This blog is the 2nd part of the ‘how to create better content’ series and tackles creating engaging social media videos. For tips on images, swing by here .

There are three broad parts to content: photos, videos and text. When you master them, you already know how to make better content. That’s why we gave you tips on clicking and editing great images (check our previous blog). We now move on to creating engaging social media videos and the brass tacks on writing. Together, they round-off our “how to make better content” series.

How to make engaging social media videos and caption writing tips

We specifically talk about vertical videos because we’ve already explored shooting videos for YouTube and Instagram has its own technical specifications like the orientation (vertical/portrait), and the aspect ratio (9:16 or 4:5) like this.

creating engaging social media video

With Instagram videos finally catching on, lot of influencers are at sea on how to create them. If you are using a Smartphone, then all is well. For any other camera or recorder, you’ll need to edit/crop the video afterwards to get the aspect ratio right.

1. Creating a vertical social media video

The simplest route is to use your phone to shoot a video for Instagram. Just hold it vertically, and it will automatically have a 9:16 ratio. If you want ideas on how to make better videos, use this post. It drops some gems like keeping the start and end crisp to grab the attention of your followers.

Though the current Apple and Android mobiles come with some serious lenses, there is a chance that you’d like to shoot the video on a different camera.

  • Using a DSLR, Vertically

If you’re using a digital camera or a DSLR to make the video, rotate it by 90 degrees. It will give you a vertical frame, but the aspect ratio will still be off as DSLRs use a 3:2 ratio and digital cameras use 4:3. Correct the ratio in post-production.

  • Using a DSLR, Horizontally

If you use a digital camera, smartphone or DSLR horizontally to record a video, then besides aspect ratio be careful of:

  • The frame of the shot. When you turn a horizontal video vertically during editing, you have to crop out the left and right sides. If the subject of the video is not centred throughout, you’ll end up cropping him, her or it.

2. Edit the engaging social media video

Part of creating engaging social media videos is editing it right. No matter how well the video is planned and shot, if you don’t fine-tune it, it’ll leave a blah impression.

If you have the moolah, cough up some for Final Cut Pro. If you’re starting your career as a social media influencer, then free software like iMovie and Filmora are great.

To make mobile-friendly and engaging social media videos, take the following steps. (FYI, we assume you took the easier path and produced a vertical video).

  • Open the video in iMovie.
  • Rotate the video 90 degrees by clicking crop and spinning either left or right. (What? That’ll make it horizontal again! We know. But iMovie tends to add black borders if you don’t take this step.)
  • Make any other edits you want like titles and transitions.
  • Save as a new file.
  • Open the saved file in QuickTime and click on edit. (It’s on top of the screen next to File).
  • Rotate the video again in the correct direction to make it vertical.

Et voila! Your video content is ready!.

3. Write captions that hook people in

Instagram needs captions. Facebook needs statuses. Twitter needs tweets. What’s the point? Every social platform requires some form of writing, and that’s not even taking into consideration proper blogs.

Well written content can stop a scroller in their tracks. It can tempt them to spend more time on the post or even engage with it.

Only Beyoncé is exempt from this rule. She, with no captions on Instagram posts, will still reign supreme. The rest of the lowly creator world has to pen down authentic stories to bring in results.

Here’s how you write stunning captions when creating engaging social media videos:

  • The first line must be uber-engaging to hook the reader in. To do so:
    • Share hard facts. E.g., Trees help save the climate. OR In one year, a tree absorbs 48 pounds of CO2. (The second sentence shares a stat grabbing the focus of the reader.)
    • Trigger an emotional response by writing from your heart.
  • If you are writing a caption, ensure the punch line is delivered before Instagram truncates the message.
  • Always have a call-to-action. Be it a blog post or a caption, invite the audience to:
    • Comment
    • Double-tap
    • Tag others
    • Share their opinion
    • Go to a linked article
  • When you have lots to say, add breaks. Line breaks in captions and paragraph breaks in articles. Those breaks make digesting information easier.
  • Stick to your brand voice. Irrespective of the channel, be consistent with your style of writing. Being hip on Instagram and formal on the blog generates a disconnect that no follower wants to feel.
  • Be creative when writing your hashtags (more tips here). They up your discoverability.
  • Always check for spelling and grammar errors. If you can sign-up for a paid version of Grammarly great, else use a free account.

That’s it from our side on creating engaging social media videos. Now go do your thng!

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About the Author


A lover of words who feels she has marginal talent but caviar dreams. When by a pen name for a long time because this introvert is too shy to have their real name live on the internet. Now finally learning to embrace it. And, oh, their thng is books!

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