The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What’s Next [Expert Predictions + Data]

The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What’s Next [Expert Predictions + Data]

Over the past few years, video has become one of the most compelling ways for brands to tell their stories on social media.

From the instant popularity of Facebook Live videos to Instagram increasing their video length from 30 to 60 seconds, marketers are using the power of video to communicate their business’ personalities and brand stories, to express creativity, and to build emotional connections with fans and followers.

And it’s working: 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, according to a research report from Adobe. And over 60% of marketers plan to increase their investment in video over the next year.

Right now, video is performing incredibly well on social media. So where is it headed during the rest of this year and beyond?

Read on to learn more about the future of social media video trends with these predictions backed by today’s research and notable marketing experts.

Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

The Future of Social Media Video

YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram will be the preferred platforms for social media videos. 

While video will content to grow in popularity on social media, not every platform will benefit equally from this growth. Some social media platforms will be better equipped to create, publish, and share videos than others. And, the ones where marketers are the most successful will be the ones that brands will gravitate towards the most — namely Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.  

For instance, over 100 millions hours of video a day is watched on Facebook, and of the 79% of marketing teams that published videos on Facebook in 2020, 85% said it was successful. Of the 85% of marketing teams that published videos on Youtube, 83% found it to be successful. And, 65% of video marketers said that they plan to include Instagram in their 2020 marketing strategy because of how effective video content was on this social media platform. 

These three platforms will be the most popular when it comes to social media video content. Not only do they already have millions of active users, but they also let you engage with followers after you post a video. The more you respond to comments and communicate with your audience, the more they’ll interact with your content the next time you post.

Adweek’s Meghan O’Neil offers this advice.

“When you engage with your fans on Twitter and Facebook, it makes them all the more likely to notice when you have a new video up… and share it with their friends.” – Megan O’Neill, Adweek

There will be more video-based social media platforms.

While Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram will start as the leading platforms for social media video, that doesn’t mean they’ll be alone at the top for long. In fact, there’s already been a wave of new video-based social media platforms that are rapidly gaining popularity around the world. 

Take Twitch, for example. In just eight years, the video game streaming platform has grown from 102K viewers to over 1.4 million viewers.

Twitch-usersImage Source

Tik Tok is another good example. It was the number one app downloaded in 2020 with an estimated 738 million downloads. With over 500 million active users, Tik Tok is now the sixth largest social media platform in the world behind Instagram, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp. 

But, Tik Tok and Twitch aren’t the only social platforms aiming to joining the ranks of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Aside from smaller players like Meerkat and Parascope, Twitter is now getting into video with its newest feature, Fleets. Fleets are temporary posts that expire after a day, similar to an Instagram Story. With Fleets, users can post videos to their timelines which are six times more likely to be retweeted than a photo tweet. And, research from Nielsen suggests that Twitter video is twice as memorable than videos watched on other social media platforms. The reasoning here is that Twitter videos tend to be viewed as more organic and genuine than videos posted to Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram. 

Social media platforms will compete with streaming services. 

The next frontier for social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram appears to be television. In fact, Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith, told Likeable that she believes that Facebook’s goal is “to become the next generation digital streaming television platform.”

“Facebook is on a mission to become the next generation television platform” – Mari Smith

This means that Facebook would completely directly with brands like Netlix and Hulu. Its goal is to become the destination for video streaming and, according to Smith, it’s investing heavily in its “Watch” feature to accomplish that goal. 

YouTube, on the other hand, has been experimenting with YouTube TV since 2017. With YouTube TV, users can watch live television without a cable subscription. This is much different than YouTube’s original approach, which was completely centered around user-generated content. With more social media platforms competing in its space, YouTube is expanding its offering to appeal to a larger audience. 

Let’s not forget Instagram, either. While it doesn’t offer a full-fledge streaming service, Instagram recently launched its IGTV feature which is geared towards long-form video content. And, rather than having to tilt your device sideways to watch a video, IGTV expands the image so the video can be watched from your device’s vertical interface. Research shows that watching videos from this angle improves its completion rate. 

Video will become part of the shopping experience. 

Video was already becoming a standard part of the customer experience, and now, as more people are working from home and shopping online, it’s an essential for brands trying to promote their products. Social media presents the perfect opportunity to share these videos as 61% of consumers crave video content when interacting with a brand. And, 55% of people will use a brand’s video content when making a purchase decision. 

