In 2019, at least 80% of time spent online will involve either watching or sharing a video. Eighty percent. Put another way, eight out of every ten people you see on the subway, in the gym, or waiting for a table at a restaurant on their phones could be in the midst of consuming video content.
That isn’t exposure you want to miss out on.
According to Forbes, 90% of people claim video can help them make a buying decision. Often, seeing products in action on a website can help convince a person to make that conversion and become a customer.
Of course, exposure isn’t that simple, and we encourage you to take a look at the bigger picture when it comes to online video. Five hundred million people watch videos on Facebook every day.
In fact, the social media giant is becoming a hub for native content that outpaces even YouTube.
Let’s face facts – unless you’re Amazon, your website likely isn’t getting that kind of exposure.
Let’s think about why, for a moment; as stated right here in one of our infographics, Facebook remains the largest social media network on the planet, with just over 2 billion users.
Obviously, those users are going to consume a large share of video content – but it’s more than sheer numbers.
Why Social Media Video Is So Effective
If you’re scrolling through Facebook on a mobile device, like most users are these days, any native video you come across begins playing the moment it enters your screen and continues until the moment it exits a few seconds later. That means, there’s motion on your screen – whatever the content is has a little time to catch your eye before you’re on to the next thing.
If it does a good enough job of catching your eye, you’ll pause and watch some – or all – of the video. If it’s an ad, the hope is you’ll stick around long enough to view the message, the branding, and maybe even click through to the company’s Facebook page. For argument’s sake, let’s say the ad is for a product you feel you could use, so you click through.
Once you’re there, you can see what the business has to offer. They can expose you to the full sales pitch, link you to their homepage, even offer you a way to purchase on Facebook if you want – and they got you there by using video.
You knew all that before, though – it’s why you’re here, trying to determine how you can get others to do your social media video sharing for you. So let’s rewind a bit, back to the moment where the video you were scrolling past caught your eye.
It’s an ad again, but this time, what catches your eye is the video on its own merits, rather than the product it’s selling. You continue watching because whatever it is resonates with you somehow – maybe it’s funny, or touching, or thought-provoking. Maybe it’s just interesting. The point is, you’re into the video before you even see the product or service it’s trying to sell you.
So into it, in fact, you want friends to see it and laugh, cry, or think deep thoughts just like you did. You tag a few friends on the video thread itself, and they go watch the video; maybe a few friends notice the activity in their news feed and watch it too.
Or (better yet, if you’re the business who sponsored it) you share it on your Facebook page or to a group and all 1,374 of your friends have a chance to see it and discuss.
The business, obviously, hopes this activity continues, bringing more exposure for their product or service, more click-throughs to their social media page or website, and more customer conversions from an ad they only had to pay Facebook once to promote – all your shares, likes, and tags were free, in a sense.
Got It. Now, How Do I Do It?
We’ve established that video content on Facebook (we’ll save Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube for another day) gets a lot of exposure. With autoplay, even the most boring videos garner at least a few milliseconds worth of a view, but how do you get people to watch your video long enough to get to your brand, your sales pitch, or your call to action? One word:
Facebook has become a news source for many people, but primarily, its roots are in entertainment. When people scroll down their news feeds, they’re more likely to stop on content that interests them. Since most users access Facebook for entertainment purposes, video that’s intriguing in and of itself is more likely to be watched to completion and shared with others.
Users who like a product may still share a video of a product they like – but only if the product is some new, fascinating innovation they feel friends should take a look at.
If your company sells soap, for example, there’s not a lot of room for soap innovations that shock and wow the public, so you’re better off producing a video that’s interesting on its own merits.
Dr. Squatch, a soap company based in San Diego, did just that. Company founder Jack Haldrup had found an unconventional target market for his naturally made soaps – Midwestern men who wanted to use a natural soap that wouldn’t irritate their skin; unusual, in this case, because that’s the demographic that tends to think natural products are for hippies (to paraphrase Haldrup’s own words).
However, Haldrup knew that this demographic could mean a dramatic boost in sales if only he could draw them in. The problem was that he doubted most were the type to enter “natural men’s soap” into a search bar.
Facebook ads. Specifically, a hilarious Facebook ad that’s been viewed over 12 million times and grew his subscriptions by over 60%, primarily from users running across the ad, having a chuckle, and passing it along to their friends.
Consider companies such as Squatty Potty, with its rainbow-pooping unicorn or Dollar Shave Club, drawing its male base in with a few, well-timed drops of the f-bomb. Those videos were shared far and wide because they made people laugh – they provided entertainment.
So, What about My Company?
Perhaps your company’s brand doesn’t mesh well with humor – crude or otherwise. Consider producing a video that tugs at the heartstrings or features an adorable child saying something precocious you know every mom can relate to – a video worth watching, and sharing, in its own right.
These are the types of video ads you can count on your customer base to share among themselves.
Keep in mind that many users elect to turn off the autoplay feature, so make sure your video graphics are appealing without sound – and entice the user to tap that volume button. And while we’ve been harping on about entertaining videos, make sure you include a clear, visual, call to action so all your new viewers can click through to see what you’re all about.
Make 2019 the year your video ad is the one everyone’s talking about, and sharing with their friends – just remember to make your video worth the watch in its own right, and get your customers to do a little of your social media marketing legwork for you.
by Stephen Moyers