Sarah Quinn of Wyzowl stopped by #bufferchat to share her insights on the best practices for using video to educate and connect. We had a wonderful chat all about how videos can be engaging, the best recording and editing tools to use, the elements to great video content, and more!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers.

bufferchat 11.4.15

Why is video such a powerful medium?

From Sarah:

  • A video is SO easy to watch & captures attention fast! It can be used to entertain, educate, and explain your offering.
  • Oh & let’s not forget, 74% of all internet traffic will be video by 2016 – it’s the future!

From the community:

  • “Say a picture is worth 1,000 words, then how many “pictures” are there in a video and how many words is that worth?” @j_rouser
  • “Video lets go of the impersonal wall b/w you & your audience. It introduces them to real people, and allows them to relate.” @margotcodes
  • “Video more than any other medium, communicates so much powerful info in a short time. Story, Visuals, Emotion.” @dubblebee
  • “Video requires focus. That focus allows viewers to connect with the visual and then it elicits an emotional response.” @ashleyatvest
  • “Multiple senses engaged, tons of possibilities, it’s familiar. Our minds enjoy the break.” @coupercox

See all the great answers to question 1 here!


What are the elements to a great video?

From Sarah:

  • The very best videos are concise, engaging, benefit-led, informative & targeted to YOUR audience!
  • Our fav videos connect with emotions and tell a story, like the xmas ads:
  • Engage, engage and engage some more!

From the community:

  • “The story. Tell the story – stay real, stay human and that’s how people relate.” @lisettevdvalk
  • “Videos need to have a hook at the beginning, just like a written article. Otherwise, viewers will lose interest fast & skip.” @mktgInnovator
  • “Editing is king! Whether it’s a slo-mo, looping GIF, reverse — all the good stuff happens on the chopping board.” @mstopham
  • “Quality, creativity, transparency, clarity. I love watching videos that push the envelope and do things differently.” @v_dunne
  • “I think one key ingredient for great video is the same as for great comedy: surprise.”  @SageBolden

See all the great answers to question 2 here!


What are your go-to video recording or editing tools?

From Sarah:

From the community:

  • “Being not as advanced in video, iMovie is my jam. However for I use PicPlayPost and Squaready!” @lafitara
  • “If you are on a budget then a simple tripod for your phone, a lapel mic and windows movie maker or imovie will be fine.” @EliteYouTubePro
  • “Audacity for cleaning the audio (something usually skipped) & Premiere for video. Honorable mention to iMovie.” @WhatJeffTweets
  • “For me it’s a GoPro or iPhone, then for editing I really like how easy Camtasia is to work with.” @caribou_chris
  • “InstaVideo to crop, slow-mo, doublespeed, Split videos (easier to use than iMovie) plus video collages can be quite cool!” @debbiediscovers

See all the great answers to question 3 here!


How long should videos be on different social sites?

From Sarah:

  • The shorter the better on ALL platforms. Social moves fast, quite like this chat!
  • A video should be the hook, rather than the manual – especially on social.
  • Did you know we have shorter attention spans than goldfish?! Think about that with your video

From the community:

  • “Long enough to make your point – but not any longer than that.” @becca_stickler
  • “Instagram :15 sec, Vine :6 Facebook: under a minute and a half. Twitter – up in the air.” @CarrieKintz
  • “Hard to make an overall rec, though there are certainly best practices. Test (!!!) what YOUR audience responds to.” @cateelise
  • “Depends on content and purpose, but standard rule of thumb is 60-90 seconds. But I don’t like rules – do what you need.” @JonPepp
  • “Caveat to short and concise is best… live streaming breaks the rules… I’ve seen 2+ Hour Blabs, Periscopes.” @darcyschuller

See all the great answers to question 4 here!


What are great techniques for engaging viewers?

From Sarah:

From the community:

  • “Relevant content, ask them to engage with you beyond just viewing the video, comments, shares, etc. Interactive features.” @WeintraubL
  • “Find out what your viewers and followers love, want, and need! Tailor your items to them.” @deirdreemme
  • “Engage as if only one person is watching. The depth that creates, plus the individualization, works wonders.” @beajumarang
  • “Your first few moments need to grab your audience or you risk being ignored. Be authentic and close with a call to action.” @Josewats
  • “Actually talking to people can be incredibly engaging. That’s why live streaming is becoming such a big deal” @Matt_Aunger

See all the great answers to question 5 here!


What companies or individuals do video well?

From Sarah:

From the community:

See all the great answers to question 6 here!


What is the most powerful video you’ve seen?

From Sarah:

From the community:

See all the great answers to question 7 here!


Thank you so much to everyone who joined in on this great chat!

Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern. Join our brand-new Slack community to continue these awesome conversations all week long! Join 500+ people there!

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

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Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Arielle is the community strategist at Buffer. In addition to spending her time building community and designing meaningful experiences, she also enjoys healthy cooking, practicing yoga, modern dancing, traveling with her husband, and living mindfully.