Here’s an example of how J. Crew is using video to promote its new products on Instagram. 

 

But, product promotion isn’t the only way to capitalize on social media video. Brands like Napoleon Cat are creating “explainer” videos where they explain how a product works and who would use it. 

 

Other brands are hosting Q&A sessions and posting customer testimonial videos as well. This provides a level of social proof that helps customers trust a brand after they watch one of these video. For example, here’s a testimonial video for Clek created by one its customers. 

These are a just a few ways that social media videos are affecting the customer experience. As Brian Halligan highlights in the quote below, these are the timely opportunities that “marketers need to adapt to or risk extinction” by falling behind their competitors. 

Tweetable_Quote_Halligan

For more video tips, learn how to create social media video ads

free guide to using video in social media

Top Social Media Tools You Need to Use in 2021

Top Social Media Tools You Need to Use in 2021

You already know how important social media is to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and ultimately score more conversions.

The world is on social media — 50% of it, at least — so if you want your product, service, and mission to reach the maximum amount of people, your business needs to be on social media, too.

However, social media can be extremely time-consuming. It also spans so many diverse tasks, ranging from data-based activities like tracking analytics, to creative jobs such as designing graphics.

Download Now: Free Social Media Calendar

It can be difficult to find the skills and manpower needed to execute a good social media strategy — which is why you need social media tools to help you out.

Below, we’ll cover the top social media tools you should be using in 2021 to help you save time and increase conversions.

What makes for a good social media tool?

Although the term “social media tool” is very general and can apply to a wide range of services, there are a few key features that your top social media tools should have.

It saves you time.

The goal of a social media tool is to save you time while getting similar — or better — results than you could without it. Look for social media tools that automate a process, but make sure the process still happens correctly, since some shortcuts might be too fast and therefore won’t focus on quality.

It helps you increase brand awareness.

One of the biggest benefits of social media is its ability to increase your brand awareness, which is why each social media tool you select should perform its services with brand awareness in mind.

Maybe your tool of choice is an editing platform such as Lightroom, which can help you create images to match the rest of your feed. Or, maybe it’s an Instagram scheduler like Later so you can preview your profile before you post images. Whatever the case may be, social media tools should focus largely on brand awareness.

It’s easy to use.

Social media tools are only a time-saver if they’re easy and intuitive. Each tool you select should be super user-friendly so that, if needed, your accounting team could edit photos and your creative, right-brained writers could still use the analytics function to track daily social metrics.

Many social media tools provide tutorials on their websites. Others, such as Kicksta, have top-notch customer service so you can get immediate expert advice if you need help getting off the ground.

It’s affordable.

Social media tools should be affordable (and most of them are). Many high-quality social media tools are even free, such as the Unfold app, which is perfect for creating Instagram stories.

With social media tools, there’s no need for you to go back and forth with the accounting department trying to get your budget approved. Most social media tools are already budget-friendly so all you need to do is sign up.

It keeps you organized.

One of the ways social media tools save you time is by keeping you organized, so make sure the social media tools you decide to use are efficient and tidy.

For example, HubSpot’s Social Inbox tool helps you prioritize your social media interactions, and graphic design website Canva saves your designs so you can go back and edit them later.

1. HubSpot’s Social Inbox Tool

Price: Starts at $800/month, included in the Marketing Hub Professional tier

HubSpot’s Social Inbox tool saves you valuable time while still optimizing your social efforts. Schedule your posts, integrate your social networks with your blog, and monitor messages and mentions so you can nurture new leads.

HubSpot also integrates all of your marketing with your CRM, so it’s easy to figure out how many leads and customers you’re receiving directly from social media. “HubSpot Marketing Hub … puts the potential of corporate marketing within everyone’s reach,” one customer says.

top social media tools hubspot social inbox

2. Kicksta

Price: Starts at $49/month for individual creatives

Kicksta is an Instagram growth service that helps you get more organic followers on your Instagram business account. Using your company account, the growth service “likes” around 30,000 photos a month on carefully-targeted accounts. Those users — real people, not spam bots or fake accounts — will begin to follow your account, increasing your brand awareness.

