All the Web’s a Stage
Everyone has a story to tell, whether person, place, thing, or brand. Depending on the story, the right way to tell it might be a stage, in print, through photography, or on video.
For the past few years, photography has been having a big moment - between social media and the ever-improving quality of smartphone cameras there have never been so many amateur photographers running around. Of course, just when you finally nailed all the best practices for photography, it’s time for the next big thing: video!
There are so many social media platforms out there, and so many rules, that we at TechArk thought it would be handy to provide some simple tips and tricks. So when you’re ready to tell your story through video, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Facebook: As of early 2016, 100 million hours of video were watched every day on Facebook. That’s A LOT of exposure! Here’s how to capitalize:
- Be Square. The square video format looks and performs better on mobile, which is where the majority of users are browsing these days. Advanced Level: Vertical Video!
- Caption Contest. Many users are scrolling through their feed in public, unable or unwilling to click open your video and play the audio. Capture this elusive audience by adding closed captions to your video, so they can follow along.
- Stay Focused. The simpler, shorter and easier-to-follow your video is, the more it will be watched, liked, and shared.
- Tag! You’re it. Tag relevant pages, companies, and accounts to maximize your visibility, and improve your chances for high engagement (clicks, likes, shares).
- You Got Me. Grab the attention of your potential viewers with a compelling first few seconds. It may be the only time you’ve got to interest them.
Youtube: According to TechCrunch, 1 billion hours of video are watched PER DAY, on Youtube. What are you waiting for?!
- Go Custom. Create a custom url that’s easy to remember. Your viewers will find your content easier, and you’ll be able to neatly link to all your other accounts with consistency. You’ll have to jump through some hoops, however, to earn this little badge. Rack up 100 subscribers, age your account past 30 days, upload a channel icon and art, and you’re on your way to your custom url. Be careful when selecting - once set, it can’t be changed.
- Stay Close. Carefully curate the end screen of recommended videos to only display yours, or those of your friends. Keep viewers on your channel and watching your content! Advanced: Youtube is the only place left for long-form video, allowing for tutorials, series, and RSS feeds. If you’ve got a niche, play into it on Youtube and find your people.
- Make Friends. Create, collaborate, and share video playlists. Whether a compilation of all your cat videos, a ‘best of’ collection of you and your bffs, or an informative ‘how to’ series, it will increase the channel exposures of all involved.
- Get Found. Did you know that Youtube automatically generates a transcript of videos uploaded? Make the most of this by editing it, or writing your own (better) version. The best part is that besides accessibility, this helps your video rise in relevance on search results, meaning that people will find you more easily.
- Rock On! Take advantage of Youtube’s gigantic library of royalty-free, high-quality music and sound effects to improve the overall quality of your video, and impress watchers with your sound-savvy.
Instagram: As of April 2016, Instagram’s video watching statistics shot up by 40%. You can only imagine how that number will have risen after a year.
- Be YOUnique. On Instagram, perhaps more so than any other social platform, the goal is to stand out and make an impression visually. The best way to be different is not to try - just be yourself, because you ARE different! Rather than follow the crowd and post what they post, break the mold and start building relationships with your audience through authenticity in messaging, and of course, great video.
- Keep it Short. Cut Out Everything That Is Not Necessary. We’ll say it again, even shorter: Cut Everything Unnecessary. See how we did that? Stats show that 15 - 30 seconds is the optimal video length for Instagram, so get ruthless. If it doesn’t add value to the story, it’s got to go.
- Rule of Thumbnail. Instagram is THE visual platform, so choosing a beautiful, interesting, and relevant thumbnail for your IG video is crucial. Videos do autoplay (silently) so users will catch a glimpse of your thumbnail, see the first few seconds, and make a snap judgement on whether to continue scrolling...or pause and watch.
- Spell it Out. Just as with Facebook, users often don’t click open the video, enabling the audio. It’s always a good idea to add captions for the hearing impaired, but another fun option is infographics or little animations to illustrate, explain, and otherwise communicate your message clearly, and more importantly, without a sound.
- Mix it Up. Keep things interesting by using different angles, perspectives, and shot lengths. A dynamic video is always more interesting than a single, extended frame.
There is some overlap - some things are simply best practice on video or social media in general, like including a teaser post along with your uploaded video, or adding closed captions. Yet each platform is distinctive and different, and each plays by different rules. Instagram is of course owned by Facebook - but the two operate on different principles and cater to different demographics.
Are you excited to get started? Feeling a bit confused and unsure of where to begin? That’s alright. Whether you’d like a more in-depth tutorial or want someone else to take over that whole ‘social media thing’ for you, TechArk can help.
Give us a call to discuss your business, our business, and how we can make them work for each other.