8 Key Ingredients For An Awesome Social Video

8 Ingredients For An Awesome Social Video

Social media marketing combined with video can dramatically improve your existing campaigns.

Just imagine – 8 billion videos on Facebook and 5 billion videos on YouTube are watched daily and by 2021, it’s estimated that 82% of all internet traffic will be video content. However, crafting the perfect social video requires problem-solving and pragmatism. Your viewers are looking for something pretty specific – something which is actually worth watching amongst their busy days.

In comparison to traditional broadcasting, the paradigm is flipped when it comes to a social video. You’ll need to perform interruptive marketing tactics to capture and command your audience’s attention. Whether it be within a newsfeed or a recommended thumbnail, your content must be enticing, in-depth and fully delight the intent of the user.

So whether you’re producing video content within a brochure, an explainer video or product video, keep these 8 key ingredients in mind to make your next social video successful.

1. Harness The Power Of Storytelling

How do you capture your audience’s attention over the course of a video? This is the golden question but it has, on the face of it, an easy answer: tell them a story. Storytelling is a powerful method of communication, it’s something we’ve been doing for thousands of years and you could say that it’s deeply ingrained within our DNA.

How Do I Tell A Story?

A story has a couple of basic ingredients; a plot, a narrative and characters. Your plot can walk viewers through a series of problems to which your product solves. E.g. a character trying to clean a car with a conventional sponge. You’d then reveal your product, a super sponge, and indicate the transformation in your character’s disposition and happiness levels. There’s nothing wrong with being formulaic and predictable, we’re familiar with these kinds of videos and readily watch them. However, don’t be put off if you have a weird or wonderful story in mind for your product!

 

The Benefits Of Storytelling:

Research has uncovered how profound storytelling is and how effectively it activates our brains. That is exactly what social video is about: activating viewer’s brains and capturing their attention in a short space of time.

Effects on Dopamine: Studies indicate how storytelling incites dopamine production, which leads to higher engagement rates through the action of viewer contentment satisfaction. Dopamine is a key precursor to memorability and engagement, it makes us feel good for having watched or listened to a story, reinforcing our memories of it and increasing our likelihood to click on for more information.

Neurocoupling: Characters displayed in your video are relatable, even if they are animated. Research indicates the profound methods to which we can relate to characters and their emotions. Relatability helps your audience picture themselves in your plot, helping them imagine what it’d be like to experience your service or product.

Sensory Stimulation: A story’s narrative stimulates our senses, making us feel the content rather than just viewing it as we normally would. Stories bring products to life, which captures engagement and interaction.

Use Faces

Characters and their faces are very important for storytelling videos. Unsurprisingly, we are hardwired to respond to human expressions, even when they’re animated or otherwise recorded and played back in video form.

Faces build trust, rapport, and relatability, allowing us to refer to a video humanistically.

 

2. Short And Sweet Wins The Day

There’s an incredible debate over the optimal length of a social video.

Too long and people won’t watch it all, too short and your video might end up so undeveloped that viewers have no idea what’s going on.

Animoto’s research into social video length determined that consumers dislike videos that are over a minute long. Vidioh suggests that viewer engagement drops harshly after the two-minute mark.

Try keeping your video under 1 minute in length to ensure that your message is remembered easily.

To Keep Users Engaged:

Use subtitles: Almost 85% of all Facebook videos are watched without sound. Subtitle all dialogue in your video to keep your viewers engaged for when the sound is off.

Use Numbered Lists: List-type content with “X ways that..” or similar titles attract the most viewers and engagement.

Use the right tempo: Pace your video evenly throughout. Don’t be tempted to speed your video up to fit into a specific time-slot.

3. Film Professional And Efficiently

When it comes to filming social video, work smart not hard! Remember, your video should only be around 60 seconds or so long.

Producing social videos shouldn’t take weeks or months and they shouldn’t cost the earth but just because they’re 60 seconds in length doesn’t make them easy to produce!

There Are 2 Options For Production:

Filmed video: Social video requires more preparation if you choose to follow the more traditional route by using cameras and sets. You’re not filming a Hollywood blockbuster but you don’t want your video to look lacking, dull, awkward or plain either. It’s a bit of a cliche but you get out what you put in, so be enthusiastic and excited about the process.

 

When Filming Social Videos:

– Start with a rigorously planned plotline and narrative
– Pick a set which is appropriate for your video and suitable for video filming and audio recording
– Invest in tripods and other filming equipment (or considering hiring). It is possible to use your smartphone too!
– Always try and capture an upbeat and positive attitude – dull, clinical and too corporate won’t do for social video – it’s in the name, social.
– Keep the tempo of your video fairly snappy, you want to make viewers think the end is around the corner whilst simultaneously providing them with more information.