Kicksta is a good fit for any industry and provides a friendly, responsive, and helpful customer success team. “Kicksta helps introduce new audiences to our brand while providing consistent organic Instagram growth,” says Ryan Beltran, CEO of watch company Original Grain. “It’s great for social proof too!”

top social media tools kicksta

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3. Lightroom

Price: Starts at $9.99/month

Adobe’s Lightroom product is a tool that lets you organize and edit photos. Since social media is all about visuals, it’s critical your business’s social media accounts showcase vibrant, on-brand photos.

Sliders, filters, and many other features make Lightroom a user-friendly tool to create beautiful photos even if you don’t have much editing experience. Lightroom is available for both mobile and desktop, and best of all, changes made on one device immediately apply to all devices.

top social media tools lightroom

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4. Canva

Price: Free, or starts at $9.95/month

Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design website where you can create custom, on-brand graphics for your company’s social media accounts. The website has dozens of templates — everything from Facebook banners to Instagram stories to Twitter posts — so if starting from scratch to create social graphics seems intimidating, use a template instead.

One user said, “Canva has been a lifesaver to me and my business. No more hours sitting in front of the computer coming up with graphics for social media post[s] or Pinterest post[s].”

top social media tools canva

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5. Unfold

Price: Free

Described as “a toolkit for storytellers”, Unfold is an iOS and Android app that helps you create beautiful templates for Instagram stories. Bringing your creative visions to life is the driving idea behind Unfold.

It’s an ideal app for lifestyle brands who want to create stylish collages to keep their social media accounts on-brand and receive the maximum amount of engagement from followers.

top social media tools unfold

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6. HypeAuditor

Price: Starts at $200/month for 50 reports

You’ll never earn money from fake followers — they just make your engagement look bad (think millions of followers, but only a few hundred likes per photo) and ruin your reputation. That’s why HypeAuditor weeds out fake followers on your Instagram account to help you determine your organic reach.

Additionally, HypeAuditor analyzes your audience to figure out where they live, their age and gender, and which of your followers are ghosts.

top social media tools hypeauditor

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7. Retouchup

Price: Starts at $0.25 per image

The website Retouchup provides an easy way to edit photos for social media, from basic color correction to more advanced Photoshop-like features such as adding or removing people from a photo. With Retouchup, you don’t do the work yourself — instead, just submit a photo and the website’s experts will edit the photo for you within 24 hours.

“You’re making me look like an awesome photographer!” one user gushed. Retouchup can save you time during the editing stage, and make your images appear higher-quality and more compelling.

top social media tools retouchup

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8. Marketing Video Builder

Price: Free, or starts at $33/month.

Marketing Video Builder by Animoto helps you make professional-tier videos to engage with audiences. Videos can be created in minutes using the online video editor. The best part about the tool is that you don’t even need editing experience to get started.

You can increase brand awareness by making videos for your company, and share them across social channels to grow your audience. Additionally, if you’re a HubSpot customer, you can integrate that account with your Animoto account.

top social media tools marketing video builder

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When you create videos, you can use a pre-built storyboard template curated by either Animoto or HubSpot. Alternatively, you can make a video from scratch. When you’re done, you can export the video to your HubSpot file manager with one click and manage it from there.

Animoto also integrates with Getty Images, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you can have video tools for a good portion of social media platforms all in one place.

In addition to the HubSpot Social Inbox Tool, which is helpful while planning and executing campaigns, these social media campaign tools are also helpful to add to your tool belt.

1. Falcon

Price: $129/mo.

Falcon is a social media management platform that allows you to create posts for social networks on a collaborative content calendar.

It integrates with HubSpot, Microsoft, and Salesforce to help users streamline marketing tasks among teams. For a visual to see how Falcon integrates with other software, refer to the photo below:

top social media tools falcon

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HubSpot customers can use this integration to create audience segments. These segmentations will help you target your customers with social media posts, making sure your content is being seen by the right people. Any changes you make within HubSpot will automatically transfer to Falcon, so you don’t have to worry about manually updating content.

2. Quuu

Price: Free, or starts at $19/month.

Quuu is a platform that helps its users execute visually stunning social media content. It automates the time-consuming process of properly creating professional, engaging multimedia assets for campaigns.

