How To Create Engaging Social Media Video Content 

By Brittany Nguyen | November 2018 

By 2020, it’s projected that 75% of mobile traffic will be video. 

Damn. It’s clear to see how video is an essential part of your marketing strategy. But for the average marketer, creating it can seem like a daunting task. 

So I’ve decided to make it simple for you. Here are in 5 easy steps to create engaging video content for social media. Marketers rejoice!

1. Brainstorming. What’s Your Video About? 

The first step to creating a good video is understanding your end game. Like anything, you need to have a goal. What do you want to achieve with your video? How do you want your viewers to feel? Once you’ve brainstormed the answers to those questions, you can start working on the actual content of your video. 

Pro Tip: Look at videos you like for inspiration.

Find videos from companies that capture your attention on social media. Analyze why their videos work and why you like them. Why was it engaging? Was it the way it was shot? Their story? 

2. Get Planning 

Hallelujah, you’ve come up with the concept for your video - congratulations! Now you need to plan out how your video is going to look and feel. This can be done by either creating a script, storyboarding or both. 

When I create videos that require dialogue and video, I use a two column script. one column is for audio and the other is for video. 

WS = Wide shot

MS = Mid shot

This is a great way to organize how your audio and visual will line up. 

A storyboard, on the other hand, is essentially a comic strip of your video. If your video heavily relies on the visuals rather than dialogue, a storyboard is the way to go. Storyboards help you visualize how each shot is going to look in each sequence. It’s extremely helpful to check off necessary shots as you move onto the recording/production stage. 

*Note, a storyboard doesn’t need to be pretty. It can literally be stick figures. 

Where do you plan on sharing it? Portrait, Landscape or Square? 

Social media has changed the way videos are made. We’re used to seeing video in a landscape format (TV, Netflix binging, movies). However, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have completely shifted the way consumers view video... Pun intended.

For example, if you want to post on Instagram, you need to consider where you want to put the video. IGTV or a regular Instagram post? With these two options, you have to answer this question: Do I need to shoot vertically? Or do I need to shoot with a square aspect ratio in mind? 

Square videos outperform landscape videos on all social media platforms in terms of social media engagement, views and completion rate. Square videos also take up 78% more space on a person’s mobile device than a landscape video (a nifty tip for any marketers out there). 

Quick tips To Creating Videos for Social:

Capture Attention Early

  • When scrolling on social media, videos have an autoplay feature. The first 3 seconds are critical to capturing your audience. If you don’t hook them within that time frame, they will keep scrolling.  So, what’s a good hook? Start with the climax of your story, then tell your audience what happens leading up to your climax. 

Design for Sound Off

  • People view social media videos without sound. Add titles or captions to tell your message visually. 

Keep it Simple

  • Don’t try to create complex videos right off the bat if you don’t have the resources or knowledge, trust us, it won’t go well.

Keep it Short

  • For social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter the best length is 10-30 seconds. 

3. Shooting 

Now for the most exciting part - shooting your video! 

To start off, you don’t need a high-end DSLR to create your video. Luckily with today’s advanced technology, our smartphones have become powerful video cameras. 

However, if you’re planning to integrate videos into your marketing strategy long-term, then I suggest investing in a high-end camera just to get that extra kick of quality and flexibility. Or if that’s not really your thing -hire us instead ;). 

Stabilize Your Camera with a Tripod 

Stabilizing your video is the simplest way to achieve a professional look. A shaky video automatically screams “amateur”. My recommendations for a cheap phone tripod are: 

  1. Manfrotto Smart Photo Tripod
  2. Joby Tripod
  3. SmartPhone Mount 

With this mount, you can grab any kind of tripod and insert your smartphone right in. 

Capturing Good Audio

If your goal is to create a professional video, having clean audio will make your video 100x better, compared to horrendous audio. A video can have great visuals, but if your audio is terrible 

If your video has dialogue, plan to have it recorded in a quiet location to minimize background noise. 

Here are some great recommendations on cheap microphones to attach to your smartphone: 

1. Rode VideoMic Me Compact

2. Rode Smart Lav

3. Shure MV88

Lighting is Everything

Natural lighting is the best and cheapest source of light. If you’re shooting indoors, a great tip is to shoot by a window and have your subject facing towards it. 

4. Editing 

Okay, you have your footage. Now what? Let’s put it together.

When editing, keep things simple. Don’t go nuts over effects and transitions, if it doesn’t suit your content and/or your message then don’t do it. 

I personally use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit my video. However, here are some alternatives:

5. Sharing is Caring

Congrats, you’re all finished!

The last step is to share it your video across your social channels. Remember to use engaging captions, use #hashtags, and tag relevant people. 

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