Avoid the Common Pitfalls of Social Video

Audiences are devouring social video every day all across social media. But just because people seem to love video doesn’t mean they love every video. We’ve shared our tips about how to make videos stand out to impress and engage audiences. Now let’s talk about some common pitfalls of social video that will turn viewers off and work against you.

Trouble with Text

Text overlay is a must for social video these days. It’s necessary to tell a story and give context to visual assets. But there is such a thing as too much text.

Viewers don’t want to read an entire article in video. They want to enjoy your visuals, which can tell them as much or more as any overlay.

Overlay blocks should be kept short and succinct, delivering necessary highlights and information to drive your story. And text should never overtake strong visual assets. A beautiful clip or still is a lot less captivating when it is obscured by a long block of text – and viewers don’t want to read that much at once!

Remember that even short lines of text need to be left on-screen long enough to be read. Viewers will get frustrated and tune out if text comes and goes too quickly. And fonts must be large enough to be read, even on small screens!

Too Much Style

With the flood of social video in feeds, publishers and media companies have to find ways to stand out. A simple way to do this is adding style and flair, consistent with branding, to video content. But there is a balance to be struck in making videos stand out from the field.

When a video is a constant barrage of elaborate animations, different fonts and style, viewers can become overwhelmed and tune out. Audiences respond well to content that stands out, but such videos still need consistency throughout.

If the feel and style of a social video changes 3 or 4 time in its short runtime, viewers won’t know what to make of the content. They’ll be more focused on the abrupt and gaudy style than they will on the story – that’s not what anyone wants!

This isn’t meant to dissuade creators from experimenting. Trying out new approaches and styles is important to keeping content fresh. But be conscious in decision-making, don’t just throw every trick into a single video.

Keeping a Snail’s Pace

Attention spans are short on social, as everyone knows. If a video creeps along slowly or has drastically inconsistent pacing, the attention of any viewers will dry up well before the video concludes.

We stress having a captivating opening few seconds to hook viewers, but that’s not the only place pacing matters. Stories need to be propelled forward at a steady pace throughout a video. This means switching assets and overlays, giving audiences new information and visuals, while moving quickly through the main points of a story.

Keep in mind that different platforms demand different pacings on account of audience expectations. A YouTube audience may be more open to slower-paced, in-depth videos. Snapchat audiences are looking for quick, all-but-instant satisfaction. Facebook falls somewhere in-between, with audiences looking for a full story, but in a quick timespan.

Remember that asset choices can affect pacing. While it’s ok to incorporate stills into a video, an entire video of only still images may feel like a slideshow to viewers. Moving video assets keep attention and maintain a feeling of momentum in a video.

These pitfalls are common, but not hard to avoid. Being mindful throughout creation and production will allow most teams and editors to dodge them. Having the audience experience in mind throughout creation is critical to making captivating videos that keep viewers coming back, not tuning out.

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