If you aren’t using social media video to promote your brand, you are missing out on one of the biggest marketing opportunities at your disposal. It’s an invaluable resource that’s easy to get started with, and most importantly, it can expose your brand to an enormous worldwide audience. When it comes to using video in social media, it’s smart to uniquely tailor your videos to make the most of the strengths and weaknesses of each medium, Here are a few things you should know before you dive in.
Facebook had humble beginnings as simple site for Harvard students to a global media superpower. Facebook has slowly introduced more video into news feeds, but the nature of the newsfeed means that you have about 5 seconds to reel in a viewer before they scroll down to something else. Videos will now autoplay with the sound off, so you need a striking opening image or descriptive title that gets across what the video is about. Remember, you have only a couple of seconds to grab someone as its all too easy to keep on scrolling if the video hasn’t grabbed the viewer’s attention.
First you must consider that Facebook videos, by default play on mute, the user has to actively unmute it. So videos that have bold titles, subtitles will perform better on Facebook. As with YouTube, you need to select an appropriate custom thumbnail that will give the viewer a fair idea of why the video is about.
So the key adjustments to make to your video for the Facebook audience is to make sure you can still get your point across without sound, use large, easily readable captions (or at least make captions available) and most importantly keep it brief!
YouTube is the biggest video sharing site in the internet, with an estimated 300 hours of video content being uploaded every minute. Every minute! There are “channels” on YouTube with over 50 million subscribers, and regular viewing audiences that would be the envy of many major TV networks.
To take full advantage of this massive viewer base, you need to know the best ways to maximise your reach. The first thing to understand is that if a viewer isn’t interested in the first few seconds of a video, they won’t bother watching the rest. So you need to start off with the hook of your video right away. YouTube should be where you house the most comprehensive version of your video, as that’s what people are there for, after all it’s solely for sharing videos.
This doesn’t just mean the first few seconds of your video however, this extends to everything from thumbnails, the description beneath the video, metadata and playlists all have to be managed and tailored to fit your business. If the viewer likes the first video they see from you, and you haven’t set up a playlist to AutoPlay another video from you, you have just lost a viewer. So make the most of Youtube’s features to make sure your video is getting the views it deserves. And YouTube comes with a handy closed captioning feature that you can input your script or transcript into and it will produce a .srt file that can be used elsewhere. It even has an auto-transcribe feature that uses intelligent tools to make a subtitle track automatically. But be sure to read through it first, it isn’t quite perfect just yet.
Instagram began its life as a pure photo sharing app with vintage filters for smartphones but has now become a social media platform in and of itself. A few years ago, Instaram expanded into short videos. As with its parent company Facebook, Instagram videos will Autoplay as the user scrolls down, giving you just brief second to capture their attention. Instagram originally had a 15 second limit to it’s video length, but this was recently extended to 60 seconds. However, we would recommend staying closer to the original 15 second limit as shorter is usually better at keeping eyeballs on your video, especially as Instagram is very visually focused. Instagram is a smartphone app, so when cutting an Instagram version of your video, make sure that text is large enough to read on a small screen and close-ups will work better if you are filming a presenter. You should also lead with the most striking images first to grab attention.
Twitter can itself play videos natively, but often it relies on links to YouTube or other more full-time video hosting services. As with Facebook and Instagram, Twitter will also autoplay videos but remember they will be muted by default. Large, easily readable text is again a key to getting attention, as is having an option to have a video in a vertical orientation, as the majority of twitter users will be on a smartphone. Twitter videos can be up to 140 seconds long, although as is the case with all social media videos, the more concise the better.
Social Media Customisation
When planning a social media campaign with video, it is really worth making several versions uniquely tailored to each social media platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and being aware of the limitations. You’ll need to take this into account when you’re planning the video so you have the right content to edit unique versions of the one video. Each have their own demographics as well, so the content might be tweaked slightly for each different video.
If you are looking to improve your video skills for social media, get in touch with us today.