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You already know video is the lynchpin of social media marketing – No? What? Seriously!? Have you been living under a rock? Go away!


The rest of us can agree on one observation: Video is hands-down THE best online marketing tool; that’s it – end of discussion. Humankind does not need another superficial list of the ‘top ten reasons’ to ‘leverage’ video in social channels. We’re already converts.


Look over anyone’s shoulder on public transport and they’ll be scrolling through some social app and slowing to let videos play. Hey, if they’re scrolling TikTok they’re already on an eternal rollercoaster of nothing but short-form video content. So, the inclusion of video in any half-decent marketing strategy is a NO-BRAINER. You absolutely HAVE TO be using video. But as we all know, it’s not as simple as posting it and waiting for the view-count to rocket skyward!


When a user grants an in-feed video a few moments of their attention, the video has almost certainly nailed common-sense basics: it’s enticing from the get-go, the right duration for the message, subtitled for sound-off – yet still has a belting audio track. The video will also have been created specifically for the channel, in the correct aspect ratio, and has a tone of voice appropriate to the target viewer. We all know what a ‘good’ video feels like when we take the time to watch one. Yet, making something that looks professional and ticks the ‘best practice’ specifications is clearly not enough. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say all videos on social media are born equal. If every video on the internet had been made to the same high production values, what would be the only differentiator that made a user to view one video while skimming past countless others?


One-word answer: Relevance.


All other factors being equal, a video will bomb because its creator woefully overestimated how relevant it would be to their intended audience.


Relentlessly creating and posting tons of video across social media is great, visibility is crucial – if you’re posting plenty of video, post even more! If people like what you’re posting, they’ll engage. If they unfollow or leave negative comments, they probably didn’t like you all that much anyway – so don’t lose any sleep. But, even in an intense posting onslaught, if a video is irrelevant to your audience – if there’s no purpose to its existence it’s likely going to be a wasted effort, it’ll pass by without engaging anyone. The relevance of any video is of equal (if not greater) importance to the quality of its execution. I’ll say it only once, but in italic for emphasis:


“We need to post lots of video because Google likes videos”  is NOT a clear marketing tactic, and “We need a video to promote our business”  is NOT a refined creative strategy.


At the outset play Devil’s Advocate and ask yourself honestly: “Exactly why would anyone watch this specific video, what are they going to get from this one?” Get REALLY SPECIFIC in the answer to that question, it’s the only way you’ll create videos that engage.


Tom Vaughan-Mountford is a broadcast advertising commentator and the Senior Editor at JMS Group, a television advertising production company in Norwich, UK. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tomontv