Part 1 – Facebook and Instagram
How many social media videos do you watch each day? Video content has taken over social media, and today it is rare to scroll through your feed without seeing any videos. Individuals rely on the visual clips for entertainment, engagement and information. In fact, half of social media users prefer video over other types of content and 85% of consumers want to see more videos from brands, according to Sprout Social.
Video is powerful, and it transcends a range of different audience demographics. Businesses looking to engage and appeal to their target audiences should consider implementing video marketing into their social media strategy as well as gaining an understanding of how to maximize video content across the various social media channels.
To dig deeper into this topic and get tips on the types of video content that perform best on Facebook and Instagram, keep reading. Then, be sure to stay tuned for part two of this blog series which will focus on optimizing video content for LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube!
Did you know there are more than four billion video views on Facebook daily? From native videos to Lives and Stories and Reels, Facebook is one of the top social media platforms for video marketing campaigns. With so many videos on this social media channel, it is important brands understand which content performs well and best practices for posting videos that stand out. Let’s start by digging deeper into the different video options available on Facebook!
Facebook native videos are visual clips that are uploaded to or recorded on the social media platform. These videos will appear on your business page as well as on your followers’ newsfeeds. Facebook’s algorithm prefers native content versus shared video links (e.g., YouTube and Vimeo), so posting original content directly to the platform whenever possible is recommended.
On Facebook, videos can be either long or short based on your organization’s content, goals and target audience. Facebook recommends using videos that are three minutes or longer for story-based content. On the other hand, videos that are under one-minute-long work best for ads, announcements, teasers and related applications. No matter the length of your brand’s Facebook video, it is important to ensure all elements are actual video. Ideally, brands should try to avoid using repetitive or looping footage as well as still images whenever possible.
As a business, it is important the video content you post to Facebook is strategic and authentic. Remaining true to your brand voice, values and sharing original content tailored to your audiences will be most effective. A few potential applications could include:
- Important Company Updates & Announcements
- New Product & Service Teasers
- Special Event Recaps
- Giveaways & Contests
- Behind-the-Scenes Content (e.g., Employee Spotlights, Showcase New Equipment/Machinery, etc.)
When sharing native videos on Facebook, do not forget to pair the visual content with the right post copy. Ensure the copy that will appear with the video is engaging, informative and includes a call to action so it is clear to viewers the steps they should take after watching the video (e.g., visit your website, contact your team, make a purchase, etc.).
This Facebook video sharing option allows brands to stream content and respond to questions and comments their target audience may have in real time. Businesses are encouraged to utilize Facebook Lives for long-form content because the longer you live stream, the more viewers you will receive as they become aware of your live event and tune in. Facebook Lives can last up to eight hours, but as with nearly all social efforts quality should match quantity. Good, engaging content trumps trying to achieve a target length.
Facebook Lives can be very impactful and receive on average three times more engagement than uploaded (native) videos. Following the completion of a live streamed video, the content is posted to your business page so followers can rewatch the video at any time. A few potential content ideas for Facebook Lives could include:
- Q&A Sessions
- New Product Reveals
- Discussions of Relevant Industry Insights
- Breaking Company News
- Office/Shop/Jobsite Tours
- Host a Contest or Play a Game
In addition to making sure you are set up to successfully broadcast live with a stable internet connection, the right lighting and more, businesses should consider a strategic pre-promotion. Letting your followers know in advance when you will be going Live and why they should tune in can help boost the number of viewers and engagement.
Interested in learning more about Facebook Lives? Check out these tips and tricks shared by Facebook.
Looking to share candid content? Facebook Stories may be the right fit! The full-screen, short-form videos give users the opportunity to be creative with their content by including customizable overlays, music and more. According to Facebook, Stories are a great option for businesses looking to visually share authentic, real moments with their followers. One unique feature of Facebook Stories compared to native and Live videos is that they can only be up to 20 seconds long and will disappear from the platform after 24 hours. Stories can be found in the carousel above the newsfeed on a user’s Facebook home page.
