3 Ways to Create Video for Social Media (to Catch Attention)

If you need to create videos for social media then listen up. Not matter whether you love being in front of the camera, or you'd rather be behind it, you can use these tips to beef up your video so that it stands out on social media. In this post, I share 3 ways to easily catch attention and stand out.

3 Ways to Create Video for Social Media (to Catch Attention)
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Meerkats by Depositphotos


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It can be hard enough to get started with creating video without having the added pressure of making something that catches attention.

But it CAN be done with some simple strategies and tools that make it super easy for non-designers and non-video-creators to create engaging video.

And when you hear such things like these, it pays to focus on grabbing attention:

  • every 2nd consumer has engaged with a brand after watching a video
  • 50% of consumers want to see more videos from brands
  • time spent watching video on Instagram is up over 80% year over year

it's worth taking notice, right?

We're going to unpack some strategies to help you in this post. But first let's look at some ideas for what you can actually create your video about. Once you have the ideas in place, you can add on the “strategies” I've suggested below to make them truly catch attention.

What to create when making video for social media

When creating video for social media it really comes down to two things. Choosing a broad topic or focus of your video and then choosing the actual topic/video you will create. I have two posts that will help you with that.

Choose one of the Big 3 Engaging Video Types:

I wrote a post about how some of the most engaging videos fall into these 3 categories:

  1. The Fomo Video – share something that reveals we can't miss. It's about a hidden local secret, an adventure we didn't know about or some news that we want to be first to hear – even a product release.
  2. The How-To Video – in this video we impart our knowledge about how to do something, quickly and easily.
  3. The Discovery Video – is all about being the first to discover something. It makes us look cool and knowledgeable. Help your audience discover something new and you've got yourself an engaging video.
  4. Read more about all 3 video types here.

All 3 of these videos tap into our human desire to know – to know the answer, the secret, the news, the instructions, the how-to, the thing!

So if you're stuck, start with one of those broad categories. But if that doesn't help you (or you want to nail down your video idea even further) then check out this list of awesome ideas. There are 99 ideas in this post, split up into more detailed categories, so you'll be sure to find something that appeals to you. Many of them are easy to create!

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Once you've chosen your video topic idea, it's time to jump into making it even more attention-grabbing with one of the 3 tips below:

Video for Social Media: 3 Tips to Grab Attention

Once you've decided on your video for social media or perhaps filmed the raw footage, use one (or more) of these tips to enhance your video and make sure it demands attention once you post it.

1. Add Animation to your videos for Social Media

“Yes Donna, great idea.. but I'm no Walt Disney”, I hear you say. Yes that may be true, but times have changed when it comes to animation. And of course, I'm not asking you to do a Pixar-quality animated movie though.

What I am suggesting is two different types of “animation” – and both are easy to do. Even if you're a non-designer!

Stop Motion Animation

Consider tapping into this cool, on-trend (and very easy to use) animation effect that is grabbing attention on sites like Instagram. Stop Motion Videos.

When Queen Bey starts posting stop motion videos, you know that she's doing it for a reason. Here's a cool stop motion video to ‘unbox' Beyonce's IVY PARK range for Adidas:

View this post on Instagram

adidas x IVY PARK unboxing

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Pretty cool, hey? Stop Motion is big on Instagram. It's the perfect kind of video for social media. and just about any platform that shares video. But, you don't have to have a production crew to create stop motion videos!

All you need is a camera and an app. I wrote about the Life Lapse app before on this blog, and you can check it out here. Check out their Instagram account for inspiration:

Lifelapse App on Instagram - How to Create Video for Social Media
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You'll find a lot of great examples (and tutorials) on Instagram!

You can do just about anything with stop motion. Check out how it brings a product to life with just some simple movement:

Life Lapse is super easy to use and includes a lot of built-in camera features like guides, frameworks, even music to ensure that your final video is super engaging.

And if Stop Motion is not your thing, try adding animated stickers. You can add animated stickers to your videos in a couple of easy ways:

Animated Stickers

Animated stickers can be found on a lot of social media platforms now, thanks to the power of Giphy integration. There are two ways to add Animated Stickers when it comes to video for social media.

1. Add Stickers via Stories

You can search for Gif Stickers via hashtags on Instagram, Snapchat and more:

Add GIF stickers to Instagram Stories - video on Social Media
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Target GIF Stickers in Instagram Stories!

