5 Tips for Creating Social Media Videos That Get Noticed

Using video in your social media marketing can seem daunting, but if you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time. If you want to create video that not only gets views, but helps convert sales, follow some of these best practices.

If you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time.

The following excerpt is from Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Mike Allton (each of whom contributed additional reporting to this week’s topic), available now via Entrepreneur Press. Pre-order now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books.

Using video in your social media marketing can seem daunting, but if you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time. If you want to create video that not only gets views, but helps convert sales, follow some of these best practices.

1. Get the right equipment from day one

One of the first reasons people often cite for not creating video content is that it’s too expensive to buy the right equipment. Let us help you with that.

Today, virtually everyone in business has a smartphone, and you can use that smartphone to livestream or record video anywhere. In fact, under the right conditions, that video footage can be just as good as anything you’d get with a dedicated video camera. Similarly, most laptops come with a built-in webcam and an audio port to plug in a headset and mic.

Related: 3 Ways to Create Buzzworthy Social Media Images

2. Boost your lighting

The biggest drawback to using a laptop or smartphone to record video is that it is harder to compensate for poor lighting. In fact, if you’re going to invest in anything for recording video, better lighting should be at the top of your list, particularly if you want to record in a dim office.

When you task a camera to record you in poor light, the resulting video is dark and grainy. Conversely, when you’re well-lit, the video is crisp, clear and, most important, your audience can see you nicely.

To that end, the recommended placement of lights is to have two in front of you, on either side of the camera, and one that is directed behind you to eliminate shadows. You’ll find that lights designed specifically for video work can be adjusted and directed more easily than normal household lights, but feel free to work with what you have.

To test your lighting, simply open a video recording program on your computer, such as QuickTime for macOS, and see how your video quality looks. Are you grainy or shadowed? Lit too harshly? Get up and move your lights accordingly and then see how that impacted the quality of the video. If necessary, record yourself briefly and send it to a friend for input.

3. Look ‘em in the eye

Eye contact is effective for establishing a connection with your audience. It’s how you start building rapport. People who never look at the camera risk suggesting to the audience that they cannot be trusted.

That’s not to say you can’t take your eyes off the camera. But the more you can directly look at the camera — making each and every viewer feel like you’re looking at them — the more effective your videos will be.

So practice that! Get into the habit of looking at the camera while you’re speaking. Treat it as though it’s the person you’re talking to. If it helps, imagine it’s a dear friend you’re having a wonderful conversation with.

One trick is to minimize whatever video screen you’re looking at. Make it small and centered at the top of your monitor, so it’s as close to your camera as possible. That way, even if you’re looking at yourself, other guests or a feed of comments from a live screen, your eyes are never far from the camera.

4. Give yourself a break

It’s also important to give yourself time and grace when it comes to creating video content. No one is born knowing how to produce gorgeous videos. It takes many, many hours of practice and experience to get good at it, and even then, like every other skill, it takes a lifetime to master it.

Remember that generally speaking, your audience and viewers are rooting for you! They want to learn from you and connect with you, and they will bear with you as you struggle here or there.

If you’re broadcasting live and say something wrong, just laugh it off and move on. Heck, some of the video clips that have gone the most viral for mine and my co-authors’ 360 Marketing Squad are the blooper reels I inevitably pull out. Those actually serve a wonderful purpose: They show your authenticity, humanity and hopefully your sense of humor.

5. Plan for a test period

Finally, when you’re deciding on your video strategy — where you’re publishing videos and what you’re going to talk about—  also include a time frame for how long you’re going to commit to doing this before you render any real judgment.

It can be discouraging to spend hours filming and editing a video only to publish it and get no views. But don’t let that stop you. Publish the next one, and the next one, and the one after that. Keep pushing out that content and scratching out an audience for yourself. If you’re not sure whether the videos are good, find trusted friends and colleagues who can give you candid, professional feedback, and then keep publishing the videos.

Related: 3 Kinds of Social Media Marketing You Shouldn’t Ignore

It takes a long time to build an audience and even longer to start incorporating feedback and input and get great at making videos. Give yourself sufficient time to accomplish that, and have some reasonable expectations and metrics as a gauge for success.

Here’s How to Make Stunning Social Media Videos (Without Being a Tech Wiz)

Video content is king, but you don’t have to be a technology expert to create it. Image credit: martin-dm | Getty Images Tom Popomaronis Guest Writer Vice President, Innovation at Massive Alliance January 8, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Unsurprisingly, video content has quickly become an essential part of…

Video content is king, but you don’t have to be a technology expert to create it.

