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How to Make Engaging Videos for Social Media Marketing: A 7-Step Guide

Video isn’t just ‘nice to have’ anymore; It’s an integral part of most successful social media marketing strategies. With Facebook users alone spending 100 millions of hours watching videos daily, video is one of the most engaging forms of content. However, engaging videos aren’t easy to create. Many business owners are reluctant to consider video based marketing based on the assumptions that video-making is expensive and technically challenging.

This post breaks down the process and describes how you can make engaging videos for social media marketing, in 7 easy steps.

1. Define your objectives and central message

What is the video for? What message will it carry? Begin your video creation process by answering these questions.

Will you use the video to increase brand awareness, showcase company culture or promote a new product? Document your objectives and set numerical goals for them. If the goal is brand awareness, what kind of reach would you want to achieve? If it’s product promotion – focused on sales, how many items do you want to have sold?

Your goals lay down the framework for your central message. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, your message should ideally convey what your brand is all about and why people should recognize it.

If you’re unclear about what your central message should be, ask yourself the following questions. In one sentence, what do you want to convey to your audience? What effect do you want the video to have on them?

2. Write your script

Once you have your central message, it’s time to build a story around it. Try and create a short, impactful video, with as few words as possible. And ensure that your message comes through, without overshadowing the video.

Here are a couple of tips that can help you create an impactful video for social:
1. Focus on writing in story-form, so your viewers are invested in watching your video.
2. Feature real people in the video, so your viewers can emotionally connect with your video.
3. Speak directly to the audience when possible, especially to convey your central message.
4. Place your central message within the first 30 seconds of your video, because social media users have very short attention spans.
5. Use humor, but cautiously. You don’t want to offend your fanbase.

Once you have your video script ready, run through the checklist above to check if the video meets certain standards. If possible, test your script in-house on a different, neutral team, say the IT team.

3. Create your video marketing plan

When social media marketers think video marketing, they usually consider YouTube separately from other social media platforms. While YouTube is a great channel to attract attention from your target audience, the competition on the platform is stiff. If your idea is to just create the video and sit back, you probably won’t see the results that you desire.

Most brands who have not begun their marketing journeys on YouTube, have fewer followers on the social media platform than on other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

So, when publishing a video on YouTube, it makes sense to also create versions for other social media platforms, or to share the video link on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. In addition to doing all of that, you can also do a lot more to promote your YouTube video.

With a social media management tool such as DrumUp, you can cross-post the videos you create for one social media platform on others, and even get employees involved in the effort. (Ann smarty screenshot)

4. Get video-making gear

One of the biggest reservations that business have about video based marketing is that making good videos costs money. But in actuality, you don’t have to spend a fortune on video-making gear. You can make do with a smartphone of decent quality.

If you do want to invest in video making gear, here are a few things worth investing in:

1. Tripod – Most smartphones have image stabilisers built-into them, but adding a tripod will increase the quality of your video even more.

2. Lighting – The unevenness of light sources around your video-making zone affects how objects appear in your videos. For video quality that seems bright and clear, create a well-lit area.

3. External mic – Sounds picked-up by smartphones can be muffled and unclear if you don’t use an external mic.

4. Camera lenses – If you want better video quality than what your smartphone can offer, invest in external lenses that help take wide angle shots, macro shots, telephoto shots, etc.

Using these basic extra pieces, you can create high-quality videos that are engaging and appear professional. That’s about all the video-making gear that you need to invest in to create the best videos for social media.

5. Work on the video setting

The backdrop of your video, the frame that you choose to use and the props or people that you choose to include in the video all have an impact on how your audience will perceive the video.

When choosing your video frame, consider the following possibilities.
1. Portrait
2. Square
3. Landscape
4. Fullscreen

Each frame offers a different view that can drastically affect the way your video appears, so choose carefully.

Next, decide on where you want to shoot your video. Here are a few tips that can help you find the right setting:

1. Choose a location that matches your script. For instance, if your video is business-related, you probably want to use your office as the location.
2. Choose a location with good lighting, or potential to set-up your external lighting. For instance, if you want to showcase jewellery, you need a well-lit room with many lights.
3. If you’re shooting outdoors, consider the time of day, acoustics (you want your audio to be recorded properly), access to power supply and predicted weather. You might also need to get permission to shoot in certain locations.

6. Clean-up in post production

Video editing could easily be the most important step in video-making. Good post-production can completely transform your video. To get transformational results, you might do well to invest in the right video-making software, such as:

1. Adobe Premiere Pro
2. Adobe After Effects
3. Lightworks
4. Sony Vegas Pro
5. iMovie
6. Windows Movie Maker

After shooting your video, ensure that you run through the following checklist.
1. Add an intro and outro, to make sense of the video’s contents.
2. Try color correction to make the visuals clearer and more appealing.
3. Cut off unnecessary footage, rearrange frames for better impact and create smooth transitions.
4. Add an audio layer that enhances your video. Here are a couple of royalty free music repositories from which you can borrow music.

7. Measure your video’s performance

By measuring your video’s performance, you get access to invaluable insights, which you can use to better future videos. Metrics like video reach, views and engagement can help social media marketers make better decisions content and marketing-wise on future videos.

You can also use video analytics to measure the performance of different iterations of the same video, so you can identify the elements that work best for your brand.

Like social media marketing in general, video marketing probably won’t give instant results. You have to consistently create and publish videos for a period of time, before you begin to achieve your goals.

Think about it. Initially, you won’t see any traction on your videos because you haven’t built a videobase. Overtime, with multiple iterations of videos, you will begin to see your efforts pay off.

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash.