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How to Make Captivating Social Media Videos

Victor Smushkevich
Victor Smushkevich

Adding video to your social media content can really help drive engagement.

The time consumers spend viewing social media video content shows no sign of slowing down. You can leverage this trend to improve business outcomes in all areas by learning how to create social media videos.

  • Video is driving engagement in practically every social media platform.

  • 60% of Americans consume video content on Facebook, the largest social network.

  • Knowing how to create social media videos can increase your ROI.

  • You can avoid one of the biggest mistakes people make when recording by planning out your video.


Video content is more popular on social media than ever, especially, on mobile devices. People watch 500 million hours or more of videos per day on YouTube and 60% of Americans watch digital videos on Facebook. Those numbers have risen in comparison to recent years. In this article, I'll provide some tips and show you how to create amazing social media videos without being tech-savvy or breaking the bank.

How to quickly create quality social media videos

Many of us assume there are huge expenses and complicated tech stuff involved whenever we think about videos. However, thanks to modern technology, practically anyone can create great videos today. Think about it. 

Most of us carry smartphones around that have high-quality video cameras and good webcams are very affordable. So the real reason video production seems difficult is that few have a process in place. Once you have a process, video creation becomes really efficient and effective.

Start creating your own social media videos by using the following proven 4-step process.

1. Generate ideas

You can generate ideas for your video in many ways. However, something that continues to work for me is to brainstorm, conduct keyword research, and spy on the competition.


Brainstorming is the process of coming up with ideas in a group setting or individually. Start brainstorming ideas by focusing on the solutions your products or services solve. For example, a barbershop can focus on hair care and cutting tips. Think about all the potential problems that your ideal customer deals with and note them.

Keyword research

This is the process of uncovering keywords or terms that consumers regularly use on search engines. Why this works for generating social media video content ideas is because people use the same terms on social networks.

Keyword research typically starts by typing in your offerings and seeing what shows up, which is fine. But you can greatly improve keyword discovery by also using the information uncovered during your brainstorming session. You can use free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Answer the Public to get started.

Competition spying

Spy on the competition for some more ideas. Identify your biggest competitors on social media and make sure each one regularly publishes videos. Then analyze the kinds of topics they publish but focus on the most successful ones. Pay attention to how much engagement each post has to determine its success level. Add any relevant topics to your keyword target list.

2. Plan your video

The next step is to plan out your video and the best way is to write a script. Your script should be used as a guide, not the be-all and end-all. That means it should be ok to say something in a different way or swap words during your video shoot. Also, a script forces you to think about the entire video and how your dialogue will progress.

3. Record your video

Any clear video recording device such as your HD webcam or smartphone should do, but get a microphone!

One of the biggest mistakes new video creators make is neglecting sound quality. A great microphone solves the issue of sound. I'd recommend grabbing something that can be close to you like a wireless microphone. These kinds of mics can be clipped onto your clothing to capture voice clearly and they’re quite affordable. Just make sure you’re enunciating your words.

4. Edit as necessary

Editing your videos accordingly can make them appear more professional. Always edit your videos as needed, especially, when starting out. In time, you’ll find that the more you create videos, the less editing will be required.

Find a user-friendly video editing application. There are plenty of easy-to-use free ones online. Here are a few suggestions to consider.

  • iMovie (Mac only)

  • Photos app (Windows 10 only)

  • Blender

  • Shortcuts

  • Lightworks

  • Openshot

Unless specified, all of the aforementioned will work with both Mac and Microsoft Windows.

Tips for success

Here are some tips to help you succeed with social media video creation.

1. Social networks have different standards

Every social network has standards for video content so make sure you look them up. For example, the time limit for an Instagram feed video is 1 minute but Twitter allows up to 140 seconds on its feed. Keep this in mind.

2. Set yourself up for high-quality recording

You don't have to break the bank but you'll need a good studio setup. I'd recommend getting a tripod for stabilizing your camera or smartphone. This will prevent your video from being shaky or crooked. Also, you should grab some decent studio lighting to improve picture quality. Go for soft studio lighting and make sure your face is going to be evenly lit during the video shoot.

Furthermore, pick a video shooting spot that isn’t noisy. Maybe a quiet room in the house or the office will work or perhaps, a quiet neighborhood walkway would do the trick.

3. Share your videos

Zero persons or very few will see your video if you don’t share it. You can do this manually or save time by using a social media sharing tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. These tools let you schedule and submit posts (video, image, and text) to multiple social media channels simultaneously. They both offer free plans that you can use to manage up to three social media accounts.

4. Leverage existing content for topic ideas

You can use existing articles, white papers, eBooks, etc. to create social media videos. Ideally, start with the most shared or viewed content and work your way to the least. To do that, take a look at your social media profiles and website analytics data to identify the most popular pages or content. You can also consider using paid tools like BuzzSumo or Social Media Animal for social engagement analysis.

Then repurpose the best performing content pieces to create social media videos. The reason this approach works is that you'll be relying on proven content topics. I'd recommend focusing your efforts on topics that cover aspects of the buyer's journey (awareness, interest, shop, and buy). Also, stick to the most relevant topics.

5. Include subtitles

More people watch videos without sound than you'd expect. In fact, 85% of Facebook users watch videos without any sound. That's why it's important to make sure anyone can understand your video by adding subtitles. Even if there's no sound in your video, I'd recommend adding some descriptive or supporting text. For example, you can add text that describes what the audience is viewing.

6. Capture attention within the first 10 seconds

The first few seconds of your social media video is critical. On social networks, you have about 10 seconds to give people a reason to pay attention. Otherwise, they'll scroll past your video in their feed. So make sure your video captures their attention within that time. 

Some great ways to hold attention are using an engaging introduction, saying something shocking, and inspiring emotion. I'm confident you can come up with more ideas so get creative about the first 10 seconds of your video.

Video is growing year-over-year in popularity partly because the content type is easy to consume. Thankfully, anyone can create captivating social media videos. You just need a process and of course, apply some or all of the tips I’ve discussed here. Figure out your topic, plan the video shoot accordingly, record, and edit the content before publishing. Don't forget to start with your existing equipment and only buy what you absolutely need. Good luck and have fun.

Image Credit: Dziggyfoto/Getty Images
Victor Smushkevich
Victor Smushkevich Member
I'm a seasoned digital marketing executive, leader and strategist with eight years experience in marketing, advertising, and design in the internet marketing industry. A natural leader with the unique ability to be a creative and strategic marketer. Proven strengths in the management, development, and execution of marketing initiatives. Influential leader and accomplished manager with an aptitude for motivating employees to be personally successful and to achieve team goals. Specialties: ? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ? Pay Per View Marketing ? Lead Generation ? Remarketing ? Project Management ? Funnel Optimization ? Strategic Planning ? Marketing Initiatives ? Team Building & Management ? Advertising Campaigns ? Creative Direction and Design ? Social Media Marketing ? Affiliate Marketing ? Media Buying ? Data Analysis & Mining ? Campaign Management ? Business Development ? Retention Programs ? Brand Building & Management ? Pay Per Call Lead Generation Industries: ? Credit Reports ? Home Improvement ? Credit Repair