Published On: February 25, 2020By

How You Can Use Video

Trying to make an impact on social media? It’s no secret that using video is generally going to drive greater engagement than anything else. Sure, a good meme might hit the jackpot with thousands of likes or shares, but video is a much surer bet.

The reasons are simple.

Most of us respond more to video than to other types of storytelling. It sends multiple messages at once: facial expression, body language, vocal tone, language, location, etc.

Social media companies know that videos grab attention. Those companies like it when things grab our attention on their platforms, because it makes us hang around using their infinite scroll a little longer. As a result, organic reach is generally higher for video posts than for any other kind of post. That means, if you take a video of your cat having dinner it will generally perform better and reach a larger audience than a photo or text description of the same thing.

You can further improve your videos’ organic performance by adding subtitles. According to Digiday, some 85 per cent of videos watched on Facebook are watched silently. So if you want people to know what you’re saying about your cat, his dinner and the sunset, then you’ll need to add subtitles.

Here’s one of a series of more than a dozen videos we created for last year’s #Dynacare4Diabetes campaign as an example of a fairly simple social video execution.

Are you doing video?

There are plenty of reasons why small and mid-sized companies today might not be creating video content for their websites and social feeds.

  1. It takes time and some forethought to create decent video. Even if you’re filming a company leader talk about his or her expertise, that person still needs to make time to record videos.
  2. People worry about looking good on video too. Very few people are “naturals” when it comes to public speaking of any kind. With practice and coaching, we believe most business leaders can become effective.
  3. The technology can scare people away. We’re told that all you need is your smartphone to make good video. That’s true, to a point, but most companies still want to give some thought to sound and lighting and other production values.
  4. The cost of video can throw people off. Either you make the video yourself – which means labour costs as well as climbing the learning curve of the technology and production issues – or you contract it out.

Does it have to be expensive?

Video can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re bootstrapping your business or don’t mind showing up a little raw and unedited on social media, then recording a quick video on your phone is just fine. In most cases, you’ll be sacrificing audio and picture quality.

You may also be accepting poorer quality messaging. Very few people can ad lib a 60 second video without some umms and ahhs or other verbal and logical tics. The more you do, the better you’ll get. Our recommendation is to practice what you want to say several times.

We shot these videos with two cameras to give us more flexibility when it came to editing and post-production.

What if you want better quality?

For every extra layer of polish, you’ll need to invest either time or money. Want better sound? Buy a better microphone. Want better quality footage? You may need a better camera and some lighting. Want a branded video with subtitles and no verbal tics? Invest in post-production; hiring a good editor can make a world of difference.

You can do all of this yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you’re planning on making a lot of video, it’s almost certainly more economical to hire people to help you.

We tend to price out video production with good, better, best budgets. Because we are producing video regularly for a number of clients, we have developed the skills in house to handle the good and better quality videos ourselves. When our clients need an upgrade to ‘best’ quality, then we partner with video production companies who have more specialized skills and equipment.

Good video needs to be interesting!

The most important thing about creating video is this: don’t be boring!

If you’re producing a segment that features your CEO, don’t waste the first few seconds with a boring intro. Jump right to the most important idea.

There’s no need for your spokesperson to spend several seconds introducing themselves. Just put their name and title on the screen so viewers can read that information instead.

We strongly recommend scripting your videos in advance as much as possible. That will force you to choose your words more carefully. Be as brief as you can be. Be clear by using plain language. Be engaging by using storytelling techniques. People are interested in conflict. They’re interested in underdogs on a hero’s journey. They’re interested in learning secrets and surprises.

Here’s a good post from Google and YouTube offering some tips on what it takes to produce the most engaging video ads.

How much should you spend?

It depends. We have created videos for a few hundred dollars and we’ve created videos that cost many thousands of dollars. It depends on what you want to achieve, how much budget you have to spend and what kind of production quality is required. The more time it takes to script, shoot and edit, the more the video will cost. It’s less costly to shoot with one camera operator, but you get better results with a crew.

We’d be happy to talk specifics if you like. The first meeting is always free.

Here’s a video we recently created for Brematson Disability Advocates. The goal here is to tell the company’s story over time.

Have a good plan – integrate video into your marketing

One final word about using video in your social media marketing. Take a minute to have a plan for it. Know why you’re creating the video in the first place.

Is it for branding? Is it to drive purchases? Is it to generate email subscriptions or likes or followers?

Speaking of which, if you want to get articles like this delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

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