We recently shared an article on 4 Types of Social Video That Get Viewers Respond to Your Brand. But videos are not only great for engaging with fans on social media — they can have a significant impact on sales, too.
According to a Nielsen study on the value of video for brands, “the moment a video ad [is] viewed (even before one second), lift [happens] across ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration.”
Our own study at Animoto also found that consumers enjoy engaging with video from brands on social media. Nearly half said they’ve personally shared a company video on their profile and 84 percent have liked a company video in their news feed.
So how can your brand take advantage of consumers’ desire for engaging with video, paired with the positive correlation between video ads and ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration?
We’ve compiled some tips for using video on social media to drive sales, including three types of video that are ideal for converting viewers into purchasers. We’ll also dive into how to make targeted advertising work for you on Facebook and Instagram as well as some tips for creating effective video ads.
3 types of social video that drive sales
There are three main types of video that work well for driving sales on social media. We’ll take a look at the elements that made up these videos, as well as some examples.
1. Videos telling the story behind your product
This type of video can be a great way to capture attention on social media and provide added value to what you’re selling. If you’ve got a single product, tell the story of what inspired it and how it’s made. If you sell multiple products, spend some time deciding which of your products would be the most shareworthy.
In this example, Nu-Era Bakery, a 40-year old bakery in West Virginia, tells the story of their pepperoni roll:
Nu-Era sells a wide variety of baked goods but chose the pepperoni roll because they felt the story behind it (and the item itself) was something people would really rally around. It turns out, they were right. The video was shared over 4,000 times with over 150 comments on the original video and shares — many from people tagging their friends. They began receiving requests from people all over the country that wanted to purchase their pepperoni rolls. As a result, they’ve revamped their business model and started shipping.
Here are some tips when telling your product’s story:
- Use text (as video captions or to tell the story) so your story can be understood whether the viewer chooses to watch on mute or not. Adding some complementary music can also help set the tone and enhance the story, just like Nu-Era did.
- Pick the products with the best stories. If you sell more than one product or service, think about what’ll resonate the most with your audience on social.
2. Videos showcasing your product
Sometimes video is just a good way to get your product in front of potential customers. It’s easy to create a short video with product shots you’ve already got, paired with big, bold text, to make a video that’ll stand out on social media.
Brooklyn-based hot sauce purveyor, The Heatonist, showcases several products that make great holiday gifts in this example:
When creating a product video, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Always include a CTA. Don’t just show your product — include a call-to-action that instructs viewers exactly how they can make a purchase. This CTA can be text in your video, as well as in the description you share along with your video. Instead of driving traffic to your homepage, send visitors to a specific product page or create a post-click landing page around specific products or deals.
- Target for best results. Who is the target audience for your product, service, or the topic of your video? Target your video to this audience to get the most bang for your buck. We’ll get into the specifics of that shortly.
- Use video clips. If your product is easier to show off in motion, include video clips and not just product screenshots. Video is the next best thing to seeing a product in person so use it to your advantage.
3. Videos featuring promos
Videos that feature special deals and promos — especially limited time offers — are great for enticing viewers to take the plunge and click through to make a purchase. Limited time offers can be particularly advantageous because they play on the scarcity and “fear of missing out” factors.
The following video from photoDUDS, a graphic design and photo resource business, is a nice example of this method in action:
Last chance to save! Turn your images from ordinary to extraordinary with Beth Forester Photography photoDUDS HDR backgrounds.
Posted by photoDUDS on Thursday, August 11, 2016
The video takes a look at one of photoDUDS products — composite backgrounds — but really drives home the message to “buy now” with a 30% discount at the end. Their Facebook ad helped increase the promo’s visibility — and it worked — by driving 3X the money invested in the ad in sales.
If you’re offering a promo in a social media video ad, keep these tips in mind:
- Create a sense of urgency by putting a deadline on your deal. In the photoDUDS example, their 30% discount was only available until August 15. Since the deal is only available for a limited time, it helps prevent viewers from hesitating on the offer and redeeming it.
- Make sure your promo stands out by highlighting the promotion and deadline in the video and Facebook post copy as well. This helps the promo’s visibility for those users that scroll their feed and don’t click to watch the video.
Driving sales with targeted Facebook advertising
In Animoto’s recent Social Video Marketing Summit, Facebook expert Mari Smith said that “Facebook ads are the most targeted traffic that your money can buy.” Facebook’s ad platform enables you to target the exact person you’re looking for (on Facebook or Instagram) including gender, age, location, interest, behaviors, and more. Facebook offers a great rundown of how to target Facebook ads, but we’ll share some pointers here as well.
Who should you target?
Facebook lets you target precisely who you wish to show your ads to. This is great considering Nielsen data claims that Facebook targeting is 89% accurate, compared to 38% for the average targeted online ad campaign.
So now it’s time to start thinking about who your target audience can be. You can target based on information available through Facebook:
- Location is great for brick and mortar advertisers with shops or services that are available only in specific locations. Location can also be helpful when targeting people around in-person events.
- Demographics refers to age, gender, education, relationship status, type of work, and more.
- Interest targeting allows you to find people based on their interests, hobbies, or Pages they like on Facebook. This can include targeting people who like your own page (if you’ve got a video you want to share only with current customers or fans) or people who like competitors’ Pages.
- Behaviors covers everything from the things people do on Facebook itself to data from third-party providers around purchase behaviors, travel preferences, and a variety of other options.
- Advanced targeting: Once you get more familiar with Facebook advertising, you can try out advanced targeting. Upload contact lists, build Lookalike Audiences based on your own customer demographics, or use the Facebook pixel to track people who’ve taken certain actions on your website and serve them your ads.
Granted, you can optimize ads for engagement, views, and more. But if you’re objective is driving sales, we recommend targeting an email list, your own Facebook audience (if you’ve built one), or those that have visited your website, and try video view or website click campaigns. Then, once you’re more familiar with Facebook’s ad manager you can test out Facebook’s conversion campaign options.
And remember, you don’t have to limit your campaigns to one audience or one type of ad. Think about what audience makes the most sense for each video ad campaign and A/B test with multiple audiences to determine which gives you the most return on your spend.
How much should you spend?
You don’t need a very large budget to see positive results. In the Nu-Era Bakery example above, they spent $250 to target their pepperoni roll video to a local audience that was close enough to visit the store. And many businesses see results with even less.
When you’re first starting out, run a campaign with a small budget — even $10 or $20 will do the trick, although we’d recommend starting out with about $50 — just to get a sense of how the process works and what kind of results are possible. Increase the budget as you see fit, based on your results. To access Facebook Ads’ FAQ and learn more about budgeting, bidding, and scheduling, visit their budget, bidding, and scheduling page.
What type of video will you create?
Video has proven to be a social media crowd pleaser, so it follows that it’s a great way to grab attention and convert viewers into customers. If you’re just getting started, it may feel overwhelming. But if you start small, create one of the videos above, and target an audience you think it will resonate with; we’re sure you’ll find success!
Stay tuned for the final post in our series, where we’ll take a look at how you can use video to establish your expertise.
About the author
Megan O’Neill is the Content Marketing Manager at Animoto. She loves video almost as much as she loves helping others use video to achieve goals for their brands and businesses.