What do entertainment marketers get when they cross video marketing with user-generated content? An audience full of social stars just dying for their next close-up.
According to Brightcove, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined. This, together with numerous new video-friendly platforms, is reason enough to embrace video in your marketing strategy, but it's not just about output. User-generated content should be part of your strategy, especially if you want to capture the all-important Millennial audience.
Says Ranvir Gujral at Social Media Week, "Overall, 78% of Millennials said they would rather see photos of real customers over professional photos created by the brand."
So entertainment marketers would do well to bring out the "entertainer" in their audiences by making them the video stars. Here are some suggestions for how and where:
In 2015, Meerkat and Periscope paved the way for live-streaming apps, with Twitter-bought Periscope coming out on top once "Twitter restricted Meerkat’s access to its social graph," as reported by the Wall Street Journal. If your audience is on Twitter and you want to live-stream — and encourage them to also interact this way — you'll both need the Periscope app to do it.
Meanwhile, Facebook, though a little late to the live-streaming party, wins points for having their live-streaming app integrated into the platform itself. No need to download anything extra, just choose "go live" from the status update field. Once you're broadcasting, anyone on Facebook can click over to your feed and view/interact. But if you didn't get the word out about your live campaign in time, saved videos can be viewed and shared after the fact. The same is true of Periscope.
Big names like Jimmy Fallon, Andy Cohen, and Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott have made great use of Facebook Live, as have non-celebrity Facebook users. The ease and novelty of live-streaming makes it a great option for creating a unique fan-focused campaign. Ask followers to live-stream your brand's local events, or when using your products, and be sure to acknowledge their efforts when they do.
This brand new feature is another great way to communicate with your mobile audience and make them the stars with a video roll-call. Unlike commenting with a previously-filmed video, or link to something on YouTube, Facebook users can now reply to a comment by recording a new video message right from the comment box.
Because this is a new feature, it's the perfect time to jump in and use video comments to get more personal with your audience, or even hold contests with “video votes,” before anyone else does. Challenge followers to comment with fun themed-videos, like talking on a banana phone, or drinking your brand of soda in an odd location, and then choose a random video to win a prize.
According to Craig Smith at DMR (formerly Digital Marketing Ramblings), 8.93% of Instagram's 95 million daily posts are videos. But if that number seems low, consider that 37% of users are watching videos on Instagram.
Use of hashtags and apps like Regram are a must for creating the necessary fuss over fan-shared content. For examples of those doing it well, the Shakr video marketing blog cites GoPro and Dollar Shave Club, both of whom have shared and lauded fan posts to give them King/Queen for a Day exposure, and in Dollar Shave Club's case, a free t-shirt.
FYI, between Instagram's new video feature, Snapchat, and Facebook Live (and now comments) Vine's popularity seems to be dwindling. According to New York magazine's Madison Malone Kircher, "Many of the high school and college students I spoke to said they still watch Vines (and who can blame them, Vines often involve a heartthrob, a cute animal, something exploding, or a combination of all three), but they don’t bother wasting the phone space on the app."
So be aware, you might get viewership, but if you're looking for followers to participate, there are better places to focus your efforts.
One of those better places is Snapchat. The Daily Rind reports Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users, sharing 800 million videos and photos daily. Take that, Instagram! Millennial audiences are all over the video messaging app and as long as you keep it quick and jokey, and don’t overuse the filters, you can win them over.
The best way to engage fans is to request snaps to your account. They can see when you open them, which is one way to make them feel special. Another option is to screen grab your favorite snaps and share them across your other social networks. Because snaps are short-lived, there's a more intimate, personal feeling to them, something Millennials love. Expect this network to grow as Gens Y and Z come further into their own.
YouTube, the grandfather of all video platforms, isn't necessarily the best place for the kind of quick and easy engagement outlined above. But it's still great for evergreen content, longer videos — think James Corden's “Carpool Karaoke” — and things you want fans to be able to search. It’s not obsolete, but to give fans a quick path to video stardom, the apps above are better options.
And that is the point — to make fans the stars. They're making videos all the time anyway; all they need is a good incentive to make one for your brand. So give them one, and let them shine for your brand.