When using Quuu, you can choose from over 500 interest categories, like marketing or real estate, and receive content suggestions based on those choices. You’ll receive a certain amount of content suggestions per day per profile based on your settings, ensuring you’ll always have relevant posts for your audience.

top social media tools quuu

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If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can integrate the two platforms. Quuu finds the best content for your social profiles, and HubSpot lets you control those suggestions. You can go to your draft folder via HubSpot and pick which content you want to upload if your Quuu account isn’t automated, which you can change.

Quuu looks for content so you don’t have to. The tool also integrates with Buffer, Hootsuite, and Socialbee.

3. Later

Price: Free, or starts at $7.50/month

Social media marketing platform Later lets you plan and schedule your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest posts. The drag-and-drop calendar makes it easy for you to map out your upcoming posts and see at a glance how your feed will look.

You can also track your analytics, which will help you figure out the best time of day to post, and the best hashtags to use. Additionally, the Linkin.Bio feature for Instagram helps your posts become instantly shoppable.

“I love that you can either use it via the website or app on-the-go,” one user remarks. “It is one of those apps that I could not live without … Later is [a] super easy tool to set up.”

top social media tools later

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There are numerous choices out there for high-quality social media tools. Ultimately, it’s your job to decide which tool is the best fit for your needs, your budget, your campaigns, and your marketing goals.

4. Design Wizard

Price: Free, or starts at $9.99/month

This tool lets you create different types of content, like photos and videos, with no professional editing experience required. If you have a limited budget and time on your hands, this free visual content tool is ideal for you.

Design Wizard has a library of over a million multimedia graphics for inspiration and use. Plus, all images are licensed for commercial use, so if you use one from the site, you won’t run into copyright infringements.

top social media tools design wizard

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Over to You

Your beautiful, on-brand images will be able to integrate with HubSpot. You can manage all of the files you create with Design Wizard from your HubSpot account, which you can use for campaign posts.

Need a painless way to track your social interactions? Try HubSpot’s social inbox tool today.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

social media content calendar

7 Tips for Writing Facebook Ads that Convert (w/ Examples)

7 Tips for Writing Facebook Ads that Convert (w/ Examples)

Like many types of advertising, a Facebook ad is only as good as its copywriter.

You could be promoting a high-converting campaign from MaxBounty and have an endless budget to work with, but if your copy is weak, you can expert your conversions to be too.

Learning to write better Facebook ads requires you to learn both classic copywriting skills and a few new-age tips. We put together the seven that have the greatest chance of improving your ad writing skills in the shortest amount of time. We also threw in some examples of big brands using our suggestions in their own Facebook ads.

Let’s forget about targeting, split-testing, and ad platform features for a day and focus solely on writing great Facebook ad copy.

1. Spark some curiosity

Giving users a reason to click on your ad will make them more likely to click on your ad. Seems obvious enough.

The goal here is to create enough intrigue that the user feels like the story of your ad is incomplete. By clicking on your ad, they get to discover the ending.

However, there’s an importance balance to keep in mind.

If you go too far into blatant persuasion, you’ll enter the realm of click bait. This will make your ad come off as illegitimate and untrustworthy to most users. If Facebook notices, you could even face penalization.

Congratulations, you caught someone’s attention but unfortunately it was Facebook’s compliance team.  

Here’s how to do it the right way.

Example:

Notice the last bit of copy in the above Lulu Lemon ad: “gift ideas packed with possibilities”  

A line like that automatically makes the brain ask itself: “What gifts?” “What possibilities?”

It creates intrigue, and that’s one of the most powerful ways to get a user to your landing page.

Try to utilize the same approach by putting the “ending” of your message on your landing page. Just remember to lose the “You won’t believe what happens next!”.  

2. Use simple language

Eight seconds. That’s the average Facebook user’s attention span according to a recent study.

It’s time to avoid the thesaurus and forget your impressive vocabulary, you need to keep things simple.

The best approach is to write short sentences that clearly communicate your message. Every word should have a purpose.

When possible, you can also use numbers to communicate information efficiently.

Many users will not read every word in your copy. They’ll just skim through and process what they deem important. Numbers are almost guaranteed to be one of those things as they’re so easy for us to mentally consume.

Instead of saying “This product works twice as quick as its previous version.” you should say “This products works 100% quicker than its previous version.”  Your message of increased product speed will be understood sooner with the latter approach, and time is of the essence in digital avertising.

Example:

Although the copy is a little long. The above IKEA ad utilizes simple language and numbers to delivers its message.

