Video on social media was once a novelty, but is now an integral element in most social media platforms. In fact, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. Between Facebook Live, YouTube and other video platforms a whopping 85% of the US internet audience watches video online.
Now is the time to get started with video. Take a few deep breaths: it’s not as complicated as you might think. With the supercomputers we all have in our back pockets (aka, your smartphone) shooting social media ready videos is easier than ever.
1. Decide What to Film
Before you pick up the camera, it pays to have a clear idea beforehand what you want to do. This is also arguably the hardest step, since there are so many different types of videos you can make. If you’re completely lost, start by looking at competitors, other businesses and videos you personally enjoy. What types of video content do they make? What is it about their videos that stand out? Some common videos that do well on social media are:
- Short how-to videos
- Discussions on industry-relevant topics
- Funny skits
- Spotlighting products/services
When in doubt, go simple. Start with a video showcasing one of your products, touring your office or introducing your employees.
2. Gather Your Equipment
The good news is that you probably have everything you need already. Smartphones will shoot a video in a pinch that’s perfect for social media. Remember: social media has more of a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Your videos don’t have to be professionally produced to perform well. As long as you’re able to keep the phone (more or less) steady and close enough to pick up sound, that’s all you need.
When you have some video experience under your belt and plan on making it an ongoing part of your digital strategy, that’s the time to invest in some more equipment: a digital camera, a microphone, a ring light and/or a teleprompter. But for now, stick to the basics.
3. Shoot Your Video
You’ve got your idea and you’ve got your camera…now it’s time to put it all together. There are two important elements to watch out for while filming: lighting and sound.
Lighting is key for your videos to perform the best on social media. Try to film in as much natural light as possible. This will give your videos the best overall look. If that’s not possible, film in the most well-lit area you can (using lamps if need be to provide more light). You want to make sure your videos are well-lit, so that your viewers can see them and to reduce the amount of noise (the static-looking grain on recorded videos).
Sound is also important. If you’re planning on dubbing over or using music over your videos, you don’t have to pay as much attention to sound. Before filming your actual video, shoot a test video and play it back to see if your camera is picking up sound correctly. Conference rooms are popular places to shoot office videos, but they are also oftentimes echoey and make your final video difficult to hear.
4. Edit Your Video
Editing may sound daunting, but it’s much easier than it seems. If you only need to cut out the beginning or end of your video, your smartphone comes with the ability to trim videos. On iPhone, navigate to the video in your Photos app and tap “edit” in the upper right corner. On Android, open your Photos app and tap on the video, then tap on the pencil icon near the bottom of the screen.
If you need to do more in-depth editing like removing chunks of video, tweaking the sound or adding in music, there are many video editing options. If you have a Mac, you can use iMovie to make most edits. For PC, you can use Windows Movie Maker if your computer is running Widows Vista or earlier. For newer PC users, there are several video editors available on the Microsoft Store.
5. Upload Your Video
Facebook and YouTube are your best options for maximizing viewers on your video. But if you have a sizeable Twitter audience or Instagram audience, those channels are also worth using (just note that videos on Twitter will need to be under 2 minutes and 20 seconds and under a minute for Instagram).
No matter what network you upload to, it’s important to keep SEO best practices in mind:
- A descriptive title
- Keywords in your video description
- Appropriately tagging/categorizing the video
Now you’re ready to go forth and start filming! And since you’re on a video kick, why not check out our videos, conveniently available on YouTube.
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