Social is becoming a more and more vital. While we hate to sound like a broken record, there’s a reason why your Facebook feed is becoming more and more chock-full of videos. It’s not a fad, and unlike alternative facts in some circles, we’ve got the figures to back up our argument. A 2012 Sizmek study (formerly Media Mind) found that video ads have a click-through rate (aka CTR) 27.4 times higher than your average banner ad. As for rich media ads, they found that the click-through rate was nearly 12 times greater. While we know that these figures are for paid ads, the impact is still clear, and as more companies are looking for SEM specialists focused on paid advertising on social media along with SEO efforts, video has the versatility you need to increase your shares. Panicking about whether this may be too arduous of a task? Nonsense! Creating super shareable content is just as easy it was when we walked you through how to create global video assets for social media.
Now that we’ve demystified the difficulty level, how can we make this into a reality?
Now, before we move on, here’s an important takeaway: Keep in mind that videos becoming viral are often a stroke of luck, unless if you’re Mekanism, which says it can engineer virality (or as it stated in the Harvard Business School Case about its campaign for Lipton Brisk). But the good news is, that even without the ability to control whether a video will become viral or not, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure that the odds can be even more in your favor. Plus, our experience has taught us well that many clients struggle with how they can conceptualize their ideas, but don’t worry, creating super shareable video content is easier than you might think.
First things first, you gotta have a plan
Whenever you’re about to invest in a new initiative or undergo a new project, having all the details down pat is fundamental. That’s why you want to start with all those details. Need help on the strategy front? We’ve got some tools that can do the trick. First, if you know you want a whole slew of shareable videos but want some expert hands on deck, we have video strategy services that you can choose from to give you the guidance you need. If you’re looking just for a handy model to put your plan down on paper, then our Video Production Brief Template is a perfect tool.
Not only do you need to think about what the idea is but also where you want to distribute it. That’s because super shareable content on Facebook is different than it is for Instagram, Twitter, on Snapchat. Every social media platform has strengths for different types of videos than for others (also remember that Snapchat has a 10-second limit on videos ,but if you create a Snapchat story, that’s your perfect way around that). If you’re looking to prioritize which platforms are best, we’ve got two tips:
1) Go where your audience is: If your company’s strength is Facebook, then you’ll want to focus more efforts on making videos that are best suited to get views on Facebook. Same goes for Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram.
2) Choose the platforms that best align with your chosen metrics. Depending on what’s your means of measuring success, that’s another factor you’ll want to consider. Let’s think about the head-to-head analysis of Facebook vs. YouTube we did a while back: YouTube is the traditional mecca for videos, but you may want to evaluate whether publishing native to YouTube or Facebook will better align with your goals. To get the full scoop about which platforms are best, check out the following two articles: one comparing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat and this one about some tips for making your Instagram videos slay.
Now you’ve got your plan, what’s next?
There are some elements your super shareable videos should have to give you the maximum amount of opportunities to make people want to share your videos.
Make what people want to share
While the decline in US worker productivity is solely blamed on Facebook (yes, Forbes published an article that said this was the only reason), when you’re wanting to make shareable videos, the first place you can go for inspiration is your newsfeed. By taking a look at what your friends are sharing most, you’ll be able to create the content that’s going to be worthy of sharing with their friends, whether it be getting it to resonate with their hearts or their minds. Take me as an example. The videos I’ve shared in the past few days are primarily related to getting to people’s conscience: Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer from the most recent episode of SNL, the clip from the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and from The Slay by Mic. Two were meant to make people laugh but all three share the common bond of wanting to make people aware of serious issues.
But they also have something else in common too….
Make videos that make people feel
Each of the videos I shared made me feel something when I watched them. Two of them made me laugh, and one further validated some of my personal values. But which emotions are the top ones in conjunction of shares? According to research from Frac.tl, the top five emotions invoked by viral images are: happiness, surprise, admiration, satisfaction, and hope. This was done by Frac.tl researchers when they asked 400 subjects to tell them how 100 of the most-shared images on Reddit made them feel. If your super shareable video content looks to spark one of those top five, you’re already good to go !
Make it short and sweet: Five minutes (tops)
We’ve long lauded the benefits of videos that are short and sweet because they get to the point. And studies have long mentioned that. A 2008 Tube Mogul study looked into the length of viewership of videos:
As you can see by this graph, the study found that over 90% of people stop watching videos after 5 minutes. That’s why we said that the absolute upper limit of video length is 5 minutes. Any more than that, you won’t have any viewers left!
Tow the thin line between informative and infomercial
Behind every great story that’s told, every storyteller looks to find what the audience should take out of it. That’s the key for shareable videos. On the one hand, you want to make them entertaining enough to grab them but on the other, you want to have enough information so people will get the message and find the video practical. A NYT Insight (yes, from The New York Times) report cited in an article from Entrepreneur found that “94 percent assessed the usefulness of the content to the recipient before sharing.” There’s a reason why Comedy Central wants to replace commercials with branded content. As long as you follow the Content Marketing Institute‘s guidance to “[m]ake sure your brand values are well represented in the content, and give people information they care about,” you should be good to go.
After your videos are made and you’re ready to distribute, how exactly can you get them to be super shareable?
Here are some ways to increase the possibility your videos get discovered:
- Share on pages that aren’t your own: The more places you share the greater chance you’ll get discovered. Sounds easy, right? If you share your videos with a Facebook group that has a large following, it’s a way to increase your reach beyond the number of followers you may have on your company’s individual Facebook account. Same goes for putting videos on websites with lots of people. If you choose this route, make sure that you properly credit the video, so when people are done watching it and keep sharing-the pathway goes straight back to you.
- Call to action: Ever wondered why people always encouraged you to subscribe, rate, or visit a website either at the end of a video or in the description? It’s to encourage even more sharing! If you make it clear using language that encourages collaboration from the part of the audience, then people won’t be abhorred by following through with those calls to action.
- SEO’s your friend: 85% of all web traffic comes from SEO, so you want to make sure your descriptions include the key words that people will search on YouTube and Google. This involves really knowing your audience well. We here at Stark Crew use SEO for our blog posts on the daily because it’s so important to get clients to find us!
- But paid search doesn’t hurt either: A little bit of paid advertising doesn’t hurt because it will give you the push you need. As long as you know your target well enough to not throw money down the drain, you’ll feel comfortable enough investing in advertising. This gives you that extra shot of energy you’ll need to go from shareable to super shareable.
- Mobile optimize it! Mobile video is becoming even more prominent and many of the views you’re going to get on Facebook or YouTube will be from smartphones instead of computers. In fact, YouTube says that more than half of their views are attributed to mobile devices. Make sure your content is optimized for mobile users so the viewing experience is comfortable for everyone.
And, always, make sure that you properly equilibrate the quality vs. quantity ratio. You want to make sure you can maintain the momentum once you have the content to propel you into the super shareable stage.
Remember that we here at Stark Crew are ready to get your videos super shareable.