It’s Time to Embrace Video

Video is everywhere — How to get started and how to incorporate video into your social strategy

Jul 6, 2018 · 6 min read

Videos have proven time and time again that they earn higher engagement and reach on social.

The Stats

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video and only 10% retain when they see it in the text.

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • 87% of online marketers use video content.

It’s estimated that by 2019 — video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

So it’s time to take video content seriously.

Why video📹 ➡️ 🏡

Video carries power that photos and graphics don’t always have. It offers a unique perspective that can captivate your audience and drive your message home.

What you need to know: Go outside the box

The “traditional” 16 x 9 landscape video is out. Vertical and square are in.

Why? It take up more of the landscape

Square videos take up 78% more screen space than 16:9 / landscape videos, and that extra screen space is important for grabbing attention, especially on mobile devices.

Tip: Change the video aspect on your phone and you’re now shooting in square mode 👌🏼

Various studies show vertical videos = more engaging. Why? It’s simple — that’s how we naturally hold our phone. In fact, State of Digital found 94% of users don’t rotate their phone horizontally.

The stats don’t lie — sound off

On most platforms, videos are set to mute automatically. What does this mean for you?

You must grab the viewers attention within the first 3 seconds, and those 3 seconds have to grab attention WITHOUT sound.

Add text — Create for sound off viewers

Add text to your video for sound-off viewing. Also, think about how your text can “hook” your audience within the first three seconds. Use BIG and BOLD font and stickers to create an engaging thumbnail.

You’ll also want to add captions as well to help the viewer understand the story. If you can hook them in, they’ll turn the volume on. Or they might be so engrossed by just the captions, they’ll watch the whole video with sound off!

Mix it up

If sound is imperative to your content, instruct users to turn on the sound.

#Tip Instagram Stories and Snapchat both have stickers that can be added to posts to help convey the importance of what’s being said.

Instagram Story Stickers (Left) Snapchat Stickers (Right)

Check out the popular Tasty videos by Buzzfeed

Don’t forget — have a call to action. What do you want your video to do? Think about how your ending combined with post text can help you achieve your goals.

Understand your platform

Video, like social media content, is not one size fits all. In order to meet your audience where they are, video content should be customized for the various platforms.

Facebook — evoke emotions and get people talking

**Facebook prioritizes live video content over other video content, and video content over other types of content**

Things to consider

  • Add a featured video to your profile so your audience can quickly identify your voice and message
  • Have a YouTube or Vimeo account? Great — just remember when sharing videos to Facebook, upload DIRECTLY to Facebook.

Direct uploads = better visibility on the news feed.

Sharing a link from another video site = ꜜ reach

  • Utilize popular styles of video that garner engagement. These include — DIY tips, FAQs, behind-the-scenes, heartwarming causes and of course, funny videos.
  • The ideal length for a Facebook video= 1 minute. But those first 3 seconds are CRUCIAL. If you don’t capture your viewer — they will scroll past.

Instagram — visual appeal

  • Lose the words — remember, Instagram was created for its aesthetic appeal. Don’t share the same video you posted on Facebook to Instagram. Customize and create a video that appeals to the creative side.
  • Figure out your “look” to give your account an identifiable look and feel.
  • Keep your videos simple! Instagram users like uncomplicated content that can be consumed easily.
  • Timing is everything. The key to engagement on Instagram is understanding when your audience is more likely to be online.
  • Use tools like Boomerang to vary the style of video content shared on Instagram.
  • The ideal length for an Instagram video is 30 seconds to 1 minute and 10 seconds.


Looking to go longer? Instagram just launched IGTV

IGTV, a recent addition to Instagram’s platform allows account holders to post long form videos. IGTV is meant to compete with Youtube, but will immediately start playing a video when you open it.

Unlike Instagram Stories, the videos uploaded won’t disappear. Videos are uploaded in vertical format, matching the habits of users.

What this means for you

Showcase content that grabs your audience’s attention without the restrictions seen in Instagram stories.

  • Tutorials
  • News commentary
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Video Series

It comes out looking a little something like this:

Twitter — Make it shout

  • Make mobile friendly video. More than 90% of Twitter videos are viewed on a mobile device.
  • Grab attention fast. Twitter is known for its ability to be scrolled through quickly.
  • The shorter the better. Don’t put your long-form content here. Save that for Facebook or YouTube. Think 15 second videos and videos you can quickly turn into gifs.
  • Putting it it practice — tease upcoming content, share news, sharing user based content and educational information. The ideal length for a video on Twitter is 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Youtube — the master of tutorials

  • Utilize Youtube for videos you want to live beyond a day’s newsfeed.
  • Think instructional videos, behind the scenes, and day-in-the-life content.
  • The ideal length for this platform is less than 5 minutes.
  • Add your call to action before the end of the video. The recommended placement is about 30 seconds into the video.

Loving all this? Dig deeper with Sprout Social’s “Social Media Video Tips and Strategies”.

Fast Forward — A look into your future

Start thinking of how videos could be a part of your overall strategy.

Is your area involved in the opening of a new classroom or program? Use your phone and record the ribbon cutting and share the excitement with your followers.

Bonus tip: Have another person join you. One can shoot in square mode and another in vertical. You can even change your phone presents to make these sizes the default shooting format.

Lastly, aim for content not appearance. It’s ok to have a video that’s less that perfect. What’s most important is to show up to the game. Give yourself the opportunity to try out video and see how it works for you. You won’t know what you’ll capture unless you try.

And remember this — It doesn’t need to be a polished video. Our top for 2018 so far was a video of snow falling at night (not polished at all). But it garnered 861 shares and more importantly, got people talking (a must in the new Facebook age) with 361 comments.

Your audience can help as well. When our NAU students Seinfeld dorm room sensor went viral — we reached out repurposed his original video and turned it into a Q&A. The video ended up being one of our most watched videos of last year.

Good luck and we can’t wait to see what you’ll create!

Happy videoing!


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It’s always a great day to be a Lumberjack! Join the conversation and share your #NAU story.

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