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A Guide to Social Media Video Production for Small Businesses

Visual of a phone recording scenery with some glitter illustrative elements on the image

Social media has changed the way we communicate. So much so, it’s hard to imagine a world without it or before its rise rather. Having an influential social media presence can be lucrative for a small business. In order to do so, however, requires consistency, and consistency requires unlimited access to content. Content is king. Having access to your own content is even better. We want to explore how you can build up your content bank as a small business, specifically social media video production.

This is why building your content bank and having social media video production is important for your small business. These videos can be used to tell a story, engage with your audience, peak into your brand, showcase products or services, and much more. Compelling content can even prompt an individual to make a purchase.

It's true that creating videos can be more time-intensive, but it's worth noting that people retain a remarkable 95% of what they see in a video compared to just 10% with text. As we dive into 2023, video consumption rates are skyrocketing, with 82% of all consumer Internet traffic expected to be video-related. This is why small businesses, despite their unique challenges, should tap into the full potential of social media videos.

We understand some of the drawbacks and limitations small businesses encounter. Having to compete with the marketing teams of big businesses while running the daily operations for your business can be overwhelming. It’s for this reason, we want to equip small business owners with the knowledge and skills to start to leverage the full potential of social media videos.



The Fundamentals of Social Media Video Production

There are key elements for making good video content. These six factors include:

  1. Get to know your audience well

  2. Have a solid marketing plan

  3. Keep your message clear and simple

  4. Connect with emotions

  5. Avoid being overly promotional

  6. Work with a professional for best results

Creating a good social media video is more than just taking a video. Successful social media videos resonate with the target audience, deliver a clear message, and align with specific marketing objectives. Understanding these factors is crucial for creating impactful content. Each piece of content you put out should serve a purpose.

Creating good social media video content is more than just recording a video. Successful social media videos resonate with the target audience, deliver a clear message, and align with specific marketing objectives. Understanding these factors is crucial for creating impactful content. Each piece of content you put out should serve a purpose.

Here are some things you’ll need or should consider:

  • Have Access to a Smartphone with Good Camera Quality: Social media videos are often shot on smartphones. Make sure your phone has a good camera that can record high-quality videos. To check, compare your video's quality with a competitor's recent successful video. If yours falls short, consider investing in a better camera/phone.

  • Get a Stable Smartphone Tripod or Phone Grip: Invest in a smartphone tripod or phone grip to keep your device steady while shooting. This helps you capture smooth and professional-looking videos.

  • Secure External Microphones or Lapel Mics: Clear audio is crucial for social media videos. Consider using an external microphone or lapel mic to improve sound quality and eliminate background noise.

  • Purchase a Portable Lighting Kit: Good lighting can elevate the visual appeal of your videos. Invest in a portable lighting kit with adjustable brightness to enhance your content, especially for indoor shooting.

  • Download a Video Editing App: Choose a user-friendly video editing app compatible with your smartphone. Look for features like trimming, adding text, music, and filters to enhance your videos before posting.

  • Put Together Storyboards or Content Outline: Plan your videos with a simple storyboard or content outline. Organize your ideas and shots beforehand to ensure your videos have a clear structure and message.

  • Setup Props and Background Visuals: For product demos or behind-the-scenes videos, gather relevant props and set up a suitable background to create an engaging visual experience.

  • Don’t Limit Your Creativity and Authenticity: Embrace creativity and showcase your brand's authenticity in your social media videos. Experiment with different ideas, but stay true to your brand's voice and identity.

  • Be Aware of Video Length and Formatting for Optimization: Social media platforms have specific video length and format requirements. Be mindful of these restrictions when creating content for TikTok, Reels, or other platforms.

Choosing the Right Format and Style

For optimal results and video quality, you should make it a goal to understand the different formatting requirements across platforms. This is crucial in becoming a seasoned social media video creator. Each platform, whether it be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or X (Formerly Twitter) has its own video formatting requirements and dimensions.

Whether it be square, vertical, or horizontal shots, it’s essential to pay attention to these formatting requirements so your social media videos have the highest quality pre and post-production. For example:

Visual of the different video format types: 16:9, 1:1 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16

  • Square Videos: Square videos have a 1:1 aspect ratio and are well-suited for platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where they occupy more screen space and attract attention.

