Today, social media channels are one of the biggest assets most businesses have at their disposal.
Far from being just a trend, social has reshaped the way we engage and interact with both people and brands – and they aren’t going anywhere. More importantly what works and doesn’t with them is largely dictated by their users themselves.
In social, what consumers want is what reigns, and people want to see video.
That’s why you have platforms like Facebook committed to a new video-first approach, and most likely why you are reading this! If you want your business to stand out in the sea of content that is social media, you need video content. There’s just no way around it.
Whether you go about it by yourself, making simple boomerangs on a phone, or enlist the help of a skilled video company to create more elaborate content, you want video pieces that capture your audience’s attention.
It’s the only way to remain in the conversation
But, how exactly do you go about making these pieces for social media? Well, here we have some tips that will help you out!
Short, But Engaging
With social media, most things are instant and immediate. With popular channels like disappearing stories, or the instant gratification of a “like,” users have grown used to fast content. They love quick updates with the latest trends, or want to be amused just for a moment before moving onto other things.
So, as a rule of thumb, when it comes to social video, short and impactful tends to perform best. Less is more.
Online, people have very short attention spans, so don’t try to be ominous or mysterious with your message. Get straight to the point and cover the most important parts of your message from the get-go, and only then branch out.
That way, you will keep most of your audience engaged and interested, while still getting through to those who don’t stay all the way until the end.
Native Video FTW
“Native video” refers to content that has been uploaded directly to a social media platform instead of linked from other websites (like YouTube or Vimeo).
Long-story short, it’s no secret that social media algorithms prioritize native video on user’s feeds! Why? Because they want people to stay within their ecosystem!
A linked video is designed to take people out of the platform to their source, while native video incentivizes people to stay and keep scrolling through their feed – Which is, of course, what social networks want.
Social networks are constantly improving on ways to make native videos even more appealing to the users.
Facebook is a clear example of that! Introducing features like auto-play, and videos that follow you as you scroll… They make it hard for users to ignore or miss their native content, and you really should take advantage of that fact using native video whenever possible.
Choose The Right Type!
While there are dozens upon dozens of styles of video you can use on your social presence, let’s talk about a few that are proven to perform really well most of the time.
People love to see unfiltered content! And on social media, they’re used to raw, natural, and spontaneous pieces – The kind that shows the real people working hard behind their favorite brands.
You can (and should) capitalize on that trend by making videos with that type of content. These videos will have your audience feeling much closer to your brand, and nurture stronger connections between them.
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Tutorials and How-Tos
Bite-sized informational content is a mainstay on social media! People love it when their favorite brands teach them something useful or new, and both tutorials and How-tos are excellent formats to do both.
Sharing educational content shows people that your brand is always looking to provide value to, not just with their products, but with their content as well – Which can establish you as a go-to source of information in your niche. Win-win!
Explainers are pieces meant to easily communicate your product’s or company’s message, using storytelling and narrative to keep users engaged – Giving you a fantastic way to introduce your brand on social media
They come in all shapes and colors, really, so you can choose the one that fits better with the spirit of your brand. If you go with the animation route, you have even more opportunities for styles and customization, like whiteboard animations and motion graphics videos.
Make Them Unmistakably Yours
Brand your videos as much as you can! They need to look and feel like the rest of your content strategy, and still be individually recognizable if they go viral on social media.
You can accomplish this by adding subtle touches of your brand’s identity – animated logo at the end, your brand’s colors in titles and other graphic content, jingles, etc.
Branded content is vital for social media. Even if the viewer doesn’t stay for the length of the piece, having effective branding can nonetheless bring you closer to them and establish that first point of contact that will benefit you later.
Production Tips from The Pros
As a rule of thumb, a video posted on social media needs to be planned for social media as well. What that means is that videos intended for these platforms often require certain tweaks that makes them more “social-media-friendly.”
These types of characteristics could easily fill an article on their own, however, here are a couple of important ones.
Depending on the chosen platform, you’ll need to adapt your video to the aspect ratios that work best for each one. There’s not a one-size-fits-all video!
Luckily, videos can be easily adapted!
If you can’t afford to customize each piece, try going for the standard using square videos. It is not ideal, but it’s better than using a landscape video on Instagram stories! (Please, never, ever, do this).
However, if you want to look like the pro you are, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort. Use vertical videos for platforms like Instagram and Facebook stories, and IGTV. Use aspect ratio 4:5 for Feed videos.
Why 4:5 instead of just squared ones? Because it takes much more space on the screen of a cellphone, making it easier for your audience to watch your video for longer while they scroll – A little tip to help improve your engagement rates.
Other platforms, like Twitter and YouTube, have their own “favored” traits when it comes to video. You’d do well to learn and apply them to your content for each of your main platforms.
No Audio, No Biggie
Almost everyone uses their cellphones to scroll social media, and when they do so, they’re probably waiting in line for their morning coffee, or in the middle of their daily commute, or waiting for a meeting to start…
This means that no, they’re probably not in the right environment to watch videos with sound. In fact, almost 80% of videos online are watched without sound!
Account for this! Make sure your videos can be at least understood without sound. Add subtitles or layered texts to make your piece as accessible as possible.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
If your brand is not on social media, it doesn’t exist. And if it’s not using video content, it won’t be an active part of the conversation.
It really is as simple as that. However, this spiel is not just about using video, but about using it the right way!
Connect with people through the right pieces of video, and have them trust your brand, get to know your core values or products, and reference you as an authority in the niche.
Following the tips and advice we’ve been talking about today should make those goals much more attainable!
So, are you ready to get started? Then go and start planning your social video strategy! It’ll be more than worth it.
About the author
Victor Blasco’s an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.