Social Media Video Tips for Marketers & Business Owners

by | Last updated Jan 5, 2024 | Digital Marketing

With 91% of businesses using video in their marketing strategy, social media videos can play a part in the overall success of your business. And with over 66% of consumers reporting that short-form social media videos are the most engaging marketing content they consume, it’s important to create video content that keeps your viewers’ attention. Here are some tips for creating engaging social media videos!


Social Media Video Marketing Tips

Social media video marketing varies across different platforms, but there are some universal best practices for creating videos. Check out our tips for crafting social media videos on any platform.

Begin With Research & Goals

The best way to know the course of action for your social media video strategy is by conducting good audience and competitive research to inform the specific social media goals for your business. Your target audience’s average age, gender, and employment status or occupation will inform the best social media platforms for your business. The social media marketing objectives you set will inform the type of content you produce and what messaging you’ll include in your social media videos. Whether you want to increase brand awareness, generate buzz for sales and promotions, or simply get more sales and website visits, your strategy should involve several social media platforms.

Understand the Types of Video Content

There are two main types of video content: short-form and long-form. Typically, short-form video content is no longer than 90 seconds—while long form-video content is lengthier and encompasses everything from quick how-to videos to hour-long YouTube videos.

Here are some common examples of short-form social media video content:

Here are some common examples of long-form social media video content:

  • YouTube videos
  • Facebook video posts
  • Instagram video posts
  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Live
  • YouTube Live

Your business might be better suited to posting certain types of video content on social media depending on your customers’ preferences and social media video strategy. For example, around 66% of social media users will engage with a video if it’s under a minute long, while 50% will finish a two to 10-minute video. However, social media live streams generate 27% longer watch time and engagement than on-demand content. While this implies short-form social media videos are more effective, it truly depends on your social media strategy and the length of video content that suits your business best.

Generate Social Media Content Ideas

It’s important to know the different kinds of social media videos, but it’s even more essential to engage your viewers with the story you tell. You want to establish a personal connection with your audience, evoke emotion, and inspire action through your videos. Brainstorm video content ideas to fit your business’s ethos and messaging, using competitive research as inspiration. To start, here are a few popular types of video content on social media:

  • Behind the scenes: A walkthrough of your physical business location or office, social media takeover, or ride-along style video to showcase the vibe and culture of your work environment
  • News: Short, to-the-point explanations of current events and developments that impact your business or your customers
  • Promos & teasers: When releasing a new product or service, these videos serve as your “trailer” or announcement to generate hype, and they can come in the form of an unboxing or product testing
  • Educational: Any process-based “how-to” videos, including tutorials and demonstrations, or videos that teach and share research or history
  • Testimonials: Mostly user-generated content, these videos are customer reviews, unboxings, and demonstrations using your products or services
  • Interviews: Q&As with your employees, management, or customers

Know How to Create Quality Video Content

Figuring out what types of video content you want to make is only helpful if you know how to execute them well. If your social media videos are easy for customers to watch, they’ll have a more pleasant experience watching your videos. Consider these aspects when creating video content:

Camera:

  • Clean your lens so videos aren’t obstructed or blurred
  • Choose a good frame rate, or frames per second (FPS), so the image doesn’t lag and the file size doesn’t get too big—30-60 FPS is a good rule of thumb across platforms
  • Use a smartphone—newer smartphone cameras are ideal for social media video since they automatically use the aspect ratio suited for a mobile app
  • Have a tripod or phone stand to ensure your camera is stable while filming

Lighting:

  • Make sure the subject of your video (a product, employee, physical business location, etc.) is well-lit and easily visible throughout the video
  • Consider investing in artificial lighting solutions like a ring light or other warm LED lighting
  • Film in natural lighting with minimal glare

Audio:

  • Record your social media videos in a quiet space with good acoustics to minimize the natural echo and reverb of the room
  • If recording outside, consider getting an external Lavalier mic to keep spoken audio clear in high winds and busy areas with a lot of external noise
  • Include closed captioning of your audio, no matter the type of video you’re shooting

Music:

