Social media is an extremely fertile ground for video content, and it’s not hard to see why.
Whether looking for entertainment, actionable tips, or updates from their favorite brands, social users are into fast and easy-to-consume content – which is what video is all about!
Video can cover even the dullest topic in a dynamic and fun way, and just in a matter of minutes. Moreover, it’s a stimulating type of content that can instantly capture your audience’s attention.
So, it’s not surprising (or uncommon) to see social media users engaging far more with live-action and animated videos than with other kinds of posts – which leads to more and more businesses trying to add this powerful resource into their social strategy… and failing. Know why?
Many companies make the mistake of assuming that just posting a video will be enough to drive engagement, but it rarely is! It’s also vital to optimize the video and post to draw more eyes to the piece.
How? You are about to find out! In this article, we bring you the best tips to make the most out of your social video. Read on!
Keep Your Videos Short
People nowadays are all in for anything quick to consume: fast food, fast fashion, and yes, fast content too!
It stands to reason, then, that uploading a 10-minute video to social media isn’t often a smart move. Apart from YouTube (and sometimes Facebook, to a lesser degree), where users expect and enjoy longer content, the most popular social networks favor short videos. Many of their users are on the go or just looking for a small distraction from their daily lives, so they aren’t willing to spend too much time on a single video.
With this in mind, we strongly recommend you to keep your social videos below the 3-minute mark. But, as you know, every social platform is a world of its own, so let’s get a bit more specific:
- To be entirely watched on feed, Instagram videos should be less than a minute long.
- Twitter videos ought to be under 30 seconds. That was their original limit length, so users are most used to it.
- Each TikTok video can last 15 seconds at most, but you can join up to 4 of them to create 1-minute pieces.
Facebook’s case it’s a bit more complicated. Their users engage more with 2-minute videos or less, but their algorithm favors those that last at least 3 minutes. It’s up to you to decide whether to increase your engagement rate or your visibility.
Go with Evergreen Topics
As established earlier, social media thrives on fast content, and you know what they say: live fast, die young. That seems to be the rule on social media, where an incredibly viral topic gets totally forgotten from one day to the other. In such a changing context, it’s hard to know what to post.
Sure, trending topics are a natural choice. People are dying to talk about the last celebrity scandal and whatever Trump has twitted. Still, before you jump into that conversation, you need to stop and think: Is it related to your brand? Does it match with your target audience’s interests?
Besides, professional video production can take some time. When it’s finally over, the trending topic in question may be in its dying stage.
It’s better to use video content to cover evergreen – or at least lasting – topics. Think about those high-quality pieces that offer practical or educational value, like How-tos or whiteboard videos. Or those that are highly entertaining, thought-provoking, or simply beautiful.
The only problem with everlasting topics is that they might have been covered before. It’s vital to create new conversations around them by producing videos with a fresh and original approach.
Start with the Right Foot
As most social platforms let videos autoplay on feed, viewers get to watch the first few seconds of your piece before they finish scrolling over your post. This is a golden opportunity to catch your audience’s eyes.
Pay special attention to the beginning of your video and make it as engaging as possible. For instance, you can make an intriguing statement or ask a direct question to your target audience. Even better if that question resonates with them and leads the conversation towards your products or services.
It’s also possible to open your video with a bizarre image or situation. In fact, it’s common to find pieces that preview a tiny, intriguing future fragment of the video at the very beginning to pique viewers’ curiosity. That said, sometimes there’s no need to be mysterious to call the attention – sometimes, all it takes is to be direct.
To start your video with the right foot, avoid beating around the bush and go straight to the point. This practice can also help you make your video short and sweet, killing two birds with one stone.
If you are lucky – sorry, more like, if you play your cards right – you’ll get new viewers, and should aim at holding their attention throughout the rest of the piece.
Optimize your Videos’ Copy
Yes, videos beat written content on social media. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking people will skip your video’s copy. They might read it to know what the piece is about, or they may even glance it over without noticing! Whatever the case, you can seize this chance to drive views and engagement by writing an alluring copy.
This copy should match with your video’s style and hint something about its content.
Imagine, for instance, a text that says, “He didn’t see that coming 😂.” You have seen no video, and yet, I bet you pictured a humorous piece with a funny element of surprise.
That last word is also highly important when it comes to video copies – surprise. Notice that the text example gives clues about the piece, without spoiling it. Your copy shouldn’t work as your video’s replacement but as its complement. So, avoid summarizing the entire piece and focus on writing additional information that may attract or interest the viewer.
The copy is also a great place to start a conversation with your audience. Why don’t you ask them their thoughts on the video’s topic? Or encourage them to talk about their own experiences?
Prompting viewers to leave a comment can not only put your post in the algorithm’s good books, but it also helps you to form a closer relationship with your audience. They can feel appreciated – especially if you answer their comments – and that could be the start of a lasting, loyal relationship with your brand.
Include Captions and Subtitles
This may seem like a minor detail to take care of, but you’d be surprised by its potential to enhance the user’s experience.
Needless to say, adding captions or subtitles that include the entirety of your video’s script can make it accessible to viewers with hearing impairments and to foreigners with a different mother tongue. That said, this practice not only benefits minorities, but it also helps a vast amount of people.
That’s right! Most social users prefer to watch videos with the sound off when they are in public spaces or means of transports. Reading captions or subtitles allows them to understand what the video is about without bothering the rest of the crowd or putting their headphones on.
As an extra benefit, people are more likely to watch videos with captions until the very end. Not bad, huh?
Even something as simple as uploading a video requires a thought-out plan and an eye for detail in the social marketing world.
It’s vital, for example, to make your video as accessible and user-friendly as possible by leveraging helpful techniques, like using captions. Equally important is to draw eyes to your piece, which can be accomplished with a compelling copy and an attractive video introduction.
Do you see? Posting a successful video is not that simple, but it’s not hard, either! You just need to have all these handy strategies in mind. Good Luck!
About the author
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production 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.