Video for Social: The Definitive Guide for Marketing Leaders

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A video marketing guide

How do you get more eyes on a traditional research article than ever before? Well, ever thought about turning it into a viral social media video? Because yes, you can! (And should.)

Use videos they said…

If you’ve been scratching your head about how to create more awareness and interest in your brand, product or service you’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot of talk about video. I’m sure you’ve seen the stats. What isn’t talked about as much is using video as a central piece in a strategic content playbook. Because here’s the thing, videos, like blog posts on your website or text posts on social media, should be a frequently used part of your content mix. If you use video in the right way, it won’t be just another cost centre like a lot of your content efforts might feel. Use video in the right way, and you’ll see ROI benefits across all your content, not just video. 

Okay. If I were you, I’d be thinking, “Sure, that sounds exactly like every other company talking about whatever it is they’re selling”. Fair enough. All I can say to that is: Read on. There’s a lot of value to be gained by understanding how to think about the role of video in your content strategy. AND you don’t actually have to buy Storykit to make use of it. Promise.

1. Video isn’t Video, it’s video

Before we go any further, let’s just clear something up. You’d be excused for thinking that video is something only a professional should produce. But, when we say video - we don’t only mean video with a capital V; beautifully produced, big-production film. Or even professionally designed animated sequences. Yes, these things are video. But these days video is a lot more. It’s any content that moves. Whether that’s a screen recording, a recording of yourself talking about something, or just some words put into motion. When it comes to video today, the most relevant distinguishing factor is that it moves. That information is delivered in bite-sized chunks the viewer can take in, without being overwhelmed by the totality of the story. It’s why most people watch series or movies more often than they read books. 

We’re not saying that video with a capital V doesn’t matter - it absolutely matters. And if you have the budget to utilise that kind of video for big brand or commercial moments, you should. What we are saying is that the majority of the video you use should be the other kind of video, video with a little v. Video you can create in-house quickly and easily, and use often.

Let’s dig into why. 

2. Why and how to use video

Give your audience what they want  - more video

Winning in a communication landscape where your audience is being served with content from every conceivable angle means that you need to prioritise giving your audience information in a format that gets their attention and holds it. Remember what we said about bite-sized chunks of information - this is why it’s important. This is especially true when you have a complex or lengthy message that you want to be consumed on-platform or in-feed. 

73% of people would rather watch a short video to learn about a product or service - (Wyzowl). And if that wasn’t reason enough to use a lot more video, don’t forget that variety is the spice of life, so the more formats you have to offer your audience, the less likely they are to tire of your content, so keep your content mix interesting with video. 


Increase your volume, increase your reach
It’s critical to be proactive and reactive across your digital & social functions to stay visible and relevant to audiences. You are operating in the attention economy and your audience is faced with an onslaught of content: so give them a reason to watch. Using video wisely makes your content distinctive, increases audience stickiness and keeps you top of mind. Video is prioritised by all social platform algorithms, so you’re making it easy for audiences new and old to interact, understand and get value from your brand, without a major time investment. And if you fail to post? Your competition will fill the space in your audience’s feed where you could have been.

Video is an extremely easy way to repackage larger content pieces into bite-sized message or audience-focused snippets. You’re producing more hyper-relevant content that’s easier for the audience to resonate with and consume in-feed, and it doesn’t need the initial upfront investment of brand new content. 

Boost CTRs and Content Engagement
Wondering why that web page or blog post isn’t performing well? Maybe you’re just not building enough excitement to get your audience to click on the link. You need to capture attention and incentivise your audience to engage with content trailers. As the name suggests, a content trailer gives your audience a preview of what they can expect to get from your content by highlighting something valuable or interesting to them.

Content trailers could be text, image or video-based. But video is far more effective when gaining and retaining attention – because it stands out in a feed, it’s prioritised by social media algorithms and often needs less effort from the viewer to consume more information.

3. What kind of content should be made into a video?

The short answer? All of it. Everything. Maybe you’ve seen our tagline? Before you throw your hands up in exasperation, let me explain. Video can help you lift anything you need to communicate. That doesn’t mean that every piece of content should be a video. You still need articles and blog posts and podcasts… but when you add video to the mix you won't need as many of these labour-intensive pieces, and you definitely won’t have to work as hard to get them seen. Video is a great way to get attention, keep attention, direct attention or motivate follow-up actions. Video for everything is about creating, repurposing and distributing content in a way that makes your audience want to engage, take in and react.

Keep reading to find out how to leverage video for the best results on a budget that won’t leave your eyes watering.

There are two kinds of content…

And they need very different approaches when it comes to video. Knowing how and when to change your tactics is going to give your marketing ROI a massive boost. But first, let’s look at what these two groups are.

