May 21, 2018

The Ultimate Video Marketing Playbook


This blog has been updated on February 2, 2022. 

There are so many reasons why video marketing should be on every marketer’s to-do list. To begin with, a HubSpot Research report reveals that 54% of respondents want to see more video content coming from the businesses and brands they support.

There is plenty more proof why video has emerged as the most effective and preferred marketing medium. Just the mere mention of the word video in an email subject line increases your click-through rate by 65%. In fact, it’s been predicted that by 2020, internet video traffic will account for 79% of global Internet traffic.

If you’re not leveraging video marketing yet, you’re likely to get left behind by the competition. To get you caught up, you’ll want to start creating video content and optimizing for the various platforms where your target audience is consuming video.

In this guide, we will give you some pre-production reminders before going straight to best practices and optimization tips for the top video content platforms.


Brainstorming Content

Quality matters. It doesn’t matter what platform you’re publishing your content on, quality still matters. Before you can start to think about your goals, you need to focus on pre-production and the elements that go into to creating exceptional video content.

Locking down which type of video format you will produce will determine whether you will be creating short or long form video. Will it be live or scripted? What tools will you be using? Here are some video content ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Awareness Stage: how-to content, inspirational, fun short format videos showing unique company culture

Consideration Stage: explainer videos, product demos, case studies testimonials, short to long formats that are entertaining and informative.

Decision Stage: reviews, unboxing videos, testimonials, FAQ, in-depth instructional videos


Preparing to Film

Epic productions of Hollywood proportions aren’t required if you want to create quality content. In fact, you can produce excellent video content by just using a camera phone. Today’s phones can record high-quality video that meets the requirements of most video content platforms. However, apart from the overall message you plan to deliver with your message, there are other elements that make a video great. They are:

Video resolution – Video resolution is key because there are video platforms that prefer high-definition videos. YouTube, for example, recommends a resolution of at least 1280×720 for a video that has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of at least 640×480 for video that has a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Great lighting – Lighting ensures quality video. There’s a good reason why movie sets put so much emphasis on lighting. Videos with good lighting are easier to watch. To achieve it, you don’t need to surround yourself with professional lighting; natural lighting at the right time of day will do to create a video that is clear, crisp, and bright.

Sound quality – While it’s true that many people will watch a video without audio, sound quality is still a priority. Many people have been known to rewatch a video with audio on after they initially watched it without sound. Whether you have the most advanced videography equipment or you’re shooting with your iPhone, complement it with a good microphone.

Editing – Editing happens in two phases: pre-production and post-production. This is why it helps to not only have a script but also to have all your scenes sequenced and mapped out on a storyboard. Composition is key here. You will need to cut all the footage you have shot and put it all together. It’s easier than done. You could be looking at hours of video footage that you need to cut and splice into a short 3-minute video that is succinct and flows well.

A Basic Understanding of SEO for Video Content

It would be a shame to create excellent video marketing content and not put as much effort into making sure it got found. The findability of your video content should be high on your list of priorities. It doesn’t matter how good your video is if it’s not findable.

Here are key components to ensure your content gets found and converts:

  • Keyword Research
  • Title Tag Optimization
  • Description Optimization
  • Video Transcript


Best Practices and Optimization Tips for Video by Platform

In the past, your only real option was to upload your videos to YouTube and share the video link on Facebook or Twitter. Now, social media platforms have introduced their own native video features. While native videos do perform infinitely better, you will still need to optimize your video content to increase its visibility.

Once your video content has been shot and edited, it needs to be optimized for the video platforms you intend to publish it on. Remember, not all video platforms are created equal. Here’s a look at the best practices and video requirements on the top 5 video content platforms:

  1. YouTube

YouTube continues to dominate in the video platform realm. There are 5 billion videos watched on YouTube every day. To get heard above all that noise, you need to optimize your videos. Here’s how.

YouTube screenshot of a video of fish.Optimize Your Channel:

  • Choose a short but descriptive channel name.
  • Include a channel link on your website to let your fans know that you have a YouTube presence.


Optimize Your Videos:

Title: Your video titles should be front-loaded with keywords; however, keep your titles brief and relevant to the content. Use target keywords that are highly searched by YouTube users to help you rank for that term.

Description: Remember that YouTube only displays the first 2 or 3 lines of text and viewers will have to click “show more” to see the full description. For this reason, make the first 2 or 3 sentences of your description compelling. It might help for you to lead with CTAs and crucial links.

Tags: Tags let your viewers and YouTube know what the video is all about.

Thumbnail: Because your video thumbnail is the main image viewers will see when scrolling through a list of video results, your choice of thumbnail image ultimately impacts your number of clicks and videos; make sure your thumbnail is eye-catching and high-quality.

Promote Your YouTube Content: Get more eyes on your video content by promoting your YouTube videos and channel on your other social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, company website, and blog.

Click here for YouTube’s Video and Audio Formatting Specifications.

  1. Facebook

Facebook’s algorithm values native video. While it’s tempting to simply share the link of your YouTube video on Facebook, you’re cutting your video’s potential organic reach by doing that.National Geographic Facebook video talking about wild cats.

