Here’s How to Make Stunning Social Media Videos (Without Being a Tech Wiz)

Video content is king, but you don’t have to be a technology expert to create it.
January 8, 2020 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Unsurprisingly, video content has quickly become an essential part of social media branding. According to research from Renderforest, video content on social media generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images, and 90 percent of viewers state that a video helps them determine whether they will buy a product. But if you have a small marketing team or lack professional equipment or know-how, the idea of creating a stunning social media video can seem impossible.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. In reality, even those without any tech-savvy can create engaging, well-crafted video content that drives social media engagement. You just need the right process — and the right tools. Here are some guidelines for making it happen.

Related: 5 Ways Social Media Video Will Benefit Your B2B Business in 2020

Leverage existing content.

For many who are new to creating video content, even the idea of coming up with topic ideas can seem intimidating. The good news is if you’ve been doing your due diligence in other areas, you already have a great source of video content ideas: your old blog posts.

Look at your most popular or most shared posts to get a better idea of which topics most resonated with your audience. Typing your blog URL into a site like BuzzSumo is an easy way to determine which entries generated the most engagement. Once you know what’s performed best in the past, you can start repurposing what you’ve already written to formulate your video script.

In a blog post for Social Media Examiner, Serena Ryan recommends creating videos that target different portions of the marketing funnel: brand awareness, building relationships and making the sales pitch. “Your videos might not use all of the content from your blog post,” she writes. “Your main goal is to deliver the material most relevant to each part of your funnel. Choose the best content to create a one- or two-minute video with the information your funnel requires. To pack the most value into each video, cut introductions and instead display text or titles in the lower third. What’s important is to get your message across clearly and succinctly.”

Set things up for quality recording.

You can certainly film social videos using only your smartphone, but to get good results, you still need to set yourself up with the right equipment. For example, a sturdy tripod will stabilize your smartphone to avoid shaky, handheld camera-esque footage. The right lighting will drastically improve image quality and make it easier to edit your video later on. Soft, natural light is best. Try to avoid harsh shadows or bright sunlight. If you’ll be speaking in front of the camera, arrange the lighting so that your face is evenly lit.

The right location can make all the difference. After all, if you’re filming a product video, you don’t want a busy background to distract from the product itself. If you’ll be speaking in front of the camera rather than dubbing in a voiceover, you’ll need to film in a quiet area free of excessive background noise. Speak directly into a microphone, and focus on your enunciation so that your voice is easy to understand.

Take advantage of user-friendly editing apps for polish.

Once filming is complete, you’ll need to edit your video to give it a quality look. Fortunately, editing is no longer limited to film experts. One tool that I’ve found to be particularly helpful is VideoBoost, a free app in the BoostApps suite that offers easy-to-use templates and animations that can integrate with your business’s logo, as well as trimming and formatting for various social platforms and helpful editing filters. You can add your own video and text or use stock footage and pre-written copy.

You should also be mindful of how different social media platforms can influence your video formatting. For example, Instagram videos have a maximum length of 60 seconds, and most users prefer a square 1:1 aspect ratio that matches the style of photos found in their feed. With Facebook, on the other hand, you can post videos as long as 120 minutes (not that that’s recommended). Landscape video in a 16:9 ratio is preferred. Don’t let the wrong formatting throw off your marketing efforts.

Related: What All High-Performing Social Media Videos Have in Common

Creating engaging video content that you can share on your social platforms doesn’t require that you purchase expensive film equipment or hire a video-editing tool. By following these practices and taking advantage of the resources that are readily available to you, you can create great, dynamic content without breaking your marketing budget.

Alabama U’s Stunning Football-Championship Performance? 3 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn.

Just watching quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was inspiring in and of itself.

I’ve encountered a lot of amazing people and experiences throughout the course of my journey that have helped me successfully navigate through the world of entrepreneurship; but nothing has benefited my journey more than the game of football.

Related: What Football Teaches About Building High-Performance Teams

There are so many incredible life lessons the game has taught me as well as prepared me mentally, emotionally, even physically, to win and thrive in the game of business.