  • Vertical Videos: Vertical videos, with a portrait orientation (9:16 aspect ratio), are popular on platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories. They optimize the viewing experience on mobile devices.

  • Horizontal Videos: Horizontal videos, with a landscape orientation (16:9 aspect ratio), are commonly used on YouTube and traditional video platforms. They are suitable for longer-form content.

Once you have your equipment and a better understanding of your objective for the shoot, now you can plan for your social media video production.

Planning Your Social Media Videos

Proper planning and preparation for building your social media video content bank takes approximately 2-4 weeks. The more time you allow for planning and preparation, the better you’ll be able to pivot should trendy news and hot topics make way for video editing and adjustments to distribute timely content.

  • Content Calendar and Themes: Creating content without a content calendar is like shooting in the dark. Content calendars help with outlining your video topics and themes for the upcoming weeks. A structured plan ensures you cover various aspects of your brand and align your content with marketing campaigns or events. Incorporate themes that resonate with your audience, such as behind-the-scenes glimpses, product spotlights, user-generated content, educational tutorials, etc.

  • Set Objectives and Goals: Define specific objectives and goals for each video. Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads, having clear goals helps shape your video content and CTA. Having clear goals will keep you on task and in ensuring that the video fulfills its objective. If it doesn’t, this is also an opportunity to conduct A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t to track against your goals for each video collateral.

  • Audience Research: Conduct thorough research on your target audience's interests, preferences, and pain points. Understanding your audience helps tailor content that addresses their needs and prompts engagement. Tracking audience engagement across your shared video content will also help in tailoring more niche themes and topics you know will resonate with them.

  • Schedule Video Shoots: Plan video shoots well in advance to avoid last-minute rush and ensure proper execution. Having a schedule allows you to allocate resources, secure locations, and coordinate with team members.

  • Collaborations and Influencers: Identify potential collaboration opportunities with influencers or relevant brands. Influencer marketing has many benefits to small businesses. They can expand your reach and introduce your brand to new audiences.

  • Create a Content Bank: Build a content bank with stock footage, images, and pre-recorded video clips. This content reserve can be valuable during emergencies or periods of content shortage, especially that of evergreen content (content that remains timeless).

  • Analyze and Optimize: Look over the performance of your social media videos regularly. Analyze metrics such as views, engagement, and conversion rates to identify successful strategies and areas for improvement. Use these metrics as your guide for making adjustments and improvements into your social media video production strategy.

Recording Social Media Videos

As a small business, you may not have the resources to hire a social media video production team. Knowing how to begin your recording process and what’s necessary to do so will put you on the right path to success and becoming a great social media video creator.

  • Recording time: The time you spend on recording your video in terms of planning, development, and execution can vary based on your needs. For example, short videos, such as TikToks or Instagram Reels, can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, including shooting and editing. Longer-form videos, like YouTube content, may require a few hours or even a day to shoot and edit.

  • Lighting: Natural light can be your best friend when recording social media videos. Choose a well-lit location or shoot near windows to capture soft, flattering light. Shooting during the golden hour (early morning or late afternoon) can add a warm and enchanting glow to your footage. If shooting indoors, position yourself facing the light source to avoid unflattering shadows.

  • Equipment: Investing in a stable smartphone tripod or phone grip is crucial for achieving smooth and professional-looking videos. Tripods with adjustable height and stable legs offer versatility and convenience. For vlogging or on-the-go shooting, consider compact and lightweight stabilizers that provide steady footage even during movement.

  • Branding: Let your brand's personality shine through your videos. Embrace creativity and authenticity to connect with your audience on a deeper level. Experiment with different ideas, storytelling techniques, and video formats to stand out from the crowd. However, make sure to remain consistent in your brand’s aesthetics, voice, and personality.

  • Experience: Practice is the most effective way to discover your ideal video-shooting approach. While the initial 10, or even 20 videos, you create and share might not receive immediate engagement, but consistency is key. By posting videos consistently, you gain valuable insights into what content your audience finds valuable. Keep learning and refining your style to better connect with your viewers.

Editing Your Social Media Videos

Example of a video still before and after being edited

Editing videos, post-production, can be a long and tedious process but understanding the most important steps and being prepared can help minimize time and alleviate some of your editing burdens.

