7 Tips for Creating Effective Social Media Videos


You’ve got one shot to get it right. Below are some tips on how to make your social media videos more effective

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“Well begun is half done!”  Like any video production, social media videos require good planning in order to be effective. Poor planning can needlessly cost you time and money, and worse, can lead to a wasted video.

When it comes to creating effective video content for social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, be sure to follow these seven tips:

1. Grab them in the first 5 seconds

59% of pre-roll ads on YouTube are ignored after 5 seconds. Typically, if you don’t have a visual or narrative hook, you will lose your audience within the first 5 seconds. Create an eye grabbing opening visual, an unexpected close-up, a controversial phrase, or a striking slow-motion shot that immediately arrests your viewer!
Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” ad below not only kept viewers engaged, but it also  reinforced their move to online from in-store selling, achieving 21+ million views. Can’t argue with that!
Other great ways to hook your audience right off the bat:
•  Provide a quick preview of what’s coming up in the video.
•  Briefly introduce a problem and offer a solution.
•  Tell your audience what you do.
•  Use text to reach your audience.
•  Promise a story.
•  Make a special offer.

2. Set a Good Pace

Hooking your viewer is a good start, but once you’ve got their attention, you have to keep it!  Its important to set a pace that engages your viewer’s interest and attention. In general, shots shouldn’t be longer than 3 seconds (a rule that’s not set in stone). Be creative with your editing and use subtitles whenever possible 
The Virgin Media below is a great example of using pace to hold interest.

3. Subtitles

If your video doesn’t include subtitles or on-screen text, there’s a good chance that your viewers will simply scroll past your ad. Facebook research show that videos with subtitles double the view rate!
In an era where all social media videos are muted by default and 85% of all Facebook videos are watched with no sound, subtitles are essential to catch social media user’s attention and increase engagement.

4. The Power of Visuals

The Sphynx Razor ad below illustrates the power of visuals in selling their product. The quick visually-driven ad draws the attention, keeps it, and sells the practical effectiveness of their product before viewers have a chance to look away.

5. Give it a call to action

Video content is a missed opportunity without a specific call to action. What are you hoping to drive with your video ad? Do you want users to download your app? Ask them to download! Do you want them to subscribe? Ask them to, and make it easy to do so!
A call-to-action in your content can increase views and substantially improve the performance of your video!
In this next video, you’ll see 7 Call-to-Action strategies…

6. Focus on stories, not sales

If you want your video to be watched, it needs to hold a perceived value for the viewer. Videos that are purely focused on a product or service without a story element, are typically ignored.
The best video content tells stories that emotionally connect with the viewer. The better you tell stories about yourself, the more likely your viewers will understand what your offering  is, and what it can do for them.
Facebook recommends: “Your video ad shouldn’t be longer or shorter than it takes to tell your story well, so create a storytelling arc from the first frame to the last that keeps your audience interested along the way.”
This Thai Insurance advert is one of our favorites….

7. Start a campaign with multiple ads in the queue.

If you hit your target audience with the same ad over and over again, they could start to lose interest.
Multiple versions can serve two purposes: 1. Show more than one application of your product or service and 2. Reduce viewer fatigue, and increase interest.
Campaigns that include multiple ads as part of a continuous episodic story are an excellent way to keep viewers engaged, and show different offerings.