4 Ingenious Ways to Use Video for Social Media

“Video is going to become the face of business in 2017. This means decision makers and CEOs need to start humanizing their companies with videos of real people that others can relate to.”
— Mike Arce, founder and CEO of Loud Rumor

You write an amazing Facebook post and put it up on your page. Hours turn into days, but there’s no engagement. A handful of likes (if any) and barely any comments or shares.

Your social media marketing strategy becomes a complete fail.

Same is the case with Instagram and Twitter. Social media is bursting with brands trying to promote their products and services through these strategies. You need to stand out from the crowd by doing something different. And that’s where video comes in.

Let’s take a look at Buzzfeed. It is a pioneer in creating viral-worthy, revenue-generating, super-innovative videos. You’ve probably seen one of their 1 minute ‘Buzzfeed Tasty’ food videos.

In almost 2 years, they’ve managed to:

  • Create 2000+ recipe videos
  • Reach over 500 million people a month
  • Generate a whopping 1.8 billion views in just a single month.  

All of this by using the power of video.

Video marketing is a fast growing marketing strategy. Cisco estimates that video will account for a whopping 82 percent of global internet traffic by 2020. Mere words and pretty pictures no longer engage people; they need something more.

EMarketer.com also predicts that, ‘Video will be the fastest-growing content category on mobile, desktop and everywhere else through at least 2020.’

Let’s learn how you can use innovative video to make your brand go viral and smash all your revenue goals. After all, companies which use videos in their marketing grow revenue 49% faster year-on-year than those which don’t.

So, let's dive right in.

1. Engage with them in real time by broadcasting live

Social media is all about subtle marketing. More engaging your audience, less promoting your brand through aggressive, in-your-face marketing.

Fortunately for us, social media platforms have been quickly rolling out features for broadcasting live. Fancy a quick talk with your audience? Just hop onto Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Periscope (and any new platforms that may have rolled out by the time this post goes live), and talk to them in real time.

Buzzfeed made great use of this feature. One fine day, over 80,000 people got together and watched two Buzzfeed employees burst a watermelon by tying rubber bands on it. No, I’m not kidding.


As tension escalated, everyone shared this with everyone else, and soon it went viral.


While you don’t have to do what Buzzfeed did, it’s still a great way to drop your corporate veil, show your human side and connect with your tribe. You can address their comments right away and encourage participation.

According to Forrester Research, ‘Facebook users spend 3X more time watching live videos than traditional videos.’

There are several ways you can use this feature to promote your brand. Brands have been experimenting with different formats, such as:

  • Conduct a live Q and A session where you answer your audience’s queries
  • Create how-to videos
  • Show behind the scenes of important events, product creation process, etc.
  • Give important announcements
  • Or just have a quick chat with your community.

The best part about going live is that it’s unscripted and gives out genuine vibes. So, instead of overthinking, just go on one of these platforms and start engaging with your audience.  

Pro tip: Because these videos are live, their mostly unscripted and off-the-cuff nature can be a pro and sometimes also a con. Make sure that whoever is on the livestream is media-trained, has a great personality, and reacts well under pressure.  

2. Connect with them through employee stories

Had a surprise birthday party at work today?

Did your brand introduce new products and your employees are trying them out?

Does your Customer Service department have funny (and nice!) stories to tell about your customers?

People love hearing stories.

Asking employees to record behind-the-scene videos of their work life is a great way to humanize your brand. It’s not only fun, but also builds trust and relationship with the audience.

Brands are also jumping on this bandwagon increasingly. SmashFly found that 57% companies (within the 2015 Fortune 500 companies) used employee stories on their career sites through either text or video. Why? Because it works.

There are several ways you can use this strategy:

1. Conduct a Q and A session with your employees

Keep these sessions short, as studies have proven that videos up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement.

Source:  Bufferapp

Source: Bufferapp

Boring questions will get you meh answers. Perk these sessions by asking them funny and creative questions.

  • What was the weirdest customer service issue you’ve had to deal with?
  • What was the hardest problem you had to overcome when you started work?
  • What does your spouse think about your job?

You can also discuss personal stories of employees and how they came to work for you.