Image credit:

martin-dm | Getty Images

Guest Writer

Vice President, Innovation at Massive Alliance

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Unsurprisingly, video content has quickly become an essential part of social media branding. According to research from Renderforest, video content on social media generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images, and 90 percent of viewers state that a video helps them determine whether they will buy a product. But if you have a small marketing team or lack professional equipment or know-how, the idea of creating a stunning social media video can seem impossible.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. In reality, even those without any tech-savvy can create engaging, well-crafted video content that drives social media engagement. You just need the right process — and the right tools. Here are some guidelines for making it happen.

Related: 5 Ways Social Media Video Will Benefit Your B2B Business in 2020

Leverage existing content.

For many who are new to creating video content, even the idea of coming up with topic ideas can seem intimidating. The good news is if you’ve been doing your due diligence in other areas, you already have a great source of video content ideas: your old blog posts.

Look at your most popular or most shared posts to get a better idea of which topics most resonated with your audience. Typing your blog URL into a site like BuzzSumo is an easy way to determine which entries generated the most engagement. Once you know what’s performed best in the past, you can start repurposing what you’ve already written to formulate your video script.

In a blog post for Social Media Examiner, Serena Ryan recommends creating videos that target different portions of the marketing funnel: brand awareness, building relationships and making the sales pitch. “Your videos might not use all of the content from your blog post,” she writes. “Your main goal is to deliver the material most relevant to each part of your funnel. Choose the best content to create a one- or two-minute video with the information your funnel requires. To pack the most value into each video, cut introductions and instead display text or titles in the lower third. What’s important is to get your message across clearly and succinctly.”

Set things up for quality recording.

You can certainly film social videos using only your smartphone, but to get good results, you still need to set yourself up with the right equipment. For example, a sturdy tripod will stabilize your smartphone to avoid shaky, handheld camera-esque footage. The right lighting will drastically improve image quality and make it easier to edit your video later on. Soft, natural light is best. Try to avoid harsh shadows or bright sunlight. If you’ll be speaking in front of the camera, arrange the lighting so that your face is evenly lit.

The right location can make all the difference. After all, if you’re filming a product video, you don’t want a busy background to distract from the product itself. If you’ll be speaking in front of the camera rather than dubbing in a voiceover, you’ll need to film in a quiet area free of excessive background noise. Speak directly into a microphone, and focus on your enunciation so that your voice is easy to understand.

Take advantage of user-friendly editing apps for polish.

Once filming is complete, you’ll need to edit your video to give it a quality look. Fortunately, editing is no longer limited to film experts. One tool that I’ve found to be particularly helpful is VideoBoost, a free app in the BoostApps suite that offers easy-to-use templates and animations that can integrate with your business’s logo, as well as trimming and formatting for various social platforms and helpful editing filters. You can add your own video and text or use stock footage and pre-written copy.

You should also be mindful of how different social media platforms can influence your video formatting. For example, Instagram videos have a maximum length of 60 seconds, and most users prefer a square 1:1 aspect ratio that matches the style of photos found in their feed. With Facebook, on the other hand, you can post videos as long as 120 minutes (not that that’s recommended). Landscape video in a 16:9 ratio is preferred. Don’t let the wrong formatting throw off your marketing efforts.

Related: What All High-Performing Social Media Videos Have in Common

Creating engaging video content that you can share on your social platforms doesn’t require that you purchase expensive film equipment or hire a video-editing tool. By following these practices and taking advantage of the resources that are readily available to you, you can create great, dynamic content without breaking your marketing budget.

5 Ways Social Media Videos Will Benefit Your B2B Business in 2020

Don’t overlook the business-building potential of social media videos. Image credit: LordHenriVoton | Getty Images December 6, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When explaining the importance of social media videos to executives at companies that serve the B2B market, you’ll likely be met with dismissive chuckles and disagreeing…

Don’t overlook the business-building potential of social media videos.

Image credit:

LordHenriVoton | Getty Images

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When explaining the importance of social media videos to executives at companies that serve the B2B market, you’ll likely be met with dismissive chuckles and disagreeing head shakes.

“Sorry, that’s just not what our clients want or care about,” would be a common response.  “Videos are nice for the Facebooks and Instagrams of B2C companies, but in the B2B world, no way. Nobody’s interested in that kind of stuff.”

While I’ve found that point of view to be widely held, it’s also quite dangerous: B2B companies that refuse to explore the business-building potential of social media videos are doing so at their own peril.

