How to: Produce Videos for Social Media in 2020

Tips Aug 11, 2020

There are several things you need to pay attention to, when creating videos for social media. The purpose of this guide is to provide you with an overview of those things. The following is reviewed for each video format:

●     A short description of the video format

●     When that video format is good to use

●     General tips to get the most out of your video format

●     Recommended video specs for the chosen video format

This guide should be used during the “Pre-Production-phase” where you and your client are still exchanging creative briefs.

Not sure how to do a creative brief? Don'tworry we’ve got you covered with our free creative brief template.

In this guide of how to produce videos for social media, we will be focusing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Google Display.

Table of content

●     How to Use This Guide

●     Know Your Digital Distribution Channels and Get More Satisfied Clients.

●     Explanation | Paid Social Media vs. Owned Social Media

●     Facebook Video Ads

●     Instagram Video Ads

●     YouTube Ads

●     LinkedIn Video Ads

●     Google Display Ads

●     Snapchat Video Ads

●     Organic Facebook

●     Organic Instagram

●     Organic YouTube

●     Organic LinkedIn

How to Use This Guide

You are currently in the “Pre-Production-phase”. You now need to consider which channel your upcoming video should be distributed.

Which Paid Social Media and Owned Social Media should you distribute your video to reach your viewer?

If your client (the advertiser) is not sure of where the video should be distributed, send them this guide, to give them an overview of the different distribution channels and ad formats.

Know Your Digital Distribution Channels and Get More Satisfied Clients

Video productions for various social media platforms are booming.

But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at some of the data we have gathered below:

  • 85% of all companies use video productions as a marketing tool
  • 95% of all marketers state that video productions are an important part of their marketing strategy.

In 2017 all companies used 63% of their marketing for video productions. At the beginning of 2018, that number had increased to 81%. This increase in demand for video productions doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon. A study shows that by the beginning of 2020 all companies used up to 87% of their marketing on video productions.

Not only that, companies like Post Office suggest that empowering your employees to help in producing videos has numerous benefits. Our guides will help them do it right.

To further emphasize this, YouTube has now surpassed as the world’s second-biggest search engine – only second to Google. Funny enough, 88% of professional marketeers now states, that they will set aside a larger portion of their marketing budget for video productions during 2020, coincidence? We think not.

In other words: What a great time it is to be a video creator.

Decide the Best Distribution Channel for Your Video

With the increase of video providers, you need a good understanding of all the different distribution channels to consider – both their advantages as well as their disadvantages.

When it comes right down to it, you can create a rather fantastic story. For example, a 60 seconds video in widescreen format. Now, if the viewer only watches the first 5 seconds and the channel favors 1:1 format, it doesn’t matter how great a story you create. The story won’t be perceived as you initially intended. This means a lot of wasted advertising spend for your client. Not distributing your video on the most ideal channel will hinder your client in reaching their goals, ultimately leading to dissatisfied clients.

Main Thing to Remember When Choosing a Distribution Channel

Making sure to have an exact idea of how you build your visual story, based on how the ad format works, means you’re already well on the way in doing your clients extra happy. Having that overview also means that your video production is seen and perceived as you intended.

We know that this is much easier said than done. For that reason, we have created a complete guide for how you can navigate through the different ad formats on social media.

Explanation | Paid Social Media vs. Owned Social Media

This guide is based on the two types of social mediayou can distribute video on.
1. Paid Social Media and
2. Owned Social Media

Paid Social Media: The online channels an advertiser will pay for. The advertiser pays to be visible to reach both existing and potential new viewers. For example, Facebook Video ads.

Owned Social Media: The channels an advertiser owns him-/herself. This means that the advertiser doesn’t pay for distributing the video. Often this means that the advertiser reaches their already existing clients and leads.

Keep in mind that choosing one channel doesn’t rule out every other channel. On the contrary, it can be greatly beneficial for you to distribute the same video across many different channels and video formats on both Paid Social Media and Owned Social Media.

The following section reviews the typical Paid Social Media channels and their associated video ad formats

Each video format contains a brief description of when the video format is good to use and some general tips to get the most out of the video format. We’ll also recommend the best technical video specs.

Facebook Video Ads

With more than 2.3 billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the more ideal platforms for your video production.  Facebook offers multiple options for video advertising. Trying tonavigate through all those options can be next to impossible.

