So we’ve all heard that people now have the attention span of a goldfish and it’s hard to gain attention. There’s so much going on online that many times your message gets lost in the noise.
Fortunately, there’s still a way to stand out.
And that way is through video.
Not just any video, mind you – but video of you, talking, relating, and getting to know your audience.
It may seem scary to get in front of a camera, but it’s unavoidable if you want visibility online. Here are several different platforms you can use, and how to choose what’s best for your business.
1 – 30 Minute Videos
You can create any length of video you want, but research shows that there are two “sweet spots” in length: up to 2 minutes, and 6 to 12 minutes.
For videos two minutes or more, you’ll need a standard video platform (micro videos are shorter, I’ll talk about those in a minute.)
Option 1: YouTube
YouTube, owned and therefore beloved by Google, is a great place to put a video that you want to have appear in search results. It’s also an incredibly active platform and serves as the second-largest search engine after Google.
- Key Demographic: In an average month, 80% of 18 – 49-year-olds watch YouTube.
- Best Ways to Use YouTube for Business:
- Create a channel that matches your branding.
- Use keywords to target your audience (search is a big deal).
- Be consistent in creating valuable, interesting content.
- Don’t forget calls to action – tell folks what you want them to do!
- Promote your videos on multiple platforms.
- Respond to feedback to keep interaction strong.
Option 2: Periscope
While Periscope seems forgotten in favor Facebook Live (more on that one in a second), it’s still alive and kicking. Based on Twitter, it takes advantage of more professional relationships rather than just friends and family.
- Key Demographic: 75% of users are between the ages 16 – 34. You can use hashtags to attract audiences with specific interests.
- Best Ways to Use Periscope for Business
- If your customers are active on Twitter, Periscope is a great way to build visibility by sharing that you are live.
- Use your scope to add real value, not just ride hype.
- Choose the best time – research to find out when your audience is most likely to be on Twitter to watch your broadcast.
- Keep it under 10 minutes, as viewers tend to drop off after that.
- Use hashtags to extend your visibility and reach.
Option 3: Facebook Live
Facebook Live takes advantage of both the massive popularity of live stream video and Facebook’s huge user base. The lack of ability to target your video to a specific audience is a major drawback of this platform. While it may seem “obvious” that Live is better than Periscope, it actually depends on where your paying audience spends time. Also, you’ll have less competition on Periscope than on Facebook live.
- Key Demographic: This one is tricky – you’ll only be seen by folks who are friends and followers on Facebook. You can go live in specific Facebook groups if it’s allowed by the moderators.
- Best Ways to Use Facebook Live for Business:
- To get more viewers, you can try to attract more followers, and you can share your video post-broadcast with a larger group.
- Use keywords in your title to attract folks who are browsing in the Facebook Live tab and aren’t yet your followers.
- Announce your upcoming live stream in advance, so followers who are interested can plan to attend.
- Be consistent in broadcasting. The more consistent you are, the more of an audience you’ll build.
- Be focused. Have a topic ready that you want to discuss, don’t just talk aimlessly.
- Communicate with viewers and respond to comments live to encourage interaction.
- Use Facebook Live in a group or on your page, wherever you have more followers.
Micro Videos – Up to 1 Minute
Micro videos are very short, up to one minute. There are two primary platforms where these can be useful – Snapchat and Instagram.
Option 1: Snapchat
Snapchat videos can be up to a whopping 10 seconds long. That doesn’t seem long enough to say much of value, but you’d be surprised. You can use both video and pictures to build buzz, share tips, and more.
- Key Demographic. Very young. 60% of Snapchat users are 13 – 24, and only 14% are 35+. There are more females than males. This is a great way to reach younger customers.
- Best Ways to Use Snapchat for Business:
- Show your customers a shot or video of what goes on behind the scenes at your business.
- Share discount codes or special announcements specifically for your Snapchat followers.
- Feature your followers.
- Demo your product or share a key feature of your services.
- Work with an influencer who has a similar base to cross-promote.
- Address relevant issues in an authentic way that resonates with those under 25.
- Use Snapchats short snap lifespan to promote limited time only events.
Option 2: Instagram
Instagram is a great place to build relationships – don’t expect to gain traction if you just want to talk about and promote yourself. Instagram’s video feature allows you to post videos up to 60 seconds in length. There are tons of ways to capitalize on this popular platform’s video sharing.
- Key Demographic: Young and international. 80% of Instagrammers are from outside the US, and 90% of users are under age 35.
- Best Ways to Use Instagram for Business:
- Hashtags! Use five to ten hashtags per post, and put them in the first comment rather than on the post itself to avoid detracting from the image.
- Show what you do in a creative way. Instagram is an incredibly image-focused platform.
- Use Instagram Stories, which combine images and video and are live for 24 hours.
- Show behind-the-scenes shots, similar to Snapchat
- Collaborate and @mention others. Instagram is about relationships more than demos and selling.
- Build anticipation for an announcement or launch by giving small tidbits of info at a time.
Of course, all of this assumes you focus on basic marketing best practices: focus on your audience, not yourself; focus on the benefits and outcomes you create for others before mentioning a specific product or service, and honestly care about what others are sharing and doing as well!
How do you use video to create visibility online? Share in the comments!