Social Video Marketing: What We Know for Sure

By: Simply Measured

Lucy Hitz


In the ever-changing social ecosystem, it can be hard to make definitive statements about what works and what doesn’t, but here’s a breakdown of where the truth lies for social marketers today.

1. Start with One Simple Question

What do you want to accomplish with this video and/or video campaign (if you could only pick one thing)?

This question may seem, well, obvious. But, when you’re starting a new marketing approach, you need to be clear from the very beginning about what the core value is for your brand. You will have to shift time, resources, and probably ad budget away from other channels. What makes it worth it for you?

One of our audience members wanted guidance on building a social video strategy for his brand, which focuses on professional services—a more unique use case for social video. We asked him a question back: “What do you want to get out of this video for your brand?” He responded eloquently, saying that he wanted to show customers and prospects the humans behind all the work output, and convey their different product offerings in a way that’s clear and concise.

10 Tests for Video on Facebook

We said, congratulations! You have outlined the heart of your social video strategy. Once you get super specific about what you want to get out of social video, the path to get there becomes more clear. A series of interviews with employees about why they love what they do, social-sized case study videos, and workplace culture videos would beautifully fit our audience member’s needs.

Action Item: Write this question down, and answer it. If you’re stumped, have casual conversations with other team members about what they would want to get out of social video. If it would help, get everyone in the same room and do a quick round robin to get everyone’s perspective on the issue. This will also help you get initial buy-in from the rest of your marketing team.

2. Build Your Overall Strategy

Do not begin with social video without a plan and robust strategy. This will allow you to test, optimize, and report out to key stakeholders in a way that is more likely to lead to success and definitely more likely to get you the resources you need. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know what that means. Next stop, data!

  • Look at the data: Which audience are you reaching today? What content are they looking for? Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. The only way to make sure you are building a video content strategy that will resonate with your target audience is, first, to define that audience.
    • Age
    • Location
    • Life stages
    • Where are they at in the funnel?
    • Behaviors
    • Where are they spending their time?

Then, see what kind of messaging and campaigns are resonating with the audience you land on today—both from your brand and around topics related to your brand. That’s where listening can be a great help. 

  • Create a theme for each channel. Treat each channel like the unique ecosystem that it is, from format to audience behavior. 
  • Set content pillars on each channel. This will guide your content creation, and make the content creation process a no-brainer. Jen did this for a client who wanted to build out an Instagram Stories video strategy. The overall theme was “Celebrate Local,” and the content pillars Jen recommended the client focus on were:
    • Lifestyle
    • Customer Stories
    • Product Features
    • Behind-the-Scenes
    • Educational

This was based, of course, on the research she had done.

4. Nail Down Your Goals and KPIs Now

How will you know you’re winning? Because you’re setting a goal and tracking towards it regularly with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)!

Let’s say you have two goals for your video strategy: increasing positive brand sentiment and increasing brand awareness. You might want to focus on brand sentiment as a KPI, and video shares.

Choose one of the KPIs below that best fits with your goals:

  • Engagement
  • Website Traffic
  • Awareness
  • Sentiment
  • Mentions
  • Selling

Do this both for your entire social video strategy and for each campaign/video you put together. Then you’ll be able to report back and say, “This video campaign accounted for 40% of our engagement growth in Q3,” or, “This video campaign has us 70% of the way towards our overall goal for social video this year. Way to go, team!” Tracking your KPIs on a regular basis will also ease the process of optimization as you go along.

Action Item: Not sure where to start for exact numbers? Look back at past numbers and set a goal that is attainable. Maybe a stretch…but always attainable.

5. Time to Brainstorm

Get the smartest minds in your organization in the room. These don’t necessarily have to be members of your marketing team. They can be members of your support team who know your customer needs and issues well. They can be members of your analytics team. Include everyone who would have valuable input and be a good advocate for your social video strategy. Here are the questions you should talk through:

  • What are the biggest conversation topics around your brand’s core themes?
  • How do you want to fit into the conversation?
  • How should your video make your audience feel? 
  • How should your video make your audience behave? 
  • What is the best format to convey your message? The best social channel?

6. Production Tips

Yes, there were a lot of cat GIFs in our presentation—but a lot of valuable information, too! When it comes to production time, start with a storyboard.

This will help you stay organized, and it will be especially helpful if you are having someone else or people at various locations create video content for you. You can get as detailed as you want, even giving a frame-by-frame breakdown.

And, of course, make sure you have all the tools you need to do the job well.


7. Deploy—and Report

Remember that there is a time and place for every kind of analysis. Here are some effective ways to slice and dice the data so that you understand the specifics of what’s working, what’s not, and how you need to optimize. Content labeling can be especially effective with this.

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