In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Lemonlight is featured as one of the Top Video Production Companies in the United States. Check out their profile here.

Social media is all about video. By now, you’ve probably noticed your social feeds are dominated by video content – whether it’s funny, viral content, branded short films, commercials, or tutorials – you name it! That’s because video is one of the most engaging types of content you can interact with.

By 2021, 80 percent of the world’s internet traffic will be video. Are you creating enough video content to meet the demand? If you aren’t posting video on all your company’s social pages, you need to start. Luckily, we’ve got a few tips you can use to create engaging, compelling video content your users will love.

Shoot and Size Your Video Correctly.

Not so long ago, you’d be a laughing stock if you posted a video shot vertically. Video was optimized when its orientation was horizontal, since that was the only way video players came. But now, thanks in large part to platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, vertical video is here to stay.

When you shoot your video, make sure you keep the size and orientation of your platform in mind. Shoot in the correct dimensions and, if you plan on publishing a video in more than one platform, be sure to optimize for proper editing so nothing crucial is cut off.

For Facebook, keep your video at a 1:1 square ratio or a 9:16 vertical ratio. Instagram video ads typically maintain a 1:1 square ratio or 1.9:1 ratio (landscape). LinkedIn video can be either horizontal or vertical, 1:2.4 or 2.4:1.

Cheryl Saban Designs – Social Media B Edit 1 from Lemonlight on Vimeo.

Keep Your Videos Short

People decide whether or not to keep watching a video in the first eight seconds. That’s why it’s crucial to grab your viewer’s attention quickly. Most online brand videos should be less than a minute long, ideally around 30 seconds, but you want to pack your most engaging and captivating shots in the first few seconds. You want to make sure your video can stop a viewer in their tracks and keep them from scrolling past.

SansaZao // Social Media Video from Lemonlight on Vimeo.

Use Professional Equipment When Possible

Here’s the cold, hard truth. Video you shoot on your phone is not going to look as good as video you shoot on a professional camera. As good as the newest phone cameras are, they’re no match for the power of a DSLR. Your phone will work in a pinch, but professional cameras will lead to higher quality video and external mics lead to better, clearer sound.

But, if you don’t have professional equipment, don’t let that stop you from creating killer video. Instead, work around the quality. If you’re shooting on your phone, make sure the content of your video is casual and not overly focused on the visual elements.

Bonus tip: Use a Tripod When Possible

For still shots, a tripod is a necessity. If you don’t have one, placing your camera on a tabletop, stack of books, or ledge – anything steady – can work. This prevents hand shakiness. But do it with intent; if your video is supposed to capture authentic, first-person perspective, pick up the camera and film!

Create Videos That Work Without Sound

As much as 85 percent of video on Facebook is watched in silence. When people scroll, they see video without audio and have to click or tap to unmute it. That’s why you should make sure your video’s visuals are captivating in their own right. If your video’s audio is important, make sure to include captions.

1st Family Dental Social Media C // Lemonlight Media from Lemonlight on Vimeo.

Film With Good Natural Lighting

Lighting, second only to your camera’s quality, is going to have a major impact on how your brand video looks. Camera lenses perceive light very differently than our eyes do, so you want to be extra careful to light your scene appropriately. Natural light is your best bet, but if you’re shooting indoors or in a windowless environment, you’ll want set lights to balance out the darkness of your environment. Set lights are also much more controllable than natural light, which can be volatile and quickly changing.

Look into renting your lighting equipment, or purchasing cheaper clamp lights, which can be diffused on a white wall or ceiling. Keep an eye out for glare, harsh shadows, and flat depth of field.

Maintain a Video Content Balance

It’s important to promote all your video content, including your commercials, product videos, promos, and more, but social video should also be spontaneous and genuine. After all, social platforms are where users go to socialize. You don’t want to post just product videos that’ll turn your audience off. If you’re always pushing for a sale, your audience won’t engage with your content.

Make sure you make videos that also speak to the fun and social side of social media. Try posting interviews, Q&As, live demonstrations, and more. Use your social videos to personify your brand and show its human side.

Closer is Better

Most video views happen on a small screen. More than 75 percent of worldwide video viewing happens on mobile, so make sure your video is recording close to your focal point, whether it’s a person or an object, to capture the action. Don’t use wide shots with a lot of unused space unless that’s important to your video’s message or your branding.

While you’re at it, make sure you avoid zooming in on your video at all costs. If you need a closer shot, it helps to physically get closer. Zooming on your camera ruins the quality and causes a strange viewer experience. Plus, getting physically closer to the thing you’re trying to capture means you’ll also get better audio.

Modique Social Media #4 // Lemonlight from Lemonlight on Vimeo.

Don’t Forget the Copy

Yes, this is video. But your video should still include killer headline and description copy on every platform. Though your video’s visuals should be what make your video stand out from the rest, your title and description tell your viewer exactly what they’re watching in a quick and clear way.

Plus, this copy plays an important role in SEO – Facebook’s algorithms, for instance, know what your video is about based on its title and description.

Research Your Audience Before You Post Your Video

OK, so this is a less technical and more strategic tip, but it’s important nonetheless! Just like brands have different audiences, every platform has an audience that behaves differently, so make sure you know what your audience wants to see on your chosen platform. Research their interests, their demographics, their lifestyle, and more. This will help you figure out not only the content of your video, but its length and style.

For instance, the LinkedIn audience wants to see content focused on professional development. They’re willing to invest more time in a higher quality video. Instagram viewers, on the other hand, are quick scrollers that aren’t willing to invest more than a few seconds in a video. And, because they skew younger, they’re more interested in pop culture and trendy fads – you have to work a little harder to catch their attention. Keep this in mind before you decide to post the same exact video on all your social pages.

Remember, social media should be fun and engaging. You should dedicate plenty of time to making your social videos engaging to your target audience. While that does mean conducting the right amount of research, you should also have fun planning and shooting your content. This content will help make your brand more memorable, keeping it top of mind when your users suddenly need the product or service your company offers.

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Hope Horner
Founder, CEO at | More Posts

Hope Horner is a three-time entrepreneur that has been featured in Inc.'s Top 25 Entrepreneurs to watch in 2017, Entrepreneur's 11 Marketing Experts that Could Changes Your Business, and Pepperdine’s 40 Under 40. Horner is a regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc. and multiple other publications where she shares startup insights and scalable solutions. She is currently working on her third startup, Lemonlight, an LA-based business that produces and distributes branded video content at scale.