How to Create Scroll-Stopping Social Media Videos on a Budget

Published: May 20, 2020

Consumers on social media demand video content. In fact, they demand more of it than you could possibly produce. In a way, this is a marketer’s dream: your customers are hungry for your content!  

But for small businesses on a budget, it can be intimidating. Why? Because people don’t stop scrolling for just any video content. They want high-quality content that’s entertaining, valuable, and sharable.

That’s a lot of pressure on a low budget. But luckily, what small businesses lack in funds they can make up for in creativity. There are plenty of affordable ways to make eye-catching videos that stop scrolling consumers in their tracks. Let’s take a look at a few.

Royalty Free Videos

Using free stock video or royalty free videos for your social media content is far from taboo. It’s actually a great way to maintain your web presence and get fresh views for pennies.

Is free stock video cheesy? It can be, but no one will have time to scrutinize your content if they don’t even stop to watch it. If you choose an engaging clip that grabs viewers and then overlay some text that starts a conversation in the comments, you could garner thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks for virtually no time or money.

Royalty free videos look much more professional than they used to. With the advent of 4K, you can even find some HD videos that are up for grabs at no cost. You can choose from nature footage, cityscapes, action shots with actors, and plenty of cats (the ultimate clickbait). And because there are countless hours of free video available, you don’t have to worry about your content not being original.

Silent Content

Who expected a comeback from silent movies? Not us. But when it comes to social media video content, about 70% of consumers watch with the sound off.

This makes sense if you think about it. Most people are scrolling on mobile, and if they’re in public, they won’t turn on the sound. Also, Facebook, Reddit, and other social media sites mute videos by default. Users have to manually turn the sound on, and who’s got time for that?

Silent videos can benefit your budget. Now, you can steal all the views from the videos with talking heads with a simple graphic and some controversial text. No more actors, mics, or sound stages necessary. Even if you shoot your own content, you can nix half the production cost and time by going silent.

Take a look at this super-compelling silent ad by GoPro. What do you think the production cost was?

Live Streaming

Live streaming is a cheap and effective way to grab the attention of your customers. Most social media sites have launched live-streaming platforms, but it’s super popular on Instagram, which also allows you to interact with your followers seamlessly during the stream. One Instagram poll found that 82% of consumers prefer live video from brands compared to social posts.

So, yeah. You need to live stream. 

Streaming is a great way to show off new products, address customer concerns, introduce your staff, or toss up some live testimonials. And while your live streams have to be good, they don’t have to be nearly as polished as other content. Consumers are drawn to live content and they don’t expect it to be perfect.

But make sure to prepare. When you’re live, anything can happen, so keep your focus on clear objectives and sign off once they’ve been accomplished.

Micro Moments

Shorter is better. And shorter is also cheaper. Micro moments are the perfect bite-sized videos for scrollers with short attention spans. They last 15 seconds or less, and they usually consist of a striking visual or a catchy scene and a bit of text. They should also be silent-optimized because they’ll probably be over before the viewer has a chance to unmute.

Micro video moments are especially effective when released in a series. This way, you can build brand awareness over a few weeks with a series of similar clips. Then, you can use the associated images in your social media ad campaign as well.

Because micro moments require next to no commitment, they’re much more likely to get views. And because they’re silent and short, you can make a whole series of them for the cost of one standard video ad.

Here’s a micro moment by Corona Beer. It’s attractive and evokes near-instant brand recognition.

Making engaging video content without spending a lot of cash isn’t easy, but if you do it right, you can reap just as many benefits as the big brands with camera crews and sets.

The most important thing is to remember that social media is a place to socialize. People don’t just want to watch your videos, they want to be a part of a community, and you don’t need expensive equipment or a huge investment to foster a community with your base.

Use these tips to deliver consistent, quality video content to your followers. Then, follow up with personalized communication and live streams. Put enough effort into both, and you won’t need to increase spending to boost engagement.

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