Does your marketing strategy include video content? If it does (and it should), are you using it correctly on social media?
The best video format to use on social media is vertical videos or shorts. They are becoming increasingly important as a way to garner a following for your brand. So, how you can take advantage of the highest discovery rates across social media?
What happened to landscape video?
Social media platforms and their audiences have created a demand for short-form portrait videos.
Platforms like Instagram and TikTok (which are exclusively vertical video) are in a large part, funded by advertising. They rely on a constant stream of content to hold a user’s attention so that they can place adverts next to or in between the videos. Nearly all content these platforms use is generated by users.
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Users are encouraged to cross the line from audience member to content creator all the time. Once they have, platforms like TikTok motivate (and reward) creators to produce more video content. One of the ways they do this is to randomly boost a video by putting it in front of more people than would usually see it. For the average user, posting a few videos may get ten to a hundred views, boosted posts can lead to thousands of views.
Many video content creators chase the dopamine hit that comes from that success and it is usually enough for the average person to continue to post the occasional video in the hope that another one will have the same success. This means that your content is going to be pushed out past your existing audience, and more people are likely to see your brand.
So, nothing has happened to landscape video, there is still a time and place for them, but social media is perhaps not that place.
Are TikTok and Instagram right for my firm?
If you think TikTok is all about dances and silly content, you are wrong. We have noticed a surge in popularity with some professional services firms catching on to the trend. It will be interesting to see whether the trend really does take off mainstream.
Instagram has been fighting a losing battle against TikTok over the past year, but they have fought back with the introduction of Instagram Reels. Copying formats is a tried-and-true tactic for Instagram. They introduced and rapidly developed the Stories function in an attempt to defeat competitor Snapchat – a move that’s widely regarded as successful.
Entertaining and informing clients in a short space of time is key. We consume a deluge of information and content every day. The human attention span is around 9 seconds!
So, whilst you may still not be entirely convinced to spend your marketing budget filming for TikTok and Instagram and getting followers, some law experts and accountants are definitely using vertical video effectively.
Here is a great example of a lawyer on TikTok:
@thelegalqueen Am I legally married in the UK? #solicitorsoftiktok #familylaw #divorcecoach #divorce #familylawfirm #uksolicitor #familylawmediation ♬ Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran
Public safety warning: You may not get the results you are expecting if you look for accountants on TikTok…
It can fit into your existing social media strategy
Video doesn’t have to be a separate effort from your existing social media strategy.
The popularity of vertical video is in part thanks to the ubiquitousness of mobile phones. The majority of social media traffic is from mobile. Vertical is the easiest format to watch and so platforms accommodate it. You can post one video to Tiktok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts as well as traditionally non-video platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
It might seem daunting, but like everything else, preparation is key – if you can batch record your videos, you’ll have a better time adding them to your schedule. Pre-recording a large amount of video also leaves you room to jump on a trend or react to an event in real time.
Is it better to link or re-upload?
Depending on your overall social media goals, where you post your vertical video and how you post it will change how it affects your outcomes.
Interested in simply getting your brand in front of as many people as possible? You should upload the video to every platform. You’ll need to customise the post to best suit its surroundings. For example, when posting a video to Instagram Reels you will want to put as many relevant hashtags as you can in the post description.
If you have one particular social media account where you’re trying to build an audience or if engagement numbers are important to you, then you should post the video to one or your most important platform, and link to it when you share it with others.
What if I’m camera-shy?
It’s OK if you aren’t comfortable in front of a camera – you can still make video content of value for your audience. There are lots of examples of ‘faceless’ videos that still demonstrate the personality behind the brand, including the Reel that I made for Consortium (which you can watch below!)
The idea is to feature your people, your firm, your expertise, and your services. How can you do that without getting in front of the camera?
Video ideas that keep you behind the lens:
- Show the process
Record between 3-10 seconds of the things you do on an average day and a voice-over to narrate to show us what a day in your life is like. The key is to be enthusiastic! Demonstrate why you like what you do and your expertise that clients will find of value.
- Review something
Is there an online product you use as part of your service? Will showing it to your clients give them a better understanding of your services or your processes? Maybe your office has just undergone a bit of a makeover. Show us what it is and tell us how it impacts you (or your clients).
- Offer a useful tip
What are some small things that your clients always struggle with? The footage you record for this could be you dealing with the problem. If you want to try something a bit more advanced, make a screen recording. Just make sure what you’re recording is relevant (e.g., HMRC webpage for Tax advisors)!
- Make use of B-roll
B-roll is a film production term that describes the “alternate” footage. If you’ve watched a video interview, then you know B-roll as the footage that doesn’t show the subject being interviewed. For our purposes, B-roll is a shot of your place of work or a recording of your desk.
- Find someone else willing to be on camera!
It sounds like cheating but usually, most offices have people who are willing to be in front of the camera. You just have to find them!
How can we help you?
Incorporating video into your social media strategy can be a little bit scary. Particularly if you and your team aren’t used to being in front of a camera. But it doesn’t have to be! We are here to help. We can help you integrate video into your existing marketing strategy or help you to build a video marketing strategy from the ground up, based on your end goals.
If you’ve got ideas for video content that you want to try, or you just need some more information on where to start, you can give us a call on 01903 530787 or email Lara.