When used right, few types of content can match the amount of attention, feedback, and interest in your social marketing campaigns as videos. Yet, the key operative in that sentence is “when used right.”
We already now know that, whoever your target audience is, using social media has become essential for any influencer or business that's trying to bring attention to their brand, content, or services. However, when it comes to social media videos, I’ve noticed that people tend to get caught up on quality over everything else.
And don’t get me wrong, quality is essential - whether you're going for that casual, spontaneous feel most Instagram Stories provide, or shooting for a highly produced YouTube review, you should be trying to get the best quality possible out of your social videos. However, as important as quality is, it isn’t everything.
The most beautifully produced, effective, and compelling social video you can make is going to do nothing for you if people aren’t seeing it, sharing it, and liking it - for your social videos to work, you need people to engage with them.
To that end, here are six useful tips which will improve your social media videos engagement, and have your quality content enjoying the attention it deserves.
Tip #1 – Topic & Relevance
Your video’s topic and subject matter are crucial components which will directly impact how well it performs - you need to make sure that the idea you're covering in your video (regardless of the type of video) is something that will be of interest for your target audience.
You also need to make sure that it provides value in some way to them. Maybe you do an explainer video about a complex topic they care about, or a company story video which entertains and enables them to get to know your business better.
Whatever it is, the main idea behind your video should be to provide value, and your topic should reflect that.
Tip #2 – Structure & Length
Adjusting your video’s structure and length to be social media friendly is one of the easiest, yet most impactful changes you can make in your production process - which will bring in more positive results overnight.
Some social networks, like Instagram and Twitter, favor brief content, but on others, like YouTube and Facebook, audiences are more comfortable staying tuned in for longer. It's essential that you take the particular peculiarities of your chosen platform and try to shape your content around them. Only then can you benefit from the sense of familiarity that audiences have come to expect from the formats they've grown accustomed to.
Tip #3 – Beginnings
The thumbnail and first few seconds of your video are paramount. Most people scroll past videos with convoluted or unclear thumbnails, or they'll drop a video in the first few seconds if they don't feel you're directly addressing the point that your title, description, or thumbnails suggested you would.
Some platforms take the first frame of your video as thumbnails, and/or autoplay its beginning without audio when someone is scrolling by them. Because of this, you need to strive to make these elements pristine and as attention-grabbing as possible.
It's these details that will often determine how many people actually click to watch, and how many stay along for the whole ride.
Tip #4 – Go Native
A lot can be said about the advantages of using the native hosting of each platform you decide to share your content on. This means that if you plan to share a video on your YouTube channel and Facebook, you should be uploading your video individually on both platforms, instead of uploading it on one and sharing the link on the other.
Now, a case can be made about the issue of segmenting your audiences or affecting SEO with these practices, but at the end of the day, uploading natively gives you a host of advantages that are hard to ignore. Native videos rank better on Facebook, for example. And there’s also something to be said about people’s preference of native-hosted content.
Tip #5 – Optimization
Even today, I’m kind of amazed by the amount of people and businesses which neglect SEO and content optimization.
Hashtags aren’t just for fun. Descriptions shouldn’t be left blank. Titles shouldn’t be riddles. Keywords need to be researched and used effectively.
Every platform has different sections and characteristics that allow for search engine optimization, and you should research and start applying them if you aren’t already. The difference can be huge once you start doing so.
Tip #6 – Call-to-Action
Do you know what one of the most reliable strategies to consistently get retweets on Twitter is? Simply asking for them. That’s the power of well-placed and well-executed calls-to-action, and it’s something your videos shouldn’t do without.
Figure out what your objective is for your social video content. Is it to get more followers? Get people sharing them? Maybe visiting your website?
Determine your focus, then include discreet and compelling calls-to-action which prompt people to do something at some point of your video - usually at the mid-point or the end.
The folk at Linus Tech tips have an original way of promoting interaction with their videos.
Even though most of these tips are relatively simple to implement, their effectiveness cannot be underestimated. Their benefits have a compounding nature, and are going to show through once you start applying them to your content.
Start refining your social media video production process, and remember the tips above. I assure you that you’ll start seeing a healthier and more consistent flow of engagement and responses to your videos from then on.