You already know that video content is king, especially on social media platforms. Videos are everywhere, and they’re effective, but video marketing is a catch-22; you absolutely should include the tactic in your social media strategy, but everyone else is in on it, too. With so much saturation, so how do you give your video content a fighting chance against everyone else’s?
First and foremost, the content has to be great. Greatness means different things to different brands, so there’s no secret formula I can divulge for that. However, I can share social video optimization tips to help you get the most out of your (great) video content.
Upload videos natively.
Native videos, those uploaded to or created directly on social platforms, perform much better than posts that link out to YouTube or Vimeo. Networks like Facebook and Twitter auto-play native videos in users’ feeds, boosting views and engagement, and providing 10x greater reach in some cases. Upload native videos whenever possible to maximize performance.
Choose the right thumbnail.
Many social platforms let you choose which video frame you’d like to use as a thumbnail, so take advantage of that. Choosing a still from the middle of an exciting or funny video will certainly capture more views than a frame showing the subject just standing there. The right thumbnail could mean the difference between a handful and truckload of views, shares and new followers.
Embrace the silence.
A staggering 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without the sound on, and percentages from other platforms are similar. This stat doesn’t mean your videos must be able to stand alone without sound; that would be incredibly difficult for many brands. Rather, it means your videos should include captions and/or subtitles.
Users are more likely to stop scrolling and spend time with videos they can read when sound isn’t an option. Videos with text are also more accessible to viewers who are hearing impaired or speak a different first language. Many brands skip this step, so those who take advantage can really set themselves apart. Another benefit of captions/subtitles is the increased comprehension and retention that comes from reading.
Facebook provides the option to transcribe native videos directly in the platform, but if the video already exists on YouTube and has a transcript (which it absolutely should), you can save time by downloading its .srt file and uploading it to Facebook. For other platforms like Instagram or Twitter that don’t offer native transcription, you can add captions before you upload with any number of captioning programs or apps.
Double your mileage.
Use Facebook and/or Instagram Stories to get more mileage out of your videos. You can post shorter videos in both Stories and regular posts, or if your video is longer, use a shortened/cropped version in Stories to tease the full version posted on your page. You can also cut up videos into 15 second increments and post them all to Stories to provide the full video to users who don’t typically browse feeds. Stories also provide options for filters, stickers, text, gifs, and other enhancements that might make sense for your brand. You might decide to use doctored video clips in stories and post the regular video as a page update.