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Video Production for Social Media: The Definitive Guide

We’re an Austin TX video production company, which is to say we create corporate video marketing for companies. We don’t typically distribute the video content, we largely just do the video production. Increasingly, video marketing is distributed and consumed via mobile and/or via social media, we know that. And these newer platforms make it increasingly tough to know how to customize your video marketing content for social, especially across different social media platforms. Since we don’t like to see companies struggle with getting their great new video marketing content out into the world, here’s a guide to help out.


1. Add subtitles

Facebook is the gold standard for distributing your video marketing. Facebook videos autoplay with the sound off so it ends up 85% of viewers watch Facebook videos with no sound and subtitles are crucial. Either have your video production company handle the subtitles, use a service that does this, or add subtitles in yourself with a basic editing program. Subtitles are probably a good idea for all social platforms but Facebook is the one that really counts so at least add captions to your video marketing content on this platform, if nothing else.

2. 3 seconds, 2 minutes rule

If you’re not already promoting your Facebook videos (paying to distribute them as an ad) you eventually will be. The platform is just too good of a tool to get your video marketing to your target audience to not put some resources into it. And being that it will be paid content you are probably only going to get 3 seconds before someone scrolls past your video so that’s how long you need to get their attention. And 2 minutes is generally the limit for people’s patience with videos even if the viewer is engaged so don’t make your video longer than that. That’s the 3 Seconds, 2 Minutes Rule. 3 seconds to get their attention and 2 minutes to complete your message.

3. Native video

The Facebook algorithm prefers native video. This means post the actual video file into Facebook instead of a link from YouTube or Vimeo. Posting links are typically fine for most other platforms, like Twitter.


1. Talk to the audience

Like with Facebook, you only get a few seconds to grab attention so keep that in mind as you create your video production. Often times it helps to communicate directly to the audience to get attention quickly. Explain to your video marketing company that you are looking for something to accomplish this at the beginning of your video. Maybe start your company culture video, for example, with something like “Hi, I’m the CEO of x company and I’d like to introduce you to our team.”

2. Custom thumbnails

One thing we often get asked by our clients is ‘can I have a thumbnail image of *this* instead of *that* image?’. YouTube actually auto-generates those thumbnails you see when you upload a video, it doesn’t come from the file created by the video production company. But it does allow you to add a custom thumbnail, which can really make or break how well your video does on YouTube. Either screenshot an image from the video yourself and edit/color correct it or ask your video marketing company to do this for you.

3. Link to other sites

YouTube allows you to add links to your video, which is a great feature that you should definitely be taking advantage of. You can use this to link to other content or your primary webpage. This video explains 4 ways to add links right into your video marketing content.


1. More visual content only

Instagram is not necessarily the most ideal platform for corporate video marketing but, used correctly, it can be fantastic for your company. People go to Instagram for quick pretty things so only utilize this platform for video marketing if you really feel like you have content that is really visually appealing. Phone footage is probably not going to cut it here so I wouldn’t waste any resources here unless you have some quality professional content from a video marketing company.

2. Up to 60 second videos

Instagram only allows up to 60 seconds for videos (it used to be only 15 until not long ago) so you have to keep that in mind when doing your video production. Maybe ask your video production company to create some shorter clips of testimonials or b-roll or whatever that you can use on Instagram to go along with your primary video marketing company they create for you.

3. Square video

Because square video is friendlier for mobile use square video gets much better engagement than landscape (wide aspect). Video marketing in a square format can get anywhere from 30% to 100% more engagement, depending on the platform, which is staggering. But as it relates to Instagram specifically square video costs advertisers 33% less to get someone to engage than landscape, which is tremendous.


1. Up to 140 Second videos

You can now natively place a video of up to 140 seconds on Twitter so it gives you some real flexibility on length of videos. But Twitter is a platform to get right to the point so brevity is still ideal.

2. Use links (and a gif?)

Twitter also allows you to put whatever you want in your Tweet link-wise (Instagram doesn’t allow for links on posts) and with the extended 280 character limit it allows you to get more bang for your buck on your post. It could be a good idea is to put your video into and make a quick little gif file out of your video as a teaser along with a link to the full video.

3. Hashtags

This applies to Instagram as well but Twitter, and this is not the case so much with Facebook anymore, is still very hashtag driven. This means adding hashtags to your posts is still a great way for people to find your content. Twitter is less dependent on people who directly follow you to see your content thanks to the hashtag search feature.

Michael Mason is the Executive Producer at Perfect Chaos Films, a video production company in Austin TX specializing in corporate video marketing such as company culture videos, company product videos and documentaries.


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