How often do you find yourself with your nose in your phone watching a video that popped up on your social feed? Literally every day—right? With the sensation that is TikTok and the addition of Reels on Instagram, 2020 made it clear that social platforms today are trending towards more and more video sharing.
Just look at the evidence: Social channels such as Facebook intentionally favor relevant video content in their algorithm, and on platforms like LinkedIn, videos are five times more likely to get comments than any other post type. Simply put, including videos in your weekly social calendar is necessary for any 2021 social media strategy for greater social engagement.
But how do you make a video that stops someone in their scrolling tracks? Here are our top five tips for making and posting videos on social media in 2021.
Know Each Optimized Platform Length
Every platform has its quirks. Each social channel has a different algorithm and different functionalities built into the app, meaning that videos come in varying lengths and sizes depending on where you’re scrolling. To have a successful video—one that is noticed and pushed out to audiences by the algorithm—you’ll want to optimize your video lengths for each platforms’ specs. Here’s our updated list of the best video times for each major social channel:
Facebook feed video: 15 to 90 seconds
TikTok: 15 to 60 seconds
Instagram stories: 1 to 15 seconds
Instagram feed video: 30 seconds
Twitter: 45 seconds
LinkedIn: 15 to 30 seconds
With the right times, you’ll be number one in the eyes of the algorithm.
Make the First Five Seconds Count
Think about how you behave on social media. Whether you’re on a phone, laptop, or tablet, you are scrolling through a feed of posts by friends, family, and businesses you like. What makes you stop your scroll?
When creating a video, you have only seconds to stop someone from moving past your content. Data from Lumen 5 (what we use to make videos) says that you have about five seconds in a video to catch someone’s attention before they continue scrolling. If you only have five seconds of someone’s time, what do you need to get across? On social, there is no time for preamble. We suggest immediately having your name, brand elements, and a leading idea, question, sentence, or call-to-action at the very front of your video. Great starting phrases include:
- Did you know___
- Have you ever wanted to____
- Have you seen our______
- What is it like to______
Use “You” Language
As we wrote about on our blog post “To Engage Users, Stop Writing in the First Person,” viewers are proven to engage with content more if it uses language that addresses them and their needs.
When using language in your videos—whether it be through a voice-over or text—switch “I,” “me,” and “we” to the ever important “you.” Your viewer should be the focus of your video. They are the main character. Your role is to tell them how you can help them fill their wants and needs or solve a pain point in their everyday lives. By using “you” language in your videos, you will sound more personable, conversational, relatable, and your content will be easier for your viewers to digest, understand, and connect with.
Include a Call-to-Action
Just like if you were writing a blog post or a social post, videos should always include a call-to-action. In fact, according to leading video maker Animoto, 85% of polled marketers say video is an effective way to get attention online, and according to Social Media Week, polled viewers say that they, on average, retain 95% of a video’s message. If video can grab attention and people are more likely to retain its message, a social video is a perfect place to harness that engagement and turn it into a click through.
With video, you can include a call-to-action verbally at the end or beginning of the video, include a call in your caption, or as text at the end or beginning of the video. With video, here are just a few calls you could try:
- Click to learn more
- Sign up for our ___ today
- Visit our website
- Book a session
- Get started
- Talk to our experienced professionals
- Click here for a consultation
Provide Value to Your Watchers
In our own research here at Eternity, something we have heard our social clients say again and again is that they want their social media to provide value to their audience. The most common desire clients had in 2020 was to not have a “post-of-the-day” style to their feeds, but to give their followers tangible information, education, and services through each and every post.
If you’re creating videos for your social media, whether it be for Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook, those videos should be offering something concrete and memorable. We’d suggest before you even set out to make your video, ask yourself this question:
“What personal benefit is my viewer gaining by watching my video?”
Your answer to this question—and your ultimate social media strategy—should help guide you through the video making process.
In 2021, we really are recommending quality over quantity. With these five tips in mind, don’t be afraid to try something new with your video social media strategy in the new year. Who knows what magic might happen.