Businesses interested in creating Facebook Stories could consider a few of the following applications:
- Important Company News
- Event or Special Reminders
- Ask For Your Followers’ Thoughts/Opinions (e.g., Customizable Polls)
- Share Customer Testimonials
- Share Your Opinion/Ask for Feedback on Trending Industry Topics
- Fun, Behind-the-Scenes Team Bonding
Remember that Facebook Stories (and Reels) are vertical, so when recording content, be sure to film vertically. For additional creative best practices, click here.
Similar to Facebook Stories, Reels are also short-form videos that can be up to 60 seconds long. A Reel is created using one or more video clips that includes special effects, music and other engaging elements. Facebook Reels can be shared publicly (unlike Stories) and are often recommended to users based on what is relevant to them (e.g., the accounts they follow, interests, etc.). A few potential applications for Facebook Reels could include:
- Fun Facts About Your Company & Team
- How-To Clips (e.g., Operate a Piece of Machinery, Create Artwork, etc.)
- Awards & Achievements
- Work Progress (e.g., Weekly Updates from a Jobsite)
- Highlight Special Events & Team Bonding Activities
For more information on creating and managing Reels, visit Facebook’s Help Center.
It is important brands understand the impact video can have on Facebook. The social media platform beats out TikTok for short-form video with 60.8% of user share. YouTube claims the tops spot (77.9%) and TikTok comes in third (53.9%), according to Hootsuite.
Interested in creating noteworthy video content for Facebook that aligns with your brand messaging and marketing goals? Reach out to our team of digital marketing professionals today to learn how we can support the process.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and therefore has similar video formats for users to choose from – Instagram Videos, Lives, Stories and Reels. While Instagram is best-known as a photo-sharing social media channel, video content is rising in popularity. Today, 91% of Instagram users watch videos on a weekly basis, according to Hootsuite, which means businesses can use this channel to reach their intended target audiences with their key messaging. Let’s dig into each format a bit further to determine which is right for your brand.
Instagram Videos (previously referred to as IGTV) allow users to post up to 60 second videos natively to their feeds. Like still images, Instagram Videos can be uploaded by either recording the content on your mobile device or uploading the video from your photo library. Brands can add a location, tag other accounts and engage with their followers in the comments section to increase visibility and extend the reach of their efforts. Instagram Videos will appear both on your newsfeed and on your profile page, for followers to see. When considering content ideas for native Instagram Videos, a few potential applications could include:
- Tell a Story (e.g., Company History, Unique Project, Positive Client Experience, etc.)
- Casually Discuss Timely Industry Topics (e.g., How to Set Up an Art Exhibit, How to Winterize Tools and Machinery, etc.)
- Timelapse Videos of Projects
- User-Generated Content
Like Facebook videos, businesses should consider the post copy and calls to action that are paired with each video. Developing engaging, informative and action-driven copy can help increase the effectiveness of your videos. Additionally, since Instagram only allows for one link in the bio section of profiles, GRIT recommends exploring platforms like Linktree, which allow you to share multiple links in support of your content goals.
Similar to Facebook Lives, Instagram Lives give brands the opportunity to connect with their followers in real time through video streams that can last up to four hours. When an account goes Live, their profile picture will include a special icon and appear in the top Stories bar, so followers know to tune in. Once the session is complete, the content can be shared for 30 days before it is deleted.
Brands who create Instagram Lives can utilize several beneficial features such as Live Shopping, which allows businesses to tag their products in the video so users can shop online. Additionally, verified nonprofit accounts on Instagram can use donation buttons to raise funds for their organization during Lives.
A few potential content ideas for Lives could include:
- Ask Me Anything (AMA) With Customers
- Collaborations with Industry Influencers
- Share Your Reaction to Industry Trends
- Host a Workshop or Class
- Spotlight Products & Services
For more tips and tricks on how to utilize Instagram Lives for your business, click here.
Instagram Stories are 15-second videos that expire after 24 hours. They are meant to be shared with a close group of followers (or those who have a significant interest in your business) and appear at the top of each user’s feed. In fact, Stories have an 86% completion rate on Instagram, which means individuals are less likely to skip the video content on this platform, according to Hootsuite. Businesses looking to create an Instagram Story can either record a video on their mobile device or upload content from their photo library. Stories allow users to add filters, emojis, direct links and more. In fact, Instagram Stories are one of the only places on the social media channel that allow for direct links. According to Hootsuite, over 50% of consumers say they have visited a brand’s website after seeing their content in a Story. Although Instagram Stories expire after a day, brands can post their video content to the Highlights section of their profile for future visitors to see.
