Coming up with ideas for video marketing campaigns can be difficult. It can take a lot of trial and error to find out what resonates best with your audience.

What if we told you there was a way to get your customers to tell you exactly what type of videos they wanted to see? Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Through social listening, you can get great insights into how to improve your video marketing strategy.

In this blog, we’ll cover the differences between social media monitoring and social listening, and how you can use the latter to strengthen your video marketing strategy.

Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening

Social media is the perfect way to communicate with your customers. Equally important, it lets your customers communicate with you. This is where social media monitoring usually comes into play.

Social media monitoring is the process of tracking and responding to what is being said about or directly to your brand. Typically, you’d want to track when customers mention your company, speak directly to your company, or even keywords and phrases surrounding your company, industry, and competitors.

The goal of social media monitoring is simple. You’ll know exactly when you have been mentioned, and can respond quickly with a simple message to acknowledge that customer, keeping them happy and engaged.

The types of interactions range quite a bit, but are narrowly focused on your company, brand, and products. For instance, sometimes you might be communicating with dissatisfied customers, answering questions about your services, or responding to praise.

Social Listening

Social listening is just as it sounds: listening to conversations relevant to your brand and industry. The scope is much larger than the narrow back-and-forth exchanges typical of social media monitoring.

Awario, a company that provides tools for social listening, says it best here:

“While with monitoring you observe, collect, and get involved in individual conversations, social listening considers how your company, your products, your representatives, competitors, and markets are discussed on the whole. As opposed to interacting with separate conversations, you interact with large amounts of social data and analyze it to gain valuable insights into customers’ perception of your company, competitors, social events and so on.”

Basically, social media monitoring is performed as a micro activity, where you respond to individuals directly, while social listening is a macro activity. It’s more akin to trend analysis than anything else.

For example, comprehensive social listening incorporates direct brand or product mentions, as well as your industry, competitors, and topics your target audience engages with. It also includes the sentiments, language, and cultural cues embedded in the tweets and posts your audience shares online.

How to Monitor and Listen

You can easily monitor your social media the old-fashioned way by going to each platform, checking your mentions, and searching for any specific keywords relevant to your brand.

However, a monitoring tool can greatly simplify the process. These tools put all your mentions and tracked keywords in one place so you or your team can respond to messages more efficiently. This will save time and reduce the chance of missing a mention.

You can use HubSpot, SproutSocial, Awario, Hootsuite, or one of the many dedicated social monitoring platforms. Most of these tools double as social listening tools as well.

Requirements for Social Listening

Social listening isn’t the same as monitoring. You’re not just looking for mentions of your trademark, after all. Still, as explained above, you might be able to use the same tools.

Research keywords, hashtags, topics, and influencers relevant to your brand. In addition to tracking your direct interactions online, you’re looking to compile data on the conversations taking place in these broader areas online.

For example, you might notice that as the holiday season kicks into gear, more of your followers are sharing content related to baking, travel, and family gatherings. Meanwhile, their general sentiment might shift from feeling relaxed over the summer, to a little more stressed as daily life gets busier.

Ideally, you’ll pick up on trends and insights much more specific to your niche. By performing this exercise on an ongoing basis, you’ll be able to dissect seasonality and understand how things change over time.

Using Social Listening to Improve Your Video Strategy

Now for the fun part – using all that information and analysis to improve your video marketing strategy. First, make reviewing the insights from your social listening practices an integral part of your content planning process.

Instead of pulling ideas from thin air, look at the data to understand what people are sharing and engaging with online. Identify relevant takeaways for your brand, and any opportunities to add value to the conversation. Pay particular attention to the vocabulary, hashtags, emojis and other cultural cues included in what’s being shared.

Finding New Opportunities

You should literally give the people what they’re asking for. Using the lessons learned from your social listening, ideate new video campaigns relevant to your target audience.

Leveraging Positive Feedback

For example, if you noticed lots of positive feedback after a new product launch, double down on it and create videos promoting and highlighting the aspects people most enjoy about your product or service. You’re already receiving positive feedback from a large number of people, so it’s likely this content will resonate too.

Another simple idea is to check how people react to the videos you’re already creating to see what’s working. Using your audience’s reaction as a gauge of success is especially helpful when your team is experimenting with new video styles or series.

For instance, you could use SproutVideo’s engagement metrics to understand whether viewers are watching, rewatching, or skipping parts of your video. That way, you’ll know if viewers are really watching your content, or if they found part of it particularly interesting.

Take care to use similar language as your happy customers. When coming up with a script, describe the features and benefits in the same wording as your audience used. By framing your messaging in this manner, it’s more likely to strike a chord with new prospects.

Leveraging Less Positive Feedback

For other types of feedback, this is your chance to address it on a larger scale. You’ve already answered these customers individually while monitoring social media. Take it a step further to create videos surrounding common issues that a number of people are having.

This might range from frequently asked questions, to disgruntled customers that aren’t happy with your product or service. For the former, you could create a video series to address questions that multiple people have asked. It’s easy content to create, and if some people are asking, there’s a good chance others might be thinking the same thing.

For customers that weren’t happy with the product or service, we’d suggest cataloging that data. Then, when you come out with new features that might satisfy them, create a video to announce it. You may even want to go so far as to acknowledge the issues this latest release will solve. This is a great way to show unhappy customers they are being heard.

Going Beyond Your Own Brand

There are many other ways to find inspiration based on the insights you garner from social listening. Look at competitors, adjacent brands, or even brands outside of your industry with appealing videos that you admire. Looking at their best-performing and worst-performing content can provide valuable takeaways for your own videos.

Lastly, taking note of what your customers are saying outside of your brand can also inform some smart video decisions. Pop culture, current events, social causes, and more can all serve as a catalyst for improving and creating new content. The key is to identify the topics your audience actually cares about and engages with online.

This approach will likely lead you into new content areas you previously were not addressing. You’ll reach new audiences and capture more viewer attention by factoring these trends into your video marketing strategy.

For example, SproutVideo learned our audience loves to share video how-to’s, gear tutorials, and best practices for producing video content through active social listening. We developed our How To Video series to address those specific topics in our own way. That series now consistently drives strong engagement in our email marketing and on social media. It also attracts many new visitors to our blog through SEO.

Being a Good Listener is its Own Reward

Basically, this will help you get to know your audience better across the board. The better you know your audience, the more likely you’ll be able to make content that resonates with them.

Using social listening can lead to an abundance of content that could fill your content calendar for months. All you have to do is listen to find out what the people want.

We’d love to hear how you’re planning on using social listening to improve your video strategy. Let us know in the comments below.