Ten tricks to create the best social media videos

Creating good quality video content for your parish’s social media channels will help you maximise the reach and impact of your message.

There are an estimated 2.3 million Kiwis using Facebook everyday, and of those New Zealanders who go online, 81% use YouTube, and 46% use Instagram (and that’s only a few of the more common social media platforms). That’s a lot of people with whom we can share the Good News…You don’t need expensive equipment. A modern smartphone is all you need. Read this tips to find out how to create great video for your parish’s social media channels.

When it comes to planning your video…

1.       Write a script and/or storyboard
Have a rough idea of the shots you want, the angles you’ll take the video from, and the locations. Ensure those being videoed know what they need to say and practice before you start filming. Make the first few seconds of the video as compelling and engaging as possible to maximise the chance that viewers will keep watching.

When it comes to filming your video…

2.       Use a tripod
Avoid camera shake by investing in a tripod. Watching a shaking image makes it harder for the viewer to focus on the message.

3.       Consider an external microphone
If audio is an important part of the story, the built-in microphone on your smartphone isn’t likely to be up to the task. Consider using an external mic, to make sure your message is clearly audible. If the audience can’t hear, they can’t engage.

4.       Don’t use digital zoom
Even if you have the latest smartphone, it is a good idea to move closer to your subject rather than zooming in. In a lot of cases, the video will end up grainy and pixelated if digital zoom is employed, so it’s best avoided.

5.       Think about lighting
If you’ve ever shot a video and then realised it was too dark, you’re not alone. It is a good reminder to think about lighting when shooting a video. Too much light will lead to the person’s face being whited-out, and shooting in dim light will leave your video looking dark and dreary. People will quickly stop watching if they have difficulty seeing the video, so it’s important to get this right. There are plenty of online resources about the best way to light a video, so check them out.

6.       Keep it short
Shorter is better in the world of social media videos, so keep your videos short and to the point. Consider these video lengths for popular platforms:

  • Instragram – 30 seconds
  • Twitter – 45 secs
  •  Facebook – 1 min
  • YouTube – 2 minutes

When it comes to editing your video…

7.   Edit your video
You’ll no doubt end up with a few parts of your video that you’d rather weren’t there and to make your video appear more polished you’ll need to edit these bits out. Simple video editing can be done in iMovie or Windows Movie Maker type apps. There are more sophisticated apps as well, so choose one that suits your skill level and needs.

8.   Consider using captions
Research shows that a lot of social media videos are watched without sound (around 85 percent on Facebook), so adding subtitles or captions will aid viewer understanding.

When it comes to sharing your video…

9.   Take the time to write an effective description for the video
An enticing description is more likely to get the viewer to click “play”.

10.   Select the best thumbnail for your video
A thumbnail is the screenshot form the video that viewers see before they click play. Don’t just use the first frame; find a thumbnail that is compelling and interesting. First impressions count!

See how the pros do it…

Had enough reading? Want to see how it’s done? Watch these videos from some tips from experienced videographers who are using their cellphones to make great video.