The awesome thing about football is that you don’t need to be a former NFL player like me to take away key lessons from the game. This past Monday, we fans were fortunate to witness what turned out to be an amazing College Football National Championship game pitting the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Both of these dominant football teams battled to the very last minute and provided an unbelievable experience for millions of viewers: After trailing for a good portion of the game, Alabama was able to come out victorious in overtime and win its fifth national championship in nine years.

Not only was this championship game spectacular to watch, it also provided key business lessons that we can all adopt and utilize in our own lives and businesses. Here are three key takeaways all entrepreneurs and business leaders can benefit from.

Related: Winning Sales Strategies from National Champion Alabama Roll Tide Football Coach Nick Saban

1. Never stop fighting.

This sounds self-evident, but the importance of never giving up and continuing to fight for a goal or dream you are incredibly passionate about can’t be talked about enough in entrepreneurship and business. Alabama’s gritty performance was a perfect example that no matter how bad things get, if you keep fighting and focusing on the present moment, great things will come your way.

That was Alabama’s story right through the sluggish first half; it looked like Georgia was going to run away with the game and win all.

In fact, Alabama went into halftime trailing Georgia by 13 points. But Alabama’s players didn’t panic. They kept fighting through every adversity they encountered. Little by little, they got themselves back into the ballgame and attacked in overtime to seal the deal.

There will be many adversities and hardships that you come face to face with throughout your entrepreneurial journey, but when you possess grit and a “never-give-up” mentality, you will eventually turn it all around. Just as Alabama displayed on Monday night, champions, in both the business world and on the football field, never stop fighting.

2. Preparation breeds excellence.

One of the more spectacular stories from this game occurred when Alabama head coach Nick Saban decided to switch quarterbacks during halftime, when the Tide were down by 13 points: That’s how freshman Tua Tagovailoa got his chance on the biggest stage in all of college football.

This young man gave Alabama the spark it desperately needed and he continued in that spirit right up to his winning touchdown pass. His presence and execution in what had to be the biggest game of his life was something that will be remembered for a long time. He was ready for his moment, and it paid off big-time. Regardless of where you currently stand right now, what you can learn fromTagovailoa’s phenomenal performance was that preparation breeds excellence.

So, whether we’re talking about a big sales presentation, your product’s debut in the marketplace or your desire to experience tremendous personal growth, prepare as if your life and business depended on it, because they do. Complacency will never help you get to the next level. That’s why you need to learn the ins and outs of your business, master everything you can about the marketplace and your industry and, most importantly, never stop looking to grow yourself as an individual.

A ridiculous amount of preparation followed by execution is what bridges the gap between good and great. Tua Tagovailoa is an amazing example of what happens when you prepare to be the best even if you aren’t the best just yet.

3. Acknowledge and constantly give praise to your team.

Tagovailoa’s performance on the field wasn’t the only thing that shocked me. His ability to acknowledge and constantly give praise to his teammates in the postgame interviews, when everyone was specifically labeling him the hero, was nothing short of remarkable. He clearly understood that to truly win and be crowned a champion, on the field or in the business world, you never actually do it alone.

His offensive linemen had to block for him, the receivers had to catch the ball and the running backs had to be productive in the run game to open up the passing lanes. The same is true for you and your business.

You may be the one leading it all and out in front, but true leadership is about constantly giving praise to your team and those who help you every day to carry out your vision. This is one of the key ingredients to building a great culture and getting the most out of your people.

Giving credit to others will not only make you look good, but will have a positive impact on the lives of others by bringing the most out of people. And that’s what matters most: You don’t need to wait for massive success in your business or some big-time interview to adopt this key lesson.

Related: Notre Dame Football Legend Rudy Ruettiger Conquers Odds and Hearts

Start today by picking one or more team members, vendors or anyone else you work with and let these people know much they mean to you. Tell them often what a great job they are doing and make it a point to list their positive characteristics. Then, once you’ve made this a daily habit, the results will astonish you.