So I’ve got some bad news for you, in my experience “videographers” don’t always get social media.
Before you pay for a videographer to come and give you a promo video, take a few tips from me, with experience at both ends of the spectrum.
I started my career as a graphic designer, working mostly on print media and dabbling in web design. At one point we held an event and I was tasked with shooting video interviews with the speakers. This was nearly ten years ago.
That’s where video began for me, but since then, technology has come a long way in making video production much more accessible, and much more easily consumed.
But not all video is equal. Here are five things to keep in mind when you make the decision to hire in a videographer.
- Be crystal clear on the purpose
As with any marketing activity you need to be clear on what it is you want this video to achieve. Think about the outcome you want and how you can emotionally trigger the viewer to do that. I use that word “emotionally” because video is an incredibly emotional medium. I’ve made conference attendees cry with video, and I’m quite proud of that. So be clear on how you want the audience to FEEL, and how that will help them to take the ACTION you want them to.
2. Keep it short and sweet
“Filmmakers” are great at getting emotional responses, and nailing those incredibly artistic shots, but you need to remember that this video is competing with a million funny cats. There is ALWAYS a cat video standing by to steal your viewer. So if your video is for social media alone, you need to hit them quick. NO long slow drone-shot intros, NO flashy logo screens before your content, and keep your video around 60–90 seconds – unless you’re making deep-dive niche content. Don’t be swayed by the artistic integrity of your videographer, you need to grab your audience within the first 3 seconds and hook them in with something that will make them watch the next 10 or 20.
3. Use text with your video
You’ll have seen that most social videos now have subtitles. This is because most video is watched with the sound off, then the viewer has to switch it on. So they need to be able to read what’s happening. Also use headlines on your video. Give your video a top and bottom panel, top for an attention-grabbing headline, and the bottom for the subtitles. Again, the artistic filmmaker with probably hate this, but this isn’t cinema, it’s social, and you need to literally grab your viewer by the shirt and drag them in to watch.
4. Hook — Intro — Content — Call to action
This is a little technical, but if you keep this in mind, you’ll be able to help you nail your next video. The concept here is to kick off your video with a little hook — snippet of the big valuable piece of info that they’ll get later in the video. You’ll have them hooked, then hit them with the information that they didn’t come here to know, but that you want them to take in. Then hit them with the full piece of valuable information (the snippet replayed but in full detail), and the call to action. The call to action is the thing that asks them to do something right now.
Use graphics on the end to reinforce the call to action visually too. Now display your logo here if you want.
5. The perfect size (or aspect ratio)
The standard aspect ratio for video these days is 16:9. In Full HD that’s 1920×1080 pixels, or in 4K that’s 3840×2160 pixels. Sorry, that’s complicated- it’s a rectangle, the shape of your TV screen.
Now, strangley enough, this is not always the ideal size for your social media channels. At the moment, people are experimenting with video of different sizes, but the top performer and easiest for you to make use of across all (or most) channels is to go SQUARE. That’s 1080×1080 square video.
There are two exceptions to this:
1. YouTube still prefers the traditional landscape 16:9 aspect ratio.
2. Instagram/Facebook/Linkedin Stories, TikTok and Snapchat all prefer portrait 9:16, the same as YouTube just turned on its head.
Ideally, when you get your content finalised you should have three versions, one 1:1, 16:9 and 9:16.
This is a quick overview of just five things you should consider before you hire in your videographer, or indeed just things to discuss with them before you sign the deal. Remember, this video must work for your purpose and above all else, it should grab the attention of your audience.