5 Strategies for Using Social Media Video Marketing to Drive Sales

5 Strategies for Using Social Media Video Marketing to Drive Sales

Creating videos for my own brand wasn’t something I actually wanted to do – it was something that I had to do. I didn’t wake up and decide that I suddenly wanted to be seen by people all around the world. In fact, that was my worst nightmare, and a nightmare that I share with many businesses and marketers diving into this space. But we can’t ignore the fact, which is video marketing is driving sales and engagement like never before.

Video is not the future of social media – it’s the present

All the major social media networks are now prioritizing video, and some are rewarding users and advertisers who use it by providing increased reach. Video can’t be ignored, especially when they’re being auto-played in your newsfeed, including Facebook and Instagram.

Here are some video features that the networks are currently offering:

  • Facebook: Autoplay within the newsfeed, with call-to-action buttons
  • Instagram: Micro-video, allowing up to 60-seconds of video
  • Twitter: 30-second video tweets
  • Pinterest: Pinnable YouTube and Vimeo videos

Users have seen a major push with Facebook video since the removal of large preview YouTube videos, which were replaced with direct upload videos from Facebook. Facebook is looking to become the new source of video content. If you have a Roku like me, you’ll have probably noticed the Facebook video app, allowing you to watch Facebook videos just as you would television, one after the next. Although Facebook has seen a major increase in video views as recent, YouTube still provides more reliable, long-term growth for many brands utilizing video for their marketing, according to Visible Measures. Looking for more ways to be seen online, learn 5 more ways!

Video-Centric Social Networks

The success in video marketing can be told in the uprise of new social networks, where the primary content is video. Video networks include:

  • YouTube – currently the top video-only platform
  • Vimeo – higher quality video hosting
  • Periscope – owned by Twitter
  • Meerkat – main competitor of Periscope
  • SnapChat – both images and video
  • Vine – you’d better be quick, because you only have six seconds

5 Strategies for Using Video in Your Social Media

Now that we have a bit of a background on video in social media, it’s now time to think about how we can use it to better our engagement and drive sales. There are a lot of brands using video well, but many others still trying to get their footing. Here are my five strategies for using video in your social media:

1. Consider Length

It’s estimated that you have between 3-5 seconds of a user’s attention before they swiftly move on to the next item in their newsfeed. Are the first few seconds of your video going to grab their attention, and will your video keep their attention when they do? Consider the length of your video based on the network. With some networks, you are restricted no matter what (Twitter is 30-seconds, Vine is 6-seconds, and Instagram is 15-seconds). Ideally, I recommend Facebook and YouTube videos to be less than 5 minutes long. Periscope and Meerkat videos need to be slightly longer to allow users to find and tune-in to your broadcast.

Tip: You can view audience retention metrics on Facebook by viewing your video insights (click on the video title in the post list in your insights dashboard)

Facebook Video Audience Retention via @AftonNegrea

2. Let Images Be Your Voice

There’s no disputing that video serves visual products best, for example, fashion, interiors, real estate, and even vacation bookings. In many cases, videos will play in-stream without audio. It’s only when the user clicks that they’re able to hear what you have to say. How will this impact your video content? Many users are considering the use of captions or visual cues to get the user to click for audio. Hotels.com even makes light of the lack of audio in a very clever Facebook video. Be mindful of the lack of audio and adjust your content accordingly.

3. Give a Sneak Peak

Video opens up a whole new world of new ways to drive traffic to your website, potentially boosting sales for your business. Previously, I discussed where to to send your social traffic to benefit your business, and video is no different. By providing only a sneak peak of your product or service, you’re opening the door to click-throughs to your website, which can lead to all sorts of possibilities. Upon landing, the user could be presented with an opt-in, or you can even use the traffic for ad retargeting. Don’t give it all away right off the bat.

4. Get on the Trend Wave

Videos are moving faster and faster, and users are often tuning into on-demand broadcasts, like Periscope and Meerkat. If you really want to grab the attention of users, consider monitoring trends on Google, Facebook and Twitter, tailoring your content to fit. You may see higher engagement and reach because of it.

5. Embed/Upload Your Videos

You know that you can upload videos to YouTube, and you probably know that you can upload videos to Facebook, too. But did you know that you can embed Facebook videos on your blog? Or even upload Periscope videos to your blog, Facebook, or even Twitter? Think about cross-pollinating and recycling video content across all channels. But remember, always be sure to include a valuable call-to-action, driving traffic back to your website to drive leads and sales. (See an example below of my Periscope review!). Learn where else to send your social traffic to benefit your business!

One final note, with the new video networks came a whole new format of video – vertical video. I’m not going to lie, I’m finding this format a bit challenging, but let’s embrace it together! Networks like Periscope and Meerkat are specifically made for vertical video, as comments are shown in-stream in this way when broadcasting. Periscope allows users to save their video to their photo/video roll, which is a feature I love. The only problem is – when you upload it to your website or Facebook page, it may look a bit odd. If you’re recycling your video and cross-pollinating your networks, consider how the content will be displayed. You may need to adjust your strategy to suit.

App Pick of the Week

Periscope is one of the fastest growing video networks, focusing on real-time live-streaming video, which quickly disappears from your feed within 24 hours. When broadcasting, you have the potential to reach both mobile users and users via desktop.

Watch my quick overview of Periscope:


  • I’m a huge fan of video… works very well for me in short form. I’ve been told to get on Periscope… but haven’t done it yet… I’m going to give it a try one day in the near future though.

    • I can’t wait to see your Periscope videos, Brandon! You’ll definitely rock them!