According to Forbes, more than 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day and Cisco reports video content is expected to be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the U.S. by 2020.

As we traverse the ever-changing landscape of the marketing world, one notable shift is the increase of video usage in the field of social media. IGTV, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Snapchat stories all demonstrate how social media platforms have added more ways for brands to incorporate video content into their marketing strategy. Additionally, utilizing the live video feature many platforms offer can further add to the already authentic nature of video content.

The use of videos in social media helps businesses connect with their target audience and increase conversion of ‘posts’ to sales better than any other medium. However, videos need to be relevant and tell a story to an audience. Due to their authenticity and short length (most are no longer than two minutes), videos deliver meaningful content in a more effective way to social media viewers. Videos can be educational, showing consumers how a product or service works. They can also be used to introduce a new item or even to attract potential employees by showcasing a company’s work environment.

Another way to increase your brand awareness is by using individuals who have influence over a potential market or on sites such as YouTube and Instagram. Through their personal social media accounts, these influencers – some who have thousands or even millions of subscribers- play an integral role in video marketing strategies for businesses. Hundreds of companies pay these influencers to use and review their products. If the influencer validates the product or service, it gives the important third-party exposure and positive publicity that the brand desperately needs.

Harnessing the power of video on social media creates many opportunities for a brand to influence key decision makers and establish a candid relationship with its customers in real time. If planned thoughtfully, videos can be the most efficient way for a company to connect and build relationships with its audience.