How To Create Engaging Videos For Social Media (For Free!)

If you’re not creating videos for your social media channels, you’re missing out on engaging a huge portion of your audience.

There are heaps of stats backing up the success of using videos on social. It’s one of the most engaging medium types of Facebook, creating higher organic reach. If you use video in an email newsletter, you get 45% higher conversions. And video is now 50% of all mobile traffic.

You might be thinking that it’s too difficult or too expensive for your company to create online videos, but it’s not the case. Here’re a few cheats to help make it easier – and cheaper to get your brand using online videos.

How to create awesome online videos

The golden rules of online video

The things you need to keep in mind with online video is that you need to create a short piece content for your audience, with a killer headline, and an ace thumbnail. The rules in the posts around Youtube optimisation apply here – make sure your headline has a hook and is SEO optimised, and your thumbnail looks good big and small.Related: The Essential Tips for YouTube Optimization That You Need to Know

The rules in the posts around Youtube optimisation apply here – make sure your headline has a hook and is SEO optimised, and your thumbnail looks good big and small.

Related Post: The Essential Tips for YouTube Optimization That You Need to Know

What will your video be about?

In terms of content, you want to create something for your audience. It doesn’t need to be a lecture or someone speaking to the camera, or an elaborate comedy skit: just something that your audience finds engaging.

If you’re a hardware store, create quick and easy hardware in 30-second videos. If you work in news or entertainment, you could create short news bites about the latest trends in your industry. You could create a video which is five facts about a celebrity or industry leader in your field.

Keep in mind the attention rates of online videos: you want your videos to be under three minutes (depending on the kind of video you’re making), and you ideally want to hook people in the first seven seconds.

However, as Buzzfeed has popularised, the 20 and 30-second video is the perfect size for short online videos, so keep in mind when you’re creating your videos.

For their audience? Nailed it.

 

Pretty as a picture

There are a few ways you can create online videos – irrespective of the method; you will need to keep in mind what images you’re using.

One of the popular techniques is creating a slideshow of images to music. This can be done by loading each image into video editing software like iTunes, Microsoft Movie Maker, YouTube Video Editor or even Powerpoint and exporting to video.

Even if you’re creating a video which is mostly video content, it’s important to consider imagery because it’s likely you’ll want an opening or closing slide, if not a thumbnail.

If you’re after free, creative commons images (which look awesome), check out my blog post outlining where to find these. Throw these in Canva using the YouTube Thumbnail setting to create well-designed images for your title slides.

Related Post: The Essential Free Graphic Design Resources for Social Media Managers

Sound it out loud

Many videos have a soundtrack associated with them, but not all do. If you’re looking to add a soundtrack, I’d recommend checking out newgrounds.com or freesound.org.

If you’re just after an image-based slideshow, YouTube editor is great for this and provides a creative commons music library which you can choose from.

A rocky soundtrack can jazz up a news update:

 

Play it for me

If you don’t have access to a video camera or you’re not confident that you’re able to get the shots you want, there are also creative commons libraries for stock videos. There are plenty of sites from which to choose.

Pexels Video is a great starting point, in addition to this rundown of video libraries (but check that each of these are creative commons before using). If you’ve got a budget, check out the likes of Getty Images or Shutterstock. You can get a rundown of what more paid options are here.

Throw it together

Most computers have some video editing software already. Microsoft Movie Maker on a PC and iMovie on a Mac.

If you want an cloud-based video editor, services like Wideo.com provide a cloud-based editing option on a subscription basis.

YouTube also has a basic editor but is pretty limited in terms of what it can let you do, especially if you want to add your own sound track. For basic editing of your youtube videos or uploading images, it works great.

However, if this all sounds a bit too hard, there’s also some pretty neat services like Biteable, which create very cute animated videos which are incredibly flexible. Similar to Canva, you can choose templates – either animated or stock footage – and completely customise them. To remove the watermark, Biteable has a $99 USD subscription – which isn’t too bigger investment for the awesome quality of their videos.

UPDATE: Facebook now has a ‘Create A Slideshow’ option under it’s ‘Add Photo/Video’ menu. If you upload a series of photos, they will turn that into a short video scrolling through each image. There is no sound; but it is a quick and easy to create a video if you’re looking for an easier option.

So, go out into the world and create videos!


About Rachel Beaney

Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.