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It is time to share your videos on social media

Over the last few years, video has become the most engaging form of content on social media. So much that video is being prioritized by social media platform algorithms, and gains not only more organic reach but also more likes and engagement than any other type of content. So, if you are not doing so already — this is the moment to share your amazing video content on social media. Here are some tips to help you reach a bigger audience.

1# Provide value in a short amount of time

Your audience gets overwhelmed by endless distractions every day — whether it is online or offline. This has diminished their attention span so much, that it is a real challenge to make them watch your video and especially to finish it. That is why you have to adjust your video length to your audience.

HubSpot examined how much time a person is willing to spend watching a video. They created an infographic that suggests the optimal video length for the most popular video channels:

  • 25 seconds for Instagram
  • 45 seconds for Twitter
  • 1 minute for Facebook
  • 2 minutes for Youtube

However, just making a video the right length is not enough. You have to provide value to arouse interest and keep the attention of your audience. So, providing value to your audience in the shortest and most straightforward way increases the chance your video will be watched.

optimal video length for the most popular social media channels

2# Create your video with a sound-off mindset

With social media being accessible on any digital device at any time, you don’t really know the context of your audience. And let’s be honest: no one likes it when a video starts loudly blaring at the wrong time. As a result, many users watch social media video on mute, so it is important that your video communicates your message with and without sound.

  • An often-repeated rule in storytelling is that you should ‘show, don’t tell’. Your audience responds better when you give them visual information, rather than telling them what is going on. There are actual studies that show that humans remember pictures better than words.
  • Subtitles and closed captions are great ways to support a message that mostly relies on spoken text. With closed caption, the text is part of the video file and is always visible, where subtitles are an addition to your video and can be changed within the social media platforms. In addition to supporting a non-sound environment, subtitling and captioning your videos can also expand your reach to a non-English speaking audience, as well as deaf and hard-of-hearing users.
  • A short message or important question can be highlighted with a text overlay, to make it stand out. When it is visually appealing it can also help retaining attention.
  • And finally, keep in mind that there will be people that watch your video with sound on. Do not rely on music and sound for meaning, but do include them in your video to enrich your story.
subtitles and close captions

3# Keep in mind that size does matter

Each social media platform has different requirements in terms of video aspect ratio and other specifications. Not paying attention to them may decrease your reach and engagement levels. SproutSocial created an up-to-date guide to social media video specs to help you pick the right settings. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Think mobile-first. More and more people prefer using their mobile phones for day-to-day online activities, such as browsing on social media. Although mobile screen sizes are enlarging, a video on your social media feed shall display relatively small. So, make sure your audience can see what is happening in your video.
  • In 2020 you see the rise of square (1:1) video formats all over social media feeds. Mobile screens are taller than they are wide, so square video naturally takes up more space than landscape (16:9) video — and probably gets easier noticed by your audience. Do keep in mind how your audience will watch the video on their platforms. For example, a square video might not be optimal for Youtube feeds.
square video vs landscape video on social media

4# Pay attention to your thumbnail

Last but not least, your video has to stand out. A thumbnail is like the cover of a book: it can make or break the odds of getting picked. So, it is important to choose the right one for your video.

  • Your thumbnail should tease but not spoil. This helps you grab the attention of your audience and also makes them want to watch the video. Think about that moment football players celebrate a goal — but you haven’t seen the goal yet.
  • Let your audience know what they can expect. Make sure the thumbnail is cohesive with the video title and content. This provides your audience with the context of the video. Focus for example on the main subject/message of the video.
  • Support your thumbnail with text if necessary. Sometimes an image is not going to communicate what the video is about. Capturing the core idea of the video into a compelling title and showing it on the thumbnail might help.




Clipping tool — Create, Edit & Publish clips from your live video content in seconds

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Amy Heimel

Amy Heimel

Digital Designer @ Qore Digital

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