Animation: Animations are visually attractive owing to their gamified and almost juvenile aesthetic and that makes them easy to digest too.

Characters in animations also easily display a rather emphasized or exaggerated level of emotion, which can be quite quirky and fun. All in all, animations have become extremely effective at communicating information for marketing purposes.

 

When Animating Social Videos:

1) Choose suitable upbeat music and color palettes
2) Choose the right demographic, age and gender for your characters based on what you’re trying to market
3) Create a real human narration to give the video a ‘real’ touch

Useful resources:

Animation VS Live Action-which video style is better for my business

The Ultimate Battle – Animation VS Live Action

Animated Video Cost – A Price Guide For Any Budget

4. Optimize For Success

Not all social media platforms are built equally. In fact, fundamental differences exist between them and this is something you need to bear in mind when optimizing your video.

Firstly, consider whether your video will be viewed on a mobile device and on which platform.

Mobile-first: 65% of views come from mobile devices so make sure your video will playback correctly on a smaller screen.

Aspect ratio: Videos produced for TV or cinema are widescreen but when producing video for phone playback, opt for a square aspect ratio (1:1). Thanks to the tall and thin dimensions of most phones, the box has become a hallmark of mobile content, from images to video, as it takes up far more screen real estate than a widescreen video. Square videos use 78% more feed space than landscape videos.

 

5. Never Neglect Your Thumbnail

Some videos will autoplay when hovered in the stream or social feed but others will need to be played via clicking on a thumbnail. Either way, you can never be sure so never neglect your thumbnail. 

 

 

– Your thumbnail will likely be very small when displayed on a device so don’t cram it with information
– Use bright and captivating colors to catch viewer attention
– Research indicates that faces are the most captivating images to place on a thumbnail, but only use one or two, not a whole group!

By creating an effective thumbnail, you’re giving your video tons of extra mileage for the times when it doesn’t autoplay.

6. Subtitle And Caption

With so many videos watched in silence, your video’s textual accompaniments are more important than ever. That means writing an engaging title, caption, and subtitles. 

Write A Catchy Description:

Descriptions are important as they engage viewers and also enable them to get an idea of what your video is about without listening to the audio content.

Use Subtitles And Appropriate Animations:

We’ve already mentioned the importance of subtitles but you can also silently convey your video’s message with clever animations. For example, for a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, you can animate sound waves emanating from the device to convey audio.

 

7. Make Your Cta Clear And Obvious

You’re leaving money on the table by not adding a clear CTA. Wistia analyzed 484,000 CTAs and found that well over 90% of videos use a post-roll CTA that occurs when the video has finished playback. Post-roll CTAs capture viewers who have watched the entire video and are therefore the most interested and engaged with the video.

Make Your Value Proposition Clear:

You need to be offering something of value to viewers who will be asking themselves “what’s in it for me?” CTAs offering “the most dynamic XYZ ever created” or the ability to “supercharge your marketing plans”, etc, offer positive and catchy value. 

Use Action Words:

“Create”, “locate”, “explore”, “make” and “discover” are all effective action words that can gear viewers up to follow your value proposition.

Be Positive: Maintain a positive tone throughout your video. It’ll help motivate viewers, not only aiding engagement but also increasing the likelihood of click-throughs.

 

8. Create A Sense Of Reciprocity

Marketing and advertising are about “give and take”. A product or service will only sell if it solves problems and in giving your solution to customers, you are taking sales. Reciprocity also comes in the form of deals, discount codes and other giveaways which you can incorporate into your social videos.

The Law of Reciprocity

The law of reciprocity states that were compelled to give back to those that gave to us. In marketing terms, this means that giveaways can help motivate people to act and follow your CTA.

For Example:

– First 25 subscribers will be entered into our prize draw
– Free gift with every purchase
– Sign up now for 50% off

Any promise of something ‘free’ makes customers feel like they’re in an advantageous position thanks to your video. If your giveaway is particularly generous then this could even help you gain shares and positive comments, which is a huge bonus to the reach of your social video.

Conclusion

Social video should be short, snappy, dynamic and fun.

You only have a short time available and along with the physical constraints of mobile viewing, producing social video is a quirky challenge.

By using psychological methods, quality production methods and by embracing a sense of enthusiasm and conviction, you can create captivating social videos.

Bear these tips in mind when creating your video – it should be short, engaging and well-formed whilst complying to the technological constraints of mobile-first viewing.

James Phoenix is a Data-Driven SEO & PPC Marketer for Vidioh, a video brochure marketing company which helps brands to create highly impactful content experiences by combining the power of video with print advertising.

James Phoenix

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