So, we did the work for you:

1. Facebook Video Ads

Facebook Video Ads | Description
Facebook Video Ads are great for both reach, engagement, and conversion. Additionally, Facebook Video Ads can be placed in almost all the same places as static images can – the same applies for Instagram.

Facebook Video Ads | When
Facebook Video Ads are great for almost all types of video ads. If the goal includes reach, engagement, clicks, or conversions, it’s a solid option…

Facebook Video Ads | Tips

  • Capture the viewer’s attention quickly. On average a viewer will move on from a “mundane” post after 1.7 seconds. Point being - maybe you guessed it already - don’t be mundane. If you get creative and manage to keep the viewer’s attention for the first 3 seconds, studies show that 65% of viewers will watch a least 10 seconds more of your video. Now, in the game of winning viewers – those 10 seconds can play a major role in achieving your (clients) goal.
  • Make sure that your video is mobile friendly. Over 95% access Facebook via their mobile. For this reason, it is recommended that you use a 9:16 vertical and/or 1:1 square format.
  • Create a version of your video that isn’t longer than max. 15 seconds. People are busy – and believe it or not - those 15 seconds can seem like an eternity on social media. Unless of course, it’s something that catches the viewer’s attention immediately. Now, that isn’t us stating that you shouldn’t create a long version of your video. Rather, it is us emphasizing the importance of making sure you create a short, eye-catching video
  • The viewer should know your brand name within the first 3 seconds. If one of your goals is to increase brand awareness, the brand name needs to be mentioned at the very beginning of your video.
  • Use thumbnail images and titles to capture viewers’ attention.
  • Optimize the video to work without sound. People watch the video on their mobile, and as a default, the sound doesn’t start automatically. So, make sure that the message you want to convey can come across as intended regardless of sound.
  • Add subtitles. Adding subtitles/captions can help you achieve longer interactions with the viewers. And what you want is to have interactions that last as long as possible.
  • Upload your video in the highest resolution that you have available– it would be such a shame if you had worked so hard on creating just the right content, only to have it ruined by an unclear resolution.
  • Try out some new formats. Facebook videos have a 360-degree feature. This feature alone extends the interaction by 40% compared to “regular” videos.

Facebook Video Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ration: 1:1 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128 kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 240 minutes
Minimum length: 1 second

2. Facebook Collection Ads

Facebook Collection Ads | Description
Facebook Collection Ads (also called a collection ad) is the ad format most often used to get people from the Newsfeed to Instant Experience Ads.

It is a mobile-only format, which allows you to combine video, slideshow, and/or images in the same ad format. This ad format can appear in News on Facebook (mobile) and News on Instagram.

When people click on a Collection Ad, they will automatically be redirected to an Instant Experience Ad.

Facebook Collection Ads | When
Different templates are good for different purposes. Below, we have gathered some bulletins for what purposes the different templates are good for;

  • Instant Storefront: Good for showing products. You have to have a minimum of 4 products. Use this template when you want the viewer to visit the site/app to buy one or more of your products.
  • Instant Lookbook:Gives the viewer good visual brand stories. This template is good touse if the purpose is to create brand commitment.
  • Instant Customer acquisition: Use when you have a specific goal, such as click-to-site or other actions.
  • Instant Storytelling: Good for brand awareness and the softer brand stories.
  • Instant Form: Allows the viewer to easily share their contact information to learn more about your offerings.

Facebook Collection Ads | Tips

  • Combine video and image. The video should act as Hero, where relevant images can be added to selected images.

Facebook Collection Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1:1 or 16:9
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bar, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 120 minutes
Minimum length: 1 second

3. Facebook Instant Experience Ads

Facebook Instant Experience Ads | Description
Facebook Instant Experience Ads is a mobile-only, full-screen experience. It represents an improved alternative compared to a landing page on a website.

This is primarily because it is 15 times faster to load an Instant Experience Ad than the average landing page.

Facebook Instant Experience Ads | When
The same recommendations apply as with the Facebook Collection Ads.

You can also create an Instant Form Template, where you insert a lead form directly on to the format.  

Facebook Instant Experience Ads | Tips

  • Tell a coherent story. Your cover video should complement the rest of the content
  • Optimize for mobile. The format is built for viewing on mobile.

