9 Ideas for Social Media Videos

by Alison Battisby

Posted on Oct 21, 2021

9 Ideas for Social Media Videos

Social video is a great way to showcase content in a highly engaging and lively format. Indeed, many social media users now expect brands to use videos to communicate with them.  

There is a vast number of videos available on social platforms. However, social videos can be grouped into several native content formats.

1. Explainers

YouTube has evolved into something much more than a video-sharing platform. Not only is it the number one place to watch videos, it is also a search engine. People look to YouTube as an information source. Explainer videos can illuminate a subject based on the presenter’s opinion or understanding. These videos can help to simplify complex ideas or trends for users.

Generally, explainer videos aim to clearly explain something to viewers. They provide information about specific subjects, and might also be designed to educate, inspire, and in some cases, shock viewers into action. The Our Changing Climate video channel makes good use of explainer videos to raise awareness about climate change.

9 Ideas for Social Media Videos

2. How To’s/Guides

How To and Guide videos are like online tutorials. They are simple videos that describe how to use a product, how to create something, or how to do certain tasks. These types of videos - also known as walkthroughs - usually feature a presenter who can demonstrate exactly how to use a product or service, and can talk the viewer through some of the key features and benefits. The How-to playlist on the DMI YouTube channel is one of the most popular playlists.

These types of videos are highly ranked in YouTube and Google, because they often contain popular keywords and phrases that customers are seeking. They can easily influence a user’s purchase decision if they are comprehensive and credible.

9 Ideas for Social Media Videos

3. Interview and Q&A Videos

Interview and Q&A videos are a great way to engage your audience with insightful and exclusive content, and to help convey information about your industry and expertise. You could create videos in which you interview industry thought leaders and influencers, team members, or even customers.

While you can prepare the questions yourself, you could keep your fans more engaged by collecting their questions. Make an announcement beforehand and gather their questions through social media. Then compile and vet those questions to see which ones would suit your topic or theme.

Besides interviewing other people, you could have a solo Q&A session where you address your audience’s pressing questions, offering them value as well as showcasing your business expertise. This format is best suited to live video, as this allows you to connect with the audience more effectively in real time.

4. Behind the Scenes (BTS)

You can give people a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes through authentic and engaging behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos. These videos are perfect for showcasing your company culture and giving recognition to the people behind your brand. They can help you humanize your brand, build trust, and strengthen your connection with the audience.

You could provide your audience with office tours and take them backstage at an event you’re a part of. You could also show them your employees in action using a ‘day in the life’ theme, or even the process of how your products are manufactured. Microsoft used a series of BTS ‘day in the life’ videos to show how staff were working from home during the pandemic lockdown. 

5. Challenges

Challenge videos generally feature a participant recording themselves taking a popular challenge and then posting the content, asking others to try. Challenge videos have a good chance of going viral, particularly on a platform like the fastest growing social network of all time, TikTok.

Dances, pranks, practical jokes, and tricks tend to spread quickly, especially when they use a popular dance track as audio or a trending hashtag. They are collaborative videos - and sometimes they have hilarious results. A great example of one of the original challenge formats used by a brand was the ice bucket challenge, which brought awareness to the ALS Association.

6. Recaps

Recap videos contain content where the host or hosts discuss a subject, most commonly other forms of media such as comics, video games, television shows, or movies. Many TV networks use this format to help promote high-profile TV shows or movies. For example, a panel might discuss the latest episode of a popular television show.

7. Play Throughs

Play Through videos, also known as ‘Let’s Play’ videos, are mostly associated with the video game industry. Viewers see the creator’s point of view as he or she plays a video game while explaining what’s happening on screen.

Often, video game companies encourage creators to make Play Through videos, because they can give more information on how the game was made.

8. Live Broadcasts

Live Broadcasts are videos that feature a conversation, performance, or virtual event that is broadcast live. Examples include an interview, announcement, news broadcast, or a report on an ongoing event. Most of the major platforms now offer live video broadcasting to every user, so there has been a real surge in live streaming activity, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As many events were forced online, consumers grew more confident in the live streaming format.

Brands can benefit from live broadcasts as they can create more personal relationships with viewers, they attract high engagement, and they are relatively easy to do.  DMI has seen strong numbers attend our GameDay and TeamTalk live streamed expert webinars, which are then archived on our library and YouTube channel

9 Ideas for Social Media Videos

9. Reviews

Review videos are where video creators try out and review a new product that is of interest to their audience. They can be made by amateurs or experts to give their opinion on a product.

Brands often offer creators access to their products and ask them for a review. Obviously, a brand wants that review to be favorable! Often review videos include an unboxing process, where the user excitedly unwraps the products from its packaging and talks the viewer through their opinions on every aspect of how the product is presented.

When developing your social video strategy, consider which combination of formats would work best for your marketing campaign.

Want to learn more about social video formats? Check out our Social Media Specialism course.


Alison Battisby

Alison is a Social Media Consultant with Avocado Social, she is a Facebook and Instagram accredited social media expert and founded Avocado Social in 2014 having worked in the social media industry since 2008. Alison has worked with a wide range of brands including Estee Lauder, Tesco, and Pringles. Alison has traveled the world training companies including the BBC, Etsy, Canon, and Cambridge University Press. She offers social media strategy, training, and consultancy at Avocado Social across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok. 

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