It’s no secret that video is king of social media marketing these days. 72 per cent of consumers prefer learning about a product or service through video, and message retention is as high as 95 per cent. In fact, 93 percent of businesses gain new customers as a result of social media video ads.
But it’s one thing to know that video marketing is important and it’s another thing to execute it successfully. In recent times, we’ve seen a number of traditional retailers close their physical stores and enter receivership or voluntary administration, largely due to growing online competition. Many of these companies tried to establish an online presence, including using social media video ads, but failed. So what were they doing wrong?
Clearly social media marketing is not as easy as it looks. And video content can be hard to get right—but it also has the biggest impact. So how do you create awesome video content that wins you new leads every time? And if your video ads aren’t working, is it simply because they can be optimised better or is there a chance that they might, well…suck?
We’ve seen lots of companies make the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to social media video ads. To help you identify where exactly your video content needs improvement, we’ve brought together the top four in this article.
1. Too long
The reality is that you have a very short window in which to grab your audience’s attention and keep it. In our saturated mediascape, you’re competing against countless other businesses. On Instagram alone, 100 million images and videos are uploaded daily, while 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
In other words, your video ad has to stand out from the crowd and it has to do it straight away - ideally in the first 3 seconds. If you take too long, you’ll be losing viewers faster than you can count. But once you have your audience’s attention, you still have to work to keep it. At 500, we recommend getting your message across in the first 15 seconds for the best chance of success.
As for total video length, the platform dictates the maximum time you’re likely to keep your audience’s attention. Based on video engagement research, HubSpot suggests that the best video length by social media platform is 30 seconds for Instagram, 45 seconds for Twitter, one minute for Facebook and two minutes for YouTube.
2. Too complicated
Another mistake we often see is trying to cram too much into your video and losing the main message. Your video ads should be an engaging gateway for customers to explore your offers and brand further, not your entire business in 15 seconds!
Before creating your video, identify your target audience and the single-minded proposition that you want to communicate with them. We also recommend having a clear call-to-action at the end. With these in place, you’re less likely to complicate your video with too many messages or ideas.
3. Too pushy
If your video’s main message is buy, buy, buy then you’ve missed the point of social media video marketing. This isn’t an old-school TV ad that people have no choice but to sit through to watch their program. If you don’t add value to your audience, then they’re going to skip, keep scrolling or simply leave the platform.
Instead of blatantly pushing your audience to convert, your video ad needs to engage them with a story. And what does every story have? A beginning, middle and end. In the marketing world, we can portray this as a problem, solution and benefit, and if you can get it right, you’ll have cracked the video ad code.
4. Too poorly optimised
You can have a great video, but if you’re not marketing it in the right way, to the right audience, at the right time and on the right platform, then it’s worth nothing. Optimisation is key to successful social media ads. Here are the main areas to get right so as to maximise your impact:
- Specs - is the video the right format, size, length and aspect ratio for the platform?
- SEO - it’s not just for words. How you host or embed your video plays a big role here, so make sure you do your research early on.
- Captions - 83 per cent of people watch videos without the sound on. That number climbs to 92 per cent on mobile. Enough said.
- Platform guidelines - there’s no point wasting time going back and forth trying to get approval through Facebook ads, when you could just follow their advertising policy to begin with.
So there you have it: the four most common mistakes we see businesses make in social media video marketing—too long, too complicated, too pushy and too poorly optimised.
If you’ve been making one or more of these mistakes, it doesn’t mean there’s no hope for your videos. We want you to experience the results our clients achieve every day here at 500HQ, so we’re giving away our free video training that will take you from disappointing videos to excellent in only a few moves.
500 Digital Media is a Melbourne-based production studio with a national focus. Fluent in every stage of production – from concept and creation to social media strategy – we provide a full-scale and integrated end-to-end service delivered by our team of in-house experts.