6 min read

How To Use Video For Social Media Marketing

social media phone

We are becoming increasingly brand weary and ad-blind, we are easily provoked, untrusting and frankly, a bit bored of traditional marketing and advertising. So where does this leave us as brands?

Online businesses rely heavily on marketing. However, when it comes to social media, pictures and updates simply don’t cut it anymore if you want to stand out from the crowd and connect with your target audience. In 2016, one trend reigns supreme – video! According to Hubspot, it will account for 55% of all Internet traffic this year and 80% by 2019. In other words, the value of video content is set to increase dramatically and this offers an exciting opportunity for marketers and businesses that want to stay ahead of online marketing trends and communicate with their target audiences more effectively.

If you’re reading this and currently thinking – where am I going to find the resource to start creating videos? – let us put your mind at rest. The rise of new apps such as Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram and Vine are empowering more people to make polished, interesting and popular videos. You don’t have to be a YouTube star or have sophisticated editing software to create a video. You just need your phone. Lots of businesses big and small are already utilising these free apps to make their content marketing more visual, and they are doing it well.

We want to help you understand the difference between them and how you too can use them for your business.

Expanding your use of video throughout the customer journey gives your target audience a far more personal and human view of your business. Video can help you establish connections, build relationships, educate, convert and increase customer satisfaction.

Content you can create using a camera on your phone…

  • Problem-solving pieces
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Sneak-peeks
  • Customer testimonials
  • Create a series
  • Product demos
  • Simple tutorials
  • Short interviews
  • Personal greetings
  • Meeting follow-ups
  • Live and on-demand webinars
  • Event videos
  • Vlogging – or video blogs
  • Breaking news/ product launches
  • Flash sales
  • User-generated content


As Twitter has grown over the years, it’s become harder and harder to make an impact. There has always been an intense amount of information on the platform and precious little marketing turf for your business in a single tweet. Until video happened that is. Video is the real way to win at Twitter these days. Responding with Twitter video increases attention rate from two seconds to 15 seconds, producing at least three times the space on the Twitter feed.

One incredibly simple way to incorporate more video into your regular stream of tweets is to use Twitter’s relatively new GIF search function, which literally has a GIF to express every kind of emotion. If you don’t like the GIFs on offer, you can also create your own using a free app such as Boomerang. This enables you to create more personalised moving pictures, which you can then use on Twitter (more on this below).


Periscope is a new live-streaming network owned by Twitter that allows you to broadcast video live, straight from the app. It is an easy, fast and free way for you to connect with your audience in real-time. Periscope is perfect for sharing breaking news, exclusives offers, demonstrating product demos, interactive customer support, taking viewers behind the scenes or recording snippets from keynote speakers at conferences.

You need to have a Twitter profile to broadcast on Periscope, but you don’t need a Twitter account to watch live streams, so make sure you promote any upcoming broadcasts on your other social media profiles if you want to increase the reach of your content.

Take a look at Spotify on Periscope for more inspiration – the popular music-streaming site uses the app to stream exclusive live performances.

Burberry Snapchat campaign


If you are marketing to 14-28 year olds, then Snapchat is the leading platform on which to target them. If you’re not sure what Snapchat is, the app lets you take a picture or short video, which can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before it disappears. Videos have a maximum life of 24 hours before they are gone for good. This sense of urgency to see something before it disappears can be a huge factor in generating excitement and makes this app great for making announcements, offering short-term discounts or granting ‘behind-the-scenes’ access.

One way to host a competition on Snapchat is by Snapchatting and getting your followers to screenshot the snap and post it on Twitter within 24 hours to win a prize. People respond to that kind of time-pressure and it helps to generate a real buzz around an event.

Earlier this year, Snapchat launched the Discover section of the app – this section allows users to receive content by media companies. Though this is not a very affordable option at the moment unless you are a big media company, it tells us that people are starting to recognize Snapchat as a real influencer. For instance, Burberry recently used SnapChat to broadcast previews of their A/W16 runway show, reaching thousands of cool young urbanists.


Vine is a video-looping app that gives you just six seconds to create a compelling story. According to Hubspot, more than 100 million people view Vine videos each month and branded Vines receive 400% more shares than branded videos. Vines are also very popular on Twitter (five vines are shared every second), so there’s good reason to give this app a go.

Top-tip: Storyboard your Vines before filming by drawing out six boxes (one for each second) and sketching or writing out the story to make sure it is simple, clear and compelling.

For a stellar example of how to use Vine, simply to drive mass engagement – take a look at Cancer Research’s #nomakeupselfie campaign which raised over two million pounds and relied heavily on Vine vids for promotion. These vines weren’t super-snazzy or high-spec but the message was compelling and relevant to their target audience on that channel.


Instagram’s sister app Hyperlapse makes it easy to create stunning time-lapse videos or moving pictures, which can be used anywhere on the web. Hyperlapse is especially great for giving your followers an impression of something they couldn’t easily in real-time, whether that is the scale of a busy event or a manufacturing process. These fast-moving pictures definitely stand out on a feed, meaning you’re probably more likely to grab someone’s attention.

We’ve already mentioned Boomerang in this post. It’s another sister app of Instagram that lets you create your own moving pictures or GIFs. Perfect for use on Twitter or Facebook as well as Instagram.

Facebook Video

Back in November, Facebook reported it had reached eight billion daily video views, doubling the amount since April 2015 and it is now testing a dedicated video feed.

Facebook has also made it much, much easier to create simple videos directly on the social media channel. You can now create a basic slideshow with a CTA (call to action) using up to seven images. These currently perform well in terms of reach, with Facebook’s algorithm looking upon video content favourably because of their potential to communicate valuable content to Facebookers.

Top tip: Maximise views in the newsfeed by keeping your videos under 30 seconds long.

If you’re feeling inspired to give one of these platforms a go, here are our top tips for creating beautiful videos on your phone:

  • Keep your visual identity consistent
  • Make sure your shot is wide enough
  • Buy a stand or make sure your phone is stabilised before shooting
  • Always shoot things landscape

Of course, no matter how great the software is, in order to get the most out of your video marketing you need to make sure it fits with your overall online marketing strategy. That’s why you need to consider these fundamentals before you start:

  • Will my target audience care?
  • What story or process am I trying to tell or showcase?
  • The audience journey – why would they watch this video? What would you like them to do after?

Remember, to get the most out of your videos, you will need to cross-promote them on other channels such as your website, newsletter or other social media channels.

If you’d like to find out more about how video can enhance your online marketing strategy, drop us an email today.

Related posts