Facebook Instant Experience Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1:1 or 16.9
Compression H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing:
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 120 minutes
Minimum length: 1 second

4. Facebook Stories Video Ads

Facebook Stories Video Ads | Description
These are a full-screen experience on mobile devices that disappear after 24 hours unless they get stored. Many people already know Instagram Stories. Facebook Stories is a growing ad format, and can be important to consider as well.

Facebook Stories Video Ads | When
These works great, when the goal is reach, traffic, video viewings, and to increase brand awareness.

Facebook Stories Video Ads | Tips

  • Capture the viewer's attention, quickly.
  • Optimize for mobile use. Use 9:16 vertical format.
  • Make a short version, no longer than 15 seconds.
  • Optimize the video to work without sound. People watch the video on their mobile, and as a default the sound doesn’t start automatically.
  • You can’t include subtitles

Facebook Stories Video Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 9:16 to 1.91:1
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 15 seconds
Minimum length: 1 second

5. Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads | Description
Facebook Lead Ads’ goal is to collect information from the viewer - from emails to contact information regarding event registration. When viewers choose to click on a Lead Ad, they are taken to a form where they must give information about themselves.

Facebook Lead Ads | When
Combining your video with Facebook Lead Ads can be extremely effective. For example, your client may want to collect more emails for their newsletters. For this, the video can be used as an eye-catcher, to lead the viewer on to the Lead form.

The same recommendations apply as with Facebook Video Ads.

Facebook Lead Ads | Tips
The same recommendations apply as with Facebook Video Ads.

Facebook Lead Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1:1 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 240 minutes
Minimum length: 1 second

6. Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads | Description
Facebook Messenger is the fourth most frequently downloaded app. In Facebook Messenger, video ads are shown directly in the viewer’s inbox.

If you want a more thorough description of Facebook Messenger Ads, take a look at how you can create a Messenger Ad.

Facebook Messenger Ads | When
If your client/company is active on Messenger, Facebook Messenger Ads is a good format to utilize. This allows viewers to participate in a direct dialogue with the company.

Facebook Messenger Ads | Tips
The same recommendations apply as with the Facebook Video Ads.

Facebook Messenger Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1:1 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Conpression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 240 minutes
Minimum length: 1 second

Instagram Video Ads

Using Instagram for advertising means that you potentially can reach more than 1 billion active users. Let’s say you could reach just 1% of those active users, this would still mean a huge number of users watching and ultimately engaging with your video production. What’s more, studies show that there is happening an 80% increase in the time viewers spend watching videos on Instagram, making Instagram Video Ads an ideal option to choose for your video.

1. Instagram In-Feed Video Ads

Instagram In-Feed Video Ads | Description
This format is placed directly in the viewer's feed and looks like organic posts.

Instagram In-Feed Video Ads | When
In-Feed Video Ads are ideal when the goal is to increase brand awareness, as people often scroll through their feed fast.  

Instagram In-Feed Video Ads | Tips

  • Don’t push for sales communication. The viewer is scrolling through his/her feed to see relevant information – not annoying sales communication.
  • Capture the viewer's attention, quickly. You might not have the viewer for a long amount of time – so make the first couple of seconds count.
  • Use square or high format. The video must be fitted for mobile viewings.
  • Test different variations of videos and texts.

Instagram In-Feed Video Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1:1 or 4:5
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 60 seconds
Minimum length: 1 second

2. Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram Story Ads | Description
A full-screen experience that disappears after 24 hours. Instagram Story Ads are displayed between organic posts from people who the viewer already follows on Instagram.

This format has a higher CTR (Click-Through-Rate) and a lower CPC (Cost-Per-Click) than most other ad formats. CTA (Call-to-Action) occurs when the viewer swipes up, which then directly leads the viewer to the sender’s website.

Instagram Story Ads | When
As this format is only visible for a 24-hour period, it is ideal to use on e.g. time-limited offers.

Instagram Story Ads | Tips

  • Capture the viewer's attention, quickly.
  • Optimize for mobile. Use 9:16 vertical format.
  • Optimize the video to work without sound. People watch the video on their mobile, and as a default the sound doesn’t start automatically.
  • You can’t include subtitles

Instagram Story Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 9:16 (600 x 1067)
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 15 seconds
Minimum length: 1 second

3. Instagram Canvas Ads

Instagram Canvas Ads | Description
Instagram Canvas Ads gives you the ability to show small videos on Instagram Stories. The main goal here is to direct the viewer to a page that opens directly in Instagram. It works very much like Collection Ads on Facebook.

