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Guide: Social Media Video

Discover the five most compelling reasons you need to make social media videos, and then find out how to create quick and easy videos to support your social media strategy.

Posted 8 Oct 2019
Social Media Video Guide

If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you need to market your business on social media using video. Why? Because in today’s social media landscape, video rules.

Consider this: Brands that use video marketing grow their year-to-year revenue 49% faster than brands that don’t. Still not convinced? Read on to discover the five most compelling reasons you need to make social media videos, and then find out how to create quick and easy videos to support your social media strategy.

5 Reasons to Create Social Media Videos

Reasons to create social media videos

Since the creation of YouTube, the use of video on social media has grown exponentially. Today, businesses that aren’t using video on their social media are quite simply missing out on all the benefits of this engaging and flexible medium.

  1. People Prefer Watching Videos. Viewers retain 95% more information when they watch a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
  2. Connect With Your Customers. By 2020, videos will account for 82% of all internet traffic, which means that if you want to reach your target audience, you’ll need to speak to them through their most used medium.
  3. Improve Brand Awareness. Social video content generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined, which means that using video guarantees your business more exposure than it would get than if you just used still images and text.
  4. Increase Traffic and Generating Leads. Using video on social media is a terrific way to tap into a large pool of your target audience and entice them to your website or landing page. In fact, 75% of viewers visit a company’s website after viewing a video.
  5. Make More Sales. The point of running a business is to make sales and turn a profit. Video, as it turns out, is great at helping businesses do just that, with 64% of customers saying that watching a video makes them more likely to buy a product or service.

By now you’re beginning to wonder how you can start creating great videos (with little to no experience). We’ve got you covered with the following hassle-free guide to creating video content for social media.

How to Create Videos for Social Media

How to create videos for social media

Social media videos can range from the very complex requiring a huge budget to the very simple created with a small-to-nothing budget. The important thing to remember is that making engaging, high-quality videos doesn’t have to be difficult or break the bank, but it is going to require that you have a clear plan of action and use a few indispensable tools like a video maker to help you cut through some of the more demanding technical aspects of video production. Follow these simple steps to create short and engaging social video content on a budget.

1. Identify a Goal for Your Video

Your first step is to identify a goal for your video. Do this by answering the question: What do I want this video to do? Possible answers might be to increase brand awareness, improve customer education, increase online engagement, increase sales revenue, and so on.

2. Determine Who Your Audience Is and Where They Hang Out

Next, you need to figure out who your target audience is. This is critical because knowing your audience will help you understand which social media platform they prefer to hang out on. Knowing their preferred social media channel will help you create videos specifically for that channel and guarantee that your videos will be successful. If you have no idea where to begin, a good place to start is to check out your successful competitors. Their target audience is also your target audience, so their social media channels of choice will likely be the best platforms for you as well.

3. Determine the Type of Video You Want to Create

Your next step is to determine the type of videos you need to create to achieve your goal. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, you might want to create a short demonstration video like this one from BuzzFeed Tasty, but if you want to increase sales revenue, you may want to create a product video with an irresistible offer. The important thing is to think about what you want your audience to feel, think or do after they’ve watched your video and let that guide you.

4. Know Your Social Media Platforms

The three most popular social media platforms for video are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. All three of these platforms have slightly different specifications for videos that you need to understand to create videos that will display well on the platform. Here are some basic guidelines:

YouTube Video​

  • Video Format: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, WebM
  • Maximum Length: 12 hours
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 and 4:3

Types of Videos:

  • How-To Videos
  • Product Reviews
  • Vlogs
  • Educational Videos
  • Brand Videos
  • Explainer Videos

Facebook Video​

  • Video Format: MP4 and .MOV
  • Maximum Length: 240 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 to 9:16

Types of Videos:

  • How-To Videos
  • Product Reviews
  • Brand Videos
  • Explainer Videos
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Testimonials

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Facebook In-Stream Video Ads​
  • Video Format: MP4 and .MOV
  • Maximum Length: 15 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 to 9:16
  • Types of Videos: Product Promotion
Instagram Stories Video​
  • Example: Apartment Therapy Q&A
  • Video Format: .MP4 or .MOV
  • Maximum Length: 15 seconds
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical video)

Types of Videos:

  • Product Reveals
  • Product Promotion
  • Brand Videos
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Testimonials Videos
  • Q&A Videos
  • Teaser Videos
Instagram Video
  • Video Format: .MP4 or .MOV
  • Maximum Length: 60 seconds
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1

Types of Videos:

  • Short How-To Videos
  • Product Promotion
  • Brand Videos
Instagram IGTV​
  • Video Format: .MP4
  • Maximum Length: 10 minutes (60 minutes on desktop for certain accounts)
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical video)

Types of Videos:

  • How-To Videos
  • Educational Videos
  • Brand Videos
  • Explainer Videos
  • Interviews/Q&A’s
  • Recurring Segments
  • Behind the Scenes

5. Plan Your Video

Once you’ve identified your goal, your audience and their social media channel of choice, have decided on the type of video you want to create, and have a basic understanding of the requirements of the social media platform you will be publishing to, it’s time to produce your video. Here’s the process to follow:

  • Flesh out a simple storyboard detailing each stage of the action in your video.
  • Remember to keep it short. Aim for three scenes at most: a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Get to the point quickly.
  • Plan for your video to be watched on mute. Use captions to communicate any critical points.
  • Remember to include a call to action, early in the video and/or at the end of the video.

Based on your storyboard, what equipment do you need? Big production videos can require one or more cameras, microphones, and lights, but you can create a great video with just the camera on your mobile phone. Before you scoff at this, remember that award-winning films have been created using just a mobile phone.

Identify any props you will need, like flowers, a telephone, etc.

Will there be people in your video? If so, recruiting your coworkers, friends or family to help you out will help you avoid the cost of a model or actor.

You will need post-production tools to put your video together, and for this, we recommend Placeit’s Videomaker, a cost-effective, easy-to-use tool that is the magic sauce when it comes to creating high-quality creative videos.

6. Shoot Images and/or Video of Your Products

Now use your mobile camera to take photos of your products or short video clips. Shoot outside or by a window to make sure you have adequate light.

7. Create Your Video

Social Media Video Maker

Now you can use the Placeit Videomaker to put your video together. This online video maker doesn’t require any special video editing skills to use. Instead, it uses a simple interface with hundreds of options that allow you to upload your own photos and videos and add captions and music to create a wide range of awesome videos in minutes. What’s more, though I recommend that you shoot your own images and video for authenticity, you don’t really need to: Placeit offers a wide range of gorgeous stock photos and video clips for your convenience.

Social Media Video Templates

If you have a working knowledge of Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects, another terrific option for creating video content for social media is to use a video template from Envato Elements. With over 8,000 video templates available, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.

8. Upload and Analyse

When you’ve completed your video, export it to your selected social media channel. To determine how well the video is doing, you will need to monitor the metrics like view count, play rate, likes, shares, follows, comments, etc. Learn more about key video metrics.

Now is the time to take the plunge into the world of social media video and join the 87% of businesses that now use video as a marketing tool. Create your very own short video with Envato Elements, and when you’re done, be sure to share your creation with us on Instagram using #MadewithEnvato.

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