It’s easier than ever to share video on social media, largely because it’s easier than ever to shoot video. Just a decade ago, video cameras were standalone devices that cost at least $500 and needed tape to capture footage; now, you have an HD video camera on your smartphone.


Today, video is an essential component of any good digital marketing plan, and many companies are posting regularly. But you don’t want to just throw any footage you’ve taken on your profile and see what happens — you want to craft a video that followers will want to watch and will then be inspired to do something. How can you create successful video for your social media pages? Here are eight things that you’ll want to make sure you’re doing.


  1. Whenever possible, spin a story. There’s an increasing emphasis on storytelling in marketing, and video is the perfect medium to tell stories. Whether your video focuses on one person, a group of people, or a product, see if you can create some tension with it. Good stories have a hook, a hold, and a payoff, and they pull at your audience’s emotions. Do that with your material, and you’ll probably come up with a great video.


  1. Dazzle immediately. The first part of any media — a song, a newspaper article, a video — is what pulls the audience in. If you fail to engage your viewer in the first ten seconds, he or she will probably keep scrolling. Now, with autoplay on most social media networks, a great opening is even more crucial, as it can pull in casual scrollers who did not intend to watch your video.


  1. Use one message per video. We all have short attention spans, and cramming a single video with tons of details and messages can be confusing. Plus, if you overwhelm your viewer, you run the risk of losing them. When planning your social media video content, think small bites rather than big ones.


  1. Keep it short. Again, short attention spans and long videos do not mix. According to a 2013 Buzzkeep article (, the average attention span of viewers ranges between two and two and a half minutes. That’s not a lot of time to get your message across, but go long and you’ll probably lose your audience. And according to a recent post by video marketing company Wistia (, viewers drop like flies after that two-minute mark. The takeaway? Be concise!


  1. Use subtitles. This is relatively easy to do on both YouTube and Facebook, and it offers advantages beyond making your video accessible to individuals with hearing impairments. Many times, viewers are in an environment where they don’t want any audio; using subtitles allows them to get the full gist of your video. Plus, subtitles can help to pull in users who were just casually scrolling and never had any intention of watching your content — if they can read what’s happening in the video, you might inspire them to stop and watch without having to enable the audio.


  1. End with a call to action. What do you want your audience to do after they’ve watched your video? A clear call to action gives them a place to channel their inspiration.


  1. Pick the best thumbnail. This is the one frame of your video that represents the whole piece when it shows up on search results. Choosing the best possible thumbnail can mean the difference between a viewer who is intrigued and a viewer who keeps on scrolling.


  1. Go for high production values. There’s tons of amateur video on social media, but a professionally produced piece with high production values is always eye catching. If you’re able to go with a professional production company, do so; if you’re not, take the time to carefully capture quality footage and audio, edit it well, and create good graphics.


Shoot, Cut, and Share

While there’s a time and a place for raw, live, and unpolished footage, most of the video content that you’ll use to promote your business on social media should be planned well and executed professionally. If your social media videos aren’t getting the viewer engagement you’re after, look through our list. Doing these eight things, to the extent that you can, could make a world of difference.