Like it or not, social video is here to stay. Last year Snapchat and Facebook surpassed 8 billion daily video views.

The introduction of Instagram Stories (a move many feel was designed to compete with Snapchat) shows how important video and live streaming have become to social platforms.

You don’t need data to tell you this – just scroll through your newsfeeds and count how many times you see a video. Or think about how often you click through your Instagram stories feed. Data shows that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined – often because of the emotive, engaging and relatable nature of the content.


Read more: 8 Ways to Develop an Authentic Brand Story in a Competitive Market


So whether you’ve already dipped your toe into video production or you’re still pacing the water’s edge, here are the key things to think about before you decide to take the plunge into social video.


What Is Social Video Strategy?

Video is just one content marketing tool, and as such it should form part of a wider integrated marketing strategy. Firstly it is vital to establish what the exact message is that you are communicating via your video, and secondly to be clear on what your call-to-action is – what are you asking your viewers to do?

Then consider how this video content is going to be supported (for example by blogs or website copy) and promoted (for example via organic and paid social). What length should your video be? Who is going to produce it? Have you created a moodboard for inspiration? Do you know how to brief the videographer, generate a shot list and shoot schedule? What is the expected longevity of this video – is it time-sensitive (around a specific campaign) or is it ever-green (filled with content that won’t date easily)?


Which Video Platforms Should I Use?

It can make sense to host your videos on a dedicated platform (such as YouTube or Vimeo) and then share them via your social channels. This keeps all of your videos in one place and means that you don’t have to spend time uploading to multiple platforms.

You can also embed YouTube or Vimeo content on your website as part of your marketing strategy – these can often increase engagement with a page as they are so visually appealing.

Keep in mind that longer videos can work well on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, whereas shorter snippets tend to work better on Instagram and Twitter (feeds which typically move much faster as they are more ‘micro-blogging’ orientated). For all videos shared via social consider how they work without sound. Many people will scroll without sound enabled by default, instead preferring to read text or subtitles.


Read more: How to Get Your Content Noticed Online


What Is The Difference Between Viral And Social Video?

Viral videos are what social videos can become if they are widely shared through word-of-mouth marketing. Videos that achieve millions of views are more often than not a result of good fortune rather than planning. However there are a number of things you can do to enhance the visibility of your videos – for instance posting about something topical, sharing your video across multiple platforms and tagging influencers on social media in the process.

As viral videos are nearly impossible to plan for, the best use of your precious resources is to focus on creating high-quality, strategic content. Videos don’t need to be long, often short clips that are just a few seconds long can be engaging enough to drive conversion. The best place to start is with something simple, test the waters and learn for the future.