7 Steps to a Successful Social Media Video Marketing Strategy

Social media video marketing illustration

Social media marketing is like a roller coaster: thrilling, unpredictable, and chock full of highs and lows…or so they say. Granted its whirlwind takeover of the digital marketing sphere might have you feeling dizzy, but the truth is, social media marketing is more of a boat race than a roller coaster. It’s daunting, competitive, and, well, it’s not good enough to just hang on; you have to keep up.

Social media is an essential platform for marketing and advertising in the digital age. Just as companies evolved to embrace social media platforms, so too did the platforms themselves, providing more tools for reaching audiences and analyzing their engagement. The companies most effective at social media marketing recognize and adapt to these changes. They are the ones winning the race.

These companies are taking advantage of the latest trends in video marketing to create bespoke content that stands out in the ever-expanding digital landscape and that engages followers on a whole new level. From behind-the-scenes clips to customer testimonials, social media video marketing provides an effective way to make traditional advertising more personal. With the right strategy in place (and the right partner joining them at the helm), companies can make the most of their video marketing efforts. 

In this article we’ll walk you through the key steps to developing an effective social media video marketing strategy, including helpful tips, answers to frequently asked questions, and insights on tools that can help you along the way.


Step 1: Articulate Your Goals

Everything you do from here on out, from determining your audience to designing your content, will come back to this moment. Deciding what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is the foundation of your social media video marketing campaign. 

By clearly articulating your objectives and tailoring your marketing strategy to them, you can ensure your content is both engaging and relevant to your target audience. Clear and specific objectives are also easier to measure. For example, it’s one thing to say you want more people to see your content; it is clearer and more specific to say that you want to increase organic post impressions by 5% in the next 6 months. The former is a wish; the latter is a plan.

Pro Tip: Work Backwards From Your Bottom Line

Nearly all businesses have the same broad goal: to make money. Don’t get hung up on likes, shares, and clicks if they aren’t getting you any closer to this end result. If you start with money in mind, you will find the path that connects social media video marketing to your overall business needs.

Let’s play make believe for a moment. Upper Crust is a fictional company that sells baking products. They make money through these sales. People find their website through a variety of marketing efforts, from Google ads to flyers in the mail. However, it happens, landing a customer on their web store is the key factor in getting them to buy. Unfortunately, their social media ads often get passed over. 

So what should their new social media video marketing campaign seek to accomplish? They want clicks to their web store. As such, they decide to design a video marketing campaign around time lapsed recipe demos where viewers can watch the creation of an enticing confection and click to learn more, save the recipe, and see the cost of all the items used in the video (i.e. the web store). They set a target for the number of clicks and conversions they want to see in a set amount of time. Does that mean they don’t care about follower numbers or engagement? Of course not, all of those are important from a holistic and branding perspective. But they don’t use those to measure ultimate success. After all, engagement without revenue is just noise. 

FAQ: What Are Smart Goals for Social Media Video Marketing?

There are no “smart” goals, but there is a “smart” way to develop them. Ask the right questions. Know what success looks like. Don’t be afraid to experiment and engage more directly with followers. Be a voice, not a digital billboard. 


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Step 2: Define Your Target Audience

Let’s be clear – when we are talking about your audience for a social media video marketing campaign, we are not talking about your customer base en masse. Effective campaigns often target a niche subset of a wider audience. Be specific when defining your audience as not every potential customer is going to respond in the same way to the same content. 

Pro Tip: Match Audience to Goals

Here’s where we get into a bit of a “chicken and the egg” scenario. In some cases, you will have a goal in mind and seek to target an audience that you think will be more responsive to that effort. Our imaginary baking supply company, for example, might sell to both individuals with a passion for baking and smaller baking companies. A campaign that seeks to increase clicks with time-lapsed recipes videos might be better suited to the former. 

That said, you might be aiming to design a campaign around a specific customer profile, in which case your audience could be your first constant. In this case, your goals would stem from what you know of the audience, how you think you can reach them, and how you will measure success. In either case, goals and audience must align. 

