When it comes to video ads, Twitter can stand on its own. With 321 million active users per month, the social platform is perfect for fast, relevant video content. Video tweets are six times more likely to earn retweets than image tweets, which are already several times more popular than text-only tweets. Don’t get anxious about reports of slowed growth—for many, Twitter remains the platform of choice.
If the future of Twitter is video, how should brands adjust their social media strategies? It boils down to quality—the quality of the video determines whether audiences pay attention. If your brand doesn’t have strong videos on Twitter, it’s time to make a change. To ensure your videos are not only seen but also memorable, do the following:
1. Don’t Ask Users to Click for Sound
Mobile viewers and most desktop viewers can’t be bothered to unmute ads. Appeal to their visual senses by designing videos with obvious characters and motivations, eye-popping visuals, and identifiable branding. Also, include closed captioning. If your video requires users to click for sound, there’s a strong chance your message will never be heard.
Video is powerful. Through the use of engaging images and captions, you can capture people’s attention, with or without sound. One of Lemonlight’s clients used a Twitter video ad to showcase its app that allows users to manipulate imagery of night lighting with a unique camera—and the ad’s large, visible text means viewers don’t need to turn on the sound.
2. Create Relatable Characters
People like other people, especially when they can see themselves in those people’s shoes. Consider target audience demographics (race, age, hobbies, etc.) and design ads that appeal to those specific audiences.
Consider Levi’s November 2018 ad: To encourage Americans to vote during the midterm elections, the jean outfitter spotlighted citizens from all cultures and beliefs visiting polling places countrywide. The spot was able to relate both to the country’s diversity and unity. Find a way to include relatable people who carry out relatable emotions on screen in your Twitter videos.
3. Remember: Bigger is Better
Mobile users view ads on small screens. Use close-ups on faces, and take up as much of the screen as possible on feature images to make the point of the ad obvious.
If a viewer has to squint to understand what she’s watching, she’ll likely skip your video altogether, so use large text graphics to capture your viewers’ attention. Large words on the screen can instantly resonate with your audience members and keep them curious about your brand and what it’s offering.
4. Promote with #Hashtags
Twitter owes much of its success to its innovation of hashtags, so use them with video tweets. Say you’re trying to promote a new fitness product to Twitter’s fitness community with a video. Begin searching for popular hashtags that are relevant to your product and audience. Start with the obvious—#fitness, #fit, #training—and determine which ones resonate the most with your target audience. Try not to exceed more than 10 hashtags across your Twitter video marketing strategy, though.
5. Get Outside the Marketing Bubble
Audiences on social media love authenticity. Give them something besides an ad by providing snappy educational content, funny GIFs, and other internet-only pieces that feel less like advertising and more like an authentic conversation. Netflix does this well: It frequently uses GIFs to reply to customers on Twitter.
Twitter might not be the most popular social media platform, but that doesn’t mean brands should ignore it. Users on Twitter remain highly engaged, and brands that leverage that engagement with video content stand to reap serious rewards.