The Question > Quick Answer > Stats > Call to Action structure has a natural flow when you read it, and each component makes sure not to overstay its welcome.   

3. Communicate urgency

Procrastination can plague us all. To loosen its grasp, we sometimes need a little extra motivation.

You want your ad to coax your audience into acting now rather than later. That’s accomplished through copy that conveys the need for urgency.

You want to hit the user with just the right amount of FOMO so that they feel the need to enter your sales funnel immediately.

Here’s a few ways you can do that:

  • Use words that create a tightened sense of time like “now”, “soon “, and “today”
  • Use a call to action with a limited life span like “sign up before time runs out”
  • Use lines that elicit a fear of missing out like “it’s your last chance” and “don’t miss out”

Example:

This ad from Sephora goes all in on the FOMO approach, even using the term directly in the copy. It’s short, to the point, and succeeds at creating a sense of urgency by directly telling the user not to miss out on brand new products.

Emojis

4. Ensure your ad is cohesive

Many Facebook ads fail because there’s a disconnection between the copy and ad image. This can confuse the user and mae them wonder what exactly is being advertised. That’s a conversion killer.

Fortunately, although a frequent and costly mistake, it’s one that’s easy to avoid.  

Here’s a simple exercise you can do to ensure your ad image and copy are always a match made in heaven:

Read over your copy and then write down the first five images that come to your mind when doing so. If possible, ask a friend to now do the same. If your image does not contain any components that immediately came to you and/or your friend’s mind, it’s likely that your ad lacks cohesion.

Example:

The copy in this La-Z-Boy ad makes you envision a festive, warm, and inviting living room with a comfy couch as its centerpiece. The image delivers exactly that. It then ups the ante by adding a dog and blanket. It’s the epitome of cozy.

It works because the two components perfectly connect. The messages being conveyed in each are synonymous with each other, avoiding any confusion about the ad’s trying to say.

5. Focus on the user

It’s understandable to think that users want to know why a product is great. If they’re aware of its cutting-edge technology or low price-point, then how can they not click buy, right?

Not exactly.

Promoting the features of a product or service simply doesn’t catch eyes. That’s because you’re not including the user in your message. They’re not a character in your story and that’s just not very exciting.

Instead, let them know what’s in it for them.

Focus on communicating the true value of what it is you’re promoting and the positive impact it can have on the user’s life.

Use “You”, “Your”, and “You’re” in your copy so that they see themselves as the main character of your story.

Example:

This ad from Fender Guitars does a great job of keeping the focus on the user.

It clearly communicates how they would benefit by whats being advertised, while lines like “find your perfect bass” and “fit your style and need” ensure the user feels accommodated.

The simplest way to remember this is benefits > features.

6. Use Emojis

Emojis are great at accomplishing two things that are important in any Facebook ad:

  • Drawing attention to your ad copy
  • Saving you space by communicating something quickly through an image

They can also personalize your ad, making the user feel like they’re receiving a message from a friend rather than an advertiser.

The only time we don’t recommend using them is if your ad deals with serious subject matter. It’s probably best to leave them out of your copy if you’re advertising a funeral service…

Example:

This Dunkin’ Donuts ad effectively uses emojis to communicate important elements of its message. The present emoji hits on the gift-giving angle while the coffee emoji reinforces the product that’s being advertised.

Try using emojis in a similar fashion in your next ad.

7. Use a single call-to-action.

You’re likely already aware that a strong CTA (call-to-action) is arguably the most important component of any ad. However, it is possible to over think this crucial element to the point where the user is confused about what you want from them.    

To avoid this mistake, determine a singular CTA and stick to it.

If the goal of of your ad is to get someone to sign up, ensure you use language that reinforces that request.

A good place to start is determining which Facebook button you will use at the bottom of your ad. You can then use that to guide your call-to-action in the actual copy.

Example:

It’s clear that the purpose of this Microsoft Store ad is to get users to register to their virtual winter camps. The word “register” is even used twice, both at the end of the body copy and in the call-to-action area at the bottom.

The “Learn More” button works well enough, but this ad could have potentially been approved by using the “Sign up” button. This would have fit better with the register-based CTA in the rest of the ad.

Try any or all of these strategies when writing your next Facebook ad to create persuasive, clear, ad copy that increases conversions.