I don’t think that telling you that video dominates the world of social media. It’s one of the most popular forms of content, and on many social media platforms, the thing that the algorithms love most. However, creating videos for social media requires a different approach than creating traditional videos for other mediums. Understanding how best to structure your video so you can create compelling and engaging content that resonates with your audience and keeps the algorithms happy is key to success.
Start your video with a hook
It seems obvious that you’d start a video introducing yourself – but nope! Keep that for the end of the video! (Your name will be there anyway somewhere around your video!) You need to start with a hook that captures your audience’s attention within the first few seconds, milliseconds, in fact! Plus, the hook needs to be visual rather than auditory, as it’s most likely those first few seconds will be seen minus any sound. If we’re grabbing attention as we’re in the feed, our audiences will click to watch and listen. The truth is with so much content flying by in our social media feeds, audiences have short attention spans, so making an impact in the first few seconds of your video is key. Consider how you can use attention-grabbing visuals and props, and also how you use captions to create an opening that leaves your audience clicking to watch more.
Keep your social media video short and sweet
I’m always asked how long a video should be for Social media. My answer is always don’t worry about the length! Your video should be as long as it needs to deliver the information you’re sharing! That said, from time to time, information is released from various social media platforms that describe their preferences. If we take all these preferences and generalise them, then videos that are 90 seconds or less tend to perform the best. If you record a video and it’s much longer, that’s cool – you can still use it. I would, however, also consider repurposing it and creating shorter cuts of 60-90 seconds you can share too to help promote the longer video.
Think mobile first when it comes to video content
More than 90% of social media users access their accounts via their mobile phones, so think mobile first when you create your video content. Record your video in a vertical format, or if you can edit your videos into a square format, that also works. Also, ensure that your video has clear visuals and easy-to-read text that’s legible on small screens. If we’re struggling to read your captions as your video plays – it will be a point of frustration. Think captions rather than subtitles; we probably don’t need to have every word you say appear on screen!
Tell us your story
People connect with stories, so focus on telling a compelling story with your video. I teach a variety of storytelling formats as part of the ‘Tell’ step in the Marketing Mastery Framework that makes it super simple to record a video unscripted. (If you want to find out more about this, check out the Marketing Mastery Academy or Catalyst course we offer!) Your story should be relatable, create some emotion in the viewer, and of course, be informative to keep your audience engaged.
End with a call-to-action and a sign-off
End your video with a clear call to action. This could be anything from asking people to drop a comment on your video or directing them to your website or landing page. A call-to-action not only encourages your audience to take action and engage with your brand, which can help increase your social media reach and engagement but also helps you to see who has been watching. Are they the right kind of people? Are they people you should now be following up with? And, of course, make sure you sign off. This is where you remind people who you are!
As I said in the beginning, structuring your video for social media requires a different approach than creating traditional videos. If you feel your video content hasn’t been performing as you expect, take a look and see what needs to change based on the points above. Let us know what changes you make and what impact it has on performance – I’d love to know!