How to Create Engaging Social Media Videos

March 22, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Why you should embrace video.

On average we watch 16 hours of video content online each week. It features heavily on all of the main social media channels, including the new kid on the block, Tiktok, a platform that’s making serious waves in the world of business and branding.  Just imagine how many people you could reach if you had the confidence and know-how to tackle this incredibly rewarding medium?

Why should you use video to market your business? There are lots of reasons, a few of which we’ll explore shortly. First things first, I appreciate that making videos might be the very last thing you’ll want to do but the more you know, the more confident you will be. If teenagers can profit from it, so can you. If, however, you want to hand over the reins to an experienced videographer, I’d be happy to help you utilise this exciting communication tool for the betterment of your brand.

Why video marketing works.

People buy from people, which is why video marketing is so successful. Watching a clip allows you to quickly build a bond that a simple text and photo post won’t manage. Your personality will shine through and if you continue to keep creating valuable, entertaining content that connection will develop into a bond of trust and eventually, brand loyalty.

Video marketing is both cheaper and more accessible than traditional television adverts so there’s really no excuse not to give it a try. With a simple smartphone you can reach thousands of potential customers and the good news is that they won’t expect fancy effects and polished editing, they just want to be entertained and informed.

Here’s my simple guide to creating engaging social media videos.

Start with Strategy

Before you embark on your video marketing campaign, shake the dust off your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a strategy, then now’s the time to draw one up. It will help you batten down your marketing goals and give your video marketing meaning. To kick things off, think about why you want to create video content. Is it to promote a specific product or build brand awareness? Maybe you want to drive traffic and attract new followers?

Next, I’d recommend carrying out some initial research on your target audience: find out what kind of content they engage with the most, otherwise you may be at risk of wasting your time with social media videos. In a similar vein, analyse out how well your past social media content has performed. What topics have attracted the most engagement with your followers? This data should give you a solid foundation upon which to create video content your followers will love. 

Lastly, build a clear call to action into every piece of content you produce. This doesn’t necessarily always have to be a link to a product page; it could be a request to subscribe/follow, like, share or comment. The more you invite people to engage with you and your content the more they’ll return to your brand. People like to feel included.

Brainstorming

Then comes a touch of brainstorming. Grab some paper and a pen and jot down all of the ideas that have been floating around your head. This simple exercise will give you clarity on the direction you want to take. Engage with your team members and ask for their thoughts and ideas. If you’re out of fresh ideas, repurpose popular social media or blog content and transform it into a captivating clip.

The best way to approach video content is through storytelling. To be confident of reaching your audience, craft a story with a script that is funny, educational or intriguing. Browsers don’t want to be patronised nor will they relate to hard selling. If you can make them laugh and make them think they’re much more likely to become a loyal customer. This approach is demonstrated in the popularity of ‘behind-the-scenes’, ‘how-to’ and ‘explanation’ videos on Youtube, Tiktok, Instagram etc.

Be realistic about your resources. Do you have the time and budget to create video clips? Generally speaking, making video content for social media is very budget-friendly but consider the value of both your time and that of your team. Can you afford to set aside a couple of hours a week to create engaging content? If the answer is yes, then you’re ready to go. 

Video-making specifics

Now that we’ve explored marketing strategy and idea creation, here are some practical tips to help you get started.

  • The first few seconds matter and keep it short

The first 8 seconds of content are crucial if you want to keep browsers interested. You can manage this a number of ways: reel people in with an interesting quote, ask a thought-provoking question, do a funny skit or play some great music. Have your branding take centre stage and make sure to incorporate your brand colours into your set (what you’re wearing, your background etc.) Why? This will go a long way to building brand familiarity. Lastly, for reasons I have already established, your clips should be short and sweet; any longer than a couple of minutes and interest will tail off.

  • Sound and lighting counts!

I can’t emphasise enough how important lighting is to the quality and success of    your social media video. Wherever possible, make the most of natural light. If shooting indoors, position yourself near a window. If shooting outdoors aim to do so just before dusk when the light is softer or shortly before or after sunrise. Surprisingly enough, cloudy weather is preferable to sunny, the reason being that the light is softer and more forgiving. Plus, no-one enjoys squinting into a camera.

Your phone’s built-in mic may not be capable of blocking out ambient noise, especially if you’re filming outside, so it might be worth investing in an external microphone to ensure a sharp, clear sound.

  • Make your content accessible

Add the hundreds of millions of people around the world that are hearing impaired to those who choose to view content with the sound off and you have a huge audience at risk of being alienated if you choose not to add closed captions.

  • Not all platforms are created equal

As tempting as it might be to splash your video content all over social media, you’d be wise to optimise each clip according to your chosen channels. What might work on Instagram won’t necessarily transfer to LinkedIn. Each social media platform has its own language as well as very specific video requirements: dimensions, orientation and maximum video length will vary across them all.

I hope this brief exploration of the magic of social media video has given you plenty of food for thought. As a professional videographer I would be delighted to help you make your video content dreams a reality and invite you to get in touch for a chat. 

 


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