Instagram Canvas Ads | When
This ad format is especially suitable if the customer has a slow website, as the viewer doesn’t even need to visit the sender's website.

Yet, they are still as effective as Collection Ads for Facebook.

Instagram Canvas Ads | Tips
The same recommendations apply as with Facebook Collection Ads.  

Instagram Canvas Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1:1
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 60 seconds
Minimum length: 1 second

Instagram Carousel Ads | Description
Instagram Carousel Ads allows you to show small videos on Instagram Stories. The main goal is to direct the viewer to a page that opens directly in Instagram. They work a lot like Collection Ads on Facebook.

Instagram Carousel Ads | When
Works particularly well if the advertiser wants to show different types of video content or if the advertiser wants to go in-depth with a brand narrative.

Instagram Carousel Ads | Tips

  • You can use up to 3 interactive videos in one Carousel Ad.
  • Create stories that take full advantage of the users’ ability to swipe through the videos.

Instagram Canvas Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOVA spect
Ratio: 1:1
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 60 seconds
Minimum length: 1 second

5. Instagram TV (IGTV)

Instagram TV (IGTV) | Description
Instagram TV (IGTV) offers long-format vertical Video Ads, that can last up to 60 minutes.

It is a relatively new format (launched summer 2018).Nevertheless, the format has already shown promising results for advertisers who want to promote in-depth stories, such as documentaries and short films.

While it might be daring, especially considering how relatively new Instagram IGTV still is, there can be no doubt that Instagram IGTV has come to compete against YouTube – and they are great at it.

Instagram TV (IGTV) | When
If you want your viewer to see more behind the scene videos, step-by-step videos or other informative content.

Instagram TV (IGTV) | Tips

  • If your goal is to get people to connect with your IGTV account, you can use different methods to draw the viewer to your channel, e.g. through episodic ads, which resemble small series.

Instagram TV (IGTV) | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 4:5 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 60 minutes (for verified accounts)
Minimum length: 1 second

YouTube Ads

When talking about video advertising, it would seem almost rude not to include YouTube ads. With more than 3 billion annual searches, YouTube is officially the world's second-largest search engine.
But to get the most out of such a huge online platform, there may be many options for you to consider when deciding what ad format is most relevant for your video. Not sure what those options are?  

Don’t worry, we wouldn’t think about leaving you with that unanswered.

1. YouTube Skippable In-Stream Ads

YouTube Skippable In-Stream Ads | Description
These Ads (also called TrueView video ads) appear before, during, and after a video. The viewer has the option to click away from the video after 5 seconds. The advertiser only has to pay if the viewer either sees more than 30 seconds of the video or chooses to interact with the video.

YouTube Skippable In-Stream Ads | When
This ad format is the most popular type of ad, and it’s great to use if the goal is to increase brand awareness or to have the viewer interact with the brand.  

YouTube Skippable In-Stream Ads | Tips

  • Engage the viewer within the first 5 seconds. The viewer can then choose to end viewing your video.
  • Insert the sender's brand within the first 5 seconds. Even if the viewer chooses to skip the video, the sender will still have managed to display his/her brand – and for free. Now that’s what we call smart advertising.
  • Focus on telling one key message. This to avoid confusing the viewer
  • Create videos that support YouTube Ad Sequencing.

YouTube Skippable In-Stream Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 19:9 or 4:3
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 1GB
Max length: 3 minutes recommended
Minimum length: 30 seconds recommended

2. YouTube Non-skippable in-stream Ads

YouTube Non-skippable In-Stream Ads | Description
These appear before a video. They typically run for 15 seconds or less.

You pay per thousand viewings (CPM) and the viewer cannot skip the ad.

YouTube Non-skippable In-Stream Ads | When
Ideal if the goal is to build brand awareness or if the advertiser wants to convey his/her entire message in one video.

