If you aren’t looking for ways to use video to increase the visibility of your brand, connect with customers, and provide more value, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Your customers (present and future) watch video—a lot of it. Every minute, 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Cisco reports that by 2018, 69 percent of total internet traffic will be video. If you want to get noticed, you need to be where the crowds are, and those crowds are consuming online video.

Chris Rainey

Last month I listed a number of content ideas for your videos. This month I’m talking about a few more angles on content as well as the nuts and bolts of using video through social media.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE CLOCK

Before you hit the record button on your camera, it’s important to understand the maximum length of video that each of the most popular online channels allows.

• Facebook: 120 minutes

• Twitter suggests keeping videos under 30 seconds

• Instagram: 60 seconds

• Snapchat: 10 seconds

• Vine: 6 seconds

GOING LIVE

Last year live streaming was one of the biggest things to hit the internet. Initially, Periscope was the largest player in the live streaming market, but in recent months Facebook and YouTube have rolled out the ability to live stream from your phone or desktop computer.

Each platform gives you the ability to broadcast videos in real-time. You can see how many people are viewing your video while the broadcast is happening, and after the live video is broadcast, you can make it available for replay. Not only can you stream content, you also can interact with your audience through the chat features that each platform incorporates.

OPTIMIZE

The videos you produce need to be optimized for search engines and social media platforms, just like your website needs to be optimized. You want your videos to be found on YouTube and appear in the Facebook newsfeed of your followers. Here are some tips that will help to make that happen.

If you want your video to have a higher chance of appearing in Facebook news feeds, post it natively—or upload it directly to Facebook. When you do this, you can also take advantage of the feature that allows you to highlight a specific video.

YouTube is the second largest search engine. For this reason alone it should be on your radar for serving current customers and attracting new ones. Focus on these four key areas to for optimization with YouTube:

• Video Title. Include keywords that are relevant to the content of your video.

• Description. Write a clever description. Include keywords that people will use in their search.

• Tags. Use relevant tags that people will use when searching for the content featured in your video.

• Links. Embed links within your video as well as your description that will direct people to your website or social media channels.

BRANDING AND IDENTIFICATION

Because anything can be shared through social media, it’s important to include your brand and business identity as part of your videos. You may post a video on Facebook or YouTube, and 10 or 10,000 people may share it with their followers. But if their followers aren’t familiar with you, your company, and brand—and you haven’t included your logo or links to your website—you have missed a huge opportunity to drive traffic back to your website or social media channels.

KEY TO SOCIAL SUCCESS

Focus on your content and how you’ll engage your audience with good, compelling stories. How has your product or business helped people make a positive change in their lives? What stories can you tell about your product or business that will help people, thus adding value? Nobody wants to just watch a talking head, but nobody can turn away from a great story.