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Videos are, undoubtedly, one of the most consumed types of online content today. Video content, whether it is on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube account leads to more brand lift, more shares, and, ultimately, more foot or website traffic for your brand. However, ensuring that your social media videos are optimized is essential.

But what makes a social media video optimized? There are a few components, depending on the platform you’re posting the video on.

Start with a goal. Why are you making the video? Who do you want to watch the video? Determine your audience and keep them in mind while creating the social media video. After you’ve decided who you want to reach, ask yourself what you want that audience to do once they have watched the video. Is the goal for them to click to your website to learn more about a product or service? Do you want to create brand awareness and hope that potential customers in your audience relate to your business or brand? Don’t spend the time and money making videos just because everyone else is and it seems like something you should do.  Most importantly, provide a reason for your audience to not only want to watch the video and take action, but to also to want more videos from you.

Craft a message that aligns with your goals and your audience. If you’re discussing something light on Twitter, be sure that the messaging reflects that. If you’re posting a product video on LinkedIn, maybe you’re more serious and to the point. If you want to connect with your audience on Facebook Live, have fun and be sure to check the comments often, and encourage people to ask questions. Just as you need to know your audience, your video should be reflective of the platform but most especially of your brand.

There is value to both long-form and short-form social media videos. Can you say what you need to say in :15 seconds or less? Does a longer-form video help you to tell your story? What length will your audience watch? If you’re posting a video on Twitter, keep it a bit shorter. If you’re posting a video on YouTube, longer-form content works well. On Facebook, try going Live and engaging with your audience through questions and answers. Have a younger audience? Have a bit of fun and make a few TikTok videos.

When the word video gets thrown around in marketing meetings, the first thought that usually pops into mind is, “we don’t have the budget.” But well-done social media videos don’t need expensive equipment, lighting, or scripting. We all have a video camera in our pockets and purses. Using a smartphone can be a great way to reach your audience through a lens of authenticity, especially for small-to-medium sized businesses. However, that doesn’t mean you create social media videos without being prepared.

Once you have determined your goal, audience, and message, find the people within your company that have a passion for your brand and that aren’t camera shy. Get them involved in the social media videos, ensuring that they understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and have them run through what they should say or do. It doesn’t have to be polished, but everyone involved should be knowledgeable and prepared, especially if you’re conducting a live video.

When uploading the social media video, be sure to use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your brand and to the video in particular. These keywords will help consumers find your video through search.

Finally, after all of this work, you’ll want people to watch the video. Don’t be shy about promoting it on your social accounts, website, and emails. Repost it a few times throughout the quarter. Encourage people to share and comment.