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The role videos play in the social media strategy

Do you watch video’s online? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Over eight million South Africans regularly use the Internet and many of them watch, comment on and share videos. Chantal Storbeck, from Groundup-Media, writes to us about the role videos play in the social media strategy and share with us the Cotlands Toy Library video.

Experts are astounded at how quickly access to, and usage of, social media is growing. WorldWideWorx in June last year stated that social media has broken barriers in South Africa. The report revealed that social networking in South Africa has crossed barriers of age, with the over-sixties being the fastest growing age group on Facebook. Grannies are sharing videos, comments and messages with their grandchildren daily.

The research showed that locally 7,9 million people are accessing the Internet via their cellphones which has broken the computer barrier as well. Corporate South Africa has been carefully monitoring these trends and tentatively explores the online world. However, many executives are not yet convinced that their efforts in social media are really effective.

Don Crowther, an international Internet marketing and social media expert, advocates five reasons why you must use videos in your social media:

  1. It’s intimate. Videos give you a chance to really let your customer get to know you.
  2. It’s fun!
  3. It’s educational...for them – a (moving) picture tells a thousand words.
  4. It’s educational…for you – makes you think about how you want to tell your story and lets you gauge your customer’s reactions or interest.
  5. It works!

Video is a very personal way to engage with your stakeholders. If you or your brand has a story to tell, then video is by far the most effective way to tell it and social media is the perfect platform for short, entertaining, educational and fun videos. The great thing about video is that it is multi-purpose and can be re-used at exhibitions, trade fairs and presentations. Regularly uploading videos to your website also works well in terms of search engine optimisation.

It is essential that your videos are an integral part of a broader digital marketing strategy and offers viewers a real and truthful version of your brand identification. The impact of a video can be maximised by linking it to other images or content. Videos should also be kept short, no more than two minutes at most, to maximise share-ability.

Not every video is destined to go viral. When it does then of course the impact can be enormous. They create careers – ever heard of #JustinBieber or #gangnamstyle? This does not detract from the fact that millions of videos are watched every day by millions of viewers. To ensure you attract the right viewership, tried and trusted marketing principles need to be applied:

  • Define your target market carefully – know where to find them;
  • Understand your audience – know who you are talking to;
  • Tailor your message - make sure you have something engaging to say;
  • Keep it simple – stick to your key messages;
  • Keep it short – under two minutes.

Groundup-Media recently did a video for the Cotlands Toy Library allowing them to tell the story of Wayne, a young boy who lives in Hillbrow. We follow Wayne for a day. His sleepy morning wake-up call is familiar, brings back memories of school days although his surroundings may be a stark contrast to most viewers’ comfortable recollections. His journey to school through the dusty, garbage strewn streets of the inner city gives an insight into his world and makes the viewer a bit anxious at the dangers the young boy could be exposed to. One feels relieved when he chooses to go to the toy library in the afternoon instead of staying on the streets......

Walking through the streets of Johannesburg with this energetic, delightful but vulnerable child gives the viewer a glimpse into his life, but more importantly it shows how Cotlands changes lives one child at a time. The story of Wayne is but one of the stories of the brand; telling it here in black and white is a pale contrast to the vibrant, amplified, colourful and vibrant story on video.

Do you know the story your organisation is trying to tell? Is there a better way to show people what you are all about? We think so, in fact we ‘video-know’ so.


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