Have you noticed that increasingly your Facebook feed is packed with more and more videos and less still images? There’s a reason for this: video is proving more popular and more engaging than any other content medium.
Social media users are far more likely to stop and watch a video than they are to read and text post or click on a link, and brands are catching on. And we know what you’re thinking; we sit down with business owners everyday and hear the same sorts of protests: “It’s all good and well for multinationals to incorporate video but I don’t have thousands of dollars to spare producing video for my Facebook page.” The truth is though, incorporating video into your social media content really doesn’t have to be that complicated, or that expensive (thank goodness!), but there is an art to it.
Okay so yes you will need some equipment but it really doesn’t have to be expensive. Most smartphones have pretty amazing cameras nowadays, so if you don’t need your videos to be 4K Ultra HD (and to be honest you really don’t) then this might be all you need. One thing a smartphone camera won’t be able to do is capture great sound so if your videos are going to primarily focus on roundtable discussions, piece to cameras, or interviews, it may be worth investing a bit of money into a good microphone (think $300 max).
The other important thing to consider when you create these videos is that you actually need to plan for silence. 85% of all online videos are watched without sound. Why? Because we’re scrolling through social media while we’re in line at the bank, or bored at work, or while our partners are asleep beside us. If you’re video requires sound to be enjoyed then it’s going to pose a serious barrier to people engaging with it.
Again, we know what you’re thinking, we just told you to go buy a fancy microphone and now we’re telling you that people won’t even listen to it. This is a video and you want to create something that’s polished, professional and a good reflection of your brand so it should have great music and conversation but it’s also important to make sure that the video is just as engaging without them. Have closed captions and images that are going to grab people’s attention and convey your message with or without sound.
Not every video needs to be prerecorded either. One thing that is really gaining a lot of traction on Facebook and Instagram is live videos. This is when you set up the camera and broadcast live across your social media platforms, inviting people to comment, like, and interact while the video is happening and you can physically respond. It’s a fantastic way to increase engagement and even though you might be more likely to stumble in a few places, your audience will also be a whole lot more forgiving knowing that you’re live. It does mean you’ll have to let your followers know ahead of time that you’re going live and drum up a bit of excitement so you have an audience waiting for you on the day.
The important thing with video is that, just like any other content, it requires a bit of forethought and planning. Know who you’re trying to reach and what your message is and stay on topic! The more you deviate from your message, the more likely you are to lose viewers.
Our final tip is a big one: go easy on yourself. You’re not Speilberg, this isn’t Hollywood and, honestly, your clients aren’t expecting either. If you produce something that looks good, sounds good and is on topic and on brand then post it, regardless of if you said “um” a few times.