Related: 20 Tools for Creating Engaging Social Media Videos and Images

Granted, the kind of social media videos that make sense for B2B companies to create are quite different from those that B2C companies post. In my experience, B2B videos that resonate the best, and are most useful to B2B customers/clients, are:

  • Emotive storytelling that emphasizes the organization’s corporate culture, leadership, and mission
  • Case studies of specific company success stories
  • Demonstration and/or explanation that a product or service delivers
  • Messages from CEOs about key company actions/decisions
  • POVs on trending industry topics from C suite executives

To boost views, shares, likes, and comments, the maximum length of these clips should be 60 to 90-180 seconds at the most.

Regarding social media platforms, while B2C firms communicate to potential customers on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, B2B companies should focus on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Keep in mind that while YouTube is a social media platform, it’s also the number two most popular and used search engine behind Google – which means that posting/sharing B2B videos that integrate strategic keywording on YouTube can yield valuable SEO benefits.

So while the content and channels for social media videos may differ between B2C and B2B efforts, that doesn’t mean B2B companies should sleep on the opportunity that’s available with a vibrant social media video strategy.  The upside is simply too huge to ignore.

Related: 5 Ways to Dominate Social Media Marketing in 2020

Here are five powerful benefits that social media videos can deliver to B2B companies in any industry in the new year – whether they’re providers of services or manufacturers of products:

1.  B2B social media videos create a messaging strategy that aims to educate vs. sell

Executives are always on the lookout for communication and marketing vehicles that offer a new way to sell their products or services.  As strategy consultant Blair Wadman has written, this “close the deal now” mentality will not yield results with social media videos.

“If you can help [your prospects] become better versions of themselves and teach them something useful, they are more likely to (eventually) care about you and your services,” says Wadman.  His recommendation?

“Don’t sell your products or services to your potential customers from the outset. Educate them. Help them solve their challenges.”

Related: How to Stand Out on Social Media, Even With Heavy Competition

Social media videos are the perfect medium for this long game approach. They offer B2B firms a chance to cultivate prospects not by selling, but by unselling their products or services. By consistently offering these teaching opportunities with social media videos, customers/clients will become more informed about your offerings, more confident in your ability to deliver the results that they seek, and — when they’re ready — more eager to open their wallets and become long term buyers.       

2.  They leverage the growing preference of mobile video consumption over desktop viewing.

Mobile users are watching more videos than desktop users. In fact, more than half of video watching is done on mobile devices, growing 233% since 2013.

Combine that stat with Hootsuite’s data about LinkedIn which, as mentioned above, is the social media channel where your videos should be living:

  • 57% of LinkedIn users are accessing it via their mobile devices
  • 94% of B2B marketers are publishing their content on the site
  • Video posts on LinkedIn are five times more likely to generate user comments
  • 80% of B2B leads generated by social media traffic originates on LinkedIn

If you needed hard figures to validate the importance of having a B2B social media video strategy, those are pretty difficult proof points to dismiss.

3.  They grow lead gen via targeting and creating authentic connections with engaged users.

Want to precisely and surgically target your social media videos to B2B users in specific industries, job title categories, or geographic regions? LinkedIn lets you do that. And if you want to interact with the B2B users who comment on, like, or share your videos, a few quick clicks will facilitate new and potentially profitable business relationships.

Execs who engage with your content on LinkedIn are indicating that they’re interested in and intrigued by your message. Take the next logical step by requesting a connection or messaging them: they’re practically screaming “tell me more about what you offer — please!”  

4.  They provide an edge over your stubborn and less agile competitors.

If B2B firms that compete in your space want to overlook the business building possibilities that social media videos can deliver, by all means — let them.  To paraphrase the wisdom that Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane shared in the film Moneyball, “when your enemies are making mistakes, don’t interrupt them”.

5.  They empower sales teams with new tools to include in their pitches and presentations.

I’ve found that a smartly crafted and visually appealing two-minute video is a more convincing and memorable way to present your message than a two-page presentation or even a two-paragraph pitch email. So to get more mileage out of your B2B firm’s social media videos, your sales team can effectively leverage them as enticing presentation options. This would quickly boost your videos’ ROI, and also give your sales execs new ways to open conversations — and close deals — with prospective buyers.

When it comes to ramping up sales and increasing market share in Q1 2020, B2B CEOs and executives know which outreach ideas would work and which aren’t worth pursuing — usually. If they’re open to examining an option that can yield significant rewards in 2020 and beyond (and is also one that they may have initially disregarded), a social media video strategy that actively supports their sales/marketing efforts should absolutely be considered.