When it comes to using Social Media Videos to market your business or product, your content will need to stand out in a saturated online environment where everyone is vying for attention.
This may feel like a daunting prospect and one which has little room for error – but as long as you plan things out beforehand and create something with a clear, engaging message, it should be perfectly possible to get people to engage with your content.
Firstly, take some time before sitting down to plan your video strategy to research what other marketers & your competition are doing at the moment.
This step might seem simple but it’s essential if you want to stand out in-front of your customers online.
In this research you’ll want to take note of the types of video content that your competitors are producing and what they seem to be doing right – or wrong, as the case may be!
Alongside this it’s also important to keep an eye on other well known video producers across social media in general so that you can see what styles are working well, and perhaps avoid duplicating mistakes which have been made by others before.
Next up would be compiling a rough structure for your planned social media video based on the insights from your research.
Don’t worry about polishing & making it perfect first time round, but get your ideas down on paper and organised before going through and looking at your structure as a whole.
Do try to make sure that each piece of content focuses on one key message. If you try to shoe-horn loads of different messages and ideas into a single video you’ll more than likely end up confusing your audience & loosing their interest.
When writing a script for a social media video the most important thing is to know who your audience are, and write in a way that will resonate with them while addressing their needs or ‘pain points’.
Ask yourself, how do I make this appeal to my audience? You need to and step into the mind of your consumer and write from their perspective.
For example, If it’s an instructional ‘how-to’ video then make sure there are clear instructions on how they should complete each step of the task you’re demonstrating.
This might sound like stating the bleeding obvious, but you’d be surprised at how difficult this can be when writing a script. You need to put yourself in the mindset of someone who potentially has no idea or knowledge of the process or product you’re demonstrating & then make sure every stage is clear and easy to follow.
A lot of ‘how to’ content is difficult to follow as the person creating it doesn’t properly take into account the skill profile of the target audience.
Also, when writing the script – unless it’s targeted at a specialist audience – try to avoid too much technical jargon that might make it difficult for the viewer to follow what you’re trying to say.
Physically producing your content – whether it’s a ‘live action’ piece or animation – shouldn’t be too difficult, as long as you’ve planned out your content & spent time developing your script and honing your message.
It’s better to spend a bit more time at this stage planning how best to capture your content rather than just grabbing a camera and running out the door, as you’ll have a better overall idea of what you want to create and the key elements you need to include.
There are a lot of well-worn phrases around the theme of ‘failure to plan is planning for failure’, but in the case of video production it is a very serious point!
A good example of this was when we were called in to help a web agency ‘fix’ a series of videos one of their clients had had made.
The production company they’d used had rushed the job into production without going through some of the basic Pre-Production phases. They hadn’t carried out a recce of the filming location & hadn’t taken into account the specific requirements of the subject and environment they were going to be working in – in this case people performing gymnastics in what was a poorly lit, dark space.
The result was horribly poor quality footage shot by someone who really did not know how to work in that kind of environment. The end product delivered to the client was not only riddled with technical faults, but was a creative shambles as well.
By far the biggest fault of the original production company though was that they failed to take into account a logo change the client had planned & went ahead with the filming which heavily featured what quickly became the client’s old branding.
After ascertaining that the agency / client did not want to conduct a re-shoot, we set to work fixing what we could. Logos were painted out and the videos re-edited & re-finished. Ultimately the client ended up with useable content, but after an unnecessarily convoluted & drawn out process.
Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and try new things when creating social media video content. This is especially true for smaller brands who can be more responsive & adaptable than bigger corporate entities.
Try to be creative with your scripts and see what kind of different angles you can come up with to illustrate your point, but remember that each individual video should focus on a single core message to help make the content engaging.
Last, but by no means least, never try to rush into a project without proper planning. Yes, it can seem like a boring exercise in creating paperwork, but you’ll only be increasing the chance of your project failing in the long term.
If you want a bit more of an insight into the production process we have a blog outlining The Three Key Stages of Video Production.