Using videos on your social media channels to promote your brand is vital to getting them to grow and be seen. And although it may seem simple to just fire off a tweet or post an Instagram story without much thought, the most successful social media users are doing a lot more than improvising or uploading raw files to the web. They’re actually working hard behind the scenes to create and edit quality video content that enhances their brand, using any and all tools at their disposal.
Basically what we’re trying to say is that there’s a lot more that goes into a successful social media video than it seems, and it’s important to be aware of things from how often you post, to the video’s message, to the aspect ratio that makes a big difference.
Here are the 7 elements of a great social media video.
1. Interesting and Stunning Visuals
Since you’re making content for a visual medium, the visuals need to entice people! Use your most captivating shot, text, or graphic to hook people upfront, and keep them around by using the best content you have throughout the rest of the video. Remember that the thumbnail is just as, if not more important for your audience. Either select the best frame from your video when uploading or do some basic editing in photoshop or by using a photo editing app on your thumbnail file that you can then upload. Also, don‘t forget to check out our download section for additional material, such as badges or overlays for your thumbnails – let everyone know that you‘re a Pond5 artist!
2. A Great Story
Users are going to connect with your content more if there’s an intriguing story. A collection of interesting and stunning shots is great but can be limiting if that’s all the video is. They should have some sort of relationship with each other or to you as a creator. Be clear, simple, and concise with your messaging, because people have limited time and are easily swayed to move on to other content.
A good test to see if you have a good story is to watch the video without sound or text, (or without footage or sound if your video is text-heavy). You should actually plan for people to watch without sound, in fact. If you can convey exactly what you want to without them, then your story is good to go.
The last way to make your story more engaging is to give it authenticity. People can spot a fake pretty easily, so use genuine imagery and audio to convey your message.
3. Efficient Use Of Text
It’s hard to understand and engage with a video if the text is way too long, has spelling or grammar errors, or isn’t on screen long enough. The general rule of thumb is to let the words on the screen be long enough to be read through twice, so build your presentation around that duration. Don’t hesitate to add funny, unexpected, or provocative copy that makes the viewer want to see more.
The other thing you can do is subtitle the video yourself. A lot of platforms will do it for you, but they’re not perfect, and therefore typos may occur. You can instead create the subtitles yourself and get full control over what the viewer needs to read.
4. Technical Proficiency
Most great social posts follow the basic rules for making a great video, including legible, coherent audio, stable footage, and interesting/unique angles. They have the proper aspect ratio, compression settings, duration, and fit within the specs of the social media outlet that’s being used.
Familiarize yourself with each platform’s upload requirements and create shortcut workflows either in your editing software or in the app that allow you to replicate the best settings for each one, saving you time and headaches later.
RELATED POST: Quick guide to Social Media
5. Quality Over Quantity
Only you can determine your posting schedule and what works best with your workflow. You should post as frequently as you feel comfortable posting, as long as your video quality doesn’t suffer. Create deadlines for work, but be careful not to burn yourself out by trying to constantly “feed the beast.” Always keep in mind that consistency is key.
Less is more in many cases, so if you’ve got a project that’s taking a long time, think about breaking it up into a few shorter sections. You can then devote more time to the project as a whole, and spread out the videos over more time.
6. Cool Visual Effects
One of the easiest ways to set your video apart from others is to add some basic visual effects. Whether it’s adding a simple lower third, logo reveal, or using motion tracking for a text layer, putting in a little something extra makes a big difference.
Slide shows, credit sequences, infographics, animations, and 2D flash elements are all dynamic and increase the production quality of your videos, and are relatively easy to work with.
7. A Call To Action/Branding
Branding is a huge part of the process, and it should be. Rarely do you see a great social media video without some way to follow up with the company or artist who posted it. Let the viewers know exactly where to go to see more of your work, or where they can go to view the subject of the video.
Include your other social media handles and a custom referral link to your Pond5 storefront – anyone accessing Pond5 with your custom link will get 20% off and you’ll get 20% of their purchase plus you’ll keep earning anytime they buy something for a full year.
Also, this is a good opportunity for you to add a watermark to your footage and photos posted on social networks as well. It serves two functions: to protect your work from piracy and to use it as an opportunity to have your logo visible throughout the video.
When adding watermarks, branding, and tagging your content, make sure that you don’t make it an overwhelming viewing experience. Having a giant watermark can be distracting; a full 15-second credit intro stinger can drive people away, and having multiple calls-to-action pop up on the screen can just be too much. Keep it simple, and make sure people know how to get in touch with you.
Chances are you’re already posting video content to social media, but having a more focused and professional approach to it can really make a world of difference. Be sure to always keep an eye on your statistics and see what’s working and what’s not. Use visual and storytelling trends to your advantage by either creating with them in mind or by finding your own niche outside of them and doing something differently intentionally. Remember to also have fun, because when you’re having fun as a creator, it shows in your work!