Today, and for the foreseeable future, social media marketing is and will be the most vital method to help your business promote its products and services. About 86% of advertisers choose social media as their prime platform to advertise their products and services to customers. If you figure out the right techniques and methods to showcase your products on social media, it is more likely that your business will only see upward momentum thereafter. This way, the customers will get a clearer idea about your products and services and may eventually choose to invest in them.
The more valuable content you produce, the more likely you are to drive traffic to your account and thus, more revenue. Don’t you think it’s worth developing a solid social media video strategy to grow your business exponentially? If you’re optimistic, keep reading further to learn how to create the type of videos that will captivate audiences and increase sales.
Types of Social Media Content
Before we get into the techniques to shoot social media videos, it is imperative to understand the different content you can create across your social media accounts.
● Stories–It is a typical collection of short videos or images, with optional effects and overlays, which you can add, but those disappear after 24 hours. Viewers view the stories in sequence, either manually moving to the next, or waiting for the programmed delay between the stories.
● Short-Form Video–These are specifically popular on Instagram (Reels) and TikTok. These can range anywhere between 5 seconds to a minute and can reach a wide audience.
● Long-Form Videos–These videos are usually longer than a minute and you can share them across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
Let’s move on to the techniques to shoot engaging social media videos
1. Start with a Good Plan
You must create a plan or strategy before shooting any video. Trying to shoot a video without one can be counterproductive and waste time and money. A solid plan will help you build a strong organic online presence and will help you plan future posts well in advance, thus ensuring the first rule of social media consistency is met.
Another benefit of creating and executing a strategy is that it will help you save a good amount of time, thus eliminating the hassle of staring at a blank screen wondering what to post next. Developing a strategy around your goals will help you in holding yourself accountable to your initial vision.
2. Create High-Quality Video Footage
Videos that are not of a high enough quality will discourage potential customers from viewing the videos in their entirety. Creating high-quality content using high quality equipment will not only boost your brand’s authenticity, it will also increase brand visibility. Instagram recently stated in their official press release that their Reels algorithm will automatically deprioritize videos with average or low resolution. If you don’t have the best video camera, you can create high-quality content by keeping a few things in mind, such as making sure you are using multiple flattering angles and using techniques such as a dolly shot to get a more professional looking video.
3. Add Production Value
A good rule of thumb is to set aside at least some time and budget for color grading and sound design. Nothing is worse than completing a video shoot and realizing you don’t have any budget left to get the video color graded or to add custom sound effects and music. Your video can be very short—up to just a few seconds, but if it has excellent sound design, graphics, and color grading, you can generate a large volume of sales leads and customers. Also, make sure you have a clear microphone when your video includes people speaking or voiceovers. If not, use a sound mixing tool at the end to make sure the voices are clear.
Now equally important is the color grading. Canon cameras allow you to film with C-log, which lets you perform color grading customizations to make eye-catching images. If you can’t utilize a Canon camera, software like Adobe Lightroom will allow you to complete modest color grading to improve your video.
4. Create with all Social Media Aspect Ratios in Mind
When creating videos for social media, you must be specific and mindful of the fact that you’re creating content for different platforms, each with different aspect ratios. Most early video filmed for TV commercials is in classical cinema-format at a ratio of 16:9 which makes it tough to crop video across all platforms. With the advances in technology, your best bet is to shoot with a camera that has 4k capability so you can crop video to all social media platform specifications.
5. Consider Filming with a DSLR Camera
A DSLR camera is likely going to be the most affordable and best option to shoot a professional video. When you’re working on a budget with a small team it can be difficult to focus on the lighting and the subject, but a DSLR has features such as autofocus which will improve the quality of the video on its own so you can put your attention to the content itself. Depending on the video you are shooting you can also add an affordable lens to increase the quality of your shots.
6. Use an Ample Amount of Light
Your video might meet all the other requirements, but it may look amateurish if it doesn’t meet minimum lighting standards. Sunlight is one of the best sources of light for any video. If you’re going to film in natural light, do so during the morning or evening, times when the daylight is bright but not at its peak. Midday lighting coming straight from overhead will most likely cast shadows on the objects you are filming, which will not yield fruitful results. Whereas the morning and evening lights are more flattering. If you are limited on time and must still shoot midday, consider shooting on a cloudy day or finding a comparatively shady area to shoot.
If you’re shooting indoors, avoid overhead lighting as it casts an unflattering shadow on the subject. You can use a couple of large lamps to cast the right type of light with the required intensity. For business or marketing videos, it is important to avoid shadows.
To use flat light in the video, balance the two light sources by placing them in front of the camera or behind it. Consider placing the light sources symmetrically, as this nullifies the shadows.
7. Choose an Attractive Background
Having an attractive background always works better than a distracting or messy background. Using a solid-colored backdrop is the way to go for a professional, well-produced video. Also, it is vital to shoot the videos in a professional space, for example, the place where you usually work. Eliminate any reflective objects in the background and entertain using a green screen and green screen lighting so you can digitally impose a multitude of backdrops just in case you don’t like how one turns out.
8. The First Few Seconds Matter Most
Your video’s first few seconds are critical. If they are not interesting to your audience, they will not view any further. Start your video highlighting pain points or include thought-provoking questions. Make sure your brand logo, tagline, and the service you’re offering, along with powerful visuals and powerful hooks are included. This way, you can increase the curiosity of your viewers and get them to watch the complete video. This will eventually convert the viewers into prospects if your services are a good fit. Figure out the elements needed in the video well in advance to avoid any kind of rework.
If you keep in mind the ‘rule of thirds’, whenever shooting a video you will shoot a great video. As an example, take a frame from your film and divide that shot into nine sections using two horizontal and vertical lines each. Now place your primary subject on the left intersection point. This is a proven technique to attract the viewer’s attention towards the principal subject as the viewers focus more on the anchor point at the top left. People are prone to making mistakes, and the probability of your first take coming out perfect is not likely. Therefore, take multiple shots, even if the first version comes out good to be safe and eliminate reshoots. Also, don’t overdo your video with effects and transitions—rather a simple cross-fade transition between the frames and topics is ideal.
Hopefully this article has provided some valuable tips and insights about the pitfalls to avoid when shooting social media videos and some solutions to overcome them.