How to Sell on Social Without the Hard Sell

Moira West


How can you create a video ad that doesn’t feel too “salesy”? This week on the Social Video Show, our Director of Communications, Becky Brooks, and our Social Marketing Manager, Emily Salshutz, explored that issue, while sharing a few of the solutions that have helped Animoto users find success.

In their Facebook Live broadcast, the pair presented creative ways to get your business in front of customers and keep them engaged. If you missed the show, or just want to rewatch, you can catch up below, then read on for some broadcast highlights.

Inspire your audience

People like to share things that inspire them. Using an example from Unbeaton Bodies physical trainers, Becky and Emily showed that a simple way to expand your reach is through quotes that motivate or uplift your audience. Becky pointed out, quotes are “short, punchy… inspiring—the type of thing people like to share.” Here’s how they suggest you create your own inspirational quote video:

  1. Find a quote. Choose a saying that you think will resonate with the viewers you want to target.
  2. Get content. Grab your logo, along with a video clip or photo, and you’re ready to get started!
  3. Create your ad. Now’s the time to put all the elements of your video together. Short on time? Plug everything into a quote storyboard to quickly and easily make your video.

Demonstrate expertise

You’re an expert in your field, and showing off some of that expertise can build trust and give your audience room to address questions they might have. On the show, Becky noted that a video focused on sharing knowledge “really opens up the line of dialogue.” To create a video that illustrates your expertise, Becky and Emily recommend that you:

  • Choose information that’s relevant to your business. A good way to keep your video relevant is to try to answer a question your customers tend to ask or provide insight into a part of your business they may have misconceptions about.
  • Don’t try to sell. Showing you know your business promotes you more effectively than pushing for a sale would. It doesn’t pressure you audience, and positions you an expert with the customer’s interests at heart.
  • Find a format that complements your info. The video Becky and Emily shared from Sport Fit features a list of qualities viewers should look for in a personal trainer. The top 5 format lets the fitness studio quickly offer value to viewers, while giving their own credibility a boost at the same time. If you’d like to create your own version of this type of video, try the storyboard Sport Fit used, which you can find here.

Provide education through a how-to video

One easy way to illustrate why your product or service is valuable is to show it in action. A how-to video or product demo offers your audience valuable content stops the scroll and keeps them watching.

Becky and Emily shared an Instagram how-to from beauty company Click N Curl. The ad gave the company a 48% increase in sales with just $100 spent. Part of that success comes from the dual nature of the video. As Emily put it, the video “really delights and demonstrates how to use the product.”

To make your own how-to content for Instagram, Becky and Emily shared the following tips:

  • Stick to square video. The square format looks best in Instagram feeds, and takes up 78% more room than a landscape aspect ratio.
  • Keep it short. Instagram has a 60-second limit in video, so if you plan to promote your business there, make sure you’re getting your message across quickly.
  • Show what your product can do. Illustrate what makes your product or service valuable, especially if you can surprise your audience with a product’s capabilities.

To stay up to date on future episodes of The Social Video Show, and our other Facebook Live shows, including Video Talk Live with Jason and Show Me How it Works with Sally, follow us on Facebook.