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How to Create Attention-Grabbing Social Media Video Content

Best practices for creating quality social media videos, especially for Tik Tok and Instagram.

So you’ve decided to try your hand at creating video content to grow your small business. Now what? It’s not enough just to jump in and start making videos; you want to ensure your videos actually accomplish something. Namely, grabbing the attention of your target audience. 

For starters, don’t think that you have to go from 0-100 and start creating videos for every single platform out there right away. Instead, pick one or two platforms and work on creating quality, consistent content for them. You can always branch out to other platforms later, but trying to nail multiple platforms at once will likely lead straight to burnout. 

Each social media platform is a little different, so it’s important to have a solid understanding of how to tailor your video content to each platform you intend to use. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on two platforms: Tik Tok and Instagram Reels. 

Creating Quality Videos

Before we dive into those specific platforms, there are a few general tips that apply to social media video content pretty much across the board. Here are some basic best practices to keep in mind:

  • Go vertical: Regardless of the platform, vertical videos — that is, videos shot in portrait mode, at a 9:16 ratio — are the preferred format. Vertical videos make it easier for consumers to keep watching without rotating their phone, and ensure the video takes up the full screen.
  • Add captions/text: Make your videos accessible to a wider audience by ensuring they can be understood with or without sound. 
  • Give value: Even though your ultimate goal is to grow your business, don’t think of your social media video content as a place to sell your products or services. Instead, think of it as a way to communicate with your audience and establish trust and likeability for your brand
  • Know your audience: Like any form of marketing, for your video content to be effective, it has to resonate with your audience. That means you need to understand their wants, needs, and pain points — but also what entertains and excites them. 
  • Study the trends: Following up on that last point, it’s important to know what kinds of videos your audience will respond positively to. Social media is constantly evolving at lightning speeds, and jumping on trends at the right (or wrong) timing can be the difference between making your audience sit up and take notice or making them roll their eyes. 
  • Be consistent: Even if you hit all the right notes with quality, relevance, and timing, you may not see immediate results. But if you’re consistently showing up in front of your audience in a way that speaks to them, they will take notice and keep coming back for more.

Finally, remember that quality requires practice. You’ll likely have to undergo a lot of trial and error as you continue to grow. 

Tik Tok Tips

Tik Tok started out as a platform specifically for super short videos of less than 15 seconds. That has since increased, with the most recent update allowing for up to 10 minutes per video. However, keeping your videos closer to that 15-second mark makes them more easily consumable. (Just be sure you make every one of those seconds count!)

Joining challenges and using trending sounds and hashtags is a great way to get your videos more exposure and likeability. But it’s important to also create your own unique content alongside that, to demonstrate what sets your brand apart from the crowd. 

Instagram Reels Tips

Also created for short-form videos, Instagram Reels can be up to 60 seconds long. Like with Tik Tok, using trendy audio can help your videos get a wider reach. But be wary of recycling your video content from one platform to another, as obviously recycled content won’t be favored by the Instagram algorithm. 

The more creative and entertaining your Reels are, and the more engagement they get, the more Instagram will recommend them to new audiences. Have fun and don’t be afraid to try something really new!

Meet Your Audience Where They Are

Chances are your target audience is already out there consuming short-form video content on Tik Tok and Instagram — and other platforms, for that matter. As you start creating videos of your own, be sure to familiarize yourself with the platforms they’re using and the types of videos they find most engaging. 

You want to aim for a balance between content that speaks to your audience’s existing interests and content that’s fresh and different. That way you continue to draw new people in, while ensuring those who stick around never get bored.

Written by

Kristine Pike is a freelance writer and creative assistant with a passion for storytelling, organization, and exploration – in more than one sense of the word.