Social Media Video content – you've either been creating videos or you're on the ‘I know I need to do it' list. The truth is, there's so much advice out there when it comes to social video it's tough to know where to start or what to do. Plus, if you do dive in and post your first video, you'll probably be looking at the stats and thinking ‘where are all the views I was promised?'. Not all social media video is created equal, and it's important to understand the purpose of your video content to ensure the best possible results.
Why should you create video?
Creating video content for your social media presence is a great way to ensure your posts stand out in the feed. Whether it's a video of you captured on a smartphone or some sort of animation created in an App, the movement in-feed will more often than not make people stop. There are also benefits from an algorithmic perspective with some platforms seemingly favouriting video content and other platforms favouring accounts who are brave enough to mix up their content from a media perspective.
Obviously, simply creating video isn't enough – the content has to have some value attached to it. This can be an initial block for many would-be content creators. I won't go into ideas for video content now as it's something we've written about previously, you can find that article here.
We've also written previously around the format your video needs to take, starting with a hook, including a call to action, that kind of thing. Again, you can read about video format. If you get this bit wrong, again you'll find the video just doesn't quite work for you. So make sure you're prepared!
How long does a video need to be for social media?
One thing we haven't written about very much over the years, but is a question we're asked consistently, is how long a video should be. We get different bits of information all the time, especially from Facebook, about how video length affects algorithms, etc. Sometimes that information is conflicting, which is not particularly helpful in all honesty!
If you're just starting out with video content – don't worry about how long it is. Make the video as long (or short) as you need to deliver the content! Once you've got a few under your belt and you're more comfortable in front of the camera, you'll find you naturally start to create videos that are longer in length.
If you're an experienced video creator (notice I said experienced and not professional!) you may be interested in the following. When it comes to video, imagine you've just produced the next cinematic blockbuster and it's your job to promote it. You don't just show the main event, you pique the interest of potential viewers in advance.
- Teaser videos – These are short in length. Probably 15-45 seconds. Ideal for providing content designed to bring in new audiences, so using them in paid adverts is a great idea.
- Trailer videos – Usually over a minute long, you can share top-level information and give people the headlines, but you're unlikely to go in-depth. This is great content for someone who has only just heard of you and a tool for you to try and get them buying into you and your brand so they become adoring fans!
- The feature film – at over three minutes this is facebook's video content of choice from an algorithmic perspective. However, it's unlikely someone who has never heard of you is going to watch the full thing – so this type of video is definitely more aimed at your existing fan base. This is long-form content, and it gives you the opportunity to dig into a subject and offer more detail. This type of content is definitely worthwhile, but don't get caught up over how many views you're getting on this one!
The Netflix Effect
You know when you start watching something fantastic on Netflix, and you can't wait to see the next episode? Or when the BBC releases a new drama and you can not wait for the next episode? You know you need to tune in the same day and same time next week. What if you can create the same thing for your audience?
Is there a way you can create a series? It could be parts 1-4 on a subject or something more long term! Facebook will recognise serial content, and as such, will favour it in the news feed. As an example, the Green Umbrella team go ‘Live' every Thursday at 12noon and chat for an hour. This long-form video quite often has us interacting with people who leave comments, and we have a couple of people who tune in regularly to hang out with us! We're now on week 31, and each week the reach of the show grows further and further!
If you're thinking you don't know where to start on this, or you've been working on video content for a while and you're feeling stuck, reach out to us, we'd be happy to give you some time and throw some ideas around with you.