You know how we always say video is the best form of content. You must use this in your content marketing strategy. Well, while this is true, for the past several months we have also noticed a trend that may be a tad surprising. Images seem to be just as powerful and sometimes...even perform better on social media. So, in what cases it is better to use videos and when should we rely more on images?
To make a video work for you on most social media channels, it must be short and interesting. It has to provide value to your audience. It may be educational - teach them how to do something. It may be entertaining - show them something funny. Or, it may be inspirational - motivate people to do, be or become something.
Another really important condition for high engagement in videos is a lot of movement in the first 3 seconds. Things popping out, people moving, etc. Let your videos autoplay (where you could select that option), but not with the sound on. People would like to see movement, but not hear the sound, because many times, they watch videos while travelling, waiting at the doctors or even at work!
Videos work well on Facebook and Instagram as long as they cover the above conditions. Pinterest has recently introduced video uploads too. I can predict that the best types of videos for Pinterest would be "How to" videos.
Of course, long-form videos would also work well if you are building a personal brand or have a lot of useful information to share with your audience for free. In that case, your best friend would be YouTube. However, if you decide to take that path, you need to invest in proper video recording equipment and perhaps a few lessons or a course on video editing. Then you can monetise your efforts by joining YouTube Premium (that's only after you increase sufficiently your subscribers list).
Just around Christmas there was a surprising switch on Facebook. Images began to perform in terms of reach and engagement better than videos. The only exception would be live videos, which still made a lot of people watch and take some sort of an action.
This was so obvious that Facebook now recommends images more than videos or slideshows for certain types of ads. For example, if you are trying to increase your Page Likes or the reactions and comments on specific posts, always use images. If you are building traffic, lead generation or messages ads, also go for interesting and engaging photos rather than videos. The reason for this that when it comes to ads, you want to catch and direct the attention of your audience to a specific task (website click, filling a form, sending a message). As attractive videos are, they can also be distractive. So a person would watch the video and probably like it, but they won't click on the link or follow the steps you want them to follow.
Images you use on social media must be in the correct sizes. For each platform, there is a specific size. Images on Instagram are square (although you could get away with a little more tall or a little more wide photos). Pins best dimensions are 600x900 (portrait orientation/long images). The easiest way to create a good image for posting on various social media channels is to use Canva or Crello's templates.
Usually, highly engaging images on Facebook are bright, have little or no text and evoke some sort of emotions in people. They don't always have to be positive emotions, but it's important to be strong.
So, it looks like now is the time to start practising taking good photos of your products (perhaps take a product photography course for smartphone users) or learn a few designing tricks with simple programmes and softwares like the ones I mentioned above. If you feel you can cope with something more advanced, then get your hands on Photoshop and Illustrator.
All this is not to say that you should exclude your video from your content marketing for social media. Quote the contrary. It only shows how important diversity in type of content you produce is. As I said in the post from last week, don't be boring! Use different types of content and generate as many ideas and topics as you can. That's the only way you would retain the attention of your audience, which will warm them bit by bit towards becoming your customers.