YouTube Non-skippable In-Stream Ads | Tips

  • Focus on telling one key message. This to avoid confusing the viewer
  • “Storytelling is key”- otherwise the viewer will see this ad format as annoying

YouTube Non-skippable In-Stream Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 19:9 or 4:3
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 1GB
Max length: 30 seconds
Recommended length: 10-15 seconds

3. YouTube Discovery Ads

YouTube Discovery Ads | Description
YouTube Discovery Ads are the ads that appear on the right-hand side, along with other search results. The format is displayed as a thumbnail with text. The advertiser must pay when the viewer chooses to click on the ad to watch the video.

YouTube Discovery Ads | When
Along with Skippable In-stream Ads, this ad format is the most popular choice.

Test this format when you want to increase brand interaction or brand awareness

YouTube Discovery Ads | Tips

  • Be sure to design a thumbnail that is captivating to your target audience

YouTube Discovery Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 19:9 or 4:3
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 1GB
Max length: 3 minutes recommended
Minimum length: 30 seconds recommended

4. YouTube Bumper Ads

YouTube Bumper Ads | Description
YouTube Bumper Ads are ads that appear before a video. They typically run for 6 seconds or less.

You pay per thousand viewings (CPM) and the viewer cannot skip the ad.

YouTube Bumper Ads | When
Works well if the advertiser wants to increase brand awareness and has a sharp and concise message.

The format is not considered to be as annoying to the viewer as the longer non-skippable in-stream Ads.

YouTube Bumper Ads | Tips

  • Focus on telling one key message. This to avoid confusing the viewer.
  • Insert the sender's brand within the first 6 seconds.

YouTube Bumper Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 19:9 or 4:3
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 6GB
Max length: 6 seconds

LinkedIn Video Ads

While LinkedIn is usually seen as a professional networking platform, it is constantly evolving.And due to the great increase in demand for video advertising, they are working continually to accommodate more video content on their platform. As a result, it is now possible to run Video Ads.

1. LinkedIn Video Ads

LinkedIn Video Ads | Description
These appear directly in the viewer's news feed and can be up to 30 minutes long.

Note, LinkedIn Video Ads are a lot more expensive than, for example, Facebook Video Ads. A study shows that LinkedIn Video Ads has an average CPC (Cost Per Click) of $ 5.61, while the average CPC for Facebook Video Ads is just $ 0.51. Despite this, it can still be a good idea to look into whether LinkedIn could be the right platform to advertise your video on.

LinkedIn Video Ads | When
When the target audience is a specific, already pre-defined persona in different companies, then LinkedIn can be a good channel to use.  

If the advertiser has a large budget.

LinkedIn Video Ads | Tips

  • Capture the attention of the viewer, quickly. LinkedIn recommends within 1-2 seconds. If you manage to hold the viewer's attention for the first three seconds, 65% will watch at least 10 seconds more of the video. Is this something we have mentioned earlier? Yes absolutely! We are only repeating ourselves for the sake of emphasizing the importance of creating content that captures your viewer within a couple of seconds.
  • Make a version that is no longer than max. 15 seconds. According to LinkedIn, 15 seconds is the optimal length.
  • Display the brand name within the first 3 seconds. If one of your goals is to achieve increased brand awareness, it should appear already at the beginning of the video.
  • Use thumbnail images and titles to capture attention.
  • Optimize the video to work without sound. People watch the video on their mobile, and as a default, the sound doesn’t start automatically.
  • Add subtitles. Achieve longer interaction with captions/subtitles.
  • Upload the ad in the highest resolutionthat you have available.

LinkedIn Video Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 Aspect
Ratio: 1440 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 64 KHz
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 200MB
Max length: 30 minutes
Minimum length: 3 seconds

Google Display Ads

Google Display Ads has previously exclusively involved banner ads, but Google has just recently included the option to include YouTube videos, along with their Responsive Display Ads.

1. Google Responsive Display Ads

Google Responsive Display Ads | Description
Google Responsive Display Ads are banner ads where the advertiser can automatically split different texts to show the best-performing ad formats to the viewer. With this, you now also have the opportunity to insert videos that work with images and texts.

Google Responsive Display Ads | When
Today, there are countless options with Google Display Ads. With the new option to include video, it is always recommended to set up a test.

Google Responsive Display Ads | Tips

  • Use existing YouTube Video Ads and set up Responsive Display Ads, that have the same core message as your existing YouTube video Ads.
  • Synergy must exist between text, image, and video.
  • Get your core message across within just a few seconds.
  • Create the video so that it works without sound.

