How to grow your social media channels with video

George M. Hughes, Founder and Creative Director, Small Films

18th October 2021

written by George Hughes

In an era where we are surrounded by limitless content, how do brands continue to stand out on social media and create those ‘thumb-stopping’ moments? When designing videos for social, we need to consider how the user consumes content. Are they scrolling TikTok on the bus? Watching a quick how-to video in between meetings? Or are they relaxing on the sofa watching a vlog from their favourite influencer? These examples tap into the three types of consumer behaviour. On-the-go – a short attention span with what they’re watching. Lean Forward – More actively engaged with the video, likely to comment or share the content. Lean Back – Watching in a planned environment, with a longer attention span.    

By matching your video content on your social channels to your users’ three states, you’ll make better connections with your audience. They’ll choose the content that complements whether they’re on-the-go, leaning forward or leaning back – helping to keep your voice heard in a crowded marketplace.   

Types of on-the-go video content

6 – 15 second Facebook/Instagram/YouTube adverts
Instagram reels
Gifs
Instagram story
TikTok
Cinemagraphs

Small Film’s 6 second Facebook advert for Mackie’s ice cream

Designing creatives for on-the-go moments

  • Keep it a short (under 1 minute) impactful video that captures attention quickly. 
  • Design for vertical or square – people rarely turn their phone sideways when on-the-go and landscape ratio videos don’t take up as much space in their social feed. 
  • Establish the context upfront and grab their attention as quickly as possible.
  • Integrate branding in the first 3 seconds.
  • Deliver your message in 10 seconds or less.

Types of lean forward content

Testimonials
Explainer videos
How-to videos
Behind the scenes

Designing creatives for lean forward moments

  • Design for sound on and off.
  • Deliver your message in the first minute.
  • Include CTAs where necessary.
  • Be succinct and to the point.
  • Take your viewers on a quick journey using concise storytelling.

Types of lean back content

Vlogs
Live broadcasts
Instagram Live
Documentary-style videos
Long-form branded content
YouTube shorts

Designing creatives for lean back content

  • Create stories that resonate.
  • Design for sound-on.
  • Design for horizontal viewing.
  • Indulge the audience with great storytelling.

Thanks to smartphones, you can now reach your customers wherever they are 24/7 – and there’s no better platform to do that than social media. Remember that your customers won’t always be in the right frame of mind to engage in your video content. That’s why it’s essential to have a mix of different content of different lengths and styles that they can enjoy, whatever they are doing. So whether they are time poor and want a quick video fix or whether they are ready to indulge in some long-form video content, you can provide them with the right videos to excite and delight them. 

If you would like support creating a video for your social channels then do get in contact with the Small Films team – we’d love to help.