How to Optimise Your Videos for Social Media

Do you know how to get the most out of your video content? 

You might think you do, but we challenge you to read through this optimisation guide and see if your answer changes. 👀

Or, if you’re completely in the dark and just have zero idea, keep reading as we take you through a deep-dive into how to get your content looking fresh and refined across all of your channels.

Key Considerations

Before we begin, here are some umbrella rules that apply to just about all social channels. 👇

  • The longer your video is, the less likely it is that more people will watch the whole thing, so if you’ve got one big great explainer video, try cutting down portions of the video that expand on a key point you’re wanting to get across! 

  • Captions are non-negotiable. With more than 80% of people watching videos without sound, you cannot afford to lose this audience just because you forgot to caption your video!

  • Acknowledge that each platform has unique specifications for file size, resolution, timing, aspect ratios and more.

  • Pick out some sick thumbnails (they can be added on every platform - make sure to match the image orientation to the video orientation)!

Great! Now that you've got the general rules under your belt, let's get specific...

Instagram

The current King of visual content.

We know that posting regularly and consistently on Instagram is key to good engagement, but it won’t go much further if your content isn’t optimised. 

Orientation

Now that Instagram has moved on from its square-only post days, one might ask, does post orientation actually make a difference to engagement? The answer is a big fat yes. 

You can actually still post square, landscape, or vertical video ratios to Instagram. However, the new feed layout favours vertical content, meaning square and landscape videos will likely look a little janky, and just not as seamless within the feed as they once did.

Insta will give you the option to post your video as a post on your feed, or as a Reel (we highly recommend the latter), and if your content is landscape, it won’t fit the Reels’ vertical format either. It’ll be smaller, and you’ll have blank space above and below that can be distracting for viewers.

So vertical is the best option - but, if you desperately want a square so that it looks good in the feed as well as reels, play around with adding relevant and engaging text above and below the video! We find doing this in the format of a ‘top tip’ and a CTA can reap some great engagement.

Video Length

If you're posting directly through the Instagram app, you can post videos in the feed that are up to 10 minutes long, but if you're using Meta Business Suite, it'll limit this to less than 60 seconds. Regardless, we recommend keeping it short and sweet!

Facebook

The forgotten boomer.

Yes, we have referred to Facebook as the forgotten boomer - but do not take this as reason to ignore the platform. Let’s make one thing clear; Facebook being ‘forgotten’ is a misconception! Even though it might seem Facebook has lost it’s younger users due to the rise of platforms like TikTok, Sprout Social reported that the 25-34Y age demographic represent Facebook’s largest audience. Plus, just about everyone and their dog has a Facebook account, so it’s worth your while to try and get in front of these people.

Orientation

You can opt for square, vertical, or landscape videos on this channel - especially if you’re posting ads. If you don’t have a range of different ratios, Facebook won’t be able to use your content across all their ad placements (which is how you’ll get the best results).

LinkedIn

Your favourite CEO.

LinkedIn is one of the best social platforms because it’s still a few years behind the ad saturation of channels like Facebook. Plus, if you’re a B2B business, the targeting options (e.g. job titles, industries etc.) are incredible!

Orientation

LinkedIn Ads report 20% better engagement using vertical video, and if the vertical video trends across other channels continue, we can imagine LinkedIn trends will follow for organic content, too.

Video Length

If you’re striving for brand awareness and consideration, a study by LinkedIn actually found a 200% lift in video view completion rates when videos were under 30 seconds. That same study also found that long form videos actually drove as many clicks and views as shorter videos - so if traffic is what you’re after, don’t be scared to go long! 

LinkedIn also recommends making sure you have a strong hook as viewer attention drops significantly after the first ten seconds of your video. Tbh, this is a golden rule across all channels!

Extra for Experts! 💁

Ads on LinkedIn can’t be longer than 600 characters, so if you want to sponsor your organic content (which works really well!), make sure your posts are within this limit. LinkedIn has one of the toughest review processes - sometimes too many emojis in a row will prevent your ad from being approved. Don’t worry, just duplicate your ad with small tweaks until you find the winning combo (but keep this rule in mind for organic posts too)! 

YouTube

The OG.

An all-time favourite, YouTube is the perfect place to organically upload your full videos. Because YouTube is owned by Google, optimising your video to include meta-data (title, description, tags, CTA + link, contact info, video subtitles where applicable, thumbnails, etc.) will actually boost your SEO rankings.

Orientation

Landscape, duh.

YouTube Shorts

Sike! YouTube now has a home for your vertical content, too. If you’ve been living under a rock, you might have missed that YouTube introduced its 'Shorts' feature. Similar to TikTok, YouTube Shorts allows you to post vertical, short-form videos - breaking away from the traditional mould of the OG YouTube video. 

YouTube Shorts have shown to have INSANE organic reach, bringing people from all over to your platform and in turn, increasing brand awareness! You can post videos up to 60 seconds long, and unlike TikTok, you can add video titles - so fill those bad boys up with popular keywords to help increase your reach.

Google My Business

The Secret Weapon.

Do you actively update your Google My Business (GMB) profile? As SEO extraordinaire and founder of Team Empathy (they look after ODV’s SEO), Ben Male says - GMB is the “ultimate directory” for when customers are looking for what you offer. You can list products, collate reviews, add images, update your opening hours.

You can ALSO post on it like any other social channel, so here’s how to optimise your video content:

Orientation

This platform ONLY takes landscape ratio images and videos and you can’t upload anything very high-res (otherwise it'll be rejected). We usually upload our videos at 720p rather than 1080p. 

Other Considerations

You need to post on GMB at the same time as your other channels - it’s the secret sauce for your SEO rankings. GMB will also reject your posts if they contain too many emojis or links within the actual post, but again, experiment and resubmit - there’s no perfect formula to avoid this unfortunately.

Our Final Words

So, how’d you go? Learn anything new? Overwhelmed by information? Don’t worry, we get it. That's why we created this guide! Keep in mind, social media trends are fast-changing so there's no harm in experimentation.

We hope you've gotten something out of this - navigating social platforms can be tricky. But with our hot tips we're sure you're on your way to creating a successful social media post with video!

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