement one principle stands out—know who your audience is! Then tailor your video to that audience.
The Business Follower
LinkedIn has a different audience than Facebook or Twitter. It’s a business information sharing platform. A humorous video wouldn’t be at home there unless it was carefully targeted. For example, humor about job search challenges might be perfect for a business specializing in job search coaching. Even then tread cautiously.
LinkedIn can be an excellent platform for B2B information sharing. Business professionals often engage with others in their industry within multiple open and members-only groups. Videos about business solutions (such as software), interviews with industry leaders, how-to videos, behind-the-scene peeks and testimonials could all be used to engage a social following when tailored to a specific business segment.
The Consumer Fan
On Facebook, you’re more likely to engage consumers, though you find some B2B action there as well. You have more video freedom. Elements such as entertainment value can be important. Experimenting with new concepts can pay off as well.
For example, Taggs decided to find out if pictures of people help sell products. They tested their hypothesis that “brand images without people would be associated with greater engagement than those images including people.” They used their “visual content marketing software to index 3,656 brand images published on Facebook since the start of the year.” Pictures either included a person, a part of a person or no person.
They were shocked to discover that pictures where part of a body appeared, like a hand holding a product got the most likes. Pictures without people came in next, with pictures including a complete person receiving the least likes.
Shares and comments were most likely for pictures without people, while pictures will people still performed poorly—124% fewer shares and 104% fewer comments. Body parts still outperformed whole body shots significantly.
Taggs’ theory that it’s easier for the viewer to put themselves into the picture when they can’t see a face seems plausible based on the test results. Tailoring your video to draw viewers into the scene may pay off with more Facebook engagement. Maybe this is why whiteboard presentations took off.
The Business Consumer Combination
Twitter works both angles—business and consumer. Unless you know which market segment you are targeting, your video results will be mixed.
How to Plan Your Video
Once you know your target audience, develop a strategy that spans multiple videos. Embrace a campaign mentality. Break the campaign into short segments that take minutes to watch. A common thread is helpful, yet not essential.
Be patient, because engagement may take time if you’re just starting out. Focus on producing videos that fit the interests and/or solve the challenges faced by your target customer. Center your content around ‘relevant’ with an interesting twist.
Make every video unique, but package it or brand it so authorship is easy to recognize at a glance. You want your social followers to recognize your video labeling instantly. You want the “Oh, I have to watch this” response.
And finally, actively seek engagement. Invite retweets. Reply to any comments promptly. Your video starts the engagement. You must follow through to harness the full effect.