6 Scroll-Stopping Tips to Make Your Social Media Videos Shine

June 25, 2021

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli


Frank Emanuele


Have you ever aimlessly scrolled on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and gotten sucked into watching someone’s video? We’ve sure been there before! And when it’s a video from a brand, you have to wonder, how did they make such an eye-catching and engaging video?

Well, if you’re creating videos for your own social media strategy, you’re in luck. As a video software provider, we happen to know some super handy tips that can help you create scroll-stopping video content.

While creating videos for social media isn’t an exact science, there are some tried and tested best practices you can use to elevate your videos across all social channels.

From featuring the friendly faces behind your brand to adding subtitles and using bright colors, dig into this post to learn six scroll-stopping tips from Wistia’s Social Media Manager, Frank Emanuele!

1. Show faces

The first tip on our list highlights the fact that the human eye is drawn to human faces. At Wistia, we’ve written about why it’s best to include faces in your videos and are huge fans of this tactic. Putting people in your videos can help you evoke viewers’ emotions and establish a sense of trust between you and your brand.

When it comes to capturing attention, the human brain is hardwired to recognize faces. The fusiform face area (FFA) is a part of the human visual system that is specialized for facial recognition. As soon as a face arrives on screen, you are compelled by your FFA to look.

“When it comes to capturing attention, the human brain is hardwired to recognize faces.”

If you want to create a scroll-stopping video that features people, consider showing them within the first few seconds to grab your viewers’ attention. Including human faces in your thumbnail can also encourage people to click play!

On Instagram, the teleconferencing software platform Zoom leaned into one of their brand’s strengths — making human connections through video. We love how they featured their talent in the thumbnail and throughout the entire video to tell us more about Zoom Video Webinars.

View post on Instagram

2. Start with a hook

The first few seconds of your video are critical to grabbing your audience’s attention. To take advantage of this make-or-break opportunity, start your video off with a solid hook.

Some go-to ways to draw people in are asking questions like:

  • “Did you know…?”
  • “Have you ever…?”
  • “What is…?”

Shopify, the e-commerce platform for online stores, added their own spin to this hook strategy by presenting their viewers with the strong statement, “Do I have a story for you,” in their video on Facebook. After their hook, the video quickly delved into a story about two sisters who started a business called Suta selling sarees in 2016, the problems they faced, and the impact they made. The video shows how Shopify supports millions of other companies out there like Suta.

Add your own twist to a hook like Shopify! But remember, once you’ve got your viewers hooked, the rest of your video should be just as great to keep people engaged.

Learn why music can help you hook viewers within the first few seconds of watching your video!

3. Add text or captions

Another way to increase your chances of being scroll-stopping on social media is by adding text or captions to your videos.

First and foremost, adding captions is super important for accessibility. Adding captions to your videos is a simple way to ensure that everyone who wants to consume your content can.

“First and foremost, adding captions is super important for accessibility.”

As users scroll through their news feeds, it’s important to remember that your videos will silently auto-play on these platforms. Prominent text overlays or captions help get your message across even before the viewer turns up the volume, and they can be a great way to grab their attention.

The best ways to create high-quality captions are either to:

  • Bake the captions into your creative process, from scripting to animated text.
  • Order a transcript from a professional service

If you want to catch your audience’s attention, you should also consider a text overlay for your thumbnail.

Here’s an example from Slack, the business communication platform, where they used animated text to catch their audience’s attention. Even if the video is muted, the viewer easily understands the message they’re trying to convey.

4. Think about color

Now, it’s no secret that bright colors will grab a viewer’s attention. But have you considered planning your video’s color palette based on the social network where your video will live?

If you factor the destination of your video into your creative planning process, you can choose more eye-catching colors for your set design, talent costumes, illustrations, or animations.

For example, LinkedIn and Facebook are heavy on blue and white. Shades of red or green will be sure to pop against that backdrop!

MailChimp, the marketing automation platform, often makes great use of bright colors that catch the eye. Take a look!

At Wistia, we were also huge proponents of bright colors for branding our latest original series Show Business. Our social media videos teasing the content stood out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The Show Business campaign was so successful in engaging our audience that it accounts for more video views on Wistia’s social channels than any other content we’ve shared to date in 2021!

5. Keep it clear and concise

When you’re in the pre-production stage of planning your content, it’s important to create a video that has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Ask yourself, “What value does the viewer get from watching this?” and be sure that everything ties back to that value.

Like we said before, ensuring your content is actually great is what’s going to keep your viewers engaged with your video and your brand.

Your video doesn’t have to be long either — IBM creates five-second demos and explainers of features for B2B customers. What a way to keep their message clear and concise!

View post on Instagram

6. Screen size matters

Lastly, you should take into account where folks will be watching your videos.

Most social media users peruse the platforms via a mobile device, so choosing a landscape video may not be the right choice. In this case, square or vertical videos are better suited for mobile because they take up more screen real estate.

Dropbox publishes both square and landscape videos depending on the audience.

Be sure to optimize the aspect ratio of your video for the device where you expect most people to watch. Aspect ratio will impact the look and feel of your videos, so you should take the time to find the ideal aspect ratio and create more intentional experiences for your viewers.

Need help choosing the ideal aspect ratio for your video on social media? We break everything down in this blog post!

Start creating scroll-stopping video content

The next time you make a video for social media, take another look through this post to get some inspiration for creating scroll-stopping content. Get out there and show us what you’ve got!

June 25, 2021

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli


Frank Emanuele


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