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10 Actionable Video Basics for Social Media Marketing

Video is one of the most effective ways to harness the power of social media. Some recent stats: 

In today’s social climate, savvy, ambitious social marketers must serve up strong video content.

The Social Marketer’s Guide to Social Media ROI

Shoppers who watch videos are 1.6 times more likely to purchase what they see, versus those who access information about goods and services via non-video content. Over fifty-one percent of marketing pros feel that video offers the best return on investment for their web marketing dollars. I could list statistics all day, but I won’t.

Instead, here are ten actionable video basics for social media marketers. Use this guide as a starting point for targeting prospective and returning customers.

1. Make Videos for All Platforms Simultaneously

Create videos that display well on an array of platforms. For example, Instagram videos have a maximum length of 60 seconds, while Snapchat videos should be 10 seconds long.

Plan your video content so that when you make a 60-second video (or longer videos for networks like Facebook and YouTube), you can simply slice the video into pre-organized segments and share them on respective networks. 

2. Create a Channel Ad on YouTube

If you’re using YouTube as a “home base” for your video uploads, then sharing them on social, you should take care when setting up your YouTube channel. Optimize your channel page by: 

  • Making a great, brand-appropriate header for your profile
  • Coming up with a concise and factual description of your channel and individual videos, too
  • Linking your channel to your social media profiles
  • Uploading videos often and perfecting your timing around events and influencer outreach programs

Important reminder: Make sure that your brand is consistently represented across all platforms. This means that, if you’re using one banner or video outro on Facebook, you should be using the same one on YouTube, unless you want to “uniquify” user experience on each active social channel, in which case you should make the differences between content on each social channel as extreme as possible. 

3. Utilize a Transcription Service

You’ll get more SEO value from videos if they include closed captions. Don’t want to create these transcriptions yourself? Pay a transcription service to do the work for you and then upload the file. Your videos will then be easy for hard-of-hearing or deaf people to understand, and may be helpful to those who don’t speak English as a first language.

This is also useful for serving people who enjoy watching videos with the sound muted and the captions turned on, especially on Facebook, where videos start with no sound on and you have to draw viewers in before they scroll past your video.

4. Make Playlists for a Wider Audience

Playlists are groupings of videos. When you combine your videos with other popular ones, and then create natural silos filled with these lists, you’ll expand your potential reach. Your playlists will be accessible via your YouTube channel page, Facebook page, Instagram account page, or…you get the point.

YouTube Playlist

This technique should boost your web traffic to YouTube and other social video channels. On YouTube, just make sure that your playlists are set to “public,” rather than private. They need to be public so that others can find them and enjoy them.  

5. Create “Intros” and “Outros”

YouTube created the intro/outro option for playlists back in 2012. This feature makes playlists more effective ads, so we do recommend using this feature. Your intro should be well-branded, and your outro should also be a last-minute call to action.

When you embed, be sure to switch off autoplay, so that the video doesn’t repeat itself.

6. Utilize Meta Descriptions, Titles, and Custom Thumbnails on YouTube

SEO values goes way up when meta descriptions, titles, and custom thumbnails are created properly on YouTube. It’s easier for Google to index videos that have these bells and whistles.

Some people rush through this part and don’t create thoughtful descriptions that are easy to read and understand. Taking your time will help you to get better SEO results and please your viewers.

7. Measure, Measure, Measure

You need to know if your social media initiatives are taking off or falling flat, and you should be keeping a constant eye on how video content is mapping towards your business goals and larger social performance.

From the Simply Measured Facebook Fan Page Report.

You can set up YouTube Analytics to track all YouTube plays (or use a robust platform like Simply Measured to focus on the metrics that matter). Once this is set up, you’ll access a treasure trove of information, including play times, exit rates, and engagement rates.

8.  Use Vid IQ or TubeBuddy

Another actionable video basic is to install one of these programs. Vid IQ is designed to turbo-charge your YouTube efforts by providing you with search engine optimization information, as well as research on demographics, traffic analysis for YouTube, and data about competitors.

TubeBuddy may be downloaded via Chrome. It’s designed to help you with with bulk processing, SEO for videos, productivity, research, and promotion.

9. Enable Moderated Comments

Responsiveness is really important. People want their comments acknowledged! With this in mind, be sure that comments are permitted, but also be sure that you’re moderating these comments, making it a safe environment for customers and prospective customers.

Nordstrom FacebookRespond promptly to comments that you receive. Doing so will send the message that you care about comments and customers. It’s also a great way to spark more engagement. 

10. Keep the Big Picture in Mind

YouTube can be a great mission control center, where you maintain your channel and store (and showcase) your videos. Once your videos are in place at YouTube, you’ll be able to post links to them via your social media platforms.

The overarching goal of all of our tips is to help you make better marketing impressions on social media, whether you use YouTube, Facebook Live, Facebook Video, Instagram, Snapchat, or a mix of these. The only way to know what works for your brand is to test, test, test. 

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

10 Tests for Video on Facebook


Rich Drees

Rich Drees is a retired video producer and distribution expert, with a love of kava bars and cameras. He is probably watching YouTube right now and writing away at

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