Find out more about creating, finding and sharing GIF Stickers in this post. Adding stickers to your Instagram Stories or social video on social media can make them much more eye-catching.

2. Add Stickers to your videos when you create them

More video creation tools are adding in the option to add animated stickers or graphics that add some movement to your videos.. thus catching attention!

Two tools that allow you to do this are:

  1. Crello Crello has an animated sticker feature that allows you to add static or animated stickers to video designs then publish them.
  2. Wave.videoWave has a series of animated stickers you can add to your videos before publishing. They also allow you to search for GIF stickers via an integration with Giphy.
How to add GIF stickers to video in Wave
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Choose animated stickers to add them to your video.

Here's the completed video. Notice the stickers overlayed throughout for effect:

Hot Tip: be wary of adding GIFs from Giphy to any commercial video unless you have permission to use the GIf in your production.

2. Add Captions or Text

Have you ever noticed that you will watch videos on sites like Instagram with the sound off? If so, you're not alone. Many of us watch video content with the sound off by default, so it's more important than ever to be able to capture the attention of viewers in a “sound-off” world.

Captions are important when creating video for social media. Captions or text can be added in two ways:

  • as an entire transcript of the ‘voice' or audio on the video.
  • as guided text to explain the video. ie there is no voice but the viewer is guided through the video via text. These usually have music in the background. Like this example below:

And did you notice I added stickers to the video above? It has added text AND captions to catch attention.

Adding text can help you to:

  • Make sure your viewers don't miss important content (when the sound is switched off).
  • highlight key concepts or key ideas
  • emphasize a call to action or next step – add the call to action by text.

Tools that can help you add captions include:

  1. Quicc – a fabulous tool for adding captions in minutes, capturing the audio and turning it into captions burned into the video. Easy to edit!
  2. Splasheo – a service that takes your video footage and adds captions and fixed headings to the video. Quick turnaround (my readers can get a free trial here).
  3. Clipomatic App – this app allows you to add captions to mobile video easily and quickly.

Try them out and find one that makes it easy for you. And remember that most of the main video tools like Wave, Animoto etc will allow you to add text to your video. You can use this in a similar way to captions, as suggested above.

It's time for my third tip – one more thing to help you make engaging videos:

3 Use Fun, Engaging (not-boring) footage

Some videos don't require anything extra (ie if it's just you, face-to-camera, you won't need stock footage). But other videos can be boosted creatively with fun, engaging video stock.

You can add video footage (at no-cost or low-cost) from other tools. These include Canva, Wave.video, Animoto, Biteable and more. Stock video is now affordable for small business owners.

I wrote about tips for using video footage in this post.

Here are 3 more tips for searching for video footage when recording and creating video for social media – using New York as our example.

Smart Search (Get Specific)

When searching for video stock footage, get specific. The more detail you add to your search query, the better the results will be. And the less likely the chance of turning up the same old tired, over-used video snippets.


Don't just search for “New York”. Instead, try searching for “New York Streetscape” or “New York Skyline at night”.

Add Some Perspective

There are so many perspectives and ways of looking at things. Bring these into your stock footage search when creating video for social media. Add the following types of words to your search terms, such as the following when looking for a point of view from above or below:

  • drone footage or drone, view from above, bird's eye view, from above, from the top, looking down, aerial view,
  • view from below, looking up, ground angle shot, worm's eye view
How to search for video stock footage
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‘Birdseye View' turns up some interesting NYC footage!

Use Association

It's time to put on your thinking cap and think laterally. The obvious search term is not always the best one. Start throwing some associated terms into the search bar and you'll bring up some unique videos.

ie searching on the 4th July for footage, you might also use the terms “red, white and blue” to find other associated images. Or fireworks. Think outside the square!

Use this footage as B-roll or extra clips to help tell your story and also give you more options or to break up your video.

Final Tip:

Once you find some great footage, search for similar clips by the same contributor. Usually, stock footage or images are shared as a series, so you can find similar clips to use throughout your video to tie it all together.

You can see in the screenshots below, that the footage and images I used were from the same series:

As you can see, using similar footage ties it all together. You can watch the full video here. The gifts are fun.

So, there you have it – 3 ways to add some more interest to your videos for social video (and grabbing more attention).

Over to You

Do you feel more confident about creating engaging video for social media? Try some of these tips the next time you create social videos.

3 Ways to Create Video for Social Media (to Catch Attention)
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Meerkats by Depositphotos
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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.
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