We live in the age of visual excesses, and our attention spans are now shorter than some of the longer videos doing the rounds on social media. While that is an alarming trend, it only means one thing—text must replace video if we want to continue reaching out to our target audience. But–as we have seen–just about any video will not cut it. The right kind of content that keeps the viewer engaged from second to second, without spanning into too many minutes, is perhaps the ideal. Over and above that, it is important for the content to be highly relevant and specifically tailored to the social media platform for which it is being created. For instance, a video created for YouTube will never find space or attention on Facebook or Instagram. Being platform-specific with your content is key.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of the kind of video content that has been seen to spark engagement on each type of social media platform.
1.Instagram and Facebook: The same company owns both Instagram and Facebook, which is why it makes sense to put them under one category. Moreover, the two platforms are becoming increasingly similar by way of design—especially when it comes to the live videos, square videos and stories.
These are the types of video content that perform well on Instagram and Facebook:
- Live videos: It’s about time we embraced the raw beauty of live videos, because they’re bigger than ever before and keep the audience engaged like nothing else out there. Live videos are appreciated for their authenticity. The interactive component of live videos—where the viewers can comment and get responses in real time—is the highlight of this format. Moreover, Facebook and Instagram allow you to notify your followers every time you go live, which is useful for pulling in a greater crowd.
- Stories: Stories appear right at the top of the consumers’ feed, and their ephemeral nature makes them highly attractive. You can use stories effectively to share a lot of raw, authentic and informal content, and this enhances the way in which you connect with your audience.
- Square videos: Both Facebook and Instagram have been optimized for mobile viewing, which explains why square videos perform exceedingly well on these platforms. Square videos are designed to occupy 78% of the screen space on your mobile phone (which is significantly more than what a landscape video does), and research conducted by Buffer indicates that square videos outperform every other kind of video on Facebook by a huge margin.
- View-bating clips: Facebook and Instagram typically autoplay their videos on mute. And while viewers scroll past many of these videos, these instances get counted as views—without the viewers actually consuming the content. To attract the viewers and have them turn the sound on, you must place very enticing visual content in the opening few seconds of the videos and/or have a view-bating thumbnail in place.
2.YouTube: Needless to say, YouTube is king when it comes to video content. But the tricks of the trade are fast evolving here, too. The few things to keep in mind before putting out any content on YouTube:
- A catchy, relevant and SEO-oriented title.
- Extremely relevant and very fresh content—no one wants to hear you ramble, so make sure that you’re solving something for the viewer or offering something useful.
- A well-shot thumbnail image with appropriate banners.
- Video content that is as short as possible. All the statistical research done seems to prescribe that the ideal length of a YouTube video is under 10 minutes.
3.Twitter: Twitter is better known as a micro-blogging site that enables everyone to have a voice, albeit within the confines of 140 characters! That being said, there are many ways in which visuals and videos can be incorporated even on this platform.
- Periscope: Periscope is the live video broadcasting functionality offered by Twitter. What makes it supremely useful when it comes to reaching out to the audience is that you (and the user) can insert clickable hashtags linking to the broadcast. This greatly enhances the reach of the live video and keeps it highly relevant.
- GIFs: Animated GIFs can be a lot of fun, but they can also be used effectively by businesses. You can have these interesting animated GIFs accompany your tweets every now and then—provided they fit well. This will convey to the users that there is a fun and light side to your brand and will keep things interesting and on trend.
- Images with posts: Vanilla tweets that are devoid of accompanying images and thumbnails will do little by way of grabbing attention. At the very least, make sure that all your tweets have an image and a set of relevant hashtags to go along with them.
4.LinkedIn: LinkedIn can be a lucrative platform for video content, especially if yours is a B2B (business-to-business) company. As the largest online platform for businesses, brands and professionals, you can use exciting and informative content on LinkedIn to help your connections grow.
- Explainer videos: Explainer videos are a good way to break into the LinkedIn environment with visually appealing content. Creating explainer videos that talk about your product, service or brand philosophy will help your content stand out from the largely text-based stuff that companies post on LinkedIn.
For obvious reasons, videos are an extremely powerful form of content. However, the one-size-fits-all (literally and otherwise) approach will never work when it comes to channeling your videos across social media platforms—so make sure that you’re always creating platform-specific video content for your brand.