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The Keys to Success with Video Content on Social Media

October 3, 2019
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In the battle between reading content vs. having it spoon-fed to us via video, the video will win every time. Human beings have attention spans comparable to those of goldfish. And with smartphones and countless other digital distractions not going anywhere anytime soon, goldfish might surpass us. We simply want our content now, and we don’t want to have to work for it.

This rings particularly true when advertising on social media. It doesn’t matter how beautifully worded a post may be. When you get your point across with a video, consumers are exponentially likelier to give it the time of day, remember it, and most importantly, make a purchasing decision fueled by their emotional response to it. Read on to learn how your company can build brand loyalty on social media, one video at a time.

Why Videos are so Effective?

What is it about video marketing that makes it so much more dynamic than its written counterpart? There are two overarching reasons:

  • The Practical Reason – Videos simply require less brainpower to consume, and give us the information we need at an immeasurably faster rate. Think of how many times you’ve heard someone say “I don’t have to read the book. I’ll just watch the movie.” As infuriating as this may be for literary enthusiasts, the logic is easy to track.

Whereas reading an entire book usually requires about a weeks’ worth of spare time and an alert brain, a movie dishes out the same information over the course of two hours while asking virtually nothing of your brain.

  • The Sensory Reason – In addition to delivering messages far more efficiently, videos possess two crucial X-factors that written content simply doesn’t have: visuals and auditory story elements. While written content only has text at its disposal, videos boast an unrivaled triumvirate of dialogue, imagery and accompanying sound. 

We’re going to remember messages we see and hear much better than messages we merely read. And as a result, we’re going to have a deeper emotional response to them.

Video Stats on Social Media

In case you need further convincing about how powerful a well-placed video on social media can be, check out these eye-popping statistics about videos on the Big 4 social media platforms:

  • Facebook – On average, videos posted to Facebook attract a total of 8 billion views per day. The organic reach of these videos is up to 135% higher than posts that only feature photos.
  • Instagram – Instagram video posts garner 38% higher viewer engagement than photo posts, and more than double the number of comments.
  • YouTube – According to YouTube reports, mobile video consumption on the platform rises 100% annually.
  • Twitter – Twitter hosts an average of 1.2 billion video views per day, a number that has doubled in the past year.

And here’s a few more stats for good measure about video’s unrivaled performance on social media in general:

  • Well over half of the global population watches at least one online video every day
  • 90% of consumers claim that an advertising video impacted their decision to purchase a product
  • Videos on social media generate 12 times more shares among users than photos and text combined
  • Websites with videos on the landing page can increase conversion rates by up to 80%
  • Including a video in an email results in an increase of up to 300% in click-through rates
  • Four out of five consumers are able to recall at least one video ad that they viewed in the past month

Make it Live

The only thing better than a video is a live one. Going live gives you a distinct advantage because:

  • Users that follow your account are notified in real-time whenever you go live, which increases your chances of the video being viewed
  • Studies show that the retention rate for live videos on social media is three times longer than that of prerecorded videos

The Keys to a Successful Video on Social Media

Just because you package a message in video form, it doesn’t guarantee that your video will resonate with consumers. There are a multitude of factors that go into a video reaching viral status, sheer luck being one of them.

There are, however, several strategies you can utilize to give your videos a better chance of attracting a mass audience, including:

Following a Formula

According to industry experts, people are most likely to engage with the following three video formats:

  • Customer Testimonials – These videos enable you to let your customers do your advertising for you by sharing their real, positive experiences with your brand. They put you in the enviable position of saying “don’t take our word for it. Listen to actual customers who love our brand.” 
  • Tutorials – If your product is one that requires multiple steps for use (makeup being a classic example), a video tutorial presents a win-win opportunity. It not only proves to your potential customers that you’re willing to give them with helpful information for free, but also serves as an effective before-and-after illustration of how well your product works.
  • Demonstrations – Like tutorials, video demonstrations of products will be appreciated by potential customers as both useful information and visual evidence that your product is great at what it does.

Shift the Focus

Too many advertisers commit the critical mistake of making their advertising campaign about the sale. In doing so, they miss a prime opportunity to introduce their brand’s story to people in a way that connects with them on a deeper level.

Consumers are done with “for just four easy payments…” videos. Your video should snatch your audience’s attention by crafting a narrative that makes them feel a distinct psychological emotion as well as the willingness to invest in where your story is going. And then you reward them with a resolution that accentuates the purpose of you telling this particular story.

A master class example of this came courtesy of a recent video ad for John Lewis, a department store in the UK. It features Elton John playing “Your Song” on the piano while reflecting on his past as a musician. His final memory is from his childhood on Christmas morning, when his mother gifts him with his first piano and he instantly falls in love. As we wipe away tears, we couldn’t care less what John Lewis’s prices are. We just want to learn more about them.

Less is More

In 1657, French mathematician Blaise Pascal famously wrote in a letter to a friend “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” Brevity should be one of the main points of emphasis in any form of storytelling. This is especially true of videos, a forum that we’re attracted to primarily because they save time.

Social media experts recommend the following time durations for videos posted on each of the Big 4 platforms:

  • Instagram: Under 30 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • YouTube: 2 minutes or less

If you think these timelines seem short, your audience’s timeline for giving you the emperor’s thumb is even quicker. Research shows that you have no more than 10 seconds to make an impression on a consumer before they decide whether to stick around or keep scrolling.

Drive SEO Value

You know the saying “if a tree falls in the forest but no one was there, did it make a sound?” The same logic applies to your videos. They don’t have any value if no one sees them.

Thus, one of your top priorities should be to drive the SEO value of your video. Or, in other words, try to find ways to get your product toward the top of the search results page when people type keywords associated with your product into Google. 

Viable strategies for improving your video’s SEO value include:

  • Carefully Craft Your Descriptions – Your video’s description is your opportunity to inform search engines what your video is about. Make sure that it’s detailed and includes keywords that consumers are likely to type in when searching for products similar to yours.
  • Same Goes for Your Meta Descriptions – Your video’s meta description, on the other hand, is your chance to tell your audience what your video is about. You should approach meta descriptions in the same way you would an elevator pitch: make it clever and concise.
  • Give Your Video a Unique Title – Think of your video title as the opening line of your pitch. Like any opening line, it should be unique and interesting, one that makes them want to hear what else you have to say. 

Let’s say there are two videos, one entitled “First Date Tips” and the other one labeled “Five Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Date.” Which one are you likelier to click on? Exactly.

  • Choose the Right Thumbnail – On Google, video results show up with an accompanying thumbnail, a still image pulled from your video. Thus, though your video title is your opening line, your thumbnail will be the first impression you make with your audience. 

Don’t waste the opportunity by letting Google choose the thumbnail for you (unless, of course, Google nails it). Use an irresistible thumbnail that best captures the story your video is trying to tell. If your video includes a snippet with a basket of puppies, get those puppies on that thumbnail!


Content is king, and video content rules overall. Follow these tips for a video advertising campaign on social media that will grab your audience’s attention and won’t let go.


1) “17 Stats and Facts Every Marketer Should Know About Video Marketing” by Mike Templeman

2) “The Importance of Video Marketing” by Irfan Ahmad

3) “Top 6 Tips for Creating a Successful Social Video” by Aryna Kharytonenka

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