In the world of social media, video is king.
It’s very hard to get someone to share an article; but people are more than willing to share an entertaining video.
A top notch video can help you get more attention, help convey a message and help build your brand.
If you’re creating a video for social media, these seven best practices will help.
#1 – Focus on the Beginning
Anytime someone opens a video, the first thing they’re going to do is ask themselves: Is this worth watching?
The first few seconds of your video are crucial. Make sure they catch attention and convey what the rest of the video is about. If possible, make it entertaining as well.
#2 – Fun, Moving or Educational
Viral videos should either be fun, moving or educational. Ideally, it’ll be all three.
The Kony 2012 video is a prime example of a fun, moving and educational video.
Say what you will about the veracity of the video; but if you looked at the video strictly from a social media perspective, it’s clear that the video has copious amounts of all three factors. That’s why the video did so well so quickly, racking up tens of millions of views.
#3 – Keep it Short
While it’s possible to make a 30 minute long video go viral, the vast majority of viral videos are very short. They’re usually between three and six minutes long.
Don’t try to use your video as your main sales tool. Instead, use it to hook attention, deliver a jolt of entertainment then send people to your website, where you can sell them further on your brand.
As you’re editing your video, keep asking yourself: What can I cut? Look for bits that aren’t truly necessary and cut them out.
#4 – Know Your Main Points
You should have only between one and three main points. Figure out what these points are before you start filming your video.
After watching your video, people are going to walk away remembering just a few things. In a month, people are really just going to remember one or two things. As the video’s creator, you need to consciously choose what these things are.
Hammer these points home throughout the video. The only exception is for videos that are strictly entertaining. If you’re trying to be inspiring or educational however, always state your main points again and again throughout the video.
#5 – Ask Yourself: Would You Share It?
As the video’s creator, it’s natural for you to think your video is the greatest thing since sliced bread. That doesn’t mean everyone else will too.
Watch your video again and ask yourself: If you didn’t know who made this video, would you share it with your friends?
Ask a few of your friends the same question. Remember, a video can’t just be good for it to get shared. It has to be amazing, it has to truly stand out and be spectacular.
Look at your own web browsing behaviors. How many websites and videos do you browse each day? Dozens? A hundred? And how many do you share? Likely just one or two. Other people are the same.
Your video has to literally be the best thing they’ve seen all day if you want it to get shared. If it’s not yet, put some more work into it until it is.
#6 – Speak Authentically
There’s a certain “click” to videos that are spoken from the heart. People feel it, people resonate and people can sense that it’s real.
If you’re ever in doubt about what to say, just ask yourself what would be most authentic. Communicate from that place of authenticity and people will listen.
#7 – Tell Them What to Do
After watching your video, what should viewers do?
Do you want them to visit your website? Do you want them to call their congressman? Do you want them to buy a certain product? Do you want them to go on Facebook and hit “share?”
Don’t just leave the next step up to your viewers. Tell them explicitly what you want them to do.
If you follow these seven practices, your chances of hitting home with your viewers and going viral are much higher.