You know that you need to create social video content for your brand whether that brand is personal or business. Creating content isn’t easy and many try, some are even good at it for a while, but few can do it for an extended period of time. There are many reasons why someone might drop out of making original video content for the brand. They may think that they don’t have the time, they may try it and not get much traction so they don’t see the value in it, others may just find it too difficult (in my opinion most of the time this is due to someone not wanting to learn a new skill, but that’s a topic for a later blog).
Before we get into my five tips for making great social video content let’s go over some facts about video content, just in-case you’re reading this and are unsure that making video content is where you should be spending your time;
- 85% of people who use the internet in the U.S. are watching video on one of their devices. According to the United States Cenus at the time of writing this blog there’s over 328,800,000 people in the U.S.A. Now granted some of those are children so according to the Census 22.6% of those people are under 18 years of age so we’ll count them out. That leaves 321,369,120 people, 85% of that is 273,163,752. That’s over 270 million people who are watching video online right now.
- According to a study done by HubSpot 53% of people want more video. Yes you read that correctly more, not less, video. That’s 144,776,788 that actively want more video content.
So now that we’ve established people are watching video and there are almost 150 million people who want more video content, what are you going to do about it? I’ll give you a hint, the answer should be make more video content. Since you’re now going to focus more on making great video content, here are five tips to get you up-and-running.
1: Be Authentic
You’ve heard this before, I know you have, but do you know what it means. This statement could have a wide array of meanings, but for me “be authentic” means don’t try to sell yourself. You should always be you no matter what anyone else says. People are smart, even if they don’t actively pick up on it, they can tell when you’re trying to sell them something. When you make video content just be yourself, be the 100% authentic you, and yes before you ask that means telling the absolute truth about you and your product. If your product has a flaw DO NOT try to hide it by strategically not mentioning it, or worse just not answering the question when asked about it. If there’s something you or your product doesn’t do as good as something else, be honest about it.
Here’s an example of authenticity from my personal life; I ran a filmmaking YouTube channel back in 2011 called Studio School. Yes, we had a small studio, yes, we made video content, but we had not made a feature film, so we were not filmmakers. I ultimately didn’t feel authentic even though that channel was taking off in a major way, and so I removed all the content and shut down the channel. Eight years later we’ve made a feature film that is currently available in multiple countries around the world, and we have once again started up a YouTube filmmaking channel because now we are authentically filmmakers and can use that experience to help other up-and-coming filmmakers. Now this is all my opinion and personal thoughts, you may feel differently and that is totally OK.
Let’s get a little bit into the technical.
2: Use Captions
This article from Digiday states that, “According to MEC North America, branded videos from its clients average 85-90 percent silent video views”. Using our numbers from earlier where 273,163,752 people are watching video online, at 85% that’s 232,189,189 people that are seeing your video content but not hearing it. So how do you get your message across without sound? The filmmaker in me wants to say that your content should use its visual structure to symbolically represent your message using only its visuals and that the viewer should leave with the total and complete understanding of your message. However, I also live in the real world and don’t believe that little creatures are mining cheese on the dark side of the moon. So, what do you do? You add captions. Yes, the words on the bottom of the screen so you can read what everyone is saying. You should not only have captions, but they should be baked into your content so that no matter what there will always be captions present in your video content. Now this is ONLY for content being distributed on social media, you 100% also need captions for the videos on the home page of your website, as an example I do not think they should be baked into that video. The videos on your home page should offer captions to those who want it via a button in the player allowing the user to choose whether or not the content has captions.
3: Aspect Ratios
16×9, 1:1, vertical 9×16, what on earth does all this mean? These are all aspect ratios, or sizes and dimensions of your video content. So, what do they all mean? Well, 16×9 is the most common aspect ratio for video content. HD, or 1920×1080, is a 16×9 aspect ratio. This is the aspect ratio most of your content will be filmed in, however, it’s not always the aspect ratio you’ll be delivering your content in. Take Instagram for example, you can post a 16×9 horizontal video on Instagram, but it’s better to post a 1:1 square video on that platform. For LinkedIn and Facebook a 16×9 video is great, but for Instagram and Facebook stories as well as Instagram’s IGTV you’ll need to post a 9×16 vertical video.
You’ll also probably need to format all of your videos into each of these different aspect ratios. As an example; you make a piece of content and need it to be distributed onto Facebook, Instagram, and IGTV with a teaser for Instagram and Facebook stories. You’ll need to deliver a traditional 16×9 for Facebook, a 1:1 for Instagram, a vertical 9×16 for IGTV, and an additional shorter version in vertical 9×16 for Instagram and Facebook Stories.
Side Note: your 1:1 square version for Instagram will also need to be under one minute, and your Instagram and Facebook stories should be around 15 seconds, but IGTV can be the full-length version.
4: Be Consistent
Once you start posting content, depending on what it is, you’ll want to be very consistent posting regularly at the same time each week. I say depending on what it is because if the content is a one-off ad then obviously that’s not recurring content, however, the bulk of your content should not be sales related. You should be posting weekly content about or related to your business, but not for the reason of sales. Let’s say you’re in the coffee industry, then post regular videos about coffee, not selling anything. As an example, use your product to teach someone about something in your field. Just make sure to always be authentic.
A really great example of this is, “Seattle Coffee Gear”, they sell coffee gear (obviously), espresso machines etc. but they have a YouTube channel with content that’s posted seven days a week, every week, without fail. They don’t make sales pitch videos, it’s honest talk about coffee. Why? Because it’s what they love, and it’s shows. They are completely authentic in what they do.
5: Have a Call to Action and Engage
What happens when your video is over? Is that it? Thanks for watching, bye Felecia! Absolutely not, and probably for most, this is the first introduction the viewer has to you and your brand. Having something for the viewer to do when the video is done is very important. Make sure in every post there’s a text link to where you want someone to go to learn more or connect with you. If you want them to subscribe to your YouTube channel for example, say it, let them know you’re going to be making more content and they need to subscribe because it’s going to be awesome. Don’t just leave a link at the end of the video. In my experience only 30%-50% of viewers actually make it to the very end of your video. Always have a short amount of written content with each video post. This doesn’t need to be anything crazy long, just a sentence or two and a link.
Additionally, you need to engage with your viewers, encourage them to leave a comment and if they do reply as quickly as you can. One on one engagement is huge when building a brand and social video is a great way to reach people where they are and honestly engage with them. I warn you though, never read into the comments, there are trolls out there in the world who want nothing more than to tear you apart and eat your soul! You’ll need to develop a thick skin and not react emotionally in the comment section of your videos.
I hope this was helpful, enlightening, or just something fun to read while on the toilet, you know who you are. This is just scratching the surface of how incredibly important it is to make and post social video content regularly and consistently. Just remember when you do, be authentic and honest, always use captions, make sure your video is formatted correctly, be consistent, always have somewhere for people to go or something for them to do at the end of the video, and ignore the trolls.