March 15, 2018
As we can see in social media trends, video content is becoming a much more preferred medium for social posts. Twitter is allowing video over 4x the length – previously a 30-second limit – up to 140 seconds. Additionally, Facebook has begun to push more video content to users’ news feeds, heavily supporting Facebook LIVE content and, more recently, Facebook Watch, a consolidated space for Facebook’s sponsored video content. Since video is becoming more integral to your social media presence, it is also important to make content that stands out.
Capturing a broad audience and keeping an audience through to the end is a difficult achievement. Unfortunately, with the turbulence of today’s world, people don’t spend any more than 10 seconds on average to decide whether to continue watching or scroll past a video. One way to increase the scope and the average duration of time watched for your videos is to make your video a reasonable length. This means no longer than 2 minutes, as viewers tend to stop watching most videos around that point, and no shorter than 5 seconds. Content that short would benefit better as a looping animated GIF. Additionally, be sure to capitalize on the narrow 10-second window at the beginning of your video. This time should be the most impactful to entice the viewer to continue watching or to convey the most important message. Finally, if you have a long form video, consider making an abridged version for your social media, then link to the full version uploaded to a video hosting service like YouTube.
It is important to make your video as accessible as possible. Most viewers will not click/tap a video to activate the audio, so if there is voiceover that is essential to the post, make sure to add subtitles; this can be done during the design phase of a video. Alternatively, if the post is on Facebook, once a video has been uploaded, you can edit the post and directly add a caption (.srt) file. This is also helpful to those with impaired hearing. If you feel that it’s not enough, then you can always add a type of call to activate the audio in conjunction with subtitles. When conceptualizing the storyboard, keep your video targeted toward your main audience, yet understandable to others as those viewers may share your video to a different audience. Try to keep your message broad in scope and avoid technical videos. Keep those for YouTube and link out to those from your posts. This is to help keep your content organized and allow the possibility of those in-depth videos showing in Google search results.
Arguably, the most important element of your video is its visual presentation. Design trends are fleeting, but bombastic color usage is always eye-catching. Tasteful color gradients have been making a resurgence as well. To keep your posts from blending in, try avoiding the use of stock photography and video. Content should be original and fresh and allow you to have full control over design decisions. Lastly, animations and animated infographics are always a delight to watch if done well. Animation will often resonate more with the viewer because it can often simplify a topic, generate emotion, and is just fun to watch.
Video content is becoming prevalent in 2018 and is expected to become even more widespread. With it brings the struggle to distinguish your posts from the flood of video content. Keeping your message concise and impactful, along with a strong visual presence and accessibility to the viewer will greatly aid in a video’s success. Good luck in 2018!