12 Tactics for Creating Successful Social Media Videos

Yael Klass
By Yael Klass
August 6, 2020 · 10 min read

Social media is a powerful tool. It’s one of the few places where small and medium-sized businesses can compete with larger competitors on a relatively equal playing field. Social media is also a great place to concentrate your video marketing efforts.

By creating awesome video marketing content and sharing it on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube; you can reach a large audience, build brand awareness, and develop your online presence.

Of course, you already know that. What you want to know is “where do I start?” Getting your foot in the door with social media videos can be intimidating. The good news is: it doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re trying to kick off a new social media video campaign or your current efforts seem to be falling flat: consider these twelve tactics for success and you’ll see your social media videos gain traction in no time.

1. Go where your customers are

One problem you may be running into is that you aren’t targeting the right channel. It may seem like Facebook is the only game in town when it comes to social media. However, there’s also Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.

In some industries, there are even small-scale social media networks that don’t generate as much widespread traffic but are more niche-oriented. That being said, Facebook is still the most popular social media channel by a wide margin. Instagram is second.

Consider your target customer and where they may spend their time. If you’re a B2B company then LinkedIn is a great place to focus. For a more visual brand, Instagram is key. Truthfully, you can find success on any platform and a truly effective strategy would be to cross-promote your content on multiple channels.

YouTube, while not a “social media” platform in the traditional sense, is a great place to host your videos for easy sharing to other sites. At the very least, consider YouTube and Facebook to be your must-have accounts.

2. Capture attention early

Your video is not a movie. Not yet anyway. The truth is that on social media you only have a few seconds to grab attention before the viewers move on. After all, there’s important cat photos and baby pictures to see!

You want to start your video off in a way that will make the viewer want to stick around. One tried and true method is to ask a question. For example, let’s say your company makes the warmest, comfiest socks around. You may start your video off with a simple question:

“Are you tired of cold feet?”

As a warm, comfy sock mocker, the people who see that and nod “yes” to themselves are your target customer. And since they just nodded and said “yes” to themselves: they’re more likely to stick around and see what you have to offer.

3. Yes, short And sweet

The most successful social media videos are short and sweet. For Facebook, that means a minute or less. You may be tempted to go longer. After all, you’ve got all this space you may as well use it, right? Wrong.

Facebook supports video content and supports it well but it’s not “the place” for video. If you want to create an hour-long presentation: post it to YouTube. After 1 minute, Facebook views tend to drop off.

Your goal is to convey important information and move your audience to the next step in your funnel; usually towards your website or app. Consider how most people browse on Facebook: scroll, scroll, scroll.

You want them to pause and watch your video and they’re not going to do that once they see it’s 20-minutes long. What’s more, they’re less likely to share it.

4. Don’t skimp on quality

For every amateur video shot on an iPhone that’s gone viral there’s 10,000 that didn’t make it. Amateur video is fine when you’re shooting a quick video of your nephew’s soccer game and sharing it with family. When it’s for your business? You want to up the production values a bit more.

Thankfully, creating high-quality, professional-grade videos is easier than you might think. The quality of your social media videos says a lot about your business. Remember: every piece of content you put out there is an extension of your brand so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

5. Don’t forget to call!

Regardless of the focus of your video, don’t forget to include a strong call to action at the end. The call to action (or CTA) is an instruction to your audience on how to take the next step. You don’t want to leave this part out. If your audience has made it this far, you want them to keep going!

Your call to action should be a clear call to take a further action. This is typically something like “buy now,” “click here for more info,” or something similar. Whatever it is you want people to do next if they’ve made it this far: tell them!

For some fun and funky CTA ideas, check out this article on Hubspot

6. Consider the muted viewer

Narration, music, and background sound effects can all be important ingredients in your video recipe. However, when it comes to social media: don’t get too dependent on them. The truth is that about 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound!

So that’s what your co-workers are up to….

This doesn’t mean that you should neglect sound altogether. Far from it. However, keep in mind that a large percentage of your viewers likely won’t have the sound on so make sure your video’s focus is clear, captioned, and isn’t reliant on vocal instructions.

7. Testimonials are key

When it comes to business videos, few things are as effective as a testimonial. In fact, the top three video types are, in order: customer testimonials, tutorials, and product or service demonstrations.

Of course, it can be difficult to get your customers on camera. However, there’s nothing wrong with captioning their written feedback and using the text in a marketing video. Social proof is a powerful tool in marketing. People are more trusting of a brand if they can read reviews or see what past customers have experienced.

Testimonial videos work great as standalone videos or as part of a traditional advertisement video: show the product, explain the benefits, feature the feedback. It’s a winning strategy for success.

8. Post videos directly to Facebook

YouTube is a great video hosting site and you should absolutely be making use of it. After all, it’s free. Likewise, hosting videos on your website is fine too if you can manage the space required. The downside to this is that it can also lead to longer load times on your website which is a big no-no.

However, if you post your videos directly to Facebook rather than linking them from someplace else, your videos will be more successful. Videos posted directly to Facebook have 10x the reach of videos that are linked from somewhere else, including YouTube.

9. Experiment with your posting schedule

Whether you are posting videos directly or running a video ad, the day and time you post can have an impact. Consider that most social media platforms feature a newsfeed of some sort. Depending on how busy your audience is, content can become buried.

You want to maximize your potential reach by posting your content at the ideal time on the ideal day. Truthfully, this may require a bit of experimentation on your part. Your ideal time may vary based on your industry, the specific social media channel you are posting on, or simply the preferences of your specific audience.

If you’re posting great content but your audience isn’t engaging, try mixing things up a bit by posting on a different day or at a different hour. It may take some time to figure out just when your audience is most active.

Take note of your ad and post analytics. If there is a pattern emerging regarding the day or time your content is seeing the most engagement, consider that a sign and start focusing your efforts during that time.

10. Don’t be afraid to boost posts

A neat feature that Facebook offers is the option to “boost posts” for a small fee, as little as $5 in some cases. Taking this action increases the reach of your content. You can choose to promote your post to people who already follow your page or to others you choose through targeting. It’s a little different than running a full-scale ad campaign but it can yield a similar result.

Boosting too many posts can get expensive and you’re not generating organic growth that way. However, if you have a video that you really want people to see, such as an advertisement for an upcoming promotion, don’t be afraid to boost it.

The bottom line is that boosting posts put your video in front of more eyes which can lead to more followers, more likes, and more shares.

11. Ensure your video is sized properly

Not all social media platforms support the same size video. While you can still usually post them, they may no show up properly if they aren’t in the appropriate size or format. Consider the channel you’re going to be posting this video to and make sure you have it properly formatted for that social media network.

The good news is that if you need to make a change, it’s easy to format your video and make sure you’re working with the proper aspect ratio for the platform you’re posting it to.

12. Don’t be afraid to tease

Sometimes it helps to consider the long game. A single video on its own is great. However, a series of teaser videos leading up to a product launch or major announcement can do wonders for generating excitement and buzz around your brand.

Teaser videos are short videos that promise a big reveal down the line. Do a series of teaser videos to make the ultimate announcement even more special. Be careful, however. You don’t want to start this campaign too early or the anticipation may fizzle. Also, consider turning your teaser video to GIF for another fun option.

Successful social media marketing

Video content is a growing part of a successful social media strategy. As more businesses continue to adopt this approach, video content will only increase in use. And, in fact, customers are hungry for it.

85% of consumers say they WANT to see more video content from brands in the future. In marketing, as in show business, sometimes you need to give the people what they want. In this case, they want to see the awesome video content you’re creating.


About the author

Yael Klass

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