If you’re ready to boost your social media, consider making videos.

No matter what digital media platform you or your clients are on, chances are you’ll notice there’s more video than ever before. As a former television anchor and reporter, I learned firsthand how valuable videos are to promote your brand, especially if they incorporate strategic storytelling.

While cell phones make it easy to shoot your own videos, that doesn’t mean your creations will automatically get results. Before you start filming, make sure you have a PR plan, just like you would for any other element in your campaigns. For example, what outcome are you trying to achieve with this video? What is its purpose (i.e., used as B-roll in a media kit or to spice up your social media, website, etc.)? What’s your timeframe and budget?

And, most important, who is your audience and what do you want them to think, feel or do after watching the video?

Deliver your story on a silver platter

Every audience—customers, journalists, prospects, influencers—watch a video to have the story painted in front of them. There’s just no brain space for extra!

That’s why it’s important to do your research so you thoroughly understand your audience and their needs. What are their challenges or pain points? What solutions are they most likely to respond to? Are they millennials or Gen Z, who appreciate flashy graphics? Or a more reserved audience who prefer a low-key style? This research will help you craft a compelling story.

Video more engaging than text, simplifies complex information

Video is king for many reasons. It’s more engaging than other types of static content—and the data proves it. According to InVideo, 96% of consumers have increased their online video consumption and 9 out of 10 viewers want to see more videos from brands and businesses. This year, the average person is estimated to spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos.

Most social media platforms you log into will have videos as you scroll, whether it’s Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or Twitter. There’s a reason why 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, according to Wyzowl Research via Hubspot. Among those businesses, 87% of video marketers reported video gives them a positive return on investment.

Video is also a great medium to simplify complex information or explain deep concepts. For example, this PayPal Galactic video produced by Bospar explains the concept of off-world payments and why they are important for the future of space commercialization. If your video pitches an idea or product that is new and unique, be sure to include experts who can provide credibility for your message.

Instagram videos help nonprofits grow organically  

Beyond PR is a series of video interviews for people who are just starting or looking to grow their careers in communications and public relations. Sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the videos are broadcasted on LinkedIn Live and available to watch on Instagram, a popular platform for younger professional audiences.

“Beyond PR” has produced significant organic growth for the nonprofit. We started from scratch in June. By mid-October, there was a 252% increase in impressions, 3,500% increase in followers, 184% increase in likes, 745% increase in comments, and 166% increase in reach. And that’s on Instagram alone!

Another benefit of the series for the sponsor is that it’s cost effective, as it’s produced by interns and volunteer board members. That’s about as budget friendly as it gets!

I launched “Beyond PR” with the help of Kaela Moore, a PRSA-SV intern who was nervous about diving into the PR world. I guided her through tricky skills like crafting a video conversation and putting together production logistics. Moore says it best herself in this video about how her level of confidence has grown tremendously.

Remember that posting videos has great engagement on many social media platforms, but you have to know your audience. The level of interest for your content can vary widely by demographic. To learn  more about what sites may work best for your brand, check out the findings from Pew Research Center.

Video creates personal connections

In addition to fostering engagement better than any other medium, video grabs the attention of your audience. It makes a person relatable and simplifies complex concepts. It creates stronger and more memorable stories.

So go out there and give it a try. If you make a solid plan for your brand, you’ll be surprised at the growth you’ll find in a short amount of time.

 

 

Mega Jewell is VP of social at Bospar and a board member of PRSA Silicon Valley.

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