If there are two things people online love these days, it’s social media and video. If they can have ’em both at the same time, even better. The numbers back it up too. Snapchat users are watching more than 10 billion videos each day, while more than 100 million HOURS of video are watched on Facebook every day. Research from Twitter confirms it: Tweets that include a video are six times more likely to be retweeted than ones with a photo. Long story short: Video is crucial to success on social media in the current landscape.

So what’s the problem? It’s difficult for brands to keep up with the demand. Despite the fact that there are more than 300 hours’ worth of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, 43 percent of people still want more video from marketers. Creating enough video content for social media can seem like a steep mountain to climb. But following these simple tips can help you find the right balance of effort and effectiveness.


Know Your Medium

Each social media platform is unique. As a result, video needs to be shot and/or edited differently so it’s optimized for the medium you plan to share it on. For example, square video is best for Facebook and Instagram because it gives your content the maximum amount of real estate to occupy in the user’s feed. Snapchat, on the other hand, is a vertical video experience by design. If you’re shooting video with a wide lens, it’s tricky to crop it without removing important elements.


Get to the Point

When it comes to video on social media you have to be realistic: Most people are scrolling through their news feed at a rapid pace. You’ve probably got less than two seconds to capture the user’s attention and even then you had better move fast. Open the video with a bold statement or a quick shot of the finished product. This helps immediately illustrate the purpose of the video so users can decide if it’s something they want to view.


Use Text Captions

While video may autoplay when you scroll through your news feed, the audio doesn’t play with it. Sound blasting without the user initiating it creates an intrusive experience that most despise. As a result, 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. That’s why it has become a common practice for videos to use big, bold text overlaid throughout the video to tell the story. This allows the user to watch the video in silence and still understand the context of what is happening in the video. Relying less on audio and voiceovers also can help cut production costs and potentially speed up the editing process.


Cut the Crap

Well, not necessarily crap. But you want your video to move quickly. Most consumers prefer video that is shorter than 60 seconds. That means anything that’s not vital to the story is expendable. A social media video typically is a tease or preview for a long-form video in many cases. Quick cuts and editing can make your video visually appealing while helping set the pace. You can always link to or include a call to action to view an extended version or long-form video if necessary.


As the social media landscape continues to evolve, the demand for more video will only grow. If you need help creating video content for your social media accounts, contact SKAR.