You probably already know social media has become a land of opportunities. Giving everyone – from average joes to established brands – an invaluable chance to find, grow, and retain audiences or customers through their content.
An opportunity that gets even greater when you bring video content into the mix!
People just love to engage with video pieces online – especially on social – and that makes them more likely to leave a comment, like, or even share the post forward. Which organically increases visibility and reach.
That’s why content creators and brands everywhere are going hard on the format – whether creating pieces themselves or enlisting the help of a professional production company, everyone wants on the video bandwagon.
That said, video content is not magic. You still need pieces that invite people to click, grab their attention all the way through, and motivates them into action!
How? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll talk about today.
Get to Know Your Audience
Your social media accounts – and the content you post on them – reflects a particular style. That style is not supposed to suit everybody, but a certain kind of person. Your audience.
And yes, you may have a notion of the type of people your content is appealing to, but how well do you understand them? The more familiar you are with your followers’ preferences, the better you’ll be at building a more accurate strategy to grow your reach!
You see, it's easier to develop a reliable tactic to attract more people if you have the necessary information to make the right moves. For example:
- Knowing what time of day your audience uses social media the most, makes you recognize when to post your video to trigger more engagement.
- Being aware of which holidays they particularly enjoy will help you develop a successful seasonal marketing strategy.
- By finding out what other similar accounts they enjoy, you can take a page from those profile's books. You can also try to attract other followers of those accounts.
And, if you don’t know where to start looking for that sort of information, consider asking your audience for regular feedback! Social networks offer many tools, such as polls and questions, which you can use to grow more aware of your audience's interests.
For instance, imagine you want to post a how-to video of one of your favorite recipes, even if you don't have a cooking account. Now, you don’t really know how your followers would react to it. So, you can do a poll on your Instagram story, asking them if they enjoy that sort of content, or if they have no interest in learning to cook.
Go for Relevant Topics
Getting familiar with your audience's interests also lets you know what topics they want to hear about. That can give your content a significative advantage, considering one of your potential goals is precisely to trigger engagement!
So, try to pick your video's theme with that information in mind!
The safe path is to address trending topics and generic stuff… You know, the typical “I hate Mondays” kind of post. Most times that does the trick, but only up to a point. Yes, content like that may bring about a few likes and comments, but if you want to bridge the gap between you and your audience, you need to go deeper.
You should resort to video content that genuinely reflects your unique attitude.
Sometimes that can mean uploading provocative pieces. Don't be afraid of doing so if it still represents you and resonates with your target audience. In fact, those sorts of posts tend to have high engagement and shareability.
Do keep in mind, however, that “being talked about” doesn't always equal “being liked by everyone!” Being provocative has its consequences, after all. And even though what matters is your audience's opinion, you don't want content that amasses haters either!
So, know where to draw the line. Your video shouldn't address subjects that most people may consider sensitive. Neither should it offend any person or group!
What Type of Videos Should You Be Posting?
There are no hard and fast rules of what to post on a social network to generate more views. But, some types of videos tend to work well with engaging audiences in social media.
• How-to videos
People love to learn life hacks and other things they didn’t know how to do. That’s what a how-to video is all about! By posting this type of video, you can gain new followers and subscribers since your audience will realize they can highly benefit from your account –you provide them with knowledge! Plus, you will look like a total pro.
Then, take the plunge and think of something you can do, and that other people may be interested in learning!
• Live Videos
Live videos also do the trick. They are slaying, particularly on platforms like Facebook, where they bring about the highest interaction rates.
A big plus of live streaming is that sometimes you don’t need to rack your brain to come up with a topic. You can ask the audience what to address in the next video. That will make them feel like their opinion is appreciated.
Schedule live videos regularly, and you will have cost-effective pieces of content to keep your social presence alive and kicking.
• Explainer videos.
Even though explainer videos work particularly well in landing pages, they tend to perform particularly well in social networks as well! Doubly so if you run a business: with them, you can convey your value proposition in a playful way, while engaging the audience.
People tend to be hooked by explainers since they are short and entertaining. Plus, when an explainer is well-crafted, it’s aesthetic can be visually stunning. And quality content tends to be seen and shared!
Upload Native Videos
“Native videos” refers to those uploaded straight to a social network and, in turn, played directly in the platform – As opposed to sharing an external link that opens in another window or app.