  • Editing Apps and Software: There are numerous user-friendly video editing apps available that can transform your videos with just a few taps. Some popular options include CapCut, InShot, Adobe Premiere Rush, and iMovie. These apps offer features like trimming, adding text, music, filters, transitions, and more to enhance your videos before posting on your social media platforms.

  • Adding Closed Captions: Including closed captions in your social media videos is essential for accessibility and engagement. Many users prefer watching videos with subtitles, especially when viewing without sound or in noisy environments. Apps like Clipomatic and Rev can automatically generate closed captions for your videos

  • Optimizing Video Length for Each Platform:

    1. Different social media platforms have specific video length preferences. Knowing them and understanding their similarities and differences can make the recording and editing process more seamless.

      1. TikTok and Instagram Reels: 15-60 seconds for most content, with a maximum of 3 minutes for select accounts.

      2. Instagram Feed: Up to 60 seconds for video posts.

      3. Instagram Stories: 15 seconds per story slide, but multiple slides can be used to create longer content.

      4. YouTube: Varies, but shorter videos tend to perform better. Aim for 5-15 minutes for most content. YouTube Shorts are similar in length to TikTok and Instagram Reels.

  • Enhancing Visuals with Filters and Effects: Experiment with filters and effects to add a touch of creativity and consistency to your video content. Many editing apps offer a wide range of filters, color adjustments, and effects to suit your brand's style and tone.

  • Optimizing Aspect Ratio for Mobile Viewing: Since most social media users consume content on mobile devices, optimizing your videos' aspect ratio for mobile viewing is essential. Vertical or square formats work best for mobile platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat.

  • Maintaining a Branded Look: A consistent visual identity for your videos helps reinforce your brand. Use your brand colors, logos, and fonts to maintain a cohesive and recognizable look across your content.

  • Adding Music and Sound Effects: Background music and sound effects can enhance the mood and storytelling of your videos. Ensure you have the rights to use the music or explore royalty-free music libraries to avoid copyright issues.

  • Previewing and Reviewing Before Posting: Always preview your edited videos to catch any mistakes or issues before publishing. Review the video's flow, transitions, and audio to ensure a seamless viewing experience.

Measuring Success and Improving Your Video Strategy

In 2023, video consumption rates have surged, with 82% of all consumer internet traffic being attributed to video content. It’s important that you understand these metrics and how you can leverage them to enhance your social media video production for your small business.

  • Analyze Engagement Metrics: Monitor metrics like views, likes, comments, shares, and click-through rates. These engagement indicators reveal how well your videos connect with your audience and encourage interaction. Higher engagement rates suggest that your content is appealing and relevant to your viewers.

  • Track Conversion Rates: If your video's goal is to drive conversions, such as website visits, sign-ups, or purchases, monitor conversion rates. This data provides insights into the video's impact on your marketing objectives and the effectiveness of your call-to-action.

  • Utilize A/B Testing: Experiment with different video formats, content styles, and CTAs by conducting A/B testing. Compare the performance of two variations to determine which approach yields better results and aligns with your objectives.

  • Ask for Feedback: Encourage your audience to provide feedback on your videos through comments, surveys, or polls. Understanding their preferences and opinions helps you tailor future content to better meet their needs and being a well-rounded social media video creator and marketer.

Key Takeaways

As we’ve learned, video is the preferred format for content consumption, by users, within social media platforms. In fact, video content is on a steep rise, with 85% of all internet users in the United States watching video content monthly proving video content isn't going anywhere. Using this knowledge to launch social media video production can lead to building a robust content bank of assets most useful to your audience.

Adhering to the right video format, tailored to the platform, is crucial for maximizing reach and engagement. For instance, while TikTok and LinkedIn accept the same video format, content that resonates on TikTok may not align with LinkedIn's professional audience. Understanding your audience and platform nuances is key. As well, recording high-quality videos and following pre and post-production best practices are essential steps in not only launching a video production division but also establishing yourself as an experienced social media video creator, capable of engaging your audience and driving potential purchases.

We look forward to helping small business owners leverage tools and insights to enhance their marketability. Social media content is one vehicle for reaching and effectively communicating to your audience. If you’ve found this article insightful, our team would love to hear from you!


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