  • Use music in your social media videos that’s legal under copyright laws
  • Have Creative Commons or royalty-free music for videos you add music to externally in editing software to avoid copyright strikes once you upload them
  • If adding music, use the provided music clips for videos within the social media platform—these are licensed by the platform for you to use legally
  • On platforms like Instagram and TikTok, consider using viral sound clips and popular music in videos to generate more views, tap into the latest trends to expand your reach

Plan Out Your Social Media Video Structure

Engaging social media videos have a good flow and transition smoothly from one idea to the next. Most captivating video scripts have three parts: the hook or intro, the main content, and a conclusion or CTA. Planning out your social media video structure like this will help engage your customers through the entire length of the video. The structure of the video will change the most between different types of video content—for example, how-to videos will be oriented in steps, while a product testimonial or explainer video might be more problem and solution-oriented.

Another important thing to consider for your social media video structure is whether or not it’ll be looped. Reels and TikToks will automatically replay over and over until a user exits or swipes to the next video, so seamlessly ending with the same frame that starts the video can be a good strategy. Each time the video loop starts over, it counts towards another view, contributing to increased social media engagement.

Draw Your Audience in With a Hook

The average adult’s attention span is just over 8 seconds, so it’s important to draw your audience in from the very beginning. Try starting with a thought-provoking question or go for a straightforward approach by leading with a teaser of your main content. If your social media videos are addressing consumer issues that you’re providing solutions to, be direct about it by immediately mentioning their pain points and providing the solution.

Make Concise & Intentional Video Content

The longer a social media user views a video (especially on YouTube and TikTok), the more likely the algorithm is to boost it. Because of this, it’s important to create intentional content and avoid fluff that could lead to a loss of viewers. Additionally, to keep your business top of mind, you should feature your brand name or logo throughout your social media videos. Another good tip for building trust through social media videos is to personally represent your brand by showing your face in your content to connect to your viewers better.

End With a Great Call to Action

A big part of social media video content is converting viewers into buyers. The call to action (CTA) you include at the end of your social media videos should be a direct reflection of the goals you set in the initial planning stages.

For example, if your goal is awareness, prompt social media users to share your video content with their friends and followers. If you want to generate buzz for promotions, give viewers directions on how to best take advantage of upcoming sales. If you’re striving to increase website traffic, leave off with a message to visit your business website for more information, link your website URL in your bio, or sign off your messages with a website link CTA.

Optimize for Multiple Channels

Different social media channels have different specifications for video content, and the better you tailor your content to the platform, the better your social media videos appear in search. However, there’s content you’ll likely want to post on multiple channels—especially across similar platforms in the form of Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts.

You shouldn’t need to completely re-shoot your social media video content for every platform you want to post on. However, if you use the same video, it’s important to optimize it according to different platform specs. Pay attention to things like the orientation, maximum length, aspect ratio, and file size allowed on different social media platforms, and modify your video content to cater to these specs.

Track Social Media Video Analytics

Measuring how your videos are performing is a great way to know how you can improve your social media video strategy. Tracking the right social media analytics helps you understand how your content is performing, which topics and types of videos are and aren’t doing well, and what social media posting times work best for your business.

Here are some general social media metrics to track for your videos:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Views
  • Watch time
  • Followers gained/lost
  • Click-through rate

Instagram Video Best Practices

  • Features: Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, Instagram Live, carousel feed posts, Instagram bio links
  • Best for: Short-form video announcements, behind-the-scenes clips, and Q&As or interviews; Long-form event live streams, business walkthroughs, and how-to/tutorial videos
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Best time to post: Monday, 11 a.m. CST

Instagram videos generate more engagement than any other content on the platform, making it a great platform to use for your social media video strategy.

A big focus for your Instagram videos should be picture clarity since the Instagram Reels algorithm punishes videos that are blurry and low resolution. Instagram is also a visuals-based platform, so your aesthetics are incredibly important. When planning out your Instagram content strategy, pay special attention to the colors, lighting, video thumbnails, and other visual elements you’ll use throughout the video.

Videos on Instagram should be portrait-oriented. Instagram videos, both short-form and long-form, have certain length limitations, but businesses and brands should consider taking a “less is more” approach—the sweet spot for the most engaging Instagram videos is around 26 seconds.

