Whether you’re trying to tell a story, share a vision, raise brand awareness, teach people something, or sell a product (or a combination of the above), video can be the most effective medium for getting your message across. But considering how much content is being created these days, there’s a lot more that goes into getting your video seen than just putting it online. Your work can also be marketed and edited into bite-sized, easy-to-consume pieces — and the best place for those is on social media. Follow these steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of your content.
1. Choose Your Video Style
The first thing you need to figure out is what your end goal is. If you want to send people to watch the full version of your video, you should create a teaser or trailer that compels the viewer to seek out the full piece. If your goal is to get people to engage with your product or raise brand awareness, then something like a standalone video in the spirit of your larger piece could be what you’re looking for. Demonstrations or tutorial videos can be broken down by step into small chunks that can then be watched in order.
Here’s a teaser video we made for our tutorial on how to create a hyperlapse:
For any of these styles, you should always include a call to action. Send viewers to your YouTube channel, your product page, or other social channels that allow them to see the rest of your work or learn more about your brand.
Find the most eye-catching, interesting, and important sections or segments of your video and cut those together — choose whatever is most visually appealing. If these sections fit within the guidelines of the social platform you’re planning to post to after this first round of cuts, then move on to the next step. If not, try and re-work your best bits into the most cohesive and interesting story that compels people to watch the full video.
The simplest approach may actually be the best one, so you may even consider just grabbing the most powerful section of your video and publishing it, unedited. For instance, if you’re doing a film essay on match cuts, you can just take one epic match cut (like the one below from Game of Thrones) and then point people to your essay.
And remember, sometimes less is more. Just because you have a certain time limit doesn’t mean you need to take up the entire duration. The best ten seconds of your footage may be drastically more interesting than 30 seconds, and can lead to more conversions and engagement.
2. Add Titles and Effects
The quickest way to get people to watch your social video is to add captions, subtitles, or other text that explains what’s happening in the video. Much of the content on social media is viewed without sound, so put some titles on your video first.
Another way to spruce up your video is by adding visual effects. These can be as simple as screen transitions, accents, and other 2D elements that add energy, or they can be full motion graphics templates that help present your video in an entirely new and unique form.
And for those viewers who are watching with sound, it can drastically improve your video quality to add some music and sound effects to your piece.
The great thing is that all these things are available from Pond5. You can easily download title templates, 2D elements, motion graphics, music, sound effects, and additional footage to put right in your projects for a fraction of the cost and time it would take to create them yourself.
This is just a basic timelapse of ramen I found on Pond5, then added text and lighting that are available for free within Adobe Premiere Pro:
3. Create Different Formats
After selecting a style, it’s time to get into the more technical aspects of repurposing your content. Because different social platforms have different visual styles, technical specs, and even tones, you’ll probably need to make several versions of your shorter videos. Here’s a very basic list of formats you can start with:
– Timed versions: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 1 minute
– Versions without any dialogue or voiceover (can be replaced with music)
– Vertical aspect ratio versions (4×5, 9×16)
– Square aspect ratio versions (1×1)
– GIF animations
– Slideshows using still frames
This may seem like a lot, but many of these aspects are applied together. You can make a 15 second GIF with a 4×5 aspect ratio and be done with it, for example. So experiment with each project and see what gets you the most return on your work.
4. Map Out Your Promotion Strategy
Thanks to all your hard work, you’re now ready to publish your new cutdowns/teasers to your selected channels. But first, it may work best for you to create an organized schedule so you know exactly what is going where and when.
A schedule also allows you to see how the publishing time affects a video’s performance, so you can start to understand your audience’s viewing habits better. If a certain publish time isn’t working the way you want it to, change it and see how it goes. If one social media platform isn’t getting that much traction, you might be able to drop it from your workflow and spend that time on another channel instead.
Depending on your objective, investing in boosted posts on Facebook is another good way to get more video views and drive directly to your full-length content. You can also link out directly from the video when it’s boosted, which is not an option for standard posts — for those, you have put a link in the post copy instead. Spend as little or as much as you want to boost a post; it’s a good idea to start out with a small investment and monitor the performance, then adjust accordingly. You can target audiences based on demographics and interests to make sure your content is seen by people who will really be interested in it, and a Facebook ad can also run simultaneously on Instagram if you want to test multiple platforms.
Remember to always be open to new ideas about how you create, publish, and repurpose your content. A more methodical and deliberate approach can work wonders in the end.
After trying these methods for a while, you may realize that working your social strategy into your production process right from the beginning can be a huge benefit — so always be thinking about how certain aspects of your production can be utilized for social channels, too. Whether it’s candid, behind-the-scenes moments caught on camera, a scene that was cut for time, or even simple outtakes, these can all be turned into shareable social clips that help viewers connect with you and your story.
Have questions about this article or tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Top image: Still from Group Of Friends Looking at a Phone Together and Laughing by icsnaps