YouTube and TikTok remain some of the hottest social media channels. Why? Even though they’re different platforms serving different demographics, they share an important commonality: video. In fact, video is the cornerstone of their popularity.
According to HubSpot, video uploads increased 80% year over year in 2020. This medium appeals to people because it’s highly dynamic. Scroll through any social feed, and your eyes can’t help but be drawn to videos — they stand out among all the other static content. Plus, your memory of video isn’t likely to fade fast. Although consumers only recall about one-tenth of what they hear three days later, they remember 65% of what they hear and see.
So if your business isn’t currently using video for brand awareness, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to meet viewers at the right moment. Social media users — and especially Millennials and Generation Zers — are interested in following brands and influencers that produce interesting content, and people who watch videos are 64% more likely to make a purchase. By simply investing in social video, you could attract many more customers to buy your product or service.
4 Ways to Create Effective Social Videos
Considering the benefits, why aren’t all startups pushing out videos regularly? The truth is that many people overthink the process. They might assume the market is already saturated or that what they sell can’t “translate” to video, or they might have trouble determining what they want to say. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or bogged down in perfectionism. Just keep in mind that no video is perfect. Video creation, like all content crafting, is a figure-it-out-as-you-go process. You try something, evaluate your analytics, and fine-tune the next one. That’s how you determine what works.
Ready to start boosting your brand through social video? Keep these four pointers in mind as you begin your journey:
1. Make a video. Any video.
You have to get started somewhere, so don’t get tripped up by hesitation. Instead, dive in and start filming. It doesn’t matter if your video will ever be seen by someone else. You’ll get tons of experience and learn what it takes to produce video content. Remember: An object in motion tends to stay in motion. Get your momentum going and use the resulting energy to continue the process.
2. Evaluate your competitors’ content.
You’re probably already doing some type of social listening in terms of your competition, so explore competing brands’ content and videos to see what’s being said. More importantly, find out what’s missing. This allows you to fill in the gaps with niche content that consumers might have trouble finding elsewhere. The narrower your scope, the more attractive you’ll seem to specific target audiences.
3. Develop an engaging hook.
When people click on your video, you have about 8 seconds to capture their attention. Yes, video is naturally engaging. But consumers’ attention spans are decreasing, and there’s lots of content out there. Without a reason to keep watching, they’ll move along. The right hook can make or break the success of any social video, so spend time thinking about what people want to see.
4. Lean into trends.
You’ve probably noticed that trends are often key to social sites’ success. Unfortunately, trends tend to be here today and gone tomorrow. So when you’re capitalizing on a trend, speed is of the essence. The longer it takes to make and publish your content, the higher the chance that the trend will die. It’s OK if you don’t follow the trend exactly — just get on the bandwagon before it fades away.
Video production isn’t just for Hollywood filmmakers and young influencers. It’s a practical way to give your brand a little buzz. All you need is a smartphone and an idea to open up a world of possibilities for your company.
Hope Horner is the CEO and founder of Lemonlight Video Production, a company that produces branded video content at scale. Hope is a three-time entrepreneur who has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other publications highlighting her successes in the Silicon Beach community over the past decade.