[347] How to create engaging social media videos (even if you hate being on camera)

Experts predict that by the end of 2019, 80% of the content we consume online will be video. So if video isn’t part of your social media strategy, you could be missing a trick.

But what kind of videos should you be posting on social media? How long should your videos be? And can you publish great social media video – even if you don’t have fancy equipment and/or hate being on camera?

Just some of the questions covered in this podcast episode on how to create engaging social media videos (even if you hate being on camera).

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Why publish more videos on social media

According to recent research from Buzzsumo, Facebook video is outperforming text-based posts by 73% – a pattern that’s reflected across almost all social media platforms.

But it’s not just about the numbers. Video allows you to create a more personal connection with your followers. When people can see your face and hear your voice, you can get closer to your audience. For example, this shaky 30 second video of the moment I spotted my family at the 2019 London Marathon was never intended for social media (my daughter shot it), but is one of my best-performing posts.

Essential kit for social media videos

As the video confidence expert Ian Anderson Gray shared in his podcast interview on how to look and feel more confident on live video, you don’t need any special equipment to start creating social media videos.

In fact, it’s better to start with your mobile phone and natural daylight. You can always upgrade later. I recorded this video on how to improve the lighting in your social media videos on my phone with no special lighting – or even a microphone.

If you are going to invest in any kit, a lapel mic like the Rode Smartlav+. and a selfie ring light are inexpensive options. Don’t worry about fancy video editing software either. When you’re just getting started, just using the editing tools on your phone is enough.

How to add captions to your social media videos

Around 85% of people are watching your videos with the sound turned down/off. Which means there’s little point posting social media videos – including Facebook ads – without captions.

If people can’t hear what you’re saying, they’re unlikely to engage with your content.

While you can upload a closed caption (.srt file) to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter,  this isn’t always reliable.

Having closed captions permanently burned onto your videos means you can use them across multiple platforms, multiple times, without having to fiddle around getting .srt files to upload properly.  

You can hire a video editor to burn captions onto your videos, but this isn’t always the best solution. If you’ve created a short, timely social media video, you want to get it online fast. Which means you won’t want to wait until your video editor is free to do it.

This blog post shows you how to permanently add captions to your videos using Rev.com* and Kapwing.

Six types of social media post you should be creating

Now we’ve established why creating social media videos is important, here are the six posts you should be creating regularly.

1.Tips and advice

This is where you share a practical tip/tactic that provides a solution to a specific problem. For example, I created this social media video on how to improve the lighting in your social media videos. I did it ‘live’ in a masterclass I was teaching to show students how easy it is to create and publish live video.  

I used Rev.com* to generate a caption file and Kapwing to add captions and the red border.


Inspired by the repurposing expert Amy Woods of Content 10x, I now create a short video trailer for my podcast episodes. This is a great way to generate interest in a new blog, vlog or YouTube video. This trailer I created for my podcast interview with Liz Melville on What’s Working On Facebook Right Now attracted great engagement on social media.


This is when you take people behind the scenes in your life or your business. For example, this time lapse video from candle maker Kelly Smith attracted thousands of views on LinkedIn.

I discuss this video in more depth  in my LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook.

If you’re afraid to show your face on camera, behind-the-scenes content can be a great place to start. For example, I worked with a fashion designer who was nervous about video. She started off by sharing time lapse video of her sketching on Instagram Stories – which gave her the courage to show her face

Remember that people are basically nosy and love to know what you’re up to. So take them on the journey with you. Give them a tour of your office, holiday home and/or the places you visit. One of my best-performing YouTube videos is this one on the hair straightening treatment I have twice a year called Yuko.

You don’t have to share your deepest, darkest secrets; you get to ‘curate’ the content you share. But people love to do business with people – which is why giving your audience an insight into the person behind the business can be so powerful.

4.Preview videos

This is if when you ‘preview’ a new product or service. For example, I created this short social media video to generate interest in my Social Media Engagement Playbook, ahead of the official launch.

I created very similar content ahead of the launch of my 2019 Media Diary.

5.Demo videos

This is when you record yourself demonstrating a tool or resource – like this Loom video I created on how to permanently add captions to your videos using Rev.com* and Kapwing.   I originally created this video for my team but repurposed it as content for LinkedIn.

While I used Loom to record this video, I also use Screenflow to record my screen (I use a Mac – Camtasia is the best alternative for PC users). You could also use Zoom.

6. Grenade videos

This is when you create a video about a topic you know people will have strong opinions about and/or will divide people. For example, this video on why you shouldn’t give unsolicited feedback from Chris Marr, founder of the Content Marketing Academy. The post was originally published on LinkedIn but you can see it here. 

Additional tips:

  • Keep your social media videos short – no more than 2-3 minutes long (but do test to see what works best with your audience).
  • Get straight to the point. If you waffle you way through the first 10-15 seconds of your video, you’ll lose viewers’ attention
  • Upload your video straight to the platform you’re on (rather than sharing links). Remember every social media platform you’re on wants to keep you there – you may be penalised for taking people off the platform
  • Add external links to the comments – you’re less likely to be penalised
  • If you’re nervous about video, try starting with Instagram Stories as they disappear within 24 hours

Podcast Shownotes

  • Why you should be posting videos on social media (7:20)
  • Why you don’t need fancy equipment to make great social media videos  (15:00)
  • Why you must add captions to your social media videos (20:44)
  • The three types of content you should be creating to make sales in your business (21:34)
  • The six types of social media video video every coach, consultant or entrepreneur  should be able to create (26:59)




How to look and feel more confident on live video (podcast)

What’s Working On Facebook Right Now (podcast)

Social Media Engagement Playbook

LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook




Build Your Audience Live Event

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