Social video is everywhere. Every time you check Facebook, it turns out one of your friends has been “Live.” When you need to put together furniture you “YouTube“ it. When you’re out on a Saturday night, you post videos on Snapchat.
But social video is much more than putting together Ikea furniture or watching how your friends spent their Saturday night.
Facebook and Snapchat each have over 8 billion daily video views and YouTube has over 1 billion users watching videos every day.
According to Media Kix, “Traffic from online videos will constitute over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020 (Cisco) and eMarketer estimates that U.S. spending on both mobile and desktop video advertising will reach nearly $10 billion in 2016, more than a 23% increase than last year. By 2019, the total U.S. digital video advertising spend is projected to eclipse $14 billion—nearly 50% of that figure ($6.86 billion) is attributed to mobile video.”
What should your business be doing in order to keep up?
1. Pick Your Channels: Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram all have video features. For live video you’ve got Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Periscope and Snapchat. What channels should you focus on? According to Nick Cicero, Founder and CEO of Delmondo, a social video analytics company and creative studio, “You need to ask yourself, what is the least amount of content that will reach the biggest audience? What channel does your audience use the most?’ If you’ve got a large Twitter following, Periscope might be a good idea. If Facebook is your main focus, Facebook Live is probably your best bet. There will be more platforms added every year and you can’t be in all places.”
2. Create Content That Works. Funny vids that are shareable are always great. “How-To” videos are the most popular search on YouTube and are a nice way to connect with your audience. Nick Cicero says that, “Episodic content works especially well. It really is a great way to show the personality of a brand. Try to create a series that is fun and shareable.” Whatever you choose you need to integrate your brand personality into all of your videos and tell a consistent story.
3. Break Down The Walls Between You And Your Customer. Don’t hide behind your logo! A great way to do this is to simply ask your audience what kind of content they want to see. Shanda Maloney, former Social Media Director at UFC, says, “We asked our fans what they wanted to see and were very surprised by their answers. I expected to hear from creepy guys who wanted to see the ring girls getting dressed but instead, our audience wanted to get a peek inside the life of a fighter. How did they cut weight? What kind of meals did they eat after their weigh in? We created a cooking show based on this idea that has been extremely popular.”
4. Be Consistent: This is true whether you’ve using live or recorded video. If you broadcast a live feed of your restaurant every Friday at noon, then you need to keep up the schedule so your viewers know when to expect it. Think of it like a TV show. HBO doesn’t air Game Of Thrones on Sunday night one week, take two weeks off, and then air it on Thursday morning. Why would you?
5. Don’t Be Scared Of Live Video. Nick Cicero states that, “People have this attitude that everyone out there is a troll and are scared to put themselves out there. Don’t be. Live video is an excellent way to engage your customers. Use it.” You don’t need a huge marketing budget; you can shoot live video on your phone. Don’t except to have a massive following right out of the gate. Experiment, engage with your viewers, and have fun!
Live video is on every “trend” list for 2017, including mine, and will dominate 2017. One of the other trends that you’ll see in 2017 is that influencers will have an increased role in helping brands get reach. Finally, more companies will be turning to studios to help them create professional quality content. Remember that everyone now has the ability to broadcast but the difference is the quality of the content. Anyone can have a public access TV show, but it’ll never be as good as something on HBO. Don’t be public access; you’re better than that.
This article originally appeared in Forbes on December 23, 2016