How to make your Facebook or Instagram videos stand out

Stand out in a sea of marketing messages with these best practices for creating your Facebook or Instagram videos when advertising on social media.

In 2016 Facebook reported that people spend more than 100 million hours each day watching video. If that doesn’t seem like an obvious enough marketing opportunity, check out Wordstream’s 37 Staggering Video Marketing Statistics and be blown away by just how much content we are consuming per day.

While this is a huge opportunity for marketers everywhere, it’s also going to be harder to stand out against the clutter. Furthermore, beautiful videos are expensive to produce - from pre-production to post-production.

Here are five ways to make your Facebook or Instagram videos stand out, without a crazy budget.

1. Document, don’t create

Document, don’t create,” says Gary Vaynerchuk, arguably one of the savviest content creators out there. Every piece of content he creates is available in the form of images, videos, blog posts, gifs and live videos. You’ll find that his videos aren’t always well-shot – often he simply does mobile video and quick live updates. Sometimes his lighting and sound quality aren’t the best, but he continues to get thousands of views because of the marketing advice he shares.

This concept also engages users in a more direct way. Instead of creating a staged performance you're involving your customers in your business in a way they're more able to relate to.

How do you document and not create? Documenting your day – your triumphs and struggles – on live platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.

Facebook users spend 3x longer watching live videos compared to videos that are no longer live. This is fantastic news, because it takes away the stress of creating a visually-stunning video, and allows you to focus on creating great content.

Document your day, talk about issues that matter to your customers, do a live demo of your product, or offer a discount to viewers watching your video live. These are some surefire ways to offer great content without stressing over quality. Concentrate on having a unique voice with a specific opinion on what you’re sharing.

2. Make the first three seconds count

Marketers have a great advantage with Facebook videos auto-playing in our newsfeed. However, if your video doesn’t show something compelling in the first three seconds, people aren’t going to watch it all the way through. Remember though you need to follow up these three seconds with relevant content – you want your customers to watch your next videos.

How do you make the first three seconds count?

  • Funny captions – exercise your wit.
  • Hook with an offer or discount.
  • Use strong free or low-cost stock footage from Shutterstock

3. Shoot for mobile

We do everything on mobile – stalk our friends, check out newsfeeds, buy groceries, transfer money, and sell things to make a quick buck. It should come as no surprise that more than half of video content is viewed on mobile. Optimising for mobile is key.

One simple tip: If you’re shooting a live video with your mobile, shoot in portrait mode instead of landscape.

4. Always include subtitles

Speaking of Facebook auto-play and watching videos on mobile, did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound? To encourage longer views of your videos, use subtitles right from the start so people know they don’t have to plug in headphones to watch. If you don't have the resources to add subtitles you can show the key points with some simple graphics - users can read and understand at a glance.

5. Use an Online Video Editor

When it comes to editing a video you don't have to invest in expensive editing software. All you need is an internet connection to access a variety of different online video editors. Upload footage, sound and images and start creating.

  • PowToon is great for creating explainer animated videos via a drag and drop style editing.
  • Wideo lets you make animated videos either using their provided images or by uploading your own.
  • Kizoa let's you add transition effects and animation to your videos. Plus, you don't even need to register an account so you can start experimenting now.



  • In 2016 people spent 100 million hours a day watching video on Facebook
  • Document your workday and talk about issues important to your customers
  • Make sure the first three seconds of your video matter
  • Shoot your video with mobile viewing in mind
  • GIFs are a cheap and funny way to make video content


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