We’ve all heard it, time and time again: video is the new king.
It’s the best performing form of online content. And in just a few short years, almost all online traffic will go to videos.
Is it a fad? I certainly don’t believe so – video is here to stay. New technology might appear in the near future and change how we watch videos, but at the end of the day, video will still be a thing. It’s something we absolutely love to see.
On social media, video is outperforming all other forms of content – some studies say that video generates 1200% more shares than both text and image updates combined.
And all major social networks now have at least one video format – even LinkedIn has turned highly visual.
So how do you leverage more video on your social media?
In this blog post, find out how to create engaging social media videos consistently.
What are your social media goals?
Video can be used for a variety of reasons, including:
- Boosting brand awareness and reaching a wider audience
- Boosting your social media engagement
- Generating more conversions and sales from social media
- Generating more traffic from social media
Keep these goals in mind – you’ll need to consider them when you start planning your social media video ideas so that you can create videos that help you reach your objectives faster and more effectively.
Coming up with video ideas
One of the questions that I hear come up a lot is “what types of videos should I create?” (usually along with “how do I create videos?”) – luckily, there are quite a few different options plus I’ll share some of my top tips for coming up with video ideas:
- Product videos: these can be how-to or explainer videos, videos simply highlighting the product in some way or explaining how the product (or a certain feature) works. A great example of this is Slack’s “So Yeah, We Tried Slack…” video that not only explains what Slack is and how it works, but it also serves as a great and highly engaging ad for their product; plus, it’s quite funny too:
- Brand videos: similar to product videos, but the focus is all on the brand – its values, company culture, the team and everything else that makes up a brand.
- Videos that provide value to your audience: how-to videos and useful tips videos. Whatever niche you’re in, there is some way to showcase your knowledge and offer value to your audience; plus, you can use your own content for inspiration. For example, I could promote this blog post with a video that covers a small part of this article – something like “5 Amazing tips to create engaging social media videos”.
- Case studies: case studies can build up trust and showcase your brand value. Share the successful projects you worked on, hold interviews with your past and current clients and show viewers why these clients loved to work with you.
Best practices and useful tips for creating engaging social media videos
Here are some of my best tips for creating engaging social media videos that get results:
Use storytelling elements
In order to compel people to watch your videos until the end, and even better, share them out, you need to leverage storytelling techniques that keep people interested – and engaged.
For example, take a look at this video from Nike’s Instagram account:
View this post on Instagram
This video has the power to evoke strong emotions in viewers; what’s more, because of its storytelling techniques, it makes you want to watch it until the end to find out the rest of the story.
And that is why storytelling is so important when creating videos, particularly if you’re not offering any apparent value to your viewers (such as educating them about a subject they’re interested in). They conjure up strong emotional responses from the viewer which, at the end of the day, will make them want to engage and share and the video will stay with them for longer (and consequently, the association with your brand).
Always use subtitles
Some people watch videos on social media with the sound on; but, at the same time, a lot of people watch them with the sound off – most likely because they’re checking their social media on their phones.
If your video isn’t easy to understand with its sound off, this will most likely lead to one outcome – many viewers will close it and move on.
Every video you create for social media should be easily understandable both with the sound on and with the sound off; the easiest way to do this is to create a video with music and/or a voiceover and simply add subtitles whenever needed.
Luckily though, most video creation tools offer this option. For example, you can use something like Quik by GoPro to edit together your video clips and images, as well as add text overlay to each scene:
Once you’ve downloaded it on your phone, all you need to do is select the images and video clips you want to use and Quik will do all the rest for you. You’ll just need to choose a format, as well as add your text overlay.
Optimize your videos for different platforms
Once you’ve created an awesome social media video, it might be tempting to just share it out everywhere. However, each social network is different and uses different formats; not to mention, its users have different expectations from the actual content of the video.
Whenever you create a new social media video and want to share it on various platforms, make sure it’s optimized for each platform, from the content of the video (and its length) to the actual format of the video.
To help, you can use Wave.video; it’s a free online video creator that has 30+ different formats/sizes that you can switch to with a couple of clicks. Plus, they have a huge library of free video clips and images that you can use for your video (so no footage necessary, although you can upload your own content too) and you can easily add subtitles/text overlay, as well as customize your videos to your liking.
As you can see above, there is also an impressive selection of templates for all kinds of different occasions; all you need to do is pick a template, customize it, change or add new videos and images, change the format of your video as many times as you need and hit publish.
Show, don’t tell
Since you’re using such a powerful and visual medium, you need to make the most of it and show your readers what you want them to see – not tell them. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use voiceover and music; rather, it’s about making sure that the video clips and images you use in your video convey their message successfully.
For example, if you want to create a video to promote one of your products, you shouldn’t just show some short videos about the product and use the voiceover feature (or subtitles) to explain what your product can do. What you should do instead is show your product in action and only use voiceover or subtitles to enhance your video.
GoPro is one of the masters at doing this; their social media videos always show their different products in action. For example, take a look at their video below, promoting the GoPro Hero7 Black:
View this post on Instagram
You don’t see a bunch of specs or long explanations of why you should buy their product; you don’t really need to, as you’re seeing it in action and how well the product works even with all the bumping and grinding of a snow bike in action.
Get your viewers interested from the first few seconds
Obviously, we all want people to watch our videos from start to end. But there’s so much content available that it can be difficult to convince viewers to watch your content and not just jump over it – unless you hook them from the first few seconds of your video.
You can do this either by quickly explaining from the start of the video what the viewer will get out of it or by hooking them with beautiful visuals that attract their attention.
Here’s a great example of a video from Ben & Jerry’s Instagram account:
View this post on Instagram
It starts by showing you what the final result will look like and immediately explains what the video will teach you – how to make 2-ingredient ice cream bread. And that’s definitely too delicious-sounding to miss out on.
Get straight to the point
Social media is a place for bite-sized content – short, sweet and straight to the point. Ideally, try to keep your own videos short – unless you’re publishing them on YouTube or Instagram’s IGTV.
Otherwise, short and sweet is best – anywhere from a few seconds to 60 seconds as any more than that, and people won’t watch your video until the end.
Oreo is one of the brands that have mastered the art of short videos; many of their videos last only a few seconds but are still highly entertaining – and they’re getting their message across too:
View this post on Instagram
Follow the tips and strategies outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to creating some awesome social media videos. However, make sure that as you start posting up these videos that you’re also carefully monitoring their results and learning from them.
What can you do to improve your social media videos and generate better results?
Guest author: Lilach Bullock is highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient of a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business. Check out her site Lilach Bullock or connect with her on LinkedIn.