Repurposing Video for Social Media: 4 Platforms to Try and Best Practices

January 12, 2022

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative


You know how some brands just seem to have videos everywhere across social media? They constantly post clips on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — maybe even LinkedIn, too. It makes you wonder: How big is their marketing team? And for that matter, how big is their budget?

Here’s the thing. Yes, creating social media videos takes time and money — but it probably takes less of each than you’d think.

You see, you don’t have to make separate videos for every single platform. Instead, you can repurpose the ones you already have. It just takes a little research, a little editing magic, and voila — your videos can be everywhere, too!

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Here’s how to repurpose your existing videos for organic (unpaid) content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We’ll also cover a few key best practices for creating your videos in general, to make sure you’re crafting the best content no matter where you share it.

Facebook video repurposing

With 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is by far the largest social media platform. It’s also one of the most popular platforms for video. This makes Facebook a prime place to reach a large audience.

Take advantage of the network’s size by repurposing videos that highlight your brand and product. We’ve found that tutorials or how-to guides, product launch announcements or big brand moments, and broad awareness videos perform well across Facebook. And, according to a 2018 study, 78% of U.S. consumers said they made purchases based on things they first saw on Facebook. That means you should use the network to keep your brand top-of-mind among B2B buyers.

Also remember that people are on Facebook to make connections, so aim to create social media videos that help them feel plugged in to you and your community. Repurpose content that highlights your company culture and customer success stories to show the human side of your brand.

There are two ways to share existing video content on Facebook: News Feed videos and Facebook Stories.

“78% of U.S. consumers said they made purchases based on things they first saw on Facebook.”

Facebook News Feed videos

These videos live on your company’s page and appear in the main feed of the people who follow you on the platform. News Feed videos are one of the easiest ways to reuse content, as they can be up to 4 hours long and can be square, or horizontally- or vertically-oriented. The platform’s algorithm tends to favor long videos, but the sweet spot for user engagement is between 2 and 5 minutes.

Pro-Tip
Vertical videos on Facebook have the highest engagement rate on average, according to research from Socialinsider.

Facebook Stories

Piggybacking on the success of Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook introduced its Stories feature in 2017. Facebook Stories are short, vertical videos that appear right at the top of your followers’ feeds and disappear after 24 hours.

This format seems to be working for businesses: Facebook reports that more than 60% of people said they became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.

Since you don’t have much time (just 20 seconds!), you have to get to the point fast in your Facebook Stories. You can also add text, emojis, and stickers to your videos to help convey your message.

Twitter video repurposing

Twitter is making a name for itself as a hub for social media video, with watch time increasing 67% year over year.

People go to Twitter to “discover something new and interesting,” so it’s a good place to share snappy edits of content that lives on your website (along with a link, of course!) or advertise upcoming events such as webinars, product launches, or grand openings.

For example, we repurposed a clip from Gear Squad vs. Dr. Boring, our cartoon for B2B marketers, to share on Twitter:

Twitter videos can be any aspect ratio between 1:2.39 and 2.39:1 — so with a little care, you can edit existing horizontal or vertical video content without losing too much context. The platform allows videos from 0.5 seconds to 2:20 minutes in length (which, not at all coincidentally, amounts to 140 seconds, the original character limit for Tweets).

Remember Twitter content has the shortest lifespan of any social media platform, so don’t be shy about Retweeting or reposting your videos to get the most possible value from them!

Pro-Tip
The best times to post to Twitter are Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. or Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., according to Sprout Social.

Instagram video repurposing

Instagram hit two major milestones in 2020 — it turned 10 years old and passed the 1 billion global user mark.

Engage the platform’s massive user base by posting video content, which garners 49% more engagement than static posts. Some Instagram video types that work well for B2B brands are product tutorials, behind-the-scenes content, and previews. (Do you have a webinar on your website? Promote it on Instagram with a trailer!)

There are three ways to repurpose existing content on Instagram: organic feed videos, stories, and IGTV videos.

Instagram organic feed videos

These videos, which can be up to 60 seconds long, live on your profile page and show up in your follower’s feed. Instagram supports aspect ratios of 16:9 (landscape), 1:1 (square), and 4:5 (slightly vertical), so be mindful of the editing boundaries when repurposing video that was shot vertically (9:16) so you don’t cut off anything important!

