Video has made is presence known as the dominant species of the digital marketing realm. Video pops up on our news feeds, as advertisements on websites, in emails and texts—the list goes on and on. Its prevalence in the digital world is proof of the fact that people respond to it better than any other type of digital medium. At the start of 2018, one-third of all online activity was spent watching video. In regard to social media video specifically, it generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined!
In marketing your brand, social media video can have a tremendous positive impact on your reach, while providing existing followers entertaining and useful content that they will want to consume. Use these suggestions when shooting your own social media video to create professional content that will represent your brand well.
- Plan your content beforehand. Your video will appear more professional if everyone participating feels comfortable with the content prior to shooting. If you have people speaking on camera, make sure they know the point they need to communicate to the audience. If your video does not involve people speaking directly into the camera, then plan out each of your shots so that you can be ready to take into account angles, lighting and sound dependent on the environment.
- Pay attention to lighting. Even the best smartphone cameras can still produce grainy video quality in a dimly-lit environment. Choose well-lit settings for your video, and use artificial lighting to highlight a subject when possible, such as if he or she is standing or sitting still and talking directly into the camera. In addition, if you are doing a moving shot, pay attention to the transition between dark and light areas. Utilize natural light effectively if you can’t control the lighting where you are shooting.
- Avoid reflections. Along the same lines, nothing is more distracting when viewing a social media video than having the shooter’s reflection visible in the shot. Keep this in mind if you are shooting with a shiny object, like a car or a glass panel, in the background. To keep yourself out of the shot, position yourself at an angle from the subject.
- Keep your camera steady. Thinking this is easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be. Invest in a product like a gimbal for your smart phone that’s purpose is to keep the camera steady when shooting through motion. You could also get a tripod to help with still shooting. If these options aren’t available, there are ways to position your body to minimize shakiness when shooting video with a smart phone or camera.
- Overlay captions. Think about scrolling through your Facebook feed. More often than not, you likely don’t turn the sound on when you are browsing social media in a public place, at the office or even at home. In fact, 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. If you don’t have to have sound in your social media video, then you won’t be missing out—so long as you include text captions that viewers can read along with. Even if you do have people speaking in your video, you should still include captions so that people in that 85 percent do not skip over it.
- Speak clearly and slowly. If you do need to have speaking in your video, then enunciation and the projection of your speakers’ voices will work wonders in creating a professional product that will impress your audience. Have the speaker practice ahead of time, use plain language and choose short, clear sentences. Also, don’t rush—people tend to talk faster when they are nervous. If you are the speaker, slow down and think about what you are saying.
- Use a mic for better sound. If sound is part of your video, then you will want to amplify its quality with a microphone. You can purchase a mic made to attach to your smart phone, like this one available on Amazon, or get a lapel mic that connects to your smartphone. You will especially want a microphone if you are shooting in noisy places, such as outdoors or in public, where you can’t control external sound.
- Time videos appropriately. Timing makes a significant difference in how your audience will respond to your videos, and effective video lengths vary from social platform to social platform. On Instagram and Twitter, for example, videos are limited to 60 seconds or less. According to HubSpot, Instagram videos that received the most comments averaged 26 seconds, Twitter videos that received the most comments averaged 43 seconds, and for Facebook, the magic time was about one minute.
- Edit unnecessary material. If your footage includes some incoherent mumbling, random people walking in the background or pauses in the dialogue, cut it out! Editing will make the difference between your social media video looking professional vs. amateur. At McNutt & Partners, we use Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing, but there are a host of editing programs and apps out there that can help.
- Stream live video. Not all social media video has to be the type that is subject to the editing process. Live video benefits brands in several ways, including providing a sense of urgency for people to watch your content. It also allows followers to connect with you in a way that seems more personal and genuine, being that they know you are there in person talking to them. And when social media viewers know a video is live, they are more excited to be part of the action by interacting with it at that moment in time.
If you aren’t currently shooting social media video for your business on a regular basis, then now is the time to start. If you need guidance in the video production process, the McNutt & Partners team can help! Call us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.