Businesses interested in creating Instagram Stories could consider a few of the following applications:
- Spotlight Your Customers
- Quiz Your Followers
- Celebrate Company & Employee Milestones
- Share Customer Testimonials & Reviews
- Instagram Takeovers
- Promote New Instagram Posts
For additional Instagram Story content ideas, read this article by HubSpot.
Unlike Stories, Instagram Reels are meant to be discovered. For public accounts, Reels appear on the explore tab and can be shared to Stories to reach a larger audience. The videos can be up to 30 seconds long and give creators access to timed text, filters, speed controls and a music library. Businesses can also add product tags within their videos.
Additionally, Reels differ from Stories because they allow businesses to add captions that can include tags and hashtags. When trending hashtags are used, the Reel will appear on the hashtag page. Implementing trending music, captions, tags and hashtags can help increase the reach of your video and overall engagement.
If considering creating Instagram Reels, check out a few potential content ideas below:
- Share Your Company Values
- Go Behind-the-Scenes
- Before & Afters
- Create Tutorials/How-To Videos
- Top Industry Trends (e.g., Top 3 Jobsite Safety Rules)
No matter the content you choose to share, being authentic (and having fun while at it) will help capture your followers’ attention and leave a positive impression.
Additional Video Marketing Tips & Tricks
Whether your business decides to create video content for Facebook, Instagram or both social media channels, it is important to keep a few additional tips and tricks top of mind.
- Ensure Quality Videos – Today, videos captured on mobile devices can work great for social media sharing, but while home-grown production quality is widely accepted, it is still important to get the details right when planning your video. Some considerations include:
- Check To Make Sure You Have a Fast & Stable Internet Connection
- Confirm Your Camera Is in Focus
- Select a Neutral, Distraction-Free Background
- Ensure Good Lighting
- Speak Loud & Clearly
- Choose The Right Film Angle for Each Platform – For Instagram, people view the video content from their mobile devices, so recording vertically is recommended. On Facebook, however, both vertical and horizontal videos can work well.
- Capture Attention Quickly – Brands have approximately three seconds to capture their audiences’ attention as they are scrolling through their newsfeeds. Be sure to include eye-catching visuals, teasers and a caption that will stop your followers from scrolling further.
- Add Subtitles When Applicable – When creating video content for social media, it is important to remember that not everyone watches videos with the sound on. Adding subtitles can be beneficial for viewers and some platforms, like Facebook, can help automatically generate subtitles for you.
- Use the Correct Video Specs – When creating videos to post on social media, it is critical to consider the platform’s recommended technical specifications. As social media channels continuously evolve, these dimensions can change. Therefore, GRIT recommends referencing Sprout Social’s Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Video Specs.
- Stay Up to Date on Trends – The content ideas listed throughout this blog are not a comprehensive list. It is recommended businesses stay up to date on the latest industry trends, ask customers what they would like to see, monitor what competitors are doing and more to develop the best content for their brand, industry and target audiences. Additionally, GRIT recommends planning videos as part of your broader content strategy to be most effective.
- Consider Music Choices – Snippets of songs often trend in videos on social media. Some platforms provide a music library that you can choose tunes from. However, it is always recommended to consider music licensing requirements for each channel and ensure any video you create is approved for the social media site on which it will be featured.
- Consider Paid Video Options – Social media channels provide businesses with paid options to further promote their video content. Whether boosting a Facebook Live or creating a video ad on Instagram, brands that are looking to reach certain market segments could consider putting some money behind their video content to increase reach and engagement. Check out Facebook and Instagram’s Ad Guides to learn more about the video advertising options that are available.
Want to Dig Deeper into Social Media Video Content?
Social media channels and video content are two very powerful marketing tools when strategically implemented. Combining the two efforts can have a positive impact on your brand. If you are interested in taking your social media video marketing efforts to the next level but are not sure which platforms are right for your brand, which video format is best or how to create noticeable content, reach out to our team of marketing professionals today to learn how we can support your next project. And do not forget to stay tuned for part two of this blog series to learn about using videos on LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube!