Two things have been taking over everyone’s online attention for the past couple of years: social media and video content. What’s more, the latter thrives on the former.
If you’re finally thinking about including videos to your marketing strategy, you’re on the right track. According to HubSpot, videos are twice more memorable than text content, and 1.2 times more memorable than static visuals and photos. Better that, it was 2016 when Facebook executive predicted the platform would be all video with no text in 5 years. Today, we can witness the prediction steadily coming true.
Now, when it comes to marketing, some business owners hesitate to start investing in video content thinking that production may cost them a fortune. At the same time, most marketers agree that effort-wise, content creation rarely consumes more than 20%. Yet, content promotion certainly does.
In this post, we’ll walk through some of the key points on how to post video content on social media and how to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed in your followers’ feeds.
HubSpot actively uses video content on Facebook and looks like it works well for them
Not all social media channels are made equal
A few years ago, when just having a company’s account on social media was already an accomplishment, it didn’t matter that much, what type of content was published where. Today, successful execution of a social media strategy involves understanding the difference between the platforms.
Not only each of them has its own technical requirements, but also a unique style, or a “voice” if you will. Compare concise and straight-to-the-point messages on Twitter with the inspirational visuals published on Instagram versus longer storytelling formats on Facebook or YouTube.
And because these platforms are so unique, each one has its own adherents, so if you want to grab their attention, you better learn how to speak their language.
See what type of content Heinz publishes on different social media platforms. It’s longer movie-style stories on Facebook, short but very eye-catching clips on Instagram, and GIFs or GIF-style animations on Twitter.
Heinz posted a Happy New Year GIF on Twitter
How to vary video parameters for different social media
Let’s start with the basics. You’ve probably heard that YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – all have their requirements for the videos being uploaded and published. For example, to look authentically and work well, a video for Twitter should not exceed 15 Mb (sync), must have a 1:1 aspect ratio, and a frame rate 40fps or less. At the same time, the ideal dimension for a video on Facebook is 720p and the frame rate 30 fps or less.
You got the idea. Each platform encourages you to comply with its specification rules.
But setting up those parameters manually is probably the last thing you want to worry about. Ideally, you should have a tool capable of exporting videos with the right setup automatically because it will significantly save your time and effort. A free tool we recommend trying is a Video Editor by VSDC. Not only does it have a robust toolset to create stunning clips, but it also allows you for exporting videos using pre-configured profiles for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, and YouTube.
Using VSDC to export videos for various social media platforms
You can change all the video properties if you’d like, but truth be told, you don’t need to. As you can see, codecs, aspect ratio, framerate, and the rest of the parameters are set up accordingly.
Now, the length. When it comes to video duration, there are platform limitations as well as recommendations based on experience.
Thus, on Twitter, you can only post a video of a maximum 140-second (async) length. However, according to HubSpot calculations, 45-second videos have the best performance there. In fact, Twitter is that only platform where GIFs are often even more welcome than videos.
Following the same guide from HubSpot, 1 minute is the ideal time for videos published on Facebook, 30 seconds – for Instagram timeline videos, and 2 minutes – for YouTube content. Although, the latter, of course, fluctuates widely depending on your business and marketing strategy.
Yet, the key takeaway here is that short bite-sized videos work better than long ones on any platform.
Ikea posted a series of 15-second videos on Instagram to showcase their new SPÄNST collection
How to get viewers’ attention
The tricky part about posting videos on social media today is to catch viewers’ attention so they would actually stop scrolling at lightning speed and get to see your message. And given that 85% of videos are viewed with the sound off, your job becomes slightly more challenging.
As a general rule of thumb – and you have probably noticed that already on your timeline – brands use subtitles whenever applicable. Not only it solves the problem of muted videos, but according to Uscreen, having subtitles helps comprehend videos, makes them more efficient, and even 15% more shareable. YouTube allows you for generating subtitles automatically using its speech recognition technology, but for other platforms, you might want to add text manually. Most video editing software including the above-mentioned VSDC can help you with that task. If you are looking for more options, however, here is a list of mighty video editors available at zero cost.
Adding text objects to your video using VSDC Video Editor
Another crucial part of having your videos watched on social media is getting to the point fast. In fact, Facebook itself informs marketers that they have less than 10 seconds to grab someone’s attention with a video and “make a thumb stop”.
What does it mean? It means that you want to make sure a viewer sees and understands your message in those 10 seconds. To achieve that, you might have to eliminate those long beautiful intros for the sake of the rest of the video being seen. Notice, even on YouTube where an average watch session lasts for 40 minutes, creators now tend to dedicate the first seconds to provide an overview of what’s coming next instead of having a long animated intro as before.
How to make sure your video content gets seen
Yet, before getting watched, your video content must get seen among the rest of the contentment published on social media.
Naturally, after investing time and energy into producing the content, you certainly want to make sure it appears on your audience’s timelines. Needless to say, your followership is your main asset, but with the latest algorithms first introduced by Facebook and then implemented by other social media platforms, you might not be able to reach your audience that easy.
The zero-budget way to success lies in creating user engagement. It is not a secret that posts with maximum engagement – likes, votes, shares, and comments – are “favored” and get more visibility. So how do you encourage your followers to engage?
First, and that applies to all social media platforms, you should always use CTAs – calls to action. Depending on your marketing objectives, it can be “Like if you agree!”, “Yay or nay? Let us know what you think about it in comments!” “Share with someone who…” “Tag a friend who would love it”.
“But why do I need to use CTAs?” – you may think – “Don’t my followers already know what to do?”
Yes, they know. But today, getting people do something online is insanely hard for two reasons. First, it requires time and effort nobody is eager to invest without a good incentive (and that’s where you come up with a smart reasonable call to action). Second, the widely-known attention span issue. When on social media, most people get distracted so easily, it’s not even funny. So even if some of them had a desire to engage with your content, they can forget about it by the end of the video (and that’s why you should consider placing a call to action at the end of it).
Tasty uses End Screen feature on YouTube encouraging viewers to stay on the channel and watch related videos
Other little details that may increase visibility are hashtags for Instagram and keyword optimization for YouTube.
Pro tip: Hashtags help your content get discovered by new audiences looking for videos on a chosen topic. Don’t misuse them by adding too many slightly relevant ones. Focus on specificity. When posting on Twitter, limit yourself to two hashtags and take your time to search the hashtagged keywords before using them to make sure they are indeed relevant to your content.
Finally, don’t exclude paid promotion from your arsenal. Oftentimes, a post boost serves as an ignition to organic reach. If your video content is really good, people will engage with whether it has that “Sponsored” tag or it doesn’t. And as we have already established, engagement means better organic reach and higher visibility – which is your goal in the first place.
Do you use videos as a part of a marketing strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!