Big-impact content 

This is the kind of cornerstone or brand building content that gets produced infrequently and has a longer lifespan. It’s used for major brand and product moments but also for establishing the brand Point of View (POV) and positioning towards the market. It can be both informative or emotional in nature. This kind of content typically requires a substantial investment of resources, as well as input from marketing, PR, leadership and sometimes even consulting specialists or agencies. 

Examples of big-impact content
  • Ebooks or guides that clarify the company POV
  • Big-budget brand or product videos for tv and digital ads
  • Strategic partnership or merger campaigns

Bread-and-butter content

This is the day-in-day-out content and posts that keep you top of mind with your audience. It’s the recurring content formats you can plan ahead to drive awareness, generate demand and acquire and retain customers. If you work smart, you can use footage and imagery from big brand campaigns or repurpose takeaways from an ebook or thought leadership article to get the most out of what you produce. Ideally, each piece of content should form part of a connected set of touch points that help your target audience towards an end goal. Unlike big-impact content, the collective value of these touch points is greater than the sum of the parts. So make sure you have a good strategy in place and you’ll find that a little can go a long way.

Examples of bread-and-butter content
  • Brand awareness, demand gen or product positioning campaigns
  • Summaries or highlights of other content for in-feed engagement
  • Content trailers that drive CTR & engagement
  • Promotional or lead-gen content


Re-Cap

The communication landscape

  • Out of sight - out of mind. Don’t lose out to the competition. Make sure your brand is top of mind by posting high-value content often.
  • Work smarter, not harder:  It’s hard to keep up with the pace and volume needed to stay visible. Video is great for creating net-new content but also for repurposing other content as video. 
  • Most people prefer watching video (73%) - so make video a central part of your content mix.
  • Companies that want to win in the attention economy will have to leverage the value of video or risk losing out to the competition..

About video

  • Video of any kind is a highly effective way to get attention, keep attention and incentivise action.
  • Video is for big brand moments AND for the everyday content you use across your channels.
  • Video should be used as part of the bread-and-butter of content that engages your audience and moves them through the customer journey, not just for major campaigns.

4. How do you produce all this video content?

Video production is not what it was. It’s better. 

Typically, when people think of video they think of the more expensive video production that is associated with big impact content. What a few companies are starting to leverage in a very valuable way is high pace, high volume video content that gets produced and used frequently, to get attention and engage their audiences across various digital channels. In the past, bread-and-butter content was largely static text and images, because video production just wasn’t suitable from a budget or agility perspective. But in the last few years, the rise of video tools for ‘laymen’ has made it possible to work with video in a far more strategic way. A major reason these companies are seeing success is because of the ease and speed with which videos can be created and adjusted. If the video messaging or creative isn’t working they simply test something else to find what works. Something that just isn’t possible using traditional professional video production.

Using video professionals vs using video tools 

The key to setting yourself up for success is choosing the right video production method. Does it make more sense to use in-house or contracted professionals, or should you use video tools that don’t require specialised skills? The right answer here is: choose both. 

How do you know which video production method to use? 

Based on years of editorial, agency and publishing experience, we’ve boiled it down to the following:
High-impact video content usually needs agency or specialist support, the rest of your video content doesn’t. 

Different ways to produce video content

In-house specialists or agencies - best suited to high-impact videos
Pros:

- Bespoke concepts and project management for every video
- Customer brand and creative choices for videos
- Create custom animations and footage needed for major brand campaigns

Cons:

- High cost and time investment
- Slow production process/bottlenecks

Video creation tools - best suited to all other video content
Pros (all tools):

- No previous experience necessary to produce videos

- Lower cost & time investment per video

- Potential for more output

Pros (some tools):

- Allow for customising branding & creative choices

- An all-in-one place for video production (asset libraries, animations, styling, music, and composition)

- Transparent & collaborative workflow for teams 

- Easy localisation and adaptations for different channels

- Centrally managed brand and creative controls

Cons:

- User cannot create custom animations in-tool or perform advanced film editing effects

By using a video creation tool you’ll effectively decentralise the creation process and empower every team to produce content by themselves - which means more output, so you’ll take up more space on feeds while retaining control of your brand (and budget)! You’ll be able to fill your content calendar, internal channels and office display screens without needing a major extra investment. 


While taking video production in-house makes your production process a lot cheaper and faster, make sure you have guidelines in place for your teams, to ensure you secure the brand look and feel. Some video tools have built-in brand controls for this purpose.

Why are we so sure your bread and butter shouldn’t be produced by an agency?

