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How to Make Social Videos More Engaging

Online videos have now become mainstream social media platforms. There’s IGTV, Facebook Live, YouTube Shorts, you name it. 

For businesses, your social videos should entice users to get to know more and hopefully direct them to your website. That said, when you create video content, your competitors definitely do the same thing too. 

That’s how the competition is only getting fiercer.

According to the stats, one hour of video is now being uploaded on YouTube every single second! It’s sure a battle for eyeballs out there. 

The key to making your social videos more visible is to make them more engaging. In other words, simply producing mediocre video content only to jump on the bandwagon and for the sake of doing it is just a waste of time and energy. It will not get you anywhere.

So, how can you make your social video content more stand out and engaging?

#1. Tell Shareable Story

Say no to the hard-selling method when it comes to social videos. No social media users want to be your target customer, after all. They only enjoy video content that educates them and entertains them-- without having to be forced to purchase.

So, use the video to tell a story to add its value. Stories help you to convey your brand voice subtly. The engaging and intriguing storyline will help users remember your brand, therefore you can increase brand recall.

You can also elicit emotion with your video. Make your users feel something, whether it's happiness, joy, motivation, or even sadness. That's how the storytelling method can help you create a more meaningful connection with them.

Big brands such as Nike, Dollar Shave Club, Samsung, often create narrative-driven social videos to engage more users and boost their shareability.

#2. Check your Video Analytics

Not all videos are created equal so it’s important to look back on your social analytics to learn which videos you published were the most engaging. Use a social media analytics tool like Social Status to analyze all your video performance on social channels. They also publish monthly video benchmarks too. 

You can also spy on competitors' videos and find out what their top-performing videos were too.This can help you learn more about what social audiences like to engage with. 

Also, if you focus on Facebook videos, here's the guide on exporting Facebook data to evaluate the performance of your videos on Facebook

#3. Start Strong

There's no such thing as "save the best for last" when we talk about engaging social videos. The intro of your videos, no matter the platform, can make or break your success. They are your chance to grab users' attention and hold it.

You need to start the video with a thought-provoking intro to make users watch it all the way through. It's always best to start with a question or situation that brings curiosity and then present the answer or resolution in your video.

For example, Nike asks: "Is it possible to run a marathon without training for one?" Right away you'll want to know if it's true! Maybe they did train—maybe not at all, but who knows? But we do know this question brings intrigue and engagement right off the bat. It sparks users' curiosity so they are convinced to keep watching the video to find the answer.

#4. Pay Attention to the Thumbnail

When you mainly use YouTube or Facebook to host your social videos, you can't create video content, upload it, and call it a day. 

You also need to pay attention to the thumbnail. This is what people see when they scroll through their feed and it's a huge factor in whether or not your video gets clicked on.

Instead of using the default thumbnails that the platform provided, it's always better to give more effort to create customizable ones using thumbnail makers like Canva, Picmaker, Crello, and more.

You can include headlines, interesting graphics, creative design and interesting text to entice more users to pause their scrolling and click on your video. With customized thumbnails, you can also show the personality of your brand by adding custom thumbnails based on holidays or events that are relevant in pop cultures such as Halloween or Christmas-time.

#5. Keep It Short

Social media platforms are places where users consume snackable, light-weight, easy-to-digest content. This is the reason why you need to make your videos short and concise.

Instead of making two-minute video ads, make shorter videos that only focus on the most important elements and information. This way you can keep your viewers engaged in whatever it is they're watching without having to go through long pieces which will end up getting skipped at some point or another anyway.

You might also need to pay attention to the ideal video length for each social media platform. For example, Facebook recommends that users create videos that are between 20 and 90 seconds long. Meanwhile, Instagram is the best platform to upload videos that last between five and 60 seconds.

#6. Keep Up With the Trends

Social media is constantly evolving. Keeping with the latest trends on social media helps you to create up-to-date, relevant content that will help you to stay ahead of the game and get more views.

When you create videos about a topic that everyone has been talking about lately, you can boost its visibility. 

For example, Instagram Reels has been gaining a lot of traction lately and many Instagram users are using it. If you can create an original video using this feature, then users are likely to find your videos and even share them-- if they find them valuable.

Or maybe on TikTok, where trends and challenges come and go every day. For one whole week, you find everyone creates videos about the popular Netflix show the Squid Game then the next week they will all make challenge videos using viral songs, and it’s also possible that the week after that they’ll switch to product reviews.

You can use social media aggregators or curators like Curator.io. This tool allows you to curate relevant content for your social video content from different social networks.

#7. Add Subtitles or Text Overlays

Let's be honest. We don't when a video starts loudly blaring at us as we're scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, do we? This is why 85% of videos were watched with the sound off.

So, when you don't add closed captioning or subtitles, that’s going to hinder many users' experience of your video as a result. Also, some users might be hard of hearing or deaf. In this case, adding subtitles or texts is a handy way to improve your overall engagement and viewership.

Final Thoughts: Revamp Your Social Video Content Today

Social videos are a great way to reach out and interact with your target audience. With the right strategies, you can take it from 'wow' to WOW! The trick is being creative when making social videos that will engage people's attention span in a positive manner. Don’t forget that proper branding is also important. Think about your youtube banner and logos. Once people see your channel, is it something they’d love to stay?

By following these six simple steps, you're going to see an increase in viewership and user engagement. That's how you can boost your social video visibility and stand out among the crowd.

About the author

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). 

Twitter: @breadnbeyond

LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro