Video is the most powerful content format on social media. Favoured by algorithms, it catches users’ attention more easily than static images and communicates messages in deeper, more immersive ways. It’s everywhere and growing fast. According to a report by Cisco, video will account for 80% of consumer internet traffic by 2021.

To achieve the best results with video on social, it’s important to understand how to produce content that hooks viewers in and encourages them to act. In this blog post, we share three top tips for creating attention-grabbing videos.

Nail the first 3 Seconds

During a lab experiment conducted in 2017, Facebook discovered that its participants gazed five times longer at video than static content on Facebook and Instagram. This isn’t particularly surprising. Video is far more eye-catching than graphics, images, and text. It makes us naturally pause to quickly digest what the video is about. If you’re able to capture someone’s attention for three seconds, there’s a 65% chance a viewer will watch to 10 seconds and a 45% chance they’ll make it to 30.

Unfortunately, audience attention spans are super short. This means you’ll likely lose your viewers if your content doesn’t grab them straight away. It’s therefore crucially important to ensure the first three seconds of your video are as visually exciting as possible. This means ditching slow establishing shots or title cards. Instead, you need colour-filled shots, quick edits, and curiosity-driving images. Many brands and influencers use a key point of the video – whether that’s an exciting action shot, important message, funny moment or blooper – right at the beginning of a video.

Think Vertical

Can you remember the last time you held your phone horizontally to watch a video? Us either! After years of 16:9 content, vertical video is set to be huge in 2019. This trend is being driven by the huge percentage of users who access social media on their mobile (around 95.1% of Facebook users, according to Statista). The rise of Stories has also driven brands to start creating vertical content, which is only set to increase as Stories’ popularity soars.

So how can businesses create vertical video? Life will be far, far easier if you film in 4:5 (Instagram’s preferred ratio) or 9:16. Capturing this footage on your phone is simple. If you want something more professional you could try flipping a DSLR camera on its side to film in portrait.

Always Add Captions

With a whopping 85% of Facebook users watching videos without sound, we really cannot stress enough how important adding captions to a video is. Luckily, this is pretty simple:

  • The best (but possibly most expensive) option is to hard-code the captions onto the video during editing. It means that the subtitles will always be visible regardless of the video hosting platform. This is currently the only way to show subtitles on Instagram and Twitter.
  • If you’re unable to hard-code the subtitles, creating an SRT file is your next best option. This is possible on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • The easiest option is to use captions which are automatically generated by the social media platform. This is available on Facebook and YouTube. This is a quick option but one we would advise against whenever possible as platforms can sometimes display the wrong words and incomplete sentences.

Following these three top tips will help kick-start your video campaigns in the best possible way. We can’t wait to see what you create! Be sure to join the Avocado Social Media Hub Facebook Group and share your content.