Everyone wants to invest in video content. And for good reason: people really like to watch videos.
Nowhere is this more prevalent than on social media. Open your feed on any social platform, and you’ll find a barrage of videos. The medium clearly works.
But there’s a graveyard of brands who have tried to create video content and failed. Instead of an avalanche of likes, they could only earn a few likes from friends and family. Why? Because they lacked a cohesive strategy.
Lucky for you, there are tried and true methods for creating videos that people will engage with and share. You want that because that’s how you increase your audience on social media.
Here are five tips for creating videos that grow your social media audience.
1. Put a Real-Life Human on Camera
It’s a recorded, scientific fact: people like watching other people. That’s why, despite the popularity of animated features, the vast majority of films contain living, breathing actors.
The same goes for popular social media videos. If there’s an engaging person on-screen, people are more apt to watch.
IGN’s The Daily Fix series pulls in tens of thousands of views each day on Instagram. In each episode, the show’s host covers the gaming industry’s top headlines. Pretty standard stuff.
At first glance, you might assume people watch the video primarily for the news. To some extent that’s true, but the vast majority of the comments are not about the content of the video, but instead about the host, Sydnee Goodman.
People surely enjoy the faux news style approach of the content, but the Daily Fix wouldn’t be nearly as successful if the videos didn’t include an engaging person on camera.
2. Share Nuggets of Wisdom
Soundstripe’s most successful video ever on Instagram was a short clip about an under-used cinematography technique called undercranking. To date, this post has earned north of 70,000 views, which is miles above what our normal stuff does.
Why did this particular video work so well? The production value surely played a part, but the more likely explanation is because this content quickly and compellingly teaches the audience something.
Making at least some percentage of your videos educational is a sound strategy because people love to learn new things as long as they don’t have to work that hard.
If you want to grow your audience on social media through video content, making short educational videos is an excellent way to get more followers.
3. Always Include a Hook
People don’t often go to social media with an agenda. In essence, the feed is a collection of algorithmically curated content that people scroll through, hoping something piques their interest.
To put it frankly, the competition is stiff and overwhelming. When someone clicks on your video, you need to come out guns blazing. Practically speaking, that means front-loading your videos with the content that’s most interesting to your audience.
In the first 15 seconds of each video, you need to explain what you’re talking about and why it matters. Sometimes this means asking a question. Other times it means jumping straight into the topic without any context. And still, other times it means setting up a problem and promising to provide an answer.
Creating good hooks isn’t easy, but if you can master it, it can skyrocket how many people watch your videos until the end. And that’s a really good thing in the statistical eyes of every social media platform’s algorithm.
4. Keep It Short
As we covered in the previous point, that’s not the case with social media. Users are flying through a variety of content options at full tilt, just waiting for something to hold their attention — but not for too long.
Keeping social media videos short is an important part of making them sharable, and thereby growing your audience. When social videos are brief, they provide (nearly) instant gratification.
And when your audience experiences that gratification, they’ll want to share it with others, because it will make the original viewer look smart — or cool, or informed, or whatever.
So if you want your videos to get shared, keep them short and sweet.
5. Keep Your Sound Design Tight
Everyone always thinks making a good video requires Hollywood-grade visuals. The opposite is true. TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are flooded with medium-to-low quality visual content.
And yet a lot of that content still goes viral.
This happens for several reasons, but one of the most important is these videos don’t sound bad. Sound quality is actually a bigger indicator of overall video quality than the visuals.
People will forgive if the clarity isn’t that sharp or the setting looks a little low rent. But they can’t abide by a video that sounds terrible, because then they can’t divine what’s going on.
So if you focus on anything, focus on the sound design. That’s what people respond to, even if they don’t know it.
If you want to grow your audience on social media, investing in video content is an excellent idea. But you need a fleshed-out content strategy or you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
Take stock of what your competition is doing, and develop an understanding of what your audience actually wants. Then try to create some short, compelling content that follows the guidelines above.
If you can manage that, you’ll be well on your way to growing your social media audience.