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Video Design Best Practices For Social Media

Optimize For Size

Not all social media websites are created equal - and the wrong social media video size can hinder your ability to pop up in people’s newsfeeds and scoring views.

Even if you’re making the same content for each channel, optimize every video size for each social media channel individually. Next time your crafting a video marketing strategy, try the below specs:


  • 1280 x 720 for landscape video and portrait video
  • 4096 x 2048 for 360-degree video


  • 600 x 315 for landscape video
  • 600 x 750 for vertical video
  • 600 x 600 for square (which we recommend)
Video Content Size Optimize Dove Men's Care

Choose The Right Length

Just like size matters, the correct video length can make or break your impressions, too. Every social media network’s audience has a different use for the platform, so tailoring the length of your social media videos to their needs will pay off.

Instagram and Twitter benefit from shorter videos - aim for 30 seconds to one minute. However, Facebook and YouTube can handle longer content. Facebook has seen a big rise in long-form Facebook Live videos - which live on your profile after the session. Meanwhile, YouTube SEO looks for high-value long-form content.

Search engine optimization expert Brian Dean breaks down some easy tips to help you rank on YouTube, such as timely headlines and proper tagging, but the length of his own video says a lot, too - at over 15 minutes, it demonstrates how various videos perform differently on certain social media platforms.

Video Marketing Content Brian Dean Backlinko Video Length

Don’t Rely On Sound

A majority of Facebook videos are watched without sound - and it’s easy to see why. Most videos auto-play silently, and many viewers may be watching them at work or in areas that don’t warrant sound.

Therefore, it’s important to place your reliance on visuals for social media videos - especially on Facebook and Instagram. Now, this isn’t to say you can’t have sound - but give your viewers something else to hold onto.

Video Text Captions Sound Obama NowThis News

Try Stories & Live Feeds

Studies show that 94 percent of people use their phones vertically, which also means watching videos in a portrait mode. Although this information may not change our run-of-the-mill video marketing, it certainly correlates with the rise of live feeds and real-time story updates on social media platforms.

Networks such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat all have vertical video options that are worth exploring - especially if you want to start dabbling in multimedia but are still on a lean startup budget. These raw, uncut updates have the potential to reach millions of viewers - Instagram stories alone has over 500 million daily users. Plus, utilizing story features in particular help you beat the algorithms and boost your discoverability by other social media users.

Instagram Stories Vertical Video Well+Good

Test Different Formats

70% of B2B buyers watch videos during the decision-making process, while videos on landing pages improve conversion rates up to 86%. Therefore, investing in any type of video will obviously be worthwhile.

However, the type of videos that improve your SEO, reach high impressions, see high shares and speak to your audience may be different from what works for another brand. Don’t be afraid to create several different types of videos and see what performs the best. Or, make your strategy a little more official and A/B test your videos to determine the exact elements your audience identifies with.

Video Marketing Content Formats Vogue YouTube Channel

5 Video Design Trends To Use In 2022

Frontload Your Video

The first few seconds of your video - especially on social media sites that auto-play content - are crucial in capturing the interest of your audience. Therefore, you should front-load them with alluring images or b-roll and engaging text to entice viewers to keep watching.

After all, video is one of the fastest-growing forms of content marketing - 85 percent of marketers use it while 92% of them see it as a vital part of their marketing! Other content types like blog posts and news articles place emphasis on a compelling lede to capture readers - your videos need to do the same.

lululemon Front-Load Action Video

Try Motion Graphics

Investing time, money and energy into a full video shoot can be overwhelming for startups, but it’s not your only option when it comes to video. Try trendy motion graphics or stop motion videos to engage your audience instead.

Stop motion videos are particularly easy to create - all you need is an iPhone, a tripod and simple video editing software. Instead of pressing record, move items in tiny increments, snapping plenty of photos along the way.

Then, string the pictures together in an image-based video and you’ve got yourself a video flipbook that consumers will engage with! 

Motion Graphics Stop Motion Video Ritz Crackers

Go 360

Augmented reality and virtual reality videos are costly and difficult to produce - particularly on a regular basis. However, there is a similar interactive counterpart that will immerse your audience in your brand: 360-degree video.

There are several types of 360-degree video, but ultimately, they give the illusion of being immersed in a scene just like VR. The main difference between the two is that VR offers a limitless experience, while 360-degree videos are more grid-like in navigation and may have some angles that aren’t as enveloping.

360 VR AR Videos Discovery Channel Rollercoaster

Incorporate Humor

According to the American Psychological Association, laughter improves cognitive function and promotes better learning and retention. Including humor in a commercial will encourage viewers to actually watch it and improve the chances that they will remember the information presented.

Comedy is an easy way to let your brand identity shine. Just make sure the type of humor you want to incorporate will fit with your audience. One step in the wrong direction and you could face a PR headache instead of a viral video.

Funny Video Commercial Kmart Ship My Pants

Create Conversation

The best way to get people talking about your video is to give them something to talk about. In fact, Kevin Alloca, head of culture and trends at YouTube, asserts that the best videos utilize participation - aka the ability to participate in a conversation about a video -  to increase chances of going viral.

Conversation Video Pop Culture Taylor Swift Music

How To Create A Successful Video Ad Campaign

Quality Over Quantity

Video marketing has generally higher retention rates compared to other marketing types (52%). However, that doesn't mean that you should be pushing out several videos every single day. Instead, stick to the age-old adage of quality over quantity.  

