Create Engaging Videos for Social Media Platforms
Imagine you are scrolling through your social media feed, past a sea of words and pictures, when suddenly a flash of motion catches your eye.
Before you know it, you’ve watched a short social media video of a mischievous cat or how to make an avocado kale smoothie. Your experience demonstrates the power of social video. Imagine harnessing that power to generate interest in your products and brand!
Why Post Video on Social Media?
According to HubSpot, visual content like pictures and videos stand out more in a user's competitive newsfeed, and video receives more engagement than any other type of media.
In a survey conducted by HubSpot:
- 76% of consumers browse Facebook looking for interesting videos
- 45% admitted to watching more than an hour of social video content each week.
When asked what kind of content they want to see from their preferred brands - over half said they wanted to see more video content on their favorite social media platforms.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also indicated in a June 2016 Facebook Live Q&A video that he believes the internet and social media are moving towards more visual content, as it makes the social media experience richer, resulting in a better sense of what people are experiencing and feeling.
In fact, Facebook recently adapted their newsfeed algorithm to offer extra consideration to video content, based on engagement factors like:
- The time a user spends watching a video and if they watch the whole video. The higher the completion percentage, the better.
- If the video is being live streamed in real-time, as Facebook prioritizes Facebook Live videos.
- If users choose to unmute the video - Facebook's algorithms regard that as an "interest signal."
An article from Cisco also predicts that by 2020, 80% of all internet traffic will involve video. If you wish to take your social media marketing to the next level, you can't afford to overlook creating videos.
Types of Social Video Content
Video allows you to talk directly to your audience and to give them more of the content they want to see. And there are so many types of engaging videos you can create. Here are a few ideas:
- Interviews or Testimonials can share meaningful answers and insight with your followers.
- Live Video Streams of events or just you sharing your thoughts. This is especially powerful on Facebook, as they prioritize live streaming videos.
- Product Demonstrations or Showcases. According to HubSpot, consumers prefer to watch video content about a product before making a purchase.
- A Photo Montage or Slideshow showcasing your best still images combined with music to make an engaging, short video.
- Fun Animations or short humorous meme style videos that can inspire shares while engaging followers.
Don’t be afraid to get creative! The most important thing is to showcase your brand's unique style and voice.
Best Practices Creating Video Content for Social Media Platforms
Each social media channel has a unique way it handles native video. For best results, adapt your video content to each channel.
Facebook Video Tips
Keep in mind that many people browse their Facebook feed via a mobile app. The social media tool Buffer found that videos with a square aspect ratio received more attention on Facebook than those with landscape aspect. The square shape takes more real estate within the feed and stands out more.
Since users typically scroll, your Facebook video has around 3 seconds to grab the viewer's attention, according to a Facebook and Nielsen Rating study. Get right to the point to make use of that time. Consider annotating your video with captions and be aware that some users watch with the sound muted.
Also consider native video and images over links to video hosted on other platforms. A study performed by Search Engine Journal compared reach and engagement on Facebook for native videos vs embedded YouTube videos, finding that native videos had twice the reach.
Instagram Video Guidelines
Since Facebook owns Instagram, similar video best practices apply. One difference is that Instagram videos are limited to 60 seconds. If you wish to cross-post between Facebook and Instagram, then create engaging videos that are short and have a square ratio.
Hashtags aid discovery on Instagram, so invest a little time researching which hashtags your target audience might follow. Instagram allows up to 30 Hashtags, but many users think excessive hashtag use looks spammy. Take into consideration your audience demographics and industry, to find the most appropriate hashtags.
Time-saving tip: Consider linking your Instagram business account to your Facebook page. You then have the option to cross-post your Instagram videos to Facebook, increasing your reach.
Twitter Video Recommendations
Twitter is kinder to embedded videos than Facebook or Instagram, however native video still performs well. According to a Twitter for Business article, users are 6 times more likely to retweet content that includes native video compared to images or text, and 93% of all Twitter videos are viewed on mobile devices. Twitter suggests including captions on your videos so viewers can follow it with the sound muted.
Twitter is known for brevity; they recommend that users upload video clips shorter than 20 seconds in duration. However, video media does not count towards Twitter's character limit.
Getting Started With YouTube Video
YouTube is a household name and pioneer in social video. According to YouTube’s Parent company Google, more adults watch YouTube than any broadcast or cable network during Prime Time hours. Users are also visiting YouTube for more than just entertainment, with at least 68% of consumers watching YouTube videos when researching a product.
Production values on YouTube vary from low budget and simple to Hollywood cinema-worthy. Google offers extensive resources to publishers who wish to create content for their own YouTube channels. If you want to learn more, visit YouTube's Creator Academy.
Video Content Marketing Takeaways
Whether you produce informal or refined social media video content, keep it engaging. For best results, consider hiring a video producer who specializes in social media marketing. However, social media users appreciate authenticity so you can also create your own videos to supplement any professionally produced content.
Be sure to use a tripod, good lighting, and a microphone for best results. DIY is fine, but you lose your viewers’ attention if they can't clearly see and hear you.
Engaging video content attracts new customers and keeps you connected to existing fans. Ultimately, this also helps you increase sales and build your brand.