3 Types of Videos That Can Help Drive Sales on Social Media

3 Types of Videos That Can Help Drive Sales on Social Media

Last updated on by Megan O'Neill in Conversion Optimization


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.”

This picture shows 3 charts how social media video length can help ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase intent.

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:

The pepperoni roll is a WV tradition that we proudly prepare by hand every day. Check out this video to see how we do it!

Posted by Nu Era Bakery on Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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:

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:

This picture shows how social media videos that feature product promotions help drive sales and brand awareness.

When creating a product video, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

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:

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:

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.

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