FAQ: Why Do I Need to Know My Target Audience Before I Create Content?

From a viewer’s perspective, good content is just good content. It’s fun, informative, creative, etc. From a producer’s perspective, good content gets the job done. In other words, a well crafted video is only as good as what it accomplishes. Getting hung up on using a piece of content that you sunk a lot of time into is the marketing equivalent of shoving a round peg into a square hole. Design your content for your goals and audience – not the other way around.


Step 3: Choose the Right Platform

This topic is twofold: what social media platforms will you target and do you need a streaming platform or service on top of that to maximize your efforts?

In other words, you could just post your video content directly to the chosen social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). This might be the best option if you’re only looking to utilize one or two of these platforms. If you pick and choose, make sure you consider the likely audience and practical functionality of each platform. After all, posting a video to Instagram and posting one to YouTube are not the same. It’s also worth noting that each of these platforms uses their own metrics, which may or may not help you track your goals. 

You might find it helpful to use a centralized content management system. Sites like Hubspot can help you keep your social campaigns organized and in one place. Video platforms like Wowza Video go a step further, making it possible to record and manage content, including the ability to simulcast live video and pre-recorded (i.e. live but not live) video across a wide array of social media platforms.  

Pro Tip: Consider Livestreaming With Simulcasting

Many companies seek to add video because it is more personal and engaging. In that case, what’s more personal and engaging than live video? Adding live streaming to your social media strategy helps audiences feel more connected to your brand and can create a sense of urgency as they perceive a limited window for viewing and participating. If you choose to live stream, simulcasting will make it possible to send your live stream concurrently across social media platforms. Platforms live Wowza Video will also allow you to stream pre-recorded video assets as if they were live in the same fashion.

FAQ: What’s the Best Social Platform for Live Streaming?

Many social media platforms offer live streaming functionality. But why choose just one when you could simulcast to them all through a streaming platform like Wowza Video? If you are intent on choosing just one, look to where your audience is most likely to find you. 


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Step 4: Create Engaging Videos

Now that you’ve defined your goals, your audience, and your platform, it’s time for the fun part. Ask yourself what kind of content will get your target audience to engage with a video in a manner consistent with your goals. 

What does this mean? Let’s revisit our favorite fictional baking supply company. Recall that they chose to create time lapsed baking demonstrations that individual consumers could click through to get to their web store. At the web store, they could purchase supplies shown in the video (and more). Essentially, they wanted their audience to look at the video, decide that they too wanted to make whatever savory dish is being highlighted, and click through to find out how they could make that happen. This aligns with Upper Crust’s goal of increasing web store traffic (and ideally purchases). There is a direct logic applied to how their defined audience will react to and interact with their video to help them achieve their goals.

Pro Tip: Explore Different Video Types

Someone at Upper Crust suggests making a shoppable video where consumers can directly purchase from the video without having to visit the web store at all. This cuts out the middle man (web store visits) and leads directly to revenue. Sure, it’s more complicated to execute but Upper Crust isn’t afraid to take risks. You shouldn’t be either. 

Of course, a shoppable video may not make sense for your goals, audience, or business model. Consider what video types do make sense. We’ve already touched on live streaming as an effective video type. Get familiar with other online video trends, like explainer videos, interactive videos, and augmented reality. 

FAQ: What Types of Video Are Most Popular?

The simple answer is that instructional and product explainer videos tend to perform well with audiences. However, the most popular video for YOUR audience may be different. 


Step 5: Promote Your Videos

How do you promote a social media video intended to promote you? Treat your marketing videos like their own event. Don’t just put your videos out there, especially if they are live. Generate interest in and anticipation for the videos themselves. This could include teaser posts that let people know a video or series of videos are on their way. In the case of a live video, let people know how to participate. 

Pro Tip: Create a Content Schedule

Posting on a consistent schedule lets your audience know when and where to find your content. As such, posting consistently improves engagement over time. If you are planning a social media video marketing campaign around a series of videos, plan them out ahead of time to better maintain consistency and make it easier to promote the content. 

