In recent years, video has become an increasingly critical component of a social media campaign. Cisco predicts that in 2019, 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be comprised of consumers watching video. Facebook’s algorithm reportedly favors video, especially live video. Twitter also allows short videos in its timeline. Instagram reports that in a six-month timeframe, the time users spent viewing video on the platform increased by 40 percent, inspiring the platform to increase the maximum length of its videos to a full 60 seconds. Then there are the filter-crazed Snapchat users, who create so much video content in one day, it would take 158 years to watch it all.
Brands are wary of the push for more video. Organizations have often brought in a video production company or developed an in-house film crew to create slick, high-quality video to post on YouTube and share on social media channels. While this is still a wise plan for long-term campaigns, there may be times that quick, organic videos can complement your strategy and engage your fans.
Here are some tips for down and dirty video for brands:
Use the film studio in your pocket: Most smartphones are incredibly powerful devices equipped with high-resolution cameras and basic video editing tools. Use it to capture colleagues at work, your product in action, or reaction to a breaking story from your leadership team.
But be mindful of sound: While the video capability on a mobile device can be good, sound can often be muffled, and you usually can’t tell until you play back the recording. Keep the phone close to the subject of your video, or invest in an external microphone to ensure the best quality audio. You can pick up a lavalier microphone that connects to your mobile device for as little as $20 if you’ll regularly be interviewing your team.
Or go silent: In a recent article, the New Yorker took a deep dive into Buzzfeed’s wildly popular Tasty vertical, which publishes videos of recipes being prepared. “The soundtrack is less important than the images,” the report states, especially on Facebook, which auto-plays videos silently in the newsfeed. If you can tell a compelling story visually (or with text subtitles) that can be a great way to engage your audience.
Consider live video: Services like Periscope and Facebook Live are great ways to create more video content without investing a ton of resources into editing and production, since the video happens live. Develop a list of team members with certain areas of expertise who you feel comfortable putting on camera and tap into their expertise. For example, a health system would ask a physician to weigh in on the latest medical research and what it means for patients, or a bank could ask its experts to weigh in on actions from the Federal Reserve.
Remember: If your content is strong, users will watch and engage with it, even if it’s not perfectly produced. Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!
Need more video tips? Check out SM& Vice President T.J. Winick’s tips for great video content.