Building a brand while beating social media algorithms

Today, there are many social media marketing sites. Each site usually has a guru offering the best tips and tricks for how to grab your audience’s attention. Sadly, it’s easy to get so caught up in worrying about how to optimize your video for each social media platform’s algorithm that you forget to focus on branding. Even worse, some people get so distracted that they fail to tell a good story. Luckily, there’s a way to take the best of both worlds and produce videos that convey your message, while performing well on social media.

Optimize my video, or focus on my brand? 

The answer to that question is not as straightforward as you might think. There is value in both understanding the social media platform that you’re using and staying true to your brand. 

One of the first questions I ask clients in our initial meeting is, “what platform do you plan on using to share your video?” This allows me to create a video for their target market based around the audience demographics on that specific platform. I also look at what that platform defines as “ideal content” in terms of video length. A call to action and appropriate keywords further optimize the video for organic push. 

While it’s important to understand tailoring your video to the platform, it doesn’t mean you should forget about your brand. Why push out content that doesn’t deliver your message? Isn’t that the point?

Don’t hate the platform, hate the game

Incorporating your story into your video is actually important to your content’s success. Without substance, your video may come off fake, or like you’re producing content just to play the social media game.

The truth is that viewers can see right through spammy content. They won’t engage with your video, causing your retention rate to drop. If they aren’t staying around long enough to watch your videos, then they’re not learning about your message. Inevitably, this means they aren’t going to your website or buying your products. Again, this defeats the whole point of marketing in the first place. 

It can be easy to get frustrated when social media algorithms are constantly changing to meet the demands of the platform and the end-user. Yet, don’t let that steer you away from using them in your marketing. Rather than basing your videos strictly around one social media channel with fluctuating rules, simply produce good quality, engaging content. Then, even if the algorithm changes, you still have a solid video that tells a great story and will continue to produce good results.  

Remember the basics

When the constant flood of social media advice is making your head spin, focus on getting back to the basics. Lean into the principles of visual storytelling. Great, compelling stories will keep your audience watching long enough to hear your message. Research your target market and create relevant content that applies to them. 

Also, while social media should be an important strategy to connect with your customers, remember that it’s just one of many. Try email marketing, event marketing, broadcast etc. Split test your efforts and see what works for you. Once you find what’s most effective you can invest more intelligently to get the best results. 

Bill Baraona
Bill Baraona
Bill Baraona is a video production and marketing professional based in Cleveland, Ohio. He also runs the day-to-day operations at Flex Media.

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