By Greg Ball, President of Ball Media Innovations
I’m going to bypass all the stats that tell you how many businesses are using social media videos, and how it’s become such a huge thing. You probably already know that. It’s an established fact that social media videos can work incredibly well for business purposes.
Social media is an amazing way to reach and convert customers without spending huge amounts of advertising dollars. Businesses use social media videos to:
- Drive traffic to their sites
- Sell their products and services
- Educate their potential clients
- Engage with their potential customers
Social Media videos can be so effective when used for branding and public relations purposes as well.
Here’s are some tips for creating effective social media videos:
1. The first few seconds of your video might be the most important.
Viewers tend to scan their social media quickly, stopping only when something grabs their attention. This means that you’re going to have to catch their attention in the first few seconds. The video below is a simple example of a video that does this (and I thought you might enjoy viewing it). This video show’s you the delicious end product right up front. It let’s you know exactly what you’re going to see, and makes it look appealing (at least to chocolate lovers).
What if your product or service isn’t as exciting a a chocolate dessert? You’ll still need to appeal to your viewers in the first few seconds through other means. Here are some ways you can achieve that:
- You can pull at heart strings by showing something related to your product, service or company that’s emotionally involving.
- Show them someone solving a problem by using your product.
- Use words on the screen to show that you’re an expert who’s going to answer an important question.
- Start with highly engaging images that are either beautiful or compelling in some way.
The list goes on. Whatever you show, it needs to be compelling right up front.
2. Keep it relatively short, even on social media platforms that allow longer videos.
The reality is that in general, the average person has a very short attention span, especially when it comes to social media. Social media platforms limit video time, but on platforms like Facebook and YouTube where you have more leeway, it’s still a good idea to keep your video as short as possible, while still getting your point across.
Here are some things to know about time limits:
- For Twitter, there’s a 30 second limit on videos.
- Facebook allows up to 45 minutes (there are also file size restrictions), but keeping your video to a couple minutes is more likely to get your viewers to the end of your video.
- Instagram allows videos up to 60 seconds. According to HubSpot, 30 seconds has been found to be more effective.
- Youtube allows videos up to 15 minutes long. However as we’ve discussed, a video that’s a couple of minutes long is more likely to get seen all the way through.
Here’s a sample of a 40 second video we created as part of a series of videos for Vitacost. Notice it’s informative though fast, and in the first few seconds it grabs the viewer with a celebrity about to share an exercise tip.
There are some videos that just need to be longer. You’re the ultimate judge of your target audience and subject, so ultimately the length of your video will be up to you.
Also, you can cut down on costs by planning in advance on how to customize your video content for each social media platform you plan to use. Before your video shoot, you’ll want to have a clear vision for each video you’ll be creating. I find that it’s often possible to get all the footage you need for all your social media videos in one day of shooting.
3. Keeping fresh video content before your viewers eyes will help you stay in their minds.
There are so many different types of videos you can produce for use on social media that with a little creativity, you’ll never run out of ideas. You can make social media videos that:
- Introduce your company
- Show your products or services in use
- Explain what makes your products the best
- Answer commonly asked questions (making you the expert)
- Give testimonials from happy and enthusiastic clients
- Introduce your employees so viewers can get to know them
- Give a tour of your office or store
Again, if you plan well, I find that it’s often possible to shoot multiple videos all in one day to cut costs. This saves our clients big bucks. As an example, the exercise tip video above that we created for Vitacost was one of many social media tip videos shot in the same day.
4. The quality of the video helps form the viewers overall impression of your company.
I realize there have been successful social media videos with people talking from their cars or bedrooms. Generally speaking, this will not be good for businesses. Everything you put out there will reflect on your company and your products or services. If you put out something that’s unprofessional, you’re at risk of having viewers think of your company in that way. To learn more about this, check out this article called The Secret to a Successful Video: Why Quality is Key and How to Get it.
5. Remember to add a call to action to your social media videos.
You’ll want your viewer to do something after they watch your video, and you’ll need to tell them to do it. Do you want them to go to your website? To call you? Whatever it is, you’ll want to end your video with this call to action. This alone can make a big difference to your end results. I find that a lot of people forget this simple marketing concept – your video needs to have that clear and specific call to action to get the results you’re hoping for. If you can also add this to your posts, that will increase your chances of having viewer follow through.
This is just the beginning of our social media video tips and strategies article. We’ll continue in part two shortly!
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