A well-produced video will explain information, tell a story and engage users fully on multiple channels. In fact, beyond 2021 videos will be the preferred way of learning about products and services. So, take your time creating a longer and more comprehensive narrative. Video competition is stiff - and you can’t afford to lose viewers because you pushed out a sub-par production out of fear.

Halo Top Video Content Quality On Brand

Make It Mobile-Friendly

Mobile video views are on the rise, surpassing 75 percent of all video views. Also, people are 1.5 times more likely to watch videos on their phones plus mobile video consumption rises 100% each year. Therefore, it’s imperative that you create mobile-friendly videos that make it easy for your followers to view and share.

If you’re creating a social media video ad, make sure you set specific parameters within the buying process, then film and edit within them -- you don’t want to have to trim a video size and lose important elements of the narrative. If your video is embedded directly onto your site, add a responsive video splash screen to ensure it is automatically responsive to various screen sizes.

Create different cuts of videos to optimize the correct size and length for every social platform. This will improve your organic reach, overall views and engagement.  

Mobile Friendly Video Content

Create Emotional Appeal

The most shared - and most successful - video ads are heavily rooted in emotional appeal. Consumers want to feel implored to make a purchase or transfer their brand loyalty and appealing to them on a personal level is a successful way to increase reach and conversions.

Budweiser Video Ad Emotional Appeal

Stay On Brand

Users' purchase intent improves 90% when there is consistency in messaging and content across various channels. In fact, the same percentage of users expects consistency on various touchpoints. Therefore, whether you’re creating a simple social media campaign or a large-scale advertisement, it should be easily identifiable with your overarching brand.

To achieve this, note how you will brand the video, incorporate notable taglines and utilize correct fonts and color palettes within the video design before you start shooting. It may also benefit the business to look at older successful campaigns and see how you can incorporate their elements into your new video, because the best videos are those that achieve striking continuity.

On Brand Video Lincoln Motor Company

How to Create an Award-Winning Video Design


Write a good one

Today, it’s an award for video designs, tomorrow, who knows? An Oscar might be closer than you think. Both, however, start with a script. Writing might not be what first comes to mind when you’re shooting for video design awards, but it is the crucial first step.

First, select a topic you’re passionate about or something that piques your interest. That way, you’ll not only find it easier to express yourself but emanate authenticity as well. While originality is often out of reach, being genuine is what turns (the viewers’) heads.

Once you’ve finalized the topic, as well as the type of video you’re going to make, it’s time to lay down the foundation and work on the content, i.e., the rough draft of your story. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Finally, the point is to have a reference note, so you don’t forget to cover essentials when you begin filming. Alternatively, a storyboard is also a good option.

Scripting process


Select the right video type

Whether this choice comes after or before the scripting process is entirely up to you. But picking a fitting video type is essential as it will directly affect the style and the overall tone of your video. Not to mention that each one comes with its own process of shooting, editing, sound production, etc.

Whether you’re making an explainer, product video, demo or short movie, you can opt for animated or live-action or a combination of the two. Award winning video designs typically merge multiple approaches.

It’s important to note that some video types are best suited for professional and business-oriented videos while others are pertinent for casual entertainment.

Bottom line, pick the one befitting your content style, chosen topic and goal.

Video Type


Use high-quality equipment

Using a superior camera is an obvious way to improve your video quality. Superior, doesn’t necessarily mean premium or expensive. There are two main camera options: built-in mobile or professional camera.

The camera quality of almost all top smartphone brands has seen exponential improvement in recent years. Since people are typically used to looking at the world through the lenses of their smart devices, using them for your video design can be an obvious choice.

On the other hand, to create professional-looking videos, a phone camera might leave you wanting. In such cases, investing in a professional camera with built-in image stabilization, color correction, the ability to swap lenses and a slew of other features is probably a better choice.

Having superior equipment is not a set-and-forget deal. Additionally, you need to make sure you have enough lighting (natural or studio) and upgrade the audio quality. Audio can make or break your content. While the video is what draws your audience, audio, on the other hand, is responsible for immersion.

Quality equipment


Include Captions or Subtitles

If your video is to be consumed online, make sure it can be enjoyed by different types of audiences.

For the past couple of years, accessibility, meaning convenience but also inclusion, diversity and representation has become one of the main focuses of brands across industries. So, how can you make your video design encompass all these facets?

First things first, use closed captions. They differ from your typical subtitles as they also take into account background noises and other audio cues present in your video. While aiding those with hearing impairment, it also helps people that consume your content in a noisy area or those that don’t speak the chosen language. Not to mention that closed captions improve immersion.

Besides captions, you may take into consideration the inclusion of a transcript, a summary of the video or even sign language interpreters.



Consider where the video will be seen. Online vs TV.

Which medium should you focus on? That is the question. While there is no clear answer, you should always consider your viewers’ preferences and/or demographics. Millennials and younger viewers barely spend any time in front of the TV. If they are your preferred audience, you should probably opt for online, mobile-first video content.

On the other hand, while not as powerful as it was before, the stagnant beast known as television is still a force not to be underestimated. Videos designed for TV benefit from the inherent authority that emanates from silver screens.

Choose a medium
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