FAQ: When Is the Best Time to Post Video Content?

This depends on your audience and the platform in question. According to Sprout Social, the best times to post overall are Tuesday through Thursday from 9am to 3pm. However, specific platforms may adjust the hours a bit. YouTube videos perform best when posted in the afternoon while Twitter gets better engagement in the morning. 

If you are looking to live stream, you’ll want to choose a time of day when people are more likely able to take time away from work, which could mean earlier in the morning, later in the day, or around lunchtime. In these cases, make sure to post promotional teasers during peak social media engagement hours to ensure your audience knows when to tune in.


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Step 6: Analyze and Adjust 

Did your social media video marketing strategy meet your objectives? How do you know? Why or why not? Start with these basic questions to determine the efficacy of your efforts. However, don’t stop at a simple yes or no. Take a nuanced view of what your videos did or didn’t accomplish and how you can pivot your strategy for better results rather than starting from scratch.

Let’s say that Upper Crust’s shoppable baking videos generated a ton of engagement on social media but not nearly as much in the way of sales as initially hoped. Clearly the content is interesting to the audience but not quite getting them to follow through on purchases. Why is this? Maybe people need more information before buying from a shoppable video. Maybe they save the video and put off making the purchase until they forget. Upper Crust decides to create more urgency and a more informative experience by pivoting these shoppable videos into live commerce events where audience members can ask questions and are motivated to make a more immediate decision. 

Pro Tip: Consider a Streaming Platform

Know how you’re tracking your metrics. Social media platforms themselves can tell you about engagement and click through rates (among other things), but they are limited in their ability to measure consumer behavior and they don’t all define their metrics in exactly the same way. A centralized system for compiling metrics and taking a nuanced view of customer behavior in regard to the videos themselves will make it easier for you to refine your strategy. Consider a streaming platform to help you keep your videos and relevant data in one place. 

FAQ: What Is the Best Tool for Tracking Metrics?

Organizations like Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Sprout Social create a centralized location for posting to and tracking social media metrics across platforms. However, a streaming platform like Wowza Video can more specifically track video metrics and make it possible to simulcast live video across social media platforms. 


Step 7: Consider Wowza for Social Media Video Marketing

Let’s be real for a moment. You may not need an elaborate video platform for your individual social media video marketing needs. On the other hand, you may just not know all that a platform like Wowza Video or software like Wowza Streaming Engine can do to make your life easier. 

Wowza and your live streams:

  • Simulcast live streams 
  • Optimize live stream content through transcoding for better playback across a range of devices
  • Test your streams prior to going live to limit technical issues
  • Monitor the broadcast in one place 

Wowza and your pre-recorded videos: 

  • Simulcast prerecorded assets by restreaming them as live videos
  • Save and manage video assets in one place for repeated usage
  • Clip extraction and editing to make the most of video assets

So what can Wowza do for the Upper Crust baking goods company? They decided they needed live shoppable videos to better achieve their goals. However, they didn’t want to lose the opportunity to repurpose live videos as pre-recorded assets. This hypothetical organization opted for Wowza’s Real Time Streaming at Scale solution. This is an offshoot of Wowza Video that utilizes WebRTC technology alongside our custom video CDN to provide ultra-low latency live streams, perfect for the interactivity required in a shoppable video. What’s more, Real-Time Streaming at Scale makes it possible to repurpose live videos as video-on-demand (VOD) assets. Now the Upper Crust is able to engage AND convert customers through social media video marketing. 

That’s what Wowza could do for a company like Upper Crust. What can we do for you? 


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About Sydney Roy (Whalen)

Sydney works for Wowza as a content writer and Marketing Communications Specialist, leveraging roughly a decade of experience in copywriting, technical writing, and content development. When observed in the wild, she can be found gaming, reading, hiking, parenting, overspending at the Renaissance Festival, and leaving coffee cups around the house.