social media

Video is on the rise in social media marketing

By Sean Beckingham

If a picture says a thousand words, a video says 10,000 more. Using video comes with plenty of bene-fits but here are some basics you’ll want to keep in mind before you call “action!”

According to the video marketing experts at Adelie Studios, 64 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it, and will spend 88 per cent more time on a web site that features a video on the homepage.

Research also shows that shorter is better; more than half of viewers will watch a video until the end if it’s less than a minute long. For a high-quality quick video that tells a story, working with an agency may be your best bet. If you’re feeling a little more spontaneous, there are opportunities to get creative with the newest trend in video apps – live streaming.

The fast-paced nature of the restaurant industry makes it a perfect match for live-streaming video. Apps such as Meerkat and Periscope offer users a voyeuristic experience that meets viewers’ desire for real-time updates and intimate glances into people’s lives.

For restaurateurs, these apps can be used to increase excitement about your brand. Whether you’re taping exclusive video of back-of-house excitement or encouraging guests to live stream their dining experience, these videos can be an effective way to show – not tell – potential guests what your res-taurant is all about.

Live streaming: Which app to choose?

Competition is stiff among live-streaming video apps. With the recent acquisition of Periscope by Twit-ter, Branding and Buzzing’s money is on Periscope to lead the way. The seamless integration between Periscope and Twitter is a huge selling point and so are Twitter’s 230 million users – each one a poten-tial viewer of your Periscope video.

Data from last April confirmed that Periscope is slowly taking over the live-streaming playground, with its reach growing to five times that of Meerkat. While their reach numbers remain small compared to social media giants like Twitter and Snapchat, both brands are still in their infancy and are expected to grow in popularity and use.

Here are four ways to make the most of live streaming video apps and other video options:

1. Ask customers to generate content

Inviting customers to live-stream their dining experience is a great way to show off your restaurant’s vibe to potential customers. Interesting tableside food presentations, like the guacamole “smashed” at the table at Toronto’s El Catrin or the engaging bartenders shaking up a bourbon sour at Smoque N’ Bones, are perfect material for customers to share live. You can further engage with – and expand – your audience by retweeting these customer videos.

2. Tell a story, promote your brand

Your brand has a unique voice that can be translated into video. If fiction is your forte, you could create a scripted mini-series to engage your audience – but make sure that you have a decent actor and compelling story first. Another great idea is to offer a weekly cooking demo or a behind-the-scenes tour of your establishment. With the right voice-over commentary, any place from the brew room to the walk-in fridge can be entertaining.

A video collaboration between a product and restaurant is another way to drive a campaign. A short video can help to generate media attention or drive ticket sales to an upcoming event. One such col-laboration happened between the annual Toronto food event Terroir and brewer Samuel Adams, which teamed up to promote the chef-led Dinner Series. The results were astounding, proving that the power of collaboration makes a campaign much more successful.

3. Share exclusive real-time events

If your restaurant isn’t equipped with an open-concept kitchen attached to the dining room, it’s time to shed the veil. Invite customers to watch as their food is prepped and plated in the back of house. By giving guests an expeditor’s point of view, you can make their dining experience truly immersive, all while showing off and reinforcing your company’s culture.

A special event or grand opening is another great way to let viewers at home feel like they’re in on the action. When The McEwan Group’s newest location in the Toronto-Dominion Centre opened, Toronto Life Periscoped the excitement of the grand opening in real time. This created buzz and reached a higher number of potential viewers.

4. Make it look good

Writer Will Oremus of the magazine Slate hits the nail on the head when describing live-feed videos: “Making videos is easy, but making good videos is hard.” You want your videos to look as good as the food you’re plating. To make sure that your footage matches that standard, make sure you have a consistent high-bandwidth Internet connection so that images don’t appear grainy or lag in time. For best results, use a camera that shoots video in 1080p (high definition).

Taking the time to make a well thought out and aesthetically pleasing video shows your customers that your brand is committed to turning out high-quality products, both in the kitchen and out. Whether you choose to hire an agency to promote your brand on YouTube or make your presence felt on a live-streaming app, using video to market your brand ensures that your story will have a happy ending.

About the author:

Sean Beckingham is president of Branding & Buzzing, a social marketing agency established in 2011 that specializes in the food and beverage category. For more information, visit