It’s also worth mentioning that only native videos will autoplay in viewers’ feeds. And only by having a video that autoplays will you have the opportunity to capture the attention of your Facebook audience who is quickly scrolling through their feed.

Optimize Your Videos:

Catchy Headline: Your video’s description serves as its headline. By making it scannable and compelling, you will pique the interest of your audience, urging them to pause from scrolling through their feed.

Thumbnails: Just like YouTube, viewers see thumbnails before they see your video. Make your thumbnail a good one.

Captions and Subtitles: It makes sense when we hear that 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound. First of all, many of us don’t always carry our earphones. And when we are in public, we don’t want to bother people or want to be discreet that you’re accessing Facebook. This means that while great sound quality is important, subtitles and captions are just as important when you consider that people are initially happy to watch a video without audio. Because captions mean more views, captions and subtitles will ultimately help rank your video higher.

Facebook Video Guidelines:

  • Recommended video formats are MP4 and MOV.
  • Max file size is 4GB.
  • Landscape aspect ratio is 16:9.
  • 1280 x 720 for Landscape and Portrait.
  • Minimum width is 600 pixels for Landscape and Portrait.
  • Video length max is 120 minutes.


  1. Twitter

Similar to Facebook, only native videos will autoplay. Videos can be 140 seconds long and videos that are less than 6.5 seconds long will loop automatically. To optimize for Twitter, make sure that you meet all of Twitter’s technical requirements:

Twitter video ad from Dictionary. com tachign about words.Twitter Video Guidelines:

  • Recommended video formats are MP4 for web and MOV for mobile.
  • Max file size is 512MB.
  • Minimum dimensions for both is 32 x 32 / Maximum dimensions for both is 1280 x 1024.
  • Landscape dimensions: 320 x 180 (256K bitrate), 640 x 360 (768K bitrate) and 1280 x 720 (2048K bitrate).
  • Portrait dimensions: 240 x 240 (256K bitrate), 480 x 480 (768K bitrate) and 640 x 640 (1024K bitrate).
  • Aspect ratios are between 1:2:39 to 2:39:1.
  • Video length max is 140 seconds.


  1. Instagram

The secret to video marketing on Instagram if knowing the platform’s culture. Instagram has always been a visually stimulating space. For your video content to captivate audiences, it needs to be eye-catching and attractive enough to grab attention within seconds and make the user pause from scrolling.

Instagram video ad by World Wildlife Foundation promoting Earth Hour.Instagram videos are 60 seconds long. That means you have only one minute to get your message across. Other brands have made the mistake of thinking that they can use the caption section to better explain themselves when a minute worth of video isn’t enough; however, remember that Instagram is a platform for sharing images and videos. Users aren’t there to read lengthy captions.

Just like Facebook and Twitter, videos autoplay on Instagram. Though, unlike the other platforms, Instagram feeds aren’t filled with links to other sites. While it may be hard for you to track how Instagram impacts your performance because Instagram is entirely photos and videos your video has a more engaged audience.

Also, keep in mind that Instagram videos silently autoplay; make sure your videos work well without a voiceover.

Instagram Video Guidelines:

  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels (1.9:1 landscape) / 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • Minimum length: 2.5 seconds
  • Maximum length: 30 seconds
  • File type: .mp4
  • Supported video codecs: H.264, VP8
  • Supported audio codecs: AAC, Vorbis
  • Maximum size: 30MB
  • Frame rate: 30fps max


  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn users can also add native video on the platform. The new in-app, native video feature allows users to share video directly from their mobile devices. In the past, you could only share video content to LinkedIn through a YouTube link.Linkedin Video Ad highlight a medical school program.

LinkedIn video will autoplay as they do on other social platforms. And because they play automatically with the sound disabled by default, you’ll want to ensure your videos work well without sound by adding captions.

Similar to other social platforms, native videos carry more weight and will show up on feeds more often than those shared from other platforms. Great uses for video marketing on LinkedIn are interviews with industry experts, explainer videos, and blog promotion. It’s also an excellent opportunity for your brand to showcase their products and services. And to make a strong emotional connection with your audience, use LinkedIn video to do some brand storytelling by sharing your company’s unique history – from how you came up with a concept to your company name. You can even introduce your audience to your creators.

LinkedIn Video Requirements:

  • Max file size: 5GB
  • Minimum file size: 75KB
  • Max video duration: 10 minutes
  • Minimum video duration: 3 seconds
  • Resolution range: 256×144 to 4096×2304
  • Aspect ratio: 1:2.4 – 2.4:1
  • Frame rates: 10fps – 60 fps
  • Bit rates: 192 kbps – 30 Mbps



With more and more companies discovering how influential video content is in improving their brand’s visibility, not leveraging this type of content would be a mistake. But while it’s important to include video marketing in your digital marketing strategy, you should not create one video and publish it on every social media platform.

Remember that each platform is unique. Apart from having optimal video formats specific to their platforms, they each also have their own audiences. Your video content has to work within a platform’s specification and within the culture each platform cultivates.

If you speak to your audience in the way they prefer, on the channel they love, you’ll engage, inspire, and drive loyalty. What brand wouldn’t want that? Reach out to us today to help you on your next video content campaign.