You may have seen an increase in this type of upload in your feed lately. And there are plenty of reasons –a.k.a.: benefits – for that.
For starters, native videos are more comfortable to play. They don’t test anyone’s patience with new windows and external links that never finish loading. Nor do they force viewers to abandon the platform they are on. A lot of people avoid clicking on external links because they are aware of those minor –but annoying –inconveniences!
Not only are native videos mechanically easier to watch, but they are also easier to interact with as well! It’s not very likely that someone would click on a video link, watch it, and then come back again to the original post to leave a comment. But with native uploads, it’s no big deal! In fact, a Quintly study has shown that they trigger higher engagement.
Last but not least, social networks frown upon external video links. Naturally, they prefer their users to stay on their platforms. So many of them prioritize native uploads in their algorithms.
Mind Your Copy
Your video’s copy is a powerful tool to maximize your post’s impact. And as such, you should take your time coming up with a good one.
An outstanding copy provides context to your video and gives the viewer a vague idea of what to expect from it.
I emphasize: a vague idea.
If you spoil your video’s content in the copy, people will be less interested in watching it. Instead, your copy should elicit your audience’s curiosity; intriguing them enough to have them click!
You should also make your copy brief. Easy to read in just a glance.
It may seem hard to express an idea with just a few words, but you can always resort to adding hashtags. They are a great tool to give context to your video while improving your post’s visibility.
Don’t get carried away with hashtags, though! You don’t want your content to look like spam. Try to use up to two on Twitter and, at most, seven on Instagram.
Make Strong First Impressions
Social media is a competitive environment for promoting a brand. There are hundreds of similar posts competing for the audience’s attention at any given time. Yours should stand out from the rest.
I know: easier said than done. But not impossible! There are a couple of things that can help you accomplish just that.
• An attractive thumbnail
An appealing thumbnail should make people wonder about your video. The image should be closely related to the main point of the video, and invite people to play it.
Many videos have a random image as a thumbnail. Don’t get me started on those! They are off putting and look unprofessional. Not making an effort to style a custom thumbnail can give viewers the impression that your video was made with little effort and care.
• A compelling start
Once the audience starts watching, it’s important that your content grabs them by the throat from the very first second.
You can achieve that by beginning with an intriguing phrase, a relatable question, even a bizarre frame. The options are limitless.
Also, try to get your point across without beating around the bush. That way, even if your audience loses interest and walks away from the video halfway through, most of your message will have been delivered anyway.
Always Add Captions
We've all experienced the horror of opening YouTube at the bank and realizing we left our earphones at home! When tragedy like that strikes, people’s content choices get severely limited, and most will engage exclusively with content that makes sense when muted.
It may seem like an uncommon decision, but it’s not. Almost 70% of U.S. consumers watch videos in public with the sound off. That’s why adding captions to your social video is one of the best decisions you can take. They make your video understandable even without sound.
Captions are also beneficial for viewers with hearing impairments or with a different native language. By implementing them, your video is accessible to a broader audience.
If that’s not enough, consider that captions also improve your video’s SEO! According to the same study, captions increase video watch time and expand the number and accuracy of the keywords your video ranks for.
Always Add Call to Actions
If you have read this far, I guess it’s clear by now how important it is to generate interactions in social media. It’s one of the main goals of any social campaign!
Now, don’t expect to be naturally flooded with comments and shares out of nowhere. You should give viewers a nudge to comment, tag, and share. Show them that you do care about what they have to say and want to know about it.
However, words alone might not be enough. So, if possible, try to encourage them with an incentive. Not necessarily material rewards. Merely sharing the best replies to your story, or liking or commenting on their interactions can be enough to make your audience feel appreciated.
Remember to prompt them to visit your website too – and don’t forget to include the link! You can even ask viewers for a bit of feedback, which always comes in handy.
Most importantly, whatever the action you want viewers to take, don’t settle for just mentioning it in the video. People may forget about it when the piece is over. So always write the CTAs in the copy as well.
As you can see, many elements play a role in attracting viewers to your social video and making them shareable. And most go beyond the quality and theme of the piece.
All those factors might seem like details on their own. But the truth is that, when used together, they can have a high impact on whether a person decides to watch and share your video or not.
So, take care of each one of them if you want to improve your video’s performance!