In recent years, video has become the social media content king across the globe. Just take a look at the growth of TikTok’s global install base, which Insider Intelligence predicts has grown to 755M monthly users in 2022. Companies such as Meta have been forced to adapt to this short-form video content revolution with the launch of Instagram Reels and the prioritization of video in the platform. Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, has even gone on the record as stating that Instagram is “…no longer a photo-sharing app.”
So, what does this all mean for the world of growth marketing? It means that you need to prioritize video content for your startup. But don’t worry! We’re going to walk through four video marketing tips you can utilize immediately to remain ahead of this social media curve.
There are multiple tools available for online video marketing and it is easy to get lost while trying to figure out which one best fits your company’s requirements. The first tool that should be employed is utilizing a creator marketplace such as Billo or Backstage. These marketplaces make it easy to find talent that can film videos for your startup, without having to pay a large influencer fee.
While working on influencer content at Coinbase, I worked with multiple influencer agencies that did all the sourcing for us across these marketplaces. When signing up for a creator marketplace, there are a few important things to keep in mind that these influencer agencies also pay attention to:
- Talent’s past work
- Talent demographic
Many creator marketplaces will have a section to view the available talent’s past work so that you can observe their quality in action. If not, then be sure you ask for a few examples of the talent’s most recent videos so that you can personally decide if they fit your requirements. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that the demographics of your talent aligns with the demographic profile of your users. At Postmates, we regularly worked with influencers who we could picture as our users. One interesting, although not altogether unsurprising discovery was that female influencers almost always outperformed the male talent. So, if you’re undecided on going between females or males in your talent search, I must advise starting with females.
If you want to be at the forefront of current video trends, TikTok is currently the answer. While the dominance of this platform may have changed by the time you read this, it remains necessary to consume content on the top video-based social media platforms to get a grasp of what is trending. Thus, it is worthwhile to set aside time to scroll through a video social channel like TikTok before coming up with your own video strategy.
For those reading this in 2023, one trend to video that’s most likely here to stay is short form. The attention span for consumers of video content is getting shorter and instant gratification in the form of entertainment has taken the world by storm. So even if you’re filming a 2–3-minute video with a content creator, make sure to splice that video into smaller 15-20 second clips that can be published to TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. Many large YouTube creators have already adopted this trend and post truncated clips of their longer form videos on Shorts (i.e., Tim Ferriss podcast clips). The art of repurposing content from a longer base video has become a new norm and something you will need to do yourself in 2023.
As you build out your video strategy, you’ll want to contract with at least a handful of creators to produce video content. It will be much easier over the long term if you can build relationships with these creators. By spending the time to educate them about your startup, long-term vision, and brand voice, the videos these creators then produce will shine much more brightly.
For such an engagement to be successful, make sure to set aside at least 30-60 minutes to educate each influencer you bring on. It’s important that they understand your startup, its target demographic, and what problems it is aiming to solve.
Setting up a brief document is a smart foundational practice as it will help establish guardrails for what your influencers are working on when creating content. It will also save you vast amounts of time by not having to answer the same questions from them multiple times. You should include the following sections:
Including the background and goal in the influencer brief may seem redundant after the initial call, but influencers are taking so many of these calls that it’ll help serve as a refresher whenever they need it. The timeline should include specific dates on when the agreement will be sent to the influencer and when you will need to see the first drafts, provide feedback/review, and perform second takes, if necessary. In the specifications, include items such as preferred length of video, orientation (i.e., portrait), and other elements that are necessary for the channel of upload. Most importantly is the content section and adding what the video should include, along with any available examples of similar videos that are already live.
In addition, when a new trend emerges, you can respond much more swiftly as your core set of influencers will already understand what kind of content they need to generate. This will also speed up the throughput of your content production, especially if you’re building a video series on a channel such as YouTube.
One of the largest advantages to current content creation, whether it’s in video form or something else, is the ability to cross-pollinate this content across your owned platforms. Don’t stop at simply uploading your videos solely on YouTube or social channels, but instead leverage them across the following:
- Lifecycle emails
- Website pages
- Paid social ads
- White-labeling (i.e., TikTok Spark Ads)
The same video being used across four growth mediums. Image courtesy of Jonathan Martinez.
Emails are a great place to link to your video channels or to specific videos, and provide potential consumers more social proof for your startup. Motion, a calendar and project management application, does a phenomenal job of including videos across their lifecycle emails showcasing their product features.
I’ve seen startups get increasingly crafty with the website pages they place their video content into, such as on their exit-intent popups or creating an entire page for video testimonials. There’s no need to get too methodical here, but instead test the conversion rate of when you are utilizing these videos against when you are not.
Another tactic to explore is white labeling the videos, which is a method of running ad traffic through an influencer’s personal handle rather than your startup handle. I’ve written about white labeling in a separate column, where I go more in-depth into this and other growth influencer strategies.
If you’re entering 2023 without a video content plan for your startup, you will be missing out on a significant resource to influence consumers. There are so many great marketplaces and tools to make the process as seamless as possible, along with a myriad of placements to leverage the videos. When planning your video social media strategy, it is advisable to look to the social media channels of your competitors for inspiration.
I’m sure you’re wondering: how can your startup be built around talented staff at $5/hr? Let me show you how.