In 2017, as On The Tools, we began employing a video production team to create value-add video content for ourselves and our clients. Up until this point, most of the content was submitted by the Facebook community themselves. We had no cameras, lights, or audio equipment of our own. However, what we did have was a very clear idea of who our audience was, and what they wanted to see.
Now, Electric House employs more than 40 full-time video production specialists creating value-add video content daily; we have created value-add content for any social media platform, from the tiniest budget, for a multitude of brands. Here’s how you can do the same.
When creating a value-add video, you must first decide what shape your content will take. Head of On A Budget, George Smith, describes the most popular forms of video content, and how you can use them to great effect:
is a staple of viral videos. This content is often filmed on mobile and acts as a social snapshot into real events. By definition, the content should come from individuals and not brands. It is not the right way to convey a brand message or sell a product, but can certainly bring big views and provoke engagement.
are a great method of selling a product and act as a way to directly talk to the audience. While keeping with the tone of social content, a great product hero video should show off the application of the product, give the user a reason that they need it, and keep it sharp and snappy; you have a narrow window to stop people scrolling on and a lot of competition, so you need to reel people in as quickly as you can. It is important to remember when creating a product hero video that most viewers on Facebook will be watching the video without sound; this is an opportunity to make your video as eye-catching as possible.
are a peek into individual lives, moving stories, and heartwarming moments. During a time when we’ve gone without most of those connections, social has seen a boom. People are now wanting to document and share more of their lives. This makes mini-docs great distractions from sometimes very negative noise on social media and can exemplify your community very well.
are opportunities for a bit of light relief. Social communities thrive on niche interests, and because of that, sketches allow audience members to share relatable moments and scenarios; it’s true social content. Sketches are a great way to build a loyal and engaged audience. Furthermore, they always see great engagement because they’re infinitely shareable. This is the aim- to connect with the audience.
Of course, you can publish your video content anywhere you choose to. But we at Electric House recognise the potential value of publishing a video onto Facebook.
Facebook video gets between 4-8 billion views every day, which equates to 100 million hours of video content. That’s 11 and a half years of video content being consumed daily. In addition to this, statistics show that Facebook video is still the most engaged type of content on the platform, which is a natural goldmine for publishers.
65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile devices, and 85% of videos are watched with the sound off. Adding to that, the average time that a person watches a single Facebook video is 10 seconds. But these statistics shouldn’t put you off- they are reasons to be aware of the opportunities available for Facebook video.
If you optimise your video for the platform and cut through the noise, you can stop viewers from scrolling onto the next video, increasing your engagement.
Platform optimisation starts at the pre-production stage. If you adjust the content of your video when writing your script, to accommodate the likelihood that it will be watched on a mobile device or with the sound off, then your video will become much more appealing to the audience.
There are 3 key stages to consider when filming your value-add video: pre-production, production, and post-production.
or the planning stage, starts with an idea that turns into a script, storyboard, and shot list. Here, you should consider characters/actors, dialogue, location, equipment, and props. Understanding the types of value-add video, and deciding which platform your video will be published to, will help you to get the most out of the pre-production stage. If it’s a presenter-led video, you’ll need a presenter; if it’s a product hero video, you’ll need to research and obtain the product.
or the filming stage, is where you take the ingredients you prepared in the pre-production stage and use them to film a masterpiece. Here, the director should be overseeing the shots, directing the actors, and making sure you have all the raw media you will need for the post-production stage.
or the editing stage, is where an editor takes all the footage from the production stage and cuts it down into an engaging video, which is the perfect length and size for the platform you want to put it on. Once a rough-cut is assembled, add motion graphics, soundtrack, and colour grading. This makes the video look and feel nice. Remember that most people are watching on their phones and without sound, so subtitling is key to make sure people can understand the video.
A lack of high-end recording equipment should stop no-one from creating a perfectly engaging and successful value-add video. Two-thirds of the world’s population owns a mobile phone, and almost all of these people are able to use the video function.
There are a few cost-effective ways to improve the quality of mobile phone videos. It is now possible to purchase ring lights that attach specifically to a mobile phone to light your subject and improve the quality. Using a small tripod can cost pennies, but will ensure you have smooth and steady shots, which is priceless. Using a specialised lapel microphone that can plug into your phone’s audio jack, instead of using the phone’s in-built microphone, will make the audio a lot crisper.
Branding is about making your videos easily and instantly recognisable to your viewers. Graphic designer Joe says you don’t need to spend all of your money on branding. You can release your carefully designed value-add video first, and create a visual identity around that.
Your visual identity is your brand logo, colour palette, and your font style. These need to be consistent and legible. You can also consider visual identity in your profile pictures, thumbnails, and a header/cover image.
Promoting your video is a really important way to attract views and engage your audience. Releasing pre-promotion in the form of short videos or images are easy methods of generating buzz and excitement in anticipation of your value-add video.
Value-add video promotion can even be something as simple as inserting a link into your e-mail signature. This directs your contacts to your content- it takes a matter of seconds, and costs absolutely nothing.
If you’re low on budget or would like to try creating something other than a standard video, there are plenty of other forms of media that you can publish on social media to great effect.
Gifs, Cinemagraphs, and short animations can get you the same high levels of engagement on social media as traditional video, but without the need for specialist equipment.
As video content on social media continues to grow, so do the opportunities. The key to creating value-add video for any platform is to find a balance between what your brand wants to say, and what your audience wants to hear; bridging that gap is the art of creating great social content.
Choose the right content type for your objective, and create something that is at home specifically on your chosen platform: nowhere else. The end result is connection and audience engagement- a foolproof way to build organic sentiment with your brand.
Watch the Electric House webinar on how to create value-add video here:
Want to find out how to start getting creative on TikTok? Read the Electric House article here.
Watch our last webinar on social media predictions here.