1. It’s high volume and high pace
Your brand needs a level of output that simply cannot be economically sustained or justified when using agency or in-house specialists. There is a marginal economy of scale when it comes to video production. And it’s so marginal it may as well not exist. 


2. You should nail your message over your production
For message-driven bread-and-butter content, fancy production doesn’t ensure engagement, virality or retention. Maybe even the opposite. Because your message is doing the heavy lifting, if you get that right, you’re 90% there. Of course, the visuals help, but it’s crucial to ensure that you’re spending time and money wisely, relative to the return you can expect from a video. 


5. Finding the right video creation tool for your organisation

If you’ve decided that you want to take your content strategy to the next level with a video creation tool here are the 4 most important things to consider.

1. Quality - Video appearance and storytelling  

This is what you’re paying for when it comes to using an agency or in-house specialist. But if you need to produce more video than using a specialist allows for then you need to find a solution that supports your quality requirements. Providing guidance on composition and video script best practices is essential to ensure that you get good results from your video content. On the more makeshift end of the spectrum, you could have a creative playbook or guidelines set up for all contributors to follow. Then there are video tools that provide a broad range of templates that have been put together by professional designers. The drawback here is that if you need flexibility for the kinds of videos you’re creating or want branded video content you will be limited by the constraints of the templates. Some video tools, like Storykit, have the option to build brand guidelines and design and script best practices into the workflow, as an alternative to templates, which allows contributors to create the video script, while the tool ensures that the video output looks good and is on brand. 

2. Control - Brand Customisation & Creative 

Brand recognition is a central part of content packaging, and that’s no different when it comes to video. Your content needs to be branded exactly as much (or little) as is necessary for it to be recognisable to your audience. Make sure you spend some time figuring out what your brand looks like in video - combining colours in the right way, choosing the font size(s), and making sure your logo is visible. You should also consider the essence of the brand when it comes to how images, colours, graphic elements and animations are combined. Even copy plays a role in how your brand is perceived (yes videos need text! - x amount of videos are consumed without sound). Again, different tools have different levels of control and customisation, so consider your needs and make sure to ask about the possibilities offered by the tools you’re evaluating. 

3. Productivity - Production pace and output volume

You’ll want to be on the lookout for possibilities or features that will automate or remove certain tasks, minimise creative decision-making that slows processes, and offers workflows that help minimise content redundancies, as well as ways to support collaboration and finding, editing and updating or repurposing existing content. If you’re serving multiple markets, audiences or product lines, localisation hacks for quickly adapting videos should also be on your radar. 

6. Putting it into practice

You don’t have to use Storykit to implement or benefit from what you’ve just read. But we’d be lying if we didn’t say that Storykit makes these things easier. Easier for your employees, who can quickly and confidently produce the everyday video content they need. And easier for you to ensure that your teams’ video production pace, volume and quality keep you top of mind with your audiences, and deliver a much healthier return on investment.

Here are the top reasons large companies use Storykit for in-house video production

  1. Intuitive enough for anyone to create professional-looking videos

Storykit is designed to simplify the tricky parts of editing and animating videos so your teams can focus on what’s most important - the message. When more people can produce content you minimise bottlenecks and increase output.

  1. Agile enough to keep up with the demands of all your channels 

This isn’t just a traditional production process with a better price tag. This is video creation designed for fast-paced news feeds, trending topics and always-on consumption. With Storykit you know that repetitive and time-consuming tasks are minimised or automated with functionality that’s designed for modern content creation needs.

  1.  Smart enough to craft engaging video content from any text

Not all videos are created equal, especially when we’re talking about video novices. Use Storykit to maximise the impact of your videos with features that build in video-design best practices that help your teams create content your audiences will love.

  1. Adaptable enough to secure your brand without sacrificing quality

With Storykit you’ll be able to take the uncertainty out of interpreting brand guidelines and choosing the right creative so you can be confident the result is brand-safe every time, no matter who created the video.

  1. Service-oriented enough to ensure you and your teams succeed

You can rely on your service team and online resources to know what you want to achieve, understand your challenges and help you make Storykit work for your organisation. Whether it’s bespoke template creation, or video production tactics, or a good ol’ content brainstorm.

 

And here are the results they stick around for 

Brace yourself for some serious superlative use…

  1. Massive savings in content costs like Dun & Bradstreet


  1. Huge increases in production volume like Länsförsäkringar


  2. Major improvements in content performance and audience engagement like Almi

What will your next steps be?

Getting started with in-house video production doesn’t have to be a major commitment, start small and see where you land. Just remember that consistency is key, as with all other social media content! If you’re not ready to get started just yet, check out our blog or podcast to learn about video strategy, production tactics and video for social media best practices.

Give us a few minutes and we’ll show you just how easy life can be when you Storykit it.

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