Google Responsive Display Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4- or MOV-format Aspect
Ratio: 19:9 or 4:3
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 1GB
Max length: 30 seconds
Minimum length: 1 second

Snapchat Video Ads

It’s true, Snapchat is smaller than Facebook. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t let yourself be deceived by this. Even though it’s smaller than Facebook, Snapchat still has close to a whopping 200 million daily users. These users watch averagely 10 billion videos – daily. Snapchat’s users are primarily young people between the ages of 12-29.

1. Snapchat Snap Ads

Snapchat Snap Ads | Description
Snap Ads is a full-screen mobile experience that can last up to 10 seconds.

They always start playing with sound-on, and the user has the option to "Swipe up" to see more information. When the user swipes up, they are presented with more content from the advertiser. It can consist of either long videos, up to 10 minutes, and text, or they are directed to an article.

Snapchat Snap Ads | When
This ad format works great if the advertiser wants to interact with a very young segment, and if the goal is to increase brand awareness.

Snapchat Snap Ads | Tips

  • Optimize the video for mobile use.
  • Make the content fun. When people are on Snapchat, they are most likely there to interact with some funny content. Wouldn’t it be perfect, if your video was that funny content?
  • Get the key message across, quickly. According to Snapchat the length of the video is between 5-6 seconds.

Snapchat Snap Ads | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV format Aspect
Ratio: 1:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
No black bars, No pill or letterboxing
Max size: 32MB
Max length: 10 seconds (recommended = 5-6 seconds)

Owned Social Media

The following will review the typical Owned Social Media Channels and their associated video ad formats. Each video format is accompanied by a brief description of when the video format is good to use, general tips to get the most out of the video format and recommended Video Ad Specs.

Organic Facebook

Although Facebook has previously been a great platform to gain organic reach, this is no longer the case. In recent years the organic traffic received by Facebook Pages has been declining. In 2017, brands observed a 20% drop in organic reach on their Facebook Pages compared to 2016. If you think that this is a drastic decline, get ready, because it is expected to drop even further during 2020.

Although the organic reach isn’t that attractive anymore, Facebook still remains one of the most dominant players in the social media arena. So, if you apply the right techniques for advertising your video, it can still gain a large reach.

1. Facebook Video Posts

The same recommendations apply as with Facebook Video Ads.

2. Facebook Cover-Video

Facebook Cover-Video | Description
As a way of bringing life to your Facebook page, you can insert a video as a cover image.

Facebook Cover-Video | Tips

  • Cinemographs works well, as it gives life to your content without it being too much.
  • Idle videos with text-overlay same as above; it’s a suitable way of bringing life to your content, without it being too much.
  • Be creative. There are no rules for a good cover image.

Facebook Cover-Video | Video Specs
Format: MP4 or MOV Aspect
Ratio: 1280 x 720
Recommended length: 20-90 seconds

Organic Instagram

For the time being, photos are still the primary format used on Instagram. However, the video format is experiencing a great increase in engagement compared to photos on Instagram.

1. Instagram Story-Video

Instagram Story-Video | Description
They are characterized as video clips displayed directly in stories on Instagram. When you post an Instagram story, it will disappear after 24 hours.

Works well if the advertiser wants to interact with a very young segment and if the goal is to increase brand awareness.

Instagram Story-Video | Tips

  • Optimize for mobile use
  • Tell stories in a forward sequence- i.e. If you want to show four stories, it is important that there is a linear story frame, as the viewer sees the stories one after the other.

Instagram Story-video | Video Specs
Format: MP4- or MOV-format Aspect
Ratio: 4:5 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 15 seconds

2. Instagram Video Posts

Instagram Video Posts | Description
The original Instagram-way. You can post videos up to 60 seconds long, and then post them directly in the sender's feed.

Instagram Video Posts | Tips

  • Optimize for mobile use.
  • Capture the viewer's attention, quickly.
  • Create an eye-catching cover image.
  • Optimize the post to work without sound.

Instagram Video Posts | Video Specs
Format; MP4- or MOV-format Aspect
Ratio: 4:5 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 60 seconds

3. Instagram Live story

Instagram Live story | Description
This format can only be recorded through a smartphone. It is done directly in Instagram Stories. When you upload an Instagram Live Story, the video will disappear after 24 hours.

