The situation is clear: you must create engaging video content on social media.
You know you have to draw the viewer in and leave an impression, but there are so many ways it can go wrong.
It’s already hard to churn out videos, but it’s a lot harder to make sure your content resonates for the right reasons – you want to get customers excited about your brand.
Your videos must be interactive, transparent, innovative and topical, and the best types of social media video content blend all of these elements.
Here are nine examples of social media video ideas done right to inspire your marketing efforts.
Engaging your customer means a lot more than just getting them to watch or like your video.
If a video encourages your customers to interact with it and gives them some control over the experience they have while watching, your video will be an experience for them to remember. This example from luxury watch brand Shinola is engaging in many dimensions.
Its 360 format means that in order to follow the action, the viewer needs to engage with the video with their cursor, so they will be more focused on listening to the video.
This complements the content of the video perfectly as immersion into the human side of the product’s manufacturing calls for a method that lets viewers feel as if they are right there by the action.
Additionally, the presence of actor Luke Wilson gives customers a familiar face to lead them through the industrial spectacle that is the Shinola factory.
2. Warby Parker: How Warby Parker Glasses Are Made
Warby Parker, an online eyewear retailer, makes it clear early on in this video that one of their priorities is “engaging with customers directly.” However, they don’t leave it at that.
They continue to prove it with an immaculately shot video that gives customers a behind-the-scenes look at exactly what goes into each pair of glasses they make. Not only is the video shot well, but it is informative, detail-oriented and transparent.
This video breaks the stereotype of product manufacturing as a dry, dismal process and turns it into something artful.
This video exemplifies a minimalistic approach: it’s just not complicated at all. When there is purpose behind every frame, customers notice.
A walk through this process gives customers a curated look at the quality control behind the product, and the minimalist design of each frame makes it especially hard to look away.
“A minimalist approach to design is intentional design. Intention guides every choice,” writes Natalie Gotko, content strategist at Clique Studios. Minimalist design is taking strategy first then adding complexity where it’s needed. That strategy works incredibly well in this video, especially for a brand like Warby Parker – which values design not only through its eyewear, but also through everything else within its brand including its stores.
3. Red Bull: Road Trip USA is With Red Bull Racing
Red Bull is the epitome of a company that can gracefully dip its toes into many strains of content, even if they have little to do with the product it sells. This is key to excellent marketing.
If customers associate you with any of their interests, they will be more likely to gravitate towards your product. This video shows the Red Bull’s skill at this as they tap into a widespread market of passionate enthusiasts, creating something that establishes their brand as an authority on F1 Racing.
They do this with music as well — people see them pumping money into an industry they love, and suddenly Red Bull becomes about much more than just an energy drink. The best part about this video is that you don’t have to be an F1 fan to enjoy it. Its scenic imagery and “American road trip” theme makes sure not to box out any viewers who might not be as in-touch with racing.
When it comes to a viral tearjerker video, nothing strikes more of a chord than the uplifting reunion. The premise here is simple.
A man thinks he’s meeting his wife for a normal meal, but as he arrives he realizes he’s in for something much more substantial. Instead, his best friend from childhood — who he hasn’t seen in twenty years — is waiting for him. They get emotional, reconnect, feel all the feelings and, of course, eat some Denny’s!
It’s the type of moment that any viewer can be moved by, and it all happens in Denny’s, creating an association with the restaurant that stems beyond bacon and eggs. Customers don’t view this type of social media video as a transparent attempt to sell a product, but a piece of storytelling that they will get sucked into and watch all the way through, one whose emotional impact will linger with them until the day ends. It’s subtle, but next time they see a Denny’s, all those feelings will come back.
5. Starbucks: Live from Rufus King Park
One of the most impactful innovations in social media recently has been the rise of live video, allowing viewers to tune in and follow an event in real time.
They can comment and react, making their voice heard as the action is happening. Nothing makes a viewer feel like they’re there more than watching through the lens of someone who actually is. The question for brands is, what do you broadcast when you go live? In the case of Starbucks, the answer here was social issues, which can go awfully wrong if pulled off less gracefully than this. Starbucks know their limits, and they stay on the right side of them.
They remain non-partisan, by discussing the importance of voting, an issue that most people can agree on.
They do it with taste, by not inserting themselves or their product into the issue. They prove their worth, by providing a platform for the message to be spread. Viewers react passionately to issues that impact them, and something like this can earn Starbucks’ Facebook page plenty of engagement by piquing its audience’s genuine interests.
Talk about a format that benefits both parties.
Genius used to primarily be a website where music listeners could get the scoop on what their favorite rap lyrics meant, until it expanded into a beacon of all types of addicting, marketable video content. The most successful of these has been its “Verified” series, where musicians can sit down in front of a camera and explain their lyrics to the viewer with no room for misinterpretation.
This allows Genius to carve its place as a well-connected empire that gives you one of the most unfiltered experiences available when trying to interpret a song, letting the artists use the platform as a means of getting in on some sweet viral fame.
Doja Cat’s appearance on the series with her novelty hit “Mooo!” basically kick-started her career, taking a song that was viral in only a small crevice of the music world and exploding into a full-blown sensation.
Engaging customers often involves observing what’s going on in pop culture and finding a way to insert your brand as a voice that knows what’s up and is just as excited as everyone else is.
Of course, Game of Thrones was a huge source of hype this spring, and even those who weren’t heavily invested in the show somehow got roped into the discussion.
By recreating the title sequence using just Oreos, Oreo made something instantly clickable and shareable that was perfectly on-point with the world’s collective enthusiasm. It takes a real GOT nerd to make something as immaculate and spot-on as this, and it’s this type of energy that resonates hard. Also, don’t try to tell me that staring at Oreo’s for this long doesn’t trigger your cravings!
8. Ben & Jerry’s: Social Awareness on 420
420 is a holiday companies love to cash in on, especially those who sell delicious sweet treats to millennial and gen Z customers.
However, Ben & Jerry’s think outside the box by using their platform to educate their customers on issues that really matter. In this case, the issue is mass incarceration.
Instead of taking the easy angle to the holiday, Ben & Jerry’s take a risk. However, it’s this type of informative video that sucks people in and makes people starts discussions. As we noted in Sprout’s #BrandsGetReal findings on social media in a divided society, people seek this type of awareness from brands and expect them to be positive contributors to social issues.
The reason this works is that Ben and Jerry’s practice what they preach. They have donated a lot of money to these causes, and have repeatedly used their platform to spread these messages. People see this and notice the brand’s authentic and consistent voice.
9. WeWork: Tel Aviv
WeWork’s brand is unique. By reinvigorating the office environment, they are associated with a special blend of professionalism and breaking convention. What better way to exhibit this than giving customers a glance at their own work environment. Customers see this transparency and understand how deeply the brand is committed to its mission of “creating an environment where people work to make a life, not just a living.”
Space transformation through shared workspaces is not only a product they execute for other companies, but a philosophy that they truly believe impacts the way people work, including their own employees.
This Instagram video is cleverly edited and very personal. By showing just how refreshing a space like this can be, it makes viewers want to work nowhere else.
If you read one section from this article…
When you create a video for your customers on social media, it’s hard to know where to begin.
These videos are meant to inspire you: think about your company’s mission, your customers, and the way in which you approach the creation of the video before you start.
Make something worth watching – something that your customers will want to watch over and over again. Your goal should be more than to sell your product or service – you are creating a video that will be on the Internet for anyone to watch. It should be engaging and speak to your unique brand voice.
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