When you create and publish videos on social media, there is one goal that you should have above all others: Engagement. If your videos are able to engage viewers they will be able to deliver their message, and ultimately achieve their goals as well.
If you’re wondering how you start to engage more viewers on social media using videos – the first thing you need to do is understand it.
What is Video Engagement?
Simply put video engagement is a metric that attempts to measure the impact of a video on viewers that watch it. Unfortunately there is no ‘universal’ way in which it is calculated, but it tends to be based on several common factors.
Chief among these factors is the completion rate or average view length. The completion rate is the number of viewers that watch the entire video, while the average view length is the average duration of the video that was watched.
On social media other factors are often considered as part of the video engagement as well, such as the number of shares, comments, likes, ratings, and other reactions. Cumulatively these factors will be used to determine the impact of your video based on how viewers react to it.
While all that may sound somewhat confusing (and slightly irrelevant) there is one important fact that you should take away from it: Engagement is based on retaining viewers and encouraging them to react.
Give Viewers Videos They Want to Watch
As you can imagine if you publish videos that viewers want to watch it will be much easier to retain viewers. Seeing as you probably aren’t a mind-reader, you will need to first find out what type of videos your viewers would appreciate.
While there are numerous different ways to come up with ideas for good social media videos, some of the better options are to:
- Find popular content on blogs and websites
Head over to some of the more popular blogs or websites in your niche, and take a look at what kind of content seems to generate the most views, comments, or ratings. That should give you some idea of the type of content that your viewers would like to see, and you can then try to find ways to create videos based on that.
- Check out the competition
Odds are there are numerous competitors in your niche who are also publishing videos on social media, and you can look to them for inspiration. In short you should go over the videos that they’ve published and see which ones have the most likes, shares, comments, and other reactions.
Be sure not to ‘copy’ a video directly, but instead think of ways that you can improve upon the content, or give it a different spin.
- Ask your followers
If you already have a decent number of followers on social media, arguably the best way to find out what they want is to ask them. By reaching out to your followers directly and encouraging them to let you know what they want – you may get some valuable ideas.
Another option is to start a poll and get your followers to vote on different types of content that they’d like to see.
By using these methods, you should end up with ideas for videos that your viewers are more likely to find interesting – and that should definitely improve your engagement levels.
Create ‘Bite Sized’ Videos
In recent years it has become more and more apparent that viewers tend to prefer short ‘bite sized’ videos that they can watch quickly and obtain what they need. That is especially the case on social media, where users are often scrolling through a timeline filled with videos and won’t invest too much time watching a single video.
If you want to create effective ‘bite sized’ videos, there are several areas in particular that you should focus on:
As a rule it is best to keep the duration of your videos as short as possible, and they should never exceed 2 minutes. The optimal duration for social media videos varies from platform to platform, and depends on the viewer demographic as well.
On the whole however it is important that you carefully plan your video to be as concise it can be.
- First 8 to 10 seconds
Normally viewers take about 8 to 10 seconds to decide whether or not they want to watch a video or keep scrolling through their timeline. Due to that fact, you will want to place a hook in the first few seconds to convince them to watch the video.
Typically the best hook to use is to let viewers know how the video could help them or the benefits it will provide.
Know how a picture can paint a thousand words? The same applies to videos, and visuals are key when it comes to ‘bite sized’ videos.
If you can find ways to ‘show’ your video’s message rather than spelling it out in a voiceover, you’ll find that you’re able to keep the video duration much shorter.
Focusing on the areas listed above should help make it easier to create ‘bite sized’ videos that are truly able to engage viewers on social media. If you would like any further inspiration you should be able to find engaging short videos on social media that can provide you with ideas.
In the last few years social media platforms have started to support livestreaming – and it is a move that has taken them by storm. Statistics have consistently shown that live videos outperform conventional videos in terms of reach and engagement.
Suffice to say if you want to engage more viewers on social media using videos – you need to go live. Quite frankly the benefits are too compelling for there to be any alternative.
Assuming you decide to take the plunge and start to livestream videos, there are a few tips that could help you increase your engagement more effectively using them:
- Try creating content that encourages audience participation
Some of the most engaging livestreams are the ones that encourage audience participation directly. For example you could try creating a Q&A session, discussion panel, or include polls during your broadcast.
- Keep it authentic
Part of the appeal of livestreams is the fact that they appear genuine and authentic. To be perfectly honest that is a good thing, as it makes it easier to produce live videos seeing as you don’t need to be too detailed when it comes to planning the video – nor do you need to edit it.
- Stream at the right hours
To maximize the reach of your live videos, you need to make sure it airs at the right hours based on your viewer demographics location.
Make no mistake, live videos are very different from conventional videos – and they represent a tremendous opportunity to innovate and engage more viewers in the process.
Tips to Boost Video Engagement
Aside from everything listed above, there are a several other tips that you should keep in mind that can help to boost your engagement levels in various ways:
- Find a compelling thumbnail and visual to start the video
Depending on the social media platform, the first thing that viewers see of your video will either be the thumbnail that you selected or the very first frame of the video as it begins to autoplay. In either case you need to make sure that it is compelling, and immediately gets them interested.
- Don’t forget the audio quality
Although visuals tend to be more important than audio, that doesn’t mean you should neglect it entirely. It is important that the audio that accompanies your video is clear and sounds professional, otherwise viewers are likely to be put off.
- Mix it up with emotions
All of the most engaging videos on social media invariably are able to get viewers to react by provoking an emotional response. Needless to say you should try to do the same, using humor, surprise, inspiration, or some other trigger.
- Optimize for mobile devices
The bulk of social media users nowadays are logging in from mobile devices, and so you should optimize your videos accordingly. In particular you need to ensure that the visuals in your video are just as clear on smaller screen sizes as they would be on a desktop.
As you can see there is quite a lot that is involved in creating more engaging videos – but the one thing you may have noticed is that it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a bomb to do so. To be entirely honest some of the most engaging videos are simple affairs, and all you need to create them is a video camera and a video merger to compile and tidy up the video, for example Movavi Video Editor.
Following the methods listed above should help you to immediately see an improvement in engagement levels with your very next video – so be sure to give it a try.
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