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  • Writer's pictureLiz Hayes

Make sure your social media videos include these elements

Updated: May 30, 2023

Local advertisers need to understand how important social media video marketing is and take advantage of the massive audiences found on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, just as national brands have. As a local media professional, you can guide your clients on engaging video creation as you work on campaigns together.

Apryl Pilolli, technology director at the Knight LMA BloomLab, who has vast experience understanding what performs well on social media, joined the Branded Content Project's Video Boot Camp to offer guidance to local media outlets on creating effective social media videos.

She says the first few seconds of a video are the most crucial, your only chance to capture the audience and keep them.

"When we're thinking about creating content, we really want to create quality content, rather than just creating as much of it as possible," Pilolli said. "What's really important, is how do we make this work? You have eight seconds to capture people's attention."

With such a massive amount of messages we are seeing online (4,000-10,000 advertising messages a day!), attention spans have shrunk, and advertisers need to be aware of what will resonate with consumers. Not only that, but according to Pilolli, 45 percent of content is never seen.

Entertaining people and making them smile with humor is one certain way to get attention. So is using short-form vertical videos. Social media networks have made things easier for advertisers by including interactive features like polls, fill-in-the-blank, Q&As and quizzes. By adding these features, you'll get about 30 percent more ad recall.

"When you're creating in this space you want to relate to your audience. People want to follow people who have influence, who have opinions and really create content that they can understand and engage with. Let people into the conversation, let them engage. Do something that is unexpected," she said.

Pilolli recommends referencing the acronym REELS while creating social media videos to ensure they have the necessary elements to perform well.

Relate to your audience

Express your perspective

Engage in the conversation

Let go of your fears

Surprise people

Whatever social media video strategy you come up with for your local advertisers, make it consistent. She also says if you aren't sure which social platform to start with, try Meta since it shares ownership of Facebook and Instagram. YouTube continues to be massively popular, and don't sleep on TikTok, which continues to grow, especially among Generation Z.

National brands are heavily advertising on TikTok, which specializes in short-form videos. Local advertisers have been slower to try it, but they should re-consider, considering the video sharing app has more than 1 billion monthly active users!

The Branded Content Project's next sales boot camp is a mini, 2-week sales training that will focus on branded content presentation skills. It starts Thursday, June 22nd. Sign up here!


The Meta Branded Content Project is designed through a strategic partnership between the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium, and the Meta Journalism Project to help facilitate additional growth, engagement, and revenue success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes.

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