Video for social media: a few things to consider
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Video for social media: a few things to consider

Author: James Cresswell | Posted on: 10 October 2019

One of our recent projects for Birmingham City University was a promotional video for the university’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment, showcasing their cutting-edge facilities and the opportunities that they can offer to prospective students.

Given the video’s target audience of technologically-minded young people, the client naturally also requested a series of shorter-form versions specifically for social media. Faced with the challenge of taking the original video’s message and condensing it down for social media platforms, here’s a run-through of a few of the considerations we had and decisions we made.

social media video


The main video was ideally suited to being repurposed in this way, due to its being divided into four sections — each one focusing on an individual area of study offered by the Faculty: computing, digital technology, engineering, and the built environment.

This meant that each individual 15-second social media video could focus on just one of these areas. This brevity and singular focus of each video fits well with how content is generally consumed on social media. Writing for Forbes, Nicole Martin describes how:

“Most people will just scroll through their newsfeed and stumble upon relevant news content but just read the headlines or a short video clip of the piece. An average visitor will only read an article for 15 seconds or less and the average video watch time online is 10 seconds.”

In such a landscape, it’s important to be able to say what you’re aiming to say as efficiently as possible, while also being visually arresting enough to capture a passive viewer’s attention (that’s where our shots of BCU’s cutting-edge tech came in handy!)

These considerations even factored into the decision to provide the clients with vertical ‘portrait’ versions of the videos. This style of presentation fits with how most mobile users naturally hold their phones; and, appropriately, research conducted by Buffer found that, “in all of the experiments [they] conducted … vertical video outperformed square video within the Facebook News Feed.”

These decisions were not made purely in consideration of the viewer’s convenience, however. Having these four more specifically-focused videos for social media can also really benefit the client in terms of helping them to find the audiences with whom each video will most strongly resonate.

So, if the client were to use these videos as paid-for advertisements on Facebook, they would be able to use the network’s ad management platform to direct each video towards the specific groups of people who would be most interested in it. For example, the Computing ad could be targeted towards young people whose online activity denotes an interest in programming or games development; or the Built Environment ad could be targeted towards those who show an interest in architecture.

The importance of social media to businesses big and small cannot be underestimated, and video content can go a long way to help develop your brand’s presence on these platforms. If you want to know more about how we can help you to develop and produce content for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Author: James Cresswell

James Cresswell gravatar avitar
James is our copywriter and social media manager here at Ember Television. He joined us after studying an MA programme in Film and Television: Research and Production at the University of Birmingham.
Video for social media: a few things to consider



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