We all know the drill. Video is more engaging and memorable than any other form of content. That’s not news. The real question is, then – how can we get the most mileage out of the videos that we produce and post on social media?
In other words, how can we make sure our audience tunes in to our videos and sticks around long enough to watch them until the end?
The answer to this question is definitely worth trying to figure out.
Once Upon a Time…
The types of videos on social media that are the most engaging are all about the same thing – people telling us a story (in one form or another).
The power of a great story should never be underestimated.
It is no surprise then, that among the most engaging videos on social media (other than babies, piano-playing cats, and dancing teachers) are storytelling-driven videos, with frameworks that include: explainer/how-to videos (especially those that share practical tips that relate to our lives – e.g. jobs, hobbies, etc.), uplifting and inspiring human stories, and videos that tell the “behind the scenes” story.
As we can see, it’s all about that human connection and the story that frames it.
Even the folks at Facebook agree:
“Your video ad shouldn’t be longer or shorter than it takes to tell your story well, so create a storytelling arc from the first frame to the last that keeps your audience interested along the way.”
The 3 Rules for Capturing & Keeping an Audience
Now that our content is on its way to humanizing and connecting, what must we do to make sure that we get people to tune in and stick around to hear the story we want to share?
It’s easy as 1-2-3 – i.e. the three rules to capturing and keeping our social media audience:
1. First, and foremost
The first rule of social media video engagement is that the video must be created to be mobile-first.
But, what does being mobile-first mean?
Primarily it means that we should create our videos in a format that is best suited for mobile consumption, namely – vertical alignment.
With mobile users holding their phones upright 94% of the time, it is critical to accommodate this behavioral standard.
And, we are happy to report that we have some very practical recommendations for creating quality vertical videos. Check out our tips in this blog post, with all the inside goodies about aspect ratio, horizontal movement, and more.
2. Say what?
Another key to ensuring video engagement on social media is remembering that most videos are watched without the sound on.
This is where subtitles, text overlays, and splashes come in, as they convey the information that is otherwise completely missed when the mobile device is muted.
In fact, it often makes sense to subtitle all spoken dialogue in videos, especially with those intended for Facebook. For a straightforward guide on text overlays, we invite you to check out this blog post.
3. Please don’t go!
Now, that we’ve got them tuned in, how can we make sure that they don’t leave before the video’s over?
According to ClickZ, the average length of the top 100 videos shared on Facebook is Twitter’s #VideoOfTheDay videos average at 43 seconds, and the videos on Instagram that tend to get the most comments average in at 26 seconds.
Yet, with consumers often making their decision (about the topic of your video) in under 30 seconds, and some even under 15 seconds – it’s no less important to make sure that we convey the main message of our video within the first 15 seconds, and don’t leave the most important information for the content that comes in after 30 seconds.
The opportunities for making videos that impact and resonate are great. If we tell our story well, authentically try to connect with the people on the other end of the screen and respect their consumption preferences, we are sure to engage.
This is what the magic of video is all about.