March 7, 2024
4 Mins to Read

The do’s and don’ts of creating engaging social media video content

The do’s and don’ts of creating engaging social media video content

There's no doubt that video content is one of the most powerful tools on social media. Data from Instagram found that 91% of active Instagram users say they watch videos on the platform every week. Google found that 59% of Gen Z use short-form video apps for discovery, and Statista reported social video advertising is expected to continue to grow by the billions year-over-year.

But video content is also the most challenging and time-consuming to produce. Not only do you have to come up with a concept, but you also need to film, edit, and post your video. Plus, have a strong social media presence to help promote it.

Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there to help streamline and simplify video content production. Here are a few tips for getting your video content marketing strategy up and running.

1. You don't need an expensive production company

While professional video production companies can create high-quality content, not every video needs to have that level of quality. These days, modern mobile phones are capable of capturing high-resolution footage, making it easy for even the most novice of video producers to create content on their own.

If you are wanting more wiggle room in your budget to help with video production, read "The real cost of social media marketing and how to secure more budget".

Today's audiences are also prioritizing authenticity more than ever before. In fact, a report from Stackla found that 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support. Mobile video content produced in-house can capture a level of authenticity and intimacy that is often hard to achieve through expensively produced content. Not to mention, "in the moment" content captures attention more effectively than a highly produced video set.

This is very important to keep in mind when experimenting with AI-generated video - so tread carefully. There are many exciting things happening around AI and it's making the impossible suddenly possible at a low cost. Just be sure to keep your audience's best interest and your business goals at the centre of all your decisions. 

2. You don't have to film video content

This may come as a surprise to many, but you don't need to shoot video content to produce compelling videos for your business. Simple tactics like using audio to create video content from photos can be powerful and effective. Animating the photos to the beat of the music can take some time to master, but it is absolutely worth it!


Motion graphics and cinemagraphs can also allow you to create visually stunning videos that can be used on social media, websites, and more. They also provide a unique opportunity to bring a story to life or explain complex concepts in a creative way. Similarly, if you don't have a product or topic that would work on camera, or you're uncomfortable putting someone in front of the camera, motion graphics can help.

3. Less is often more

Not all of your videos need to be 30 to 60 seconds long. If a video is too long, it can often lose its point and become difficult for the viewer to finish. Video content has the potential to leave a lasting impression on viewers, so focus on making sure that your message is clear and concise.

Consider creating shorter, succinct clips that are 10 seconds or less. You can use these as background for a static text message or add music to create engaging video content. Video loops and slow-motion effects can also help you extend the length of your video, without needing extra footage. Note that using video editing skills to disguise the loop or make it obvious can be beneficial.

4. Start with strategy

Before you start filming any video content, you should have a clear digital strategy in place. Video content should align with your organization’s overall marketing strategy, so think carefully about what message you want to convey and where you want your video to be seen. Every video should contain an element of education or entertainment and must provide value to viewers. You should also make sure all video content is tailored for each placement or platform (like ads vs. feed posts vs. Stories).

Once you know the desired message and placements, create a list of posts and platforms where you want to use the footage. Video content can be used all over the place, not just on social media. Repurpose it for your website, email marketing campaigns, and online ads.

When creating video content, be sure to utilize it for both organic and paid social media advertising. Begin by testing your edited footage with your followers first; if you get good results, refine the post slightly (adding a clear call-to-action or adjusting its length) and use it for paid promotion, as well.

cart with social icons

5. Follow the right format

Short videos that do well usually follow a specific format that makes people want to watch them. There are three steps:

  • First, you need a hook, which is a phrase or action that gets people's attention right away.

  • Second, you need to make people curious, so they keep watching because they want to see what happens next.

  • Third, you want to make the video replayable so people will watch it more than once.

As well, take into consideration what your audience wants to see on particular platforms. People use TikTok primarily for funny and entertaining content, and Instagram for sharing more curated photos and videos, while platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn skew more toward educational and professional content. Any video content you create should be tailored to the platform you're using and its associated audience.

More tips for social media video content marketing

Video content marketing doesn't have to be hard. By following these tips, you can create short videos that are highly engaging and shareable.

  • Video ads should hook users in the first 3 seconds by calling out a problem, solution, or outcome/benefit your consumers are looking for.

  • The subject of your video content should target a topic your audience cares about. At least, if you want to keep their attention.

  • Videos should include sound. This could be a voice-over, background music, and even sound effects to keep users engaged for longer so that retention rates remain high.

  • Videos should also include closed captions if a voice-over is included. It increases accessibility and also helps boost retention rate (watch time) as humans naturally read words popping up on a screen.

  • Videos should include a clear and direct call to action at the end of the video (e.g. “Shop now”), and another call to action (if it naturally fits/don’t force it) around 50% through the video (this can be a softer call to action such as “explore our collection”).

Continue to learn more about social media videos by reading: TikTok vs Instagram Reels: Can the same content be successful on both platforms?

Kate Zinggl, Manager, Social in Creative & Strategy

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