Marketing has changed in the digital age and will continue to evolve as we discover innovative ways to connect with people. However, as new tactics emerge and we debate which methods work the best, here are three indisputable truths:

  1. Data is the backbone for all digital marketing decisions.
  2. Social media goes beyond selling to your audience and allows for a more direct conversation with your followers. People want to feel personally connected to the brands they support.
  3. Video can create a personal connection to your audience that is not always possible with other forms of content. Plus, it’s measureable.

Those three factors have cleared the way for video to dominate social media, claiming a predicted 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.

Marketers have recognized the trend, with 76.5 percent of professional marketers and SMB owners getting positive results from video marketing and 60 percent planning to increase their video investment. When you consider that marketers who use video on social media grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users, the strategy is sound.

Because social video is so engaging and measurable, it can be intimidating to see that the top performing videos on the internet have well over ten million views. How can you compete with funny animal videos?

You don’t have to.

The internet has the power to reach everyone, but you are not marketing to everyone. You don’t need cute kittens chasing dogs to sell your product or service.

Consumers are actually turned away from brands perceived as trying to be too “cool” on the internet by doing things like adapting memes to fit a product, using slang in their social posts or trying too hard to force themselves into pop culture.

People are looking for engaging stories with an authenticity that stems from your brand image. Remember, in order to be authentic, your brand image must remain consistent across all channels, as well as with your company culture and customer service.

Videos pushed through social media are perfect for showing who you are as a brand. You can show what you do, why you do it and what you stand for in a totally authentic way.

Authentic also means a video shouldn’t be too polished, too much of a production. At EVR, we call it shoot-to-social.

We recently shot a series of shoot-to-social videos for Facebook and Twitter called the EVR Olympics.

The EVR Olympics videos gave a fun and offbeat glimpse inside our agency without pushing for hard conversions. They simply serve as an authentic look into our company culture so that people can meet us and begin to understand who we are.

We wanted to show that our agency is competitive and fun-loving, valuing teamwork and work-life balance. The videos are true to our brand image as an agency full of energy that can bring fresh ideas to the table. They turned out to be high-performing social content because they are engaging and allow people to personally connect with us.

Trust is more important in marketing today than ever before. People have endless options for just about any product or service they need, so trust has become a deciding factor. When consumers can see the actual people who power your brand and have a chance to understand your brand story, they are more inclined to view your company as a human entity rather than a corporate machine.

Every business can find a way to incorporate shoot-to-social into its regular social media schedule.

Team bonding events, company functions, special occasions or fun short videos that provide a look into your brand personality will help you be more authentic on social. Shoot-to-social videos are meant to be casual and relaxed, not high-end and slick, although they do need to maintain a certain brand standard. Don’t over-think them. The aim is to drive engagement by showing your audience who you really are.

No cute kittens necessary… unless of course that is part of your business.