Coming up with videos for social media is a great way to engage viewers. In fact the statistics show that social media videos are better at engaging viewers than any other type of content – across the board.
In order to leverage that potential however, you need to know how to come up with engaging social media videos in the first place. The best place to begin however is right at the start.
Define Your Goals
Social media is a great avenue for you to reach a wide base of users and engage them. But the question you need to ask yourself is: What are you trying to engage them for?
Some of the common goals that videos are used for on social media include:
- Building brand awareness and promoting its culture
- Generating leads or traffic
- Thought leadership
- Providing support
While your social media page can focus on a combination of goals – each video that you create should hone in on one of them so that its message is focused and can be delivered more effectively.
Understand the Audience
Before you can start to engage viewers watching your videos – you need to understand them. That starts with defining your target audience in terms of their demographic based on their age, location, income, interests, hobbies, and any other relevant information.
If you want to you could even build personas based on your target viewership and use them to evaluate the videos that you create.
Although you may already have a fair understanding of your target audience – it will help to develop it further. There are lots of tools that you could use that may help in that regard, but some of the basic ways you could carry out research would be to:
- Conduct surveys among members of your target audience.
- Look at competitors’ social media or websites and gauge how the audience responds to content.
- Find influencers that you feel your target audience would follow and analyze their content.
- Research hashtags and keywords that trend within your target audience demographic.
Guidelines for Engaging Social Media Videos
Having defined your goals and target audience, before you go any further you should be aware that there are several guidelines you may want to follow to ensure your social media videos are more engaging.
It is important to note that these are all ‘guidelines’ and not hard and fast rules – so you can afford to be flexible and bend some of them if you feel your target audience will respond to something slightly different.
- Create short videos that are under 2 minutes
Typically social media users are known to have short attention spans and don’t stay to watch long videos. The most notable drop-off point in viewership generally happens at around the 2 minute mark, which is why you should try to keep your videos under 2 minutes in duration.
On some social media platforms videos that are much shorter than that perform much better – and you may even want to try creating videos that are between 15 to 30 seconds long.
- Place a hook in the first 8 to 10 seconds
Another drop-off point for viewers tends to be early on in the video, at around the 8 to 10 second mark. That is when lots of viewers decide whether or not they’re interested in watching more, and so placing a hook can help sway them.
To hook viewers you should highlight the benefits they’ll obtain. In other words, let viewers know how watching the video will help them out.
- Use emotional triggers
Provoking emotions is a powerful way to engage viewers and convince them to take action – which is why funny, surprising, inspiring, and shocking videos get shared so often. If you can you should try to incorporate emotional triggers into your video in some form or other.
One of the most effective ways to do that is to structure your video as a story and humanizing it. If you pull it off you will be able to get viewers to feel emotionally invested in the subject and the outcome of the video.
- Nail the visuals
The reason social media videos are more engaging than other types of content is because they are able to more effectively present information visually. Due to that fact, you should focus on finding ways to deliver your message that are as visual as possible.
For every point that you want to put across, think of ways that you can ‘show’ it – instead of leaning on the voiceover to ‘tell’ viewers about it.
- Add in subtitles
Recently it was revealed that over 85% of viewers on Facebook watch videos with the audio off. Considering that, it should be clear that relying on a voiceover is not ideal – and you should add subtitles or captions to your videos.
The goal should be that your video is able to put its message across – with our without audio.
Types of Engaging Social Media Videos
Just like most everything else about social media videos, the types of videos that you create will depend on your goals, target audience, and brand. That being said there are some types of videos that you should consider as they have been proven to effectively engage viewers:
- Live videos are currently the most engaging type of content on social media. Aside from broadcasting events, you could try live webinars, discussion panels, Q&A sessions, and so on.
- Behind the scenes brand culture videos are a great way to introduce viewers to your brand and humanize it. It could be a workplace tour, employee interviews, random office stunts, or a look at what goes into creating your products.
- How-to guides and tutorials are a storied form of content that are innately useful to viewers. By creating guides that help viewers solve a problem they are facing you can definitely build their interest and establish yourself as a trusted expert.
- Expert interviews tend to be able to engage lots of viewers, especially if the subject and topic are of interest to them. It can add credibility to your brand as well.
Make no mistake there are lots of other options, but the ones listed above should give you a place to start.
Come Up with High Quality Content
Based on everything you now know, you should be able to come up with ideas, plan, and start creating more engaging videos for social media.
Quality is key however when you make a movie or video for social media, and you’ll want to make sure you nail the post-production stage as well. If you don’t have experience you may want to consider outsourcing, or finding a user-friendly option such as Movavi Video Editor for example.
As you do start to publish videos on social media, make it a point to track their performance using analytics. The data that you gather will prove invaluable, as you can use it to analyze your videos and find out more about your target audience.
That in turn will help you to create better and more engaging videos as time goes by. In short – you will be able to gradually experiment, test, and improve your videos’ engagement levels.