Instagram Stories

Introduced in 2016 to compete with Snapchat, Instagram Stories work just like Facebook’s — they’re short, vertically-oriented videos you can dress up with text, stickers, and emojis. Instagram Stories max out at 15 seconds, but the platform will automatically cut up longer content into several consecutive videos.

Keep in mind, repurposing horizontal video into a vertical format like Stories is generally not a great idea. You can zoom in to fill the frame and risk losing context, or otherwise post a tiny horizontal video within the vertical space that will likely be too small to grab viewers’ attention.

IGTV

Instagram’s answer to YouTube, IGTV can host long-form videos up to an hour in length if you’re using the desktop version and 15-minute videos on mobile. These videos live on your Instagram profile page, as well as a special IGTV-only tab. While it is possible to post horizontally-oriented content on IGTV, like Stories, vertical video is best.

Pro-Tip
Promote your IGTV video by posting the first 60 seconds on your Instagram feed. At the end, prompt viewers to click a link to continue watching the video on your IGTV.

LinkedIn video repurposing

Unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn isn’t overflowing with viral dances or cute pet videos. Users log on to the platform to connect with, learn from, and be inspired by like-minded professionals.

Repurpose content with these intentions in mind, and you’ll likely see a return. According to LinkedIn’s research, its users are 20 times more likely to share video than any other type of content.

“LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share video than any other type of content.”

With its professionally-focused audience, LinkedIn is the right place for marketers to post thought leadership and company culture videos. B2B marketers should also consider using LinkedIn to share product demos since their customers are likely to be on the platform.

Like Facebook, videos on LinkedIn can be either square, landscape, or vertical, but they max out at 10 minutes. Native LinkedIn videos autoplay as users scroll past, so be sure the first few seconds show viewers what your content is about and entice them to keep watching. You can also leverage the description, which appears above the video, to capture their interest.

Pro-Tip
Though you can post lengthy videos, a LinkedIn internal study showed that videos under 30 seconds see a 200% lift in completion rate.

3 best practices for social media videos

Whichever platforms you use to repurpose your videos, a few best practices will help improve the likelihood that people will actually stop scrolling to watch them.

Grab viewers’ attention immediately

People have to watch your video for two to three seconds before most platforms consider it a view, but you have even less time than that to pique their interest. One study found that consumers formed an emotional reaction to mobile ads in just 400 milliseconds.

Social media sites are full of enticing videos, and all your viewers have to do to get to the next one is keep scrolling. So start yours off with a bang — begin with an arresting image, a compelling hook, or even drop viewers right in the middle of the action. For platforms that let you choose a thumbnail image, pick the most compelling snapshot you can find.

Add captions or subtitles

As much as 85% of online video is watched with the sound off, and a LinkedIn study showed that video designed for silent viewing is 70% more likely to be watched through to the end.

“As much as 85% of online video is watched with the sound off.”

Make your social media video content accessible to all viewers — whether they’re watching on public transit or are one of the 466 million people in the world with hearing loss — by adding text, either with closed captioning or text overlays.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and IGTV offer auto-captioning. Twitter and Instagram feed videos require you to create captions before uploading, which you can do with a tool like Rev (or within Wistia if you’re a user). You can also add subtitles and other kinds of text to your videos with an app like Vont.

Upload directly to each platform

Native social media videos — those uploaded directly to the platform — typically perform better than linking to videos on your website or YouTube. In fact, native videos on Facebook receive 168% more engagement than links to YouTube.

“Native videos on Facebook receive 168% more engagement than links to YouTube.”

So while it might be tempting to simply share a link and a cute caption (it would certainly be easier), don’t do it. Facebook doesn’t want to send people to other platforms — it wants to keep them on Facebook!

More importantly, native video provides a better experience for your viewers, who can engage with your content right in their feeds rather than having to click to open another window.

Measure and optimize your social media video marketing

Once you’ve published your repurposed content, track your video KPIs (key performance indicators), which will differ depending on the platform and your objectives.

This reporting will help you determine which sites and video types are getting the best results so you can build on that success. Your repurposed video performance data may even give you ideas for new social media videos, continuing your cycle of success!

January 12, 2022

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

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