Facebook Video Best Practices

  • Features: Facebook Stories, Facebook Reels, Facebook feed, Facebook Live
  • Best for: Short-form video announcements, behind-the-scenes clips, and Q&As or interviews; Long-form event live streams, business walkthroughs, and how-to/tutorial videos
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16, 16:9
  • Best time to post: Monday, 12 p.m. CST

As Facebook and Instagram are a part of the same parent company (Meta), there are many similarities between the two social media platforms and their video content tips.

On Facebook, you should avoid watermarks on videos that indicate the content is recycled from other social media platforms like TikTok, as well as videos with borders, as the Facebook Reels algorithm tends to make this content less discoverable. Facebook also rewards video content that inspires authentic discussions and organic sharing, so a good CTA to leave off on might be a question for viewers to discuss in the comment section.

A big difference to keep in mind when creating social media videos for Facebook is the demographics you’re targeting. Facebook draws an older demographic than newer platforms like Instagram and TikTok, so it’s good practice to tone down the amount of modern slang and hyper-trendy references in favor of content that caters to all ages.

Facebook video stories can’t go over 120 seconds, while long-form Facebook videos can go up to four hours. However, the most engagement comes from videos that are two to five minutes long.

YouTube Video Best Practices

  • Features: YouTube uploads, YouTube Shorts, live streams, live closed captioning
  • Best for: Short-form highlights of full-length videos; Long-form video content of any kind
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16, 16:9
  • Best time to post: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. CST

YouTube is one of the best social media platforms for long-form video content and comes with unique features that improve a long-form video viewing experience.

Consider applying YouTube chapters and timestamps in videos to help split up longer video content into chunks. YouTube features like video categories and video thumbnails can help entice viewers if they’re descriptive and attractive. By effectively using a well-designed end screen, you’ll be able to point viewers to your main profile to see related videos and get more views.

The YouTube algorithm is also unique as it’s not related to recency, which means your content can have more longevity. YouTube rewards videos based on how much time users spend watching, as well as interactions on videos such as likes, dislikes, and comments. The longer your YouTube videos are viewed, the better they appear to the algorithm—especially if your YouTube viewers watch to the end of the video. Optimize each YouTube video’s title, description, and tags with related keywords to the topic it covers, so your video will be suggested when customers search for similar subject matter.

Your posts should be in landscape orientation for all uploads and live streams, but for YouTube Shorts, switch to portrait orientation. For video length, keep in mind that unverified accounts can only upload videos up to 15 minutes long, while verified accounts can upload videos up to 12 hours long. Videos over 10 minutes are most popular for YouTube creators because it’s the threshold for running ads and monetizing videos on this platform.

TikTok Video Best Practices

  • Features: TikTok videos, TikTok Stories, TikTok LIVE
  • Best for: Short-form video content of any kind
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Best time to post: Sunday, 3 p.m. CST

Short-form video content with an entertaining, humorous vibe performs best on TikTok. To cater to the TikTok algorithm, avoid creating duplicate content or directly copying other content you’ve seen. Using voiceover audio and popular, trending hashtags or music can help you boost your TikTok engagement. You can also throw in more playful editing techniques and trendy slang that caters to TikTok’s younger demographic.

TikTok also has some app-specific features you can use to optimize your social media videos on the platform. In the TikTok video editor, you can add visually enticing transitions, emojis, and other animations to capture your viewers’ attention. TikTok features like text overlays, voiceovers, dueting, and green screens are other ways to add engaging visual elements that help you stand out.

TikTok video content should be recorded in portrait orientation. If you’re recording video content for TikTok directly through the app, videos should be anywhere from one minute and up to three minutes long. Although, if you upload TikTok video content externally, videos can be up to 10 minutes long. Keep in mind that the shorter your post is, the more likely you are to draw in new viewers.

Need help constructing a social media video strategy for your business? Hurrdat Marketing offers social media marketing, services for help with video creation, strategy, and more. Contact us today for more information!

Social media platform statistics from Hootsuite, Yoast, and SocialPilot.

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