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5 tips for creating engaging social media videos

By Julie Miller

Lights, camera… Not so fast! Expensive shoots and long, comprehensive videos aren’t necessary for success.


A woman recording a video with her smartphone.Using video on social media is nothing new. Before social media, brands were hungry for polished video content. Coordinated video shoots – complete with high-resolution cameras and bright lights – were the norm. Carefully edited videos with sleek transitions, often including full context of a specific subject, led to long (and potentially boring) content. Brand videos swam in a sea of sameness.


With the rise of YouTube and other social media, we began a new era of online videos where simple is better – and anyone with a smartphone can make viral videos. 


Today, TikTok and other video social media platforms are expanding the importance of brevity and simplicity in social media videos. Vertical formats dominate, catering to mobile users. Mobile phone camera quality has improved, making smartphone quality perfect for brand content. 


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Short, authentic, and frequent videos have replaced the polished and produced marketing videos.


It’s a fun and creative era for brands, with unlimited opportunity to engage with audiences while establishing distinct brand personalities online. So, how are marketing teams keeping up with creating so much video content? Keep reading for some tips to keep in your social media toolbox today. 


  1. Remember, short is sweet. Social media users are bombarded with information as they scroll through multiple apps. To cater to users’ shrinking attention spans, social media videos today should be short and sweet (just seconds!). But how can you communicate in such little time? Simplicity! Effective videos can be as easy as a simple animated message placed on top of still photos. Short-form video is a growing marketing tool, with 30% of social media marketers planning to invest in it more than any other trend this year.

  2. Keep an open mind. The secret to success in social media video creation in 2023 and beyond: avoid overthinking. Video should be an ongoing element, meaning frequent, varied content. When keeping up with trending content, there’s often no time for brainstorming sessions and a series of drafts. This can be scary for marketing leadership, but it’s necessary to create authentic content. Chipotle provides a great example of using authentic video content on social media. On TikTok, the brand features relatable, human content, such as users sharing their favorite Chipotle hacks or step-by-step recipes. According to a TikTok business success story, Chipotle amassed 19.1 million likes on its simple video content

  3. Ask yourself: Does my content entertain or inform? Keep in mind that audiences want to be entertained and informed. Social media video content today should be audience-focused, empathetic, and/or incorporate how-to messages. Be mindful of real-time news and trends for content inspiration. Tell a story; don’t try to only sell. 

  4. Leverage online editing tools. With timers, audio, and filters included in their apps, TikTok and Instagram offer a suite of tools to create content that require little outside editing. This is great for on-the-go content that you only need for those platforms. External tools also make it easy to edit and add text and animation to make more polished, branded videos to accommodate all screen formats and platforms. Check out Animoto and Canva for easy-to-use and affordable tools for video editing and animation. 

  5. Invest in basic equipment. While expensive video equipment is no longer required, having some basic equipment to enhance your cellphone video is a game changer. For under $20, brand content creators can be hands free, thanks to cellphone tripods. Additionally, ring lights start at $20 and may be helpful for shooting video on your cellphone. Having basic equipment will help you create more engaging and professional looking content to elevate your brand on social media.  

Responding to today’s video trends may be overwhelming, but as with anything, it will get easier with time. To take the next steps on your social media journey, reach out to our team of lifelong learners at Axia Public Relations, who you can count on to stay on top of these trends and others.


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JulieMiller.pngJulie Miller is a marketing and communications professional with more than seven years of experience in the industry. She specializes in technology, digital marketing and communications. Julie has worked for Axia Public Relations since November 2015. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.


Photo by Kampus Production

Topics: online public relations, shared media, social media

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