Real Lobster’s ‘Real People’ video marketing campaign made a great use of their people. They shared unscripted stories of their employees to show the high-quality dining experience Red Lobster strives for.


2. Customer Testimonials

A raving review from a satisfied customer can go a long way in building your brand. And this is what brands are now doing.

Hubspot is a pro at highlighting customer success stories. Here’s a video from one of their communications vendor, ShoreTel.

3. BTS humorous situations related to your business\office\industry

Go behind the scenes with your customers, employees and shoot videos that show a fun side of your brand. Highlight a funny prank, a surprise birthday party, etc. and share a few laughs with your audience.

Several big brands are successfully using this strategy to connect with their audience. Vogue is one of them. In one of their campaigns, they made a fun backstage video with Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, and followed them around on their shoot.

Pro Tip: Don’t just restrict yourself to sharing these videos on your brand's official page. Ask your employees to share these videos on their personal pages too. Use a hashtag so that you can track all the people who engaged with the video.

3. Tug at their hearts with a fictional series

Rachel Gillett wrote in Fast Company,

"When we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well."

By integrating fictional stories in your videos, you can create characters that your audience will cheer and root for. It’s almost like a mini TV show - entertaining yet educating viewers about your brand.

It requires a decent budget, but if you can pull it off with an interesting story that ties nicely with your brand message, it can go viral.

Let’s see how brands are using fictional stories to add an oomph factor to their campaigns.

Kate Spade’s #misadventure

Kate Spade created a fictional story in their #misadventure video campaign. This mini series starred Anna Kendrick and showed her quirky escapades in the initial episodes. Then in the later episodes, we see another set of girls (Zosia Mamet, Kat Dennings and Lola Kirke) going on a fun girl’s weekend away, all decked up in Kate Spade.

It’s super-fun, appeals to their target audience (I LOVED it!) and promotes the brand effectively. Anna Kendrick is spotted wearing Kate Spade’s holiday collection. The video is interactive, as well, and you can click on the products in the video to read their details.

SquareSpace’s Sleeping Tapes

SquareSpace used this very strategy in their Super Bowl ad campaigns to make their brand go viral. And it paid off.

They teamed up with Jeff Bridges and promoted his "Sleeping Tapes" project, which uses the SquareSpace service. In this video, Jeff Bridges tells the story of his sleeping tape in an intriguing narrative. It got a massive amount of views.

You don’t need to hire celebrities or influencers for your fictional series. A great story idea, employees who can act, and a great editing software can help you create an viral-worthy, highly-engaging series, too.

Start with a short ad campaign and build on that.

4. Transport them to another world through time-lapse videos

In a time lapse video, you condense a long experience into a short video. It appeals to audience with fleeting attention spans and gets the message across in a compelling way.

The Buzzfeed tasty recipe videos we talked about earlier are a perfect example of how time lapse videos should be. And their staggering popularity shows that this format has the potential to take over the digital marketing world.

A lot of other brands have happily jumped on this bandwagon, too.

Barclays centre showed the 4 year construction process from an insider’s perspective through a time lapse video.


DisneyLand used time lapse videos to highlight the key moments in their history on their 60th Diamond Celebration. This amazing video also showed how they started from nothing and built an empire; the ashes to glory story adding that essential emotional element.   


In 2014, keeping up with latest marketing trends, Instagram introduced their hyperlapse feature. It allows you to create time lapse videos without using a lot of fancy equipment or straining your budget. Several businesses promptly started using this feature to promote their brands in interesting ways.

Out for a spin at #MadTeaParty! #teacups #hyperlapse #Disneyland

A post shared by Disneyland (@disneyland) on

Use time lapse videos for product release, to show rebranding, give a tour of your office, show progress  and history of your business, display foot traffic such as in trade shows, black friday sales, and so on. Be creative.

Ready to start filming?

Brands are flocking more and more towards videos because they work. Consumers are bored with the same old strategies, and want something different, something better.

43% of people want to see more video content from marketers

If you haven’t incorporated videos in your digital marketing strategy, then you’re losing out. Get on this bandwagon right away and start filming. You don't need fancy equipment, huge budgets and lots of planning. A simple video can do wonders, too. So make a video, upload it, learn from the feedback, and make a better video next time. Repeat this process and you’ll soon see great results.