5 Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Videos

People spend as much as one-third of their time online watching videos, with 55% of them watching at least one video every day. Video is the most popular type of content among consumers, making it a prime opportunity for brands looking to promote their products on social media.

Since social videos are usually discovered rather than searched for, it’s crucial that you take the time to make your videos engaging and eye-catching. Keep on reading to find out the five ways you can improve your social videos and get better results.

1) Adapt to the Platform

When creating social media videos, you should take into account the specific social platform where you’ll be posting them, since users consume content differently on different social networks.

For instance, while Facebook users prefer shorter videos, YouTube users are more likely to engage with long-form video content. Similarly, 60% of Instagram’s video content is watched with the sound on, while as much as 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound.

Furthermore, Facebook users respond particularly well to native video content, i.e. content that is uploaded directly to Facebook rather than linked to and then displayed on a different platform. A study done by Quintly showed that native Facebook videos receive as much as 478% more shares than non-native videos.

facebook-native-video-stats Source: quintly.com

You’ll also need to keep in mind the specific video requirements of each platform. Instagram, for example, limits video length to 60 seconds so you’ll need to find a way to deliver your main message quickly. Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to upload videos that are up to 240 minutes long, giving you the opportunity to publish more in-depth video content.

Another thing to keep in mind are the devices with which users consume videos on different platforms. For example, it’s been shown that 90% of video views on Twitter come from smartphones and tablets so it’s crucial that you optimize your videos for mobile devices if you plan on posting them on Twitter.

2) Keep it Short (and Packed with Value)

While social networks like Facebook allow you to upload long-form videos, it’s the short videos that usually perform the best on most social platforms. The reason is simple: social media users have short attention spans, and they’re frequently browsing their social feed in quick 1 to 2-minute bursts. The shorter your video is, the more likely that users will watch it to completion.

attention-span Source: instapage.com

Hubspot’s research confirms this, and shows that the ideal video length for the most popular social platforms is as follows:

YouTube: 2 minutes Facebook: 1 minute Twitter: 45 seconds Instagram: 26 seconds

Furthermore, it’s been shown that 60% of people will stop watching a video after two minutes. This makes it crucial for brands to focus on creating short videos that deliver value by being either educational or entertaining. Brief, value-packed videos also cater to people’s innate desire for instant gratification.

3) Tell a Story

Social media users aren’t interested in hearing your sales pitch; they’re looking for compelling stories that will keep them engaged and entertained. As much as 92% of people state that they prefer companies to create ads that look like stories.

Humans are innately attracted to stories, and presenting your overall message in the form of a narrative will make it more digestible for your audience.

Stories allow you to develop an emotional connection with users and allow you to foster a more intimate relationship with your customers. If you’re doubting the value of developing such a relationship with your audience, remember that customers that feel an emotional connection with a company spend 52% more than those that don’t.

Focus on producing videos that show your brand in a positive light. Use storytelling to show your brand’s personality and introduce your audience to causes you truly care about.

4) Add Captions

We’ve previously mentioned that most Facebook videos are watched with the sound off. Social media users frequently watch videos without sound because they’re browsing their feed in a wide variety of places where it’s more convenient or appropriate to do so: during their commute, at work, or in line at the supermarket.

Adding captions to your videos will allow you to reach these users more effectively and help them understand what’s going on in your videos. Captions will also be of great help to users that are hard of hearing or those that are not native speakers.

5) Experiment with Different Types of Videos

You should try out different types of videos to find out the ones to which your audience responds to best. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Educational Videos

Videos are a great way to educate your audience on topics that interest them. You’ll need to pay attention to adapt each video to the specific platform to which you’ll post it. While a 20-minute long tutorial might only be suitable for posting on YouTube, there’s no reason you shouldn’t create a short 2-minute version of it and post it on Facebook.

If you’re not sure which topics your followers would like to learn about the most, simply ask them. Create a survey or post and ask followers to suggest different topics. Gather all their ideas in a single document so that you can review them later.

Here's an example of an Absolut Vodka promotional video, designed to educate viewers on how they can use their vodka, to create a perfect Cosmopolitan cocktail.

Once you post an educational video on one of your social pages, make sure to stick around and respond to all the comments, as well as answer any additional questions your followers might have.

Product Videos

Showing your products in use and demonstrating all the different ways customers can take advantage of them can do wonders for persuading prospects into purchasing from you. In general, you should try to keep product videos short and try to present one or more of the following:

Key features - Make sure to mention all the main features of your product and the problems it can solve for your customers.

Frequently asked questions - Your product video is an excellent opportunity to answer your customers’ most common questions and concerns and help them make their decision easier.

An interesting story - We’ve talked about the importance of storytelling already. If there’s an interesting story behind your product or brand, let your audience know about it in your product video.

Behind-the-Scenes Videos

A great way to build a more meaningful relationship with your audience is to show them how things are done at your company. Demonstrate how you produce or ship your products, or how a typical day looks like at your office.

This video by J Ski's, shows behind the scenes footage of how they make their skis.

If your company is participating in an event, record the entire thing, and share it with your social media followers so that they can join in on the fun as well. You can also use behind-the-scenes videos to tease your customers about new products you’re about to release.

These types of videos are perfect for making your business seem more human and relatable. Showing the people who are involved in making or shipping the products makes the entire shopping experience more personal and enjoyable for customers.

Live Videos

No other type of video is as effective in engaging followers as the live video. Live streams allow users to interact with you in real time and can be used to host Q&A sessions and interviews, make announcements, and stream events.

There’s less room for error when it comes to creating live videos (they can’t be edited), so you need to make sure that you have all the equipment set up correctly before you start.

Since live videos work best with an active audience, you’ll need to announce and promote your live session ahead of time to ensure that you’ll have a decent amount of viewers once you finally decide to stream.

Need Help Creating Videos for Social Media?

Our team of experts can produce a wide variety of high-quality social videos for your business, including tutorials and how-to videos, product videos, and inspirational videos.

Interested? Get in touch for more support from our experts!