Best Practices for Marketing Videos on Social Media

Let’s be honest, video, like so many aspects of marketing and branding, video is not a super simple thing that you can just jump right into without any knowledge or planning. You’ve made the wise decision to create some marketing videos for your small business, now it’s time to plan. Each social media platform is unique in the way that it handles and displays video. One of the first moves in creating a video marketing strategy is to build a plan based on distribution. You could be sending video emails, posting on social media, or creating a few videos to enhance your website, and the plan will look a bit different in each scenario. Let’s take a look at a few things that will save you time and headache if you sort them out before you start.

Where will you post your video?

This is the first question you should ask yourself. There are plenty of places where your video could shine and attract new clients to increase revenue. On the flip side, there are places where it is destined to fail. So, which platforms should you consider when creating your videos? Where you post your videos will determine a lot about the format of the video and the content of the message. Answer 2 questions:


Who is your audience?


Where do they hang out?

Most likely, you have already identified the core audience that uses your products and services. For determining where your videos should go, it’s important to know the age range of your clients and the primary ways they have interacted with you. Look at analytics on your website and your social channels to find this data.

Using the data from your audience research, you should be able to determine where your ideal client spends most of their time online, and whether or not they open and respond to emails. It’s good to assume that most people will be viewing your emails, website, and videos from a mobile device like a phone or a tablet. It’s best to optimize for mobile viewing in everything you do.

Optimizing your video for the proper social media channels

While there are no hard and fast rules for length and format of videos on the internet, these are some great guidelines based on data collected from thousands of profiles across 3 social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Facebook Videos

As of January 2022, 31% of Facebook users are between 25 and 34 years old. This is the largest segment of age demographics using the platform. You may see slightly different demographics for your own brand’s personal engagement, so it’s important to view your post insights. Videos command 136% more organic reach than posts with images, so the algorithm favors video distribution. Here are some tips for optimizing your marketing videos for distribution on Facebook.

The Message

  • Keep it short and direct. Your videos should be one minute or less. Make your message clear.
  • “Punchline first” – cram the most interesting and important bit into the first 10 seconds.
  • Be human and not robotic. Your personality needs to be seen here. Don’t be fake.
  • Make sure there’s a clear call to action at the end. Viewers need to know what to do next.
  • Use graphics and text overlays to emphasize your main points.
  • Use captions. Viewers aren’t always in a place where they can turn up the volume. Auto-generated captions need review and editing.

The Method

  • Shoot your video in one of two formats:
    • Square (1:1) – You can shoot square video with an iPhone. This format uses more of the screen. If you’re using DSLR, you will need to change aspect ratio in post production.
    • Landscape (16:9) – This is a wide shot from left to right. More cinematic looking, but uses less of the screen.
  • Audio – Bad audio will kill your message. Invest in a lavalier mic or a shotgun mic. They aren’t super expensive, and the benefits are incredible.
  • Use music, sound effects, and voice over in appropriate situations. Try Pixabay for music and sound effects.

Instagram Videos

Almost 60% of Instagram’s users are between 18 and 32 years old. That’s a telling piece of data for anyone looking to gain a following on the platform. On average, Instagram users watch 30 minutes of reels, stories, and video posts each day. In order to capture that audience, you need to know the purpose for each type of post, what it does, and how it performs. The algorithm favors reels and stories above posts. 500 million people login to look at stories each day.

Reels & Stories

  • Reels are short videos that live inside your profile and they can be a combination of video and still photos.
  • Stories are short videos that are accessed by clicking your circle profile photo. They only remain active for 24 hours, however you can repurpose a story to create a reel.
  • Reels and Stories should be between 15 and 30 seconds long.
  • Both types of video should be shot in portrait format (tall, not wide)
  • Make sure there’s a clear call to action here again. There should be no confusion about what the viewer needs to do to get in touch, purchase, etc.
  • Graphics, text overlays, strange filters, and captions should be used when necessary.
  • Find trending audio (the little diagonal arrow by the track at the bottom of other reels) with fewer than 5,000 reels, and put it in your video.


  • I personally would not create videos that are specifically made for posts. Posts get less organic reach than reels and stories. I would repurpose videos that you have already made for Facebook and YouTube in square or landscape format, and create Instagram posts around them.
  • THE ONLY EXCEPTION – If you are creating a paid advertising campaign… square video and animation both work very nicely as a paid ad post.
  • Audio – You need the best audio possible. First, be aware of your surroundings. If you’re outside without a lavalier mic, is there street noise, wind, or other loud noises? If you’re shooting with a phone or the built-in mic on a DSLR, make sure you are close enough to the camera. Indoors, be aware of echo from hard surfaces. You can soften this by using blankets and pillows.

YouTube Videos

YouTube’s viewer demographics are evenly spread across age groups because there’s literally something for everyone on the platform. 18-24 year olds make up 15% of the users, 25-34 year olds come in at 20.5%, 35-44 year olds combine for 16.5% of YouTube’s viewers, and 45-54 year olds make up 12% of users. It’s also worth noting that 19% of YouTube viewers are 55 and older (split evenly between 55-64 and 65+). So what do you do with this info? Put your videos on YouTube!

The Purpose

  • One of the best things about uploading your videos to YouTube is that it is a search engine on it’s own. You will receive great visibility in Google searches as well.
  • YouTube is also the place to put your longer videos. 2 minute videos or 10 minute videos, and everything in between.
  • It’s the perfect platform for educational and “how-to” videos, product videos, brand awareness videos, and more.
  • Drive traffic to your website using in-video links and profile links.

The Format

  • While you can upload video in any format, the best practice would be to keep it uniform. Videos on YouTube should be shot in landscape (16:9) orientation.
  • Live action and screen capture videos, documentary style, as well as produced and polished. All types of video are fair game.
  • Create your channel and optimize it by walking through the entire setup.
  • Use keywords and links in the video descriptions for great SEO.

Planning ahead will save you a lot of time and effort. When you format your videos correctly for distribution on each social media channel, you will increase your chances of engagement.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 3 must-have videos for all businesses.

If you have questions about creating a video marketing strategy for your small business, or if you want a fresh set of eyes on your video content to discover where you could be missing opportunities, set up 30-minute call with JT Creative and see if we can help you overcome some of your video marketing challenges.


Rijswijk, South Holland
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