5 Elements of Successful Social Videos with Vanessa Joy

Moira West


Years spent building her thriving photography business taught Vanessa Joy the ins and outs of creating videos that work on social media. When she spoke at the Social Media Marketing Summit, she was able to boil that knowledge down to just five elements that mark the difference between a video that succeeds on social media and one that doesn’t. Check out her full presentation in the video below and then read on for a to take a look at her tips and see if your videos have what they need to reach your audience on social media.

1. Use text

To begin with, Vanessa pointed out that, on Facebook, “80-90% of video plays don’t have audio to them.” So when you’re marketing you business, “you have to find a different way, other than audio, to engage your viewers right away.” If you can find the right text, you can create a video that’ll succeed on multiple platforms, whether or not the sound is on. (For some tips on how to do that, check out our blog post on tips for using text in your videos.) Take this video from Sara-Jane McCabe, which uses text in a way that accentuates her message, but doesn’t interfere with her beautiful photography.

Marketing Video Style: Blank Slate
Song: “A Mother’s Love” by Jonathan Elias and Sarah Trevino

2. Tell a story

When you’re creating your marketing videos, Vanessa suggests, “the story behind the video is what keeps people engaged.” Rather than just sharing what you do, give your audience a story that gets them interested in what you have to say. For example, Nu-Era Bakery in West Virginia used the history of their pepperoni rolls as a hook for their video, and it worked phenomenally well, generating 222,000 views and more than 4,000 shares. Learn more about their story in the Success Stories area of our website.

Marketing Video Style: Standout
Song: “Counting On You” by Mikey Wax

3. Set the pace

Your video’s pace says a lot about your company. Faster videos give the impression that a company is on the cutting edge. Slower ones can suggest timeless elegance. So carefully consider the style of video you choose and the rate at which images appear. As Vanessa put it, “This is defining your brand. This is what people who… don’t know you will judge you by.” That’s why, when Vanessa was advertising her exciting Headshot Bootcamp, she focused on swift transitions and fast-paced music to emphasize the stylish, edgy feel of her business.

Marketing Video Style: Blank Slate
Song: “Battlestar Guitarrica” by Joy Basu

4. Use commercially licensed music

Because pacing is so important, music also plays an important role. But if you’re going to use music in your videos, Vanessa emphasizes the importance of making sure that music is commercially licensed so that you can use it legally in your work. If you use Animoto, the songs in our library are licensed for commercial use if you’ve got a Professional or Business plan. You can also take a look at our post on how to find affordable licensed music for your next video for even more sources for music.

5. Share natively

“When we’re working with social media, Facebook prefers its own video player,” Vanessa shares. And since Facebook owns Instagram, that goes for Instagram, too. While we’re at it, Google (which owns YouTube) gives more attention to websites featuring YouTube videos. So when you finish your video, make sure to upload it directly to each separate social media or video site. If you’re using Animoto, you can easily do that by sharing to Facebook, YouTube, and several other sites straight from your video’s play page.

Do you have a video that’s got Vanessa’s five social media essentials? Join our Social Video Marketing Community on Facebook and share your stories and videos.