Video's popularity on the social Web is just getting started.
I've been creating videos since 2007, the year Animoto's site launched and I started working for the company. Back then iPhones didn't even shoot video. Video was a novelty on the Web.
However, that has changed immensely. My newsfeed now is probably a lot like yours—lots of videos from friends, family, large brands, and small companies. I don't foresee the trend of increased video sharing on social to change in the years to come. (Neither does Facebook.)
Video may be a visual medium, but the growth in its popularity is also great news for writers.
Having seen thousands of consumer and business videos while working at Animoto these last few years, I can emphatically say that, in video marketing, writers have an advantage. Here's why.
1. Social media videos auto-play on mute
Most of the major social platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) autoplay video on mute in users' feeds. Because viewers can't hear what's going on, a company may find it hard to hook them right away.
Great copy can be a nice way to introduce that hook. You want your video to have an impact right at the start to improve completion rate of video or (at the very least) have a positive effect in the mind of consumers, even if they don't watch the video in its entirety.
As an example of just how effective and compelling great copy can be, check out this video from award-winning author and speaker, Bunmi Laditan. She created this humorous video about getting her toddler to eat a piece of toast. This was done in a very DIY style, without high-quality B-roll, images, or graphics. It's all about using text, working on mute, and taking the viewer on a journey propelled by simple images that show and words that tell. And the video captured over 31 million views.
The social web is an ecosystem that rewards videos with captions and text. For example, Facebook includes a caption feature for videos, underscoring the importance of text within videos on Facebook.
2. Brevity is the name of the game
Brevity is important when writing for social videos. Too much text on the screen means a lot of reading, which will make the video feel like it's dragging. Writers have the experience and know-how to use text to add humor, teach, establish a tone, or add context without being overwhelming.
Brevity is also important when choosing what to include in the video itself. Like good writing, good video marketing is really good editing.
Discover the essence of what you're trying to convey. Know your voice, and establish a tone quickly. Create a sense of wanting more among the viewer. Ending the video sooner rather than later is a great idea. Challenge yourself to captivate in 60 seconds.
3. Video is a great way to promote written content on social
Video on social also is a fantastic way to promote your other content. Facebook's algorithm may not be supporting text-only updates as it once did. Video is a vivid platform to distill what your longer-form content is about. Facebook will reward you for doing so successfully.
Create teasers of blog posts, whitepapers, podcasts, or whatever content you want to promote. The goal is to create videos that your followers will share with their followers. If you don't have a following yet, video ads on Facebook are easy to set up. (For example, here is a video that I created to promote this article.)
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Video is just another form of content. The social web autoplays muted videos but also rewards videos that succeed within those conditions. Writers can create hooks, tell short stories, and establish a tone better than anyone.
The battle isn't between writing content and creating videos. Writers need to embrace their advantage and create videos that can succeed on social media. Pick a tool you find easy to use and then create something that harnesses your writing skills.