Instagram Live Story | When
When the sender wants to promote authentic content, such as:

  • Event coverage
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Feature story
  • Contests

Instagram Live story | Video Specs
Format: MP4- or MOV-format Aspect
Ratio: 4:5 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 4GB
Max length: 15 seconds

4. Instagram IGTV

Instagram IGTV | Description
Instagram IGTV was released in 2018 – so, still a relatively new platform from Instagram. It allows viewers to watch long format videos and intends to challenge YouTube. Regular users can distribute videos for up to 10 minutes, and verified users can distribute videos for up to 60 minutes.

Instagram IGTV | When
IGTV is ideal when the sender wants to publish content that invites the user to continue to the long format. This involves, for example:

  • Event coverage
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Feature story
  • Interview setups
  • Podcasts
  • Contests

Instagram IGTV | Tips

  • Share a one-minute teaser video for the Instagram Feed. The viewer can click to proceed to the long format if they find the teaser interesting. Needless to say, you want that click.
  • Optimize your cover image for the teaservideo. The viewer should want to watch the teaser.
  • Optimize the video to work without sound.
  • Let the beginning of the video contain the most important information.
  • Optimize for mobile use. Recommended format (4: 5 or 9:16).

Instagram IGTV | Video Specs
Format: MP4- or MOV-format Aspect
Ratio: 4:5 or 9:16
Compression: H.264 Compression
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max length: 10 minutes (regular user), 60 minutes (verified user)

Organic YouTube

1. YouTube-video

YouTube-Video | Description
As YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine it’s an ideal channel for companies to work with, organically.

YouTube-Video | When
YouTube is ideal when the sender wants to publish content that invites users to view a longer format. This involves, for example:

  • Event coverage
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Feature story
  • Interview setup
  • Podcasts
  • Contests

What’s more; Google owns YouTube, which makes YouTube a great channel for your SEO strategy. To SEO-optimize videos on your website, they can be uploaded on YouTube and then embedded on the website. By SEO-optimizing your videos, the sender has the opportunity to be represented in Google under the video tab.

YouTube-Video | Tips

  • Create videos that are longer than 14 minutes. According to a study, the optimal video length for YouTube is 14 minutes and 50 seconds.
  • Capture the viewer from the very beginning. You should get your core message across within the first 10-20 seconds to keep the viewer watching.
  • SEO-optimize your video by:

o   Insert link to the landing page at the top of the description on YouTube

o   Include your keywords in the first 25 words

o   Make a description of at least 250 words. (Tell us what your video is about)

o   Include keywords 3-4 times

o   Include the most important keywords as tags (10-15 pieces)

YouTube-Video | Video Specs
Format: MP4 Aspect
Ratio: 16:9 (max 3840 x 2160)
Compression: H.264
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 128 KHz+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 128GB
Max length: 12 hours

Organic LinkedIn

1. LinkedIn Native Video

LinkedIn Native Video | Description
Native Video is a video format that is uploaded directly to LinkedIn and then shared.

In just one year, LinkedIn native video has generated more than 300 million impressions on their platform. Additionally, studies show that engagement is increasing by 50% every year on LinkedIn.

It might not be as big as YouTube or Instagram IGTV but be careful not to underestimate it – LinkedIn video posts are here to stay.

LinkedIn Native Video | When
If you have a sender where the target audience is a specific, predefined user in different companies, then LinkedIn can be a good channel to distribute content.

LinkedIn Native Video | Tips

  • Capture the attention of the viewer, quickly. LinkedIn recommends within 1-2 seconds. If you manage to hold the viewer's attention for the first 3 seconds, 65% will watch at least 10 seconds more of the video.
  • Use thumbnail images and titles to capture attention.
  • Optimize the video to work without sound. People watch the video on their mobile, and as a default, the sound doesn’t start automatically.
  • Add subtitles. Videos will often be played on mobile without sound-on.
  • Upload in the highest resolution, that you have available.

LinkedIn Native Video | Video Specs
Format: MP4- or MOV-format Aspect
Ratio: 1:2,4 or 2,4:1
Compression: H.264 Compression
Stereo: AAC audio compression at 192kbps+
No black bars, No pillar or letterboxing
Max size: 5GB
Max length: 10 minutes
Minimum length: 3 seconds

Summary | Complete overview of Video Specs

Download our complete list of video specs and get the most out of your marketing dollars when producing video.