Social strategies are a key element of any video release. With the insane amount of videos that are released and shared online, it is difficult to standout from the crowd without having a plan. Quality content is always king and finding ways to get this content seen is what is imperative.
This past January, Brent Foster and I headed to Havana, Cuba to produce a short film about one man’s journey to find a place to call home. Their goal was to capture the essence of Cuba and create a portrait of the culture and the people. The above video is the short we captured during the trip.
Leading up to the release of this film, we planned an extensive social campaign across all platforms. We planned to tease content out starting a week before the release and had each days content broken down beforehand. We released the following videos.
We also developed a website for the film, launched a community based system for people to share their stories of home and developed blog posts for both our personal and business websites talking about a different aspect of the project. Outside of our own personal channels, we also reached out to gear manufacturers and content sharing sites to share our story as well.
What we wanted to do with this campaign was get the concept in front of people’s eyes in a variety of formats. Being that the idea of home was so universal, we thought that it was imperative to share in as many different formats as possible to attract more people to the project and in turn, drive more views to the films.
With any campaign, it is key that you develop and a plan and coordinate with the people involved as well as family, friends and coworkers. It only takes a few people to share to make a project get picked up but it is key to have a team of people who are dedicated to the concept and willing to put the time in to promote the project.
The key is that you don’t ask this of your network too often and are giving more than you are taking / asking. I think the ratio I heard is 70/30 but I am trying to work towards a 90/10 so when I share work, it has an audience that wants to watch it. It is a lot of work and sometimes goes unthanked but in the long run, I think it will lead to more opportunities – at least that is my hope ;). I am along ways away from 90/10 but that is my goal.
Below I have included a list of actionable items for your next campaign
Strategy: Share your content with relevant blogs, sites, and online communities. Spend time on this networks and channels building and refining these relationships.
Variety of Materials: Develop content in a variety of formats using a variety of platforms. Content is ingested in a variety of ways and each project is different so experiment to see what works with your audience.
Research: Do your research to see what works and what doesn’t work. Chances have it that there is a project like yours that has been released. Find out what they did and see if there are any strategies you can implement in your campaign.
What I Learned
We did all the social content for this campaign and although it was a lot of fun, it was also a lot of work and it is a full time job. Although I learned a lot from the process, I think that the next time I will hire someone to take care of the campaign.
I’ve also learned that the platform that I have relied on from past campaigns has changed. Now with Facebook, the only way to reach your audience and get your work seen is through paid campaigns. It is unfortunate but is a reality in business. Nothing is free.
Social campaigns are a lot of work and are never a sure thing. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success. Research is imperative and it is also key to try new things and experiment along the way. These campaigns require work before and after the campaign to build and maintain the audiences that will drive these views.