According to the social media analysts at News Whip, engagement is down across the platform for every kind of Facebook post except for one: video. And it’s not just for easy cooking or the latest Wine About It. According to the Boston Globe, it generated 12 million views through video on social media—something its team could never have imagined hitting on its website.
Why does it work? Well, frankly, it’s less work than reading. When done right, it’s easy and informative. When done right, it’s a boon to your company and what it’s capable of in terms of delivering a message in a timely and interesting way.
When done wrong, however? It’s a massive waste of money and can make you look bad.
But don’t worry. We’re here to help ensure you do this right.
1. Keep it simple.
According to a recent study, 85% of users watch Facebook videos with the sound off. Consider your viewers—if they’re busy professionals in an office, they’re probably not wanting to draw attention to the work they’re not doing. With that in mind, you’ll want to use text to get your message across rather than or in addition to voiceover. But no one wants to read a novel in a Facebook video. If you’re using voiceover, show only the major bullet points on-screen. Keep the text short and concise—no more than seven to 15 words on screen at a time.
2. Keep it short.
With that small amount of text on the screen, it would likely take a long time to get every bit of the message you want across or an entire interview. Don’t do that. Frankly, it’s rare that anyone has the attention span to watch a video online for longer than two or three minutes. If you can’t get your message across in that amount of time, break it up into a few shorter videos, or use video in addition to a lengthier blog.
3. For the love of all that is good and holy make sure your spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct.
It does not matter how good and well-produced your video is if the text is poorly written. The fact is, a lot of people think they don’t need writers. Everyone thinks they can do it themselves. And that may well be the case at your company—but you must check, double-check and triple-check that it looks good. If there’s a typo, not only do you discredit yourself as an expert in your topic, but also this is the internet—people are going to comment on it. And who wants their awesome video to turn into a conversation about “your” versus “you’re?”
4. This isn’t the Blair Witch Project. Don’t bounce the camera around too much.
If you don’t have fancy tools, keep the camera still. You don’t want to make your audience seasick.
5. You don’t need a big budget.
That said, you don’t need fancy tools at all. I once made a video using an IV stand in place of a tracking dolly. One time I used a rolling golf bag (this worked terribly, I do not recommend it). Try different things and see what works for you. You don’t need expensive lights if you have a nicely lit room. You don’t need a costly boom mic if you buy a $30 lavalier microphone on Amazon.
6. Landscape. Please do landscape.
People get really annoyed about portrait. Just turn your phone on its side and head off complaints before they happen.
Video is scary if you’ve never done it before. But you don’t have to be a film major to get it done. Smartphones, iMovie, these simple tools make it easy. Practice and see what works and doesn’t. Go forth and have fun!