Our Go-To Social Media Video Marketing Cheat Sheet

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Creating video content may be more time consuming than static imagery, but when it comes to your social media advertising, the benefits are worth it. After all, wouldn’t we all want to boost awareness, engagement, traffic, and conversions as a result?

Video content creates faster and stronger connections between brands and their target audiences as they leave less to the imagination, better tell your story, share your message, and captivate users across various platforms in comparison to static images—if executed well.

facebook video ad example

In this guide, we’re going to cover our go-to tips for social media video marketing across seven major platforms:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Pinterest
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Twitter
  6. Snapchat
  7. TikTok

Let’s get started.

Social media video marketing tips

Here, we’re sharing best practices and tips for improving your social media video marketing across seven major platforms. We’ll also cover how to make sure each channel works with your overall marketing strategy—and result in a positive ROAS!

Facebook and Instagram video ads

YouTube may have the number one spot where Americans view video content, but Facebook is the runner up with 60% of people in the United States watching video. As Magot put it, “Facebook video ads are the best way to ensure people remember your brand and come back to your site.” Facebook is still a low-cost platform to advertise on using video and is effective in driving users into your funnel through prospecting campaigns and then recapture them in your remarketing campaigns across their platform and into others.

One effective tactic we’ve seen for our clients is to test a video views campaign objective with prospective audiences. We use the videos to quickly introduce new users to the brand, tell a story, make it relatable to that particular audience, and entice them to learn more about the products or services we are offering. With these types of campaigns, we also set up custom audiences using the percent duration that users viewed our video.

For example, we want to retarget viewers of that video that viewed 75% and/or 95% of that video as they are indicators of interest, which makes it more likely for us to entice them to convert at a later time if they have not done so yet. If you have a clickable link associated with your video views campaign ads, add those landing page visitors as a custom retargeting audience as well. If users were heavily engaged with your video ads, set up a third retargeting audience for users that engaged with a post or ad within the last desired number of days.

social media video marketing example from Facebook

Image via Everlywell

When it comes to Instagram video ads, the primary thing to keep in mind is that the specs vary compared to some of Facebook’s ad placements. For Instagram Stories, the maximum duration is 15 seconds, unless you are using carousels, which then gives you up to 120 seconds of split video time, and the feed ad placement allows up to 60 seconds of video.

social media video marketing example from Instagram

Image via Yumi

If your video creative arsenal is lacking, worry not as Facebook’s free built-in Video Creation Kit tool is at your disposal. In the ad level, you can create simple yet effective videos using your static images and bringing them to life through the available features. With the Video Creation Kit, you can add overlay text, special effects, and other edits that will provide you with that subtle motion to capture users as they scroll down the feed. If you are limited on static images, there are a number of royalty-free stock photo websites that you can use in the interim while you are developing creatives that are more on-brand and less generic.

Pinterest video ads

While most of our efforts and budget focus primarily on Facebook and Instagram, we then often expand into Pinterest for many of our clients. We have yet to see Pinterest perform well on its own in terms of driving direct conversions, however, we do find it very effective in accomplishing awareness and website traffic when we use promoted videos, particularly for upper-funnel prospecting campaigns. Pinterest video ads are incredibly inexpensive in comparison to other social media networks, so it’s worthwhile to get more relevant users into our funnel at a lower cost and then remarket to them on other platforms that we’ve found to be more effective in driving conversions.

With Pinterest, you can use videos in awareness, video views, traffic, and conversion campaigns that focus on checkouts, signups, and lead generation. If you are new to Pinterest ads, there are two video sizes; one where it’s the size of a regular pin and another that is considered max-width that stretches out to double in size and captivates more of the screen, thus increasing user focus and engagement with your ad. If you opt for the max-width, these do tend to cost slightly more given the added benefit of more ad real estate.

Unlike other platforms, Pinterest video ads encourage you to use overlap text, so go for it, but keep it short. If you have spoken word on your video, add captions in the chance your users are viewing the ad without sound, plus we don’t want to disregard anyone who may be hearing impaired. When it comes to effective video content on this platform, make your videos actionable and instructional. If you can show your prospective customer how to use your product or service, they will be more willing to take action and look further into what you are offering.

While some Pinterest best practices apply across platforms when using video, one that is specific to their platform is to use video content that is between 6-15 seconds in your ads. Make your videos short, on-brand, direct, relevant, and actionable. If instructional steps apply, add them and even number them to showcase how easy it is to use your product. Lastly, make it easy to comprehend how to use your product. Here’s a great example from Glad plastic wrap where they show how strong and spill-proof their product is:

social media video marketing example from Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

LinkedIn video ads

If your business is aimed at professional audiences, dive into LinkedIn Ads with your video content. At this time, video ads are supported in brand awareness, website traffic, and conversion campaigns where the ultimate goal may be to drive leads and actions on your website.

LinkedIn recommends that your brand awareness and website traffic, or consideration video content focuses on positioning yourself as a market expert or shares your mission and brand story, or customer success stories through brief interviews or case studies. Use your prospecting campaigns to generate curiosity and provide value to your audiences. If you decide to test lower-funnel campaigns for driving conversions, these pose an excellent opportunity to show a brief demonstration of your product or service, show teasers of your webinar or upcoming event.  When it comes to prospecting campaigns, test shorter videos to more easily captivate these users and as you move them down the funnel, feel free to test longer and more comprehensive videos if needed in combination with a stronger call to action.

We’ve seen success in both prospecting and retargeting campaigns within this platform and even across platforms by capturing upper funnel LinkedIn prospects through Facebook or Instagram retargeting campaigns. Lastly, don’t forget to add captions on your LinkedIn video ads, as they are muted by default.

social media video marketing example from LinkedIn

Image via Mercedes-Benz Vans USA

Twitter video ads

With a 62% increase in year-over-year daily video views on the platform, Twitter encourages video use as well as it can amplify your brand messaging and make it more memorable. Similar to other social media channels, video ads on Twitter are also better-served brief. Grab your audience’s attention by running videos that are between 6-15 seconds in duration and show your product early on. If you don’t show your product in the first 10 seconds of your video, users, especially upper funnel ones may not understand what you are offering and will continue scrolling past your ad. If you have spoken word on your videos, be sure to add captions here as well, as many view videos without sound.

social media video marketing example from Twitter

Image via Nat Geo Channel

When it comes to their campaign objective offerings, use your goals to storyboard and develop video content that is platform appropriate, but also will accomplish your goals for video views, app installs, pre-roll views, website clicks, engagements, or followers. While you can certainly test warmer audiences for retargeting using these of the app re-engagement conversion campaign objective, we’ve had Twitter serve our clients better for upper-funnel campaigns and then we utilized other channels to drive retargeting conversions.

Similar to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter offers horizontal video ads, but the square video ads tend to take up more ad real estate and perform better more often. Keep your copy brief, direct, and informative so your viewers can take action. Lastly, clearly place your logo in the top corner of your video ad. According to Twitter, “there is a 30% increase in unaided brand recall” when you do this!

SnapChat video ads

If you haven’t yet run Snap Ads, you may be leaving money on the table. Running 3-10 second full screen vertical video ads is a breeze using their platform. These ads display in between a user’s friends’ stories and Snapchat curated content, which is sure to drive up your exposure. If you have a longer video you want your audience to view, they can swipe up on your brief video ad and watch more, they can visit your website, read an article, or install your app.

What we have seen perform well on Snap and Instagram Stories tends to work similarly on the other. If you haven’t tested Snap, take what has been working well for you for a particular audience on Instagram and give it a run on Snap to see how other users engage with it there. The upside of using Snap in addition to Facebook and Instagram is that most of its users—over 60%—view videos with sound compared to the 85% on Facebook that do not.

social media video marketing example from SnapChat

Image via Postmates

TikTok video ads

Similar to Snap, TikTok skews to younger demographics with 66% of their user base being under the age of 30. Currently, you can select one of three campaign objectives from website traffic to app installs and conversions. Videos on this platform can be horizontal, vertical, or square, so test out each size to see which performs best for your content and goals. One of the best features that TikTok has to offer advertisers is that you can use their Video Creation Kit and utilize their library of over 300 choices for free background music. The other ad platforms don’t offer that at this time, so leverage free sounds to complement your video content in order to captivate users, draw them into your funnel, and either retarget them within the app or capture them across your other platforms depending on performance. With this platform continuing to grow at rapid rates, its current 800 million monthly active users surpass LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest. Dive in if you haven’t yet and see what it can do for your brand.

social media video marketing example from TikTok

Image via TikTok

Use this social media video marketing cheat sheet for better ads!

While you may not be running ads on all of the above platforms due to your budget, audiences, and goals, if you are testing more than one, save yourself some time and use video content that has performed well on the channels that you are utilizing and test them on others. Once you have a better understanding of how each channel and its audiences engage with your video ads, take that data into consideration of where to shift budgets and efforts. If one channel more effectively drives upper funnel prospects, spend more then to fill your funnel and convert them through retargeting campaigns elsewhere. If a channel finds success throughout the entire funnel—that’s great—continue scaling it. Video is a powerful creative medium so use it to your advantage by introducing people to your brand and invite them through the customer journey using movement

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