Branded Social Media Video:
The Definitive Guide to Best Practices



In today’s digital age, video content is king. Especially in the realm of social media, where attention spans are short, and users are inundated with content, compelling video can cut through the noise and make a lasting impact. But with so many brands vying for the spotlight, how can you ensure that your videos rise above the rest? This comprehensive guide outlines the best practices for creating branded social media videos that not only captivate your audience but also drive meaningful engagement and results.

Understanding Branded Social Media Video

Branded social media videos are short clips produced by companies to promote their brand, products, or services on various social media platforms. These videos are designed to be engaging and shareable, helping brands reach a larger audience and increase their online presence.

Keys to Quality and Efficiency in Video Production

Producing high-quality videos doesn’t always have to involve extensive time and resources. Here are some tips to streamline your video production process without compromising quality:

Pre-Production Planning:
Have a clear plan in place before you start shooting. Know your script, shots, and locations.
Use Good Equipment:
Quality cameras, microphones, and lighting equipment can make a significant difference.
Maximize Your Shoots:
Shoot multiple videos or versions at once to make the most of your resources.
Hire a Professional:
If possible, hiring a professional videographer can save time and improve quality.
Use Stock Footage:
For some videos, using high-quality stock footage can be an efficient way to create visually appealing content.
Keep It Simple:
Not every video needs to be a major production. Sometimes, a simple but well-executed concept can be just as effective.
Invest in Good Editing Software:
Post-production is where the magic happens. Invest in good editing software to make your videos look professional.
Reuse and Recycle Content:
Use content from your existing videos to create new ones. This can save time and ensure brand consistency.
Leverage User-Generated Content:
User-generated content can be a great resource for creating authentic and engaging videos.
Stay Up-to-Date:
Regularly update your skills and knowledge about the latest video production techniques and trends.

Best Practices for Video Content

Crafting engaging video content is an art, but certain best practices can guide your strategy and improve your chances of success.

Tell a Story:
People connect with stories, not sales pitches. Tell a compelling story that your audience can relate to.
Keep it Short:
Attention spans are short on social media. Aim for videos that are between one and two minutes long.
Hook Viewers Early:
You have a few seconds to capture viewers’ attention. Make sure the beginning of your video is engaging.
Optimize for Silence:
Many people watch social media videos with the sound off. Ensure your video makes sense without sound or use captions.
Include a Clear Call to Action:
Make sure viewers know what you want them to do after watching the video.
Use High-Quality Visuals:
Crisp, clear visuals can significantly increase engagement.
Stay On-Brand: Your video should reflect your brand’s style, voice, and values.
Experiment and Test:
Try different styles, formats, and content types to see what works best for your audience.
Engage with Your Audience:
Encourage comments, shares, and likes. Respond to comments to build relationships with your audience.
Measure Performance:
Use analytics to understand what works and what doesn’t, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Optimizing Video for Different Platforms

Different social media platforms have different features and user behaviors. Here’s how you can optimize your video content for various platforms:

Understand Each Platform’s Specifications:
Each platform has different video specifications, including length, aspect ratio, and file size. Make sure your videos meet these specifications.
Create Platform-Specific Content:
What works on one platform might not work on another. Tailor your content to each platform’s unique features and audience.
Use Platform-Specific Features:
Each platform offers unique features, like filters, stickers, and shopping tags. Use these features to enhance your content.
Optimize for Mobile Viewing:
Most social media usage is on mobile devices. Ensure your videos look good on smaller screens.
Experiment with Different Formats:
Try different video formats, like live videos, Stories, and Reels, to see what your audience responds to.
Time Your Posts:
Post your videos when your audience is most active on each platform.
Use Captions and Subtitles:
This makes your video accessible to a wider audience and is useful for viewers who watch with the sound off.
Promote Your Videos:
Use each platform’s advertising options to promote your videos and reach a larger audience.
Engage with Your Audience:
Respond to comments and messages to build relationships with your audience and encourage engagement.
Test and Learn:
Regularly review your video performance to understand what works and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Successful Social Video Ad Campaigns

What does a successful social video ad campaign look like, and what can we learn from them?

Clear Message:
A successful ad conveys its message clearly and concisely. It’s essential to know what you want to say and how to say it in a way that resonates with your audience.
Successful ads target a specific audience. They are designed with this audience in mind, from the messaging to the visuals.
Engaging Content:
Successful ads capture the viewer’s attention and keep it. They are visually appealing and tell a compelling story.
Call to Action:
Effective ads include a clear call to action. They make it clear what the viewer should do next, whether it’s visiting a website, making a purchase, or sharing the ad.
Brand Alignment:
Successful ads are aligned with the brand’s identity. They reflect the brand’s values, voice, and aesthetic.
Effective ads have a clear goal. Whether it’s raising brand awareness, increasing sales, or driving website traffic, successful ads are designed with this goal in mind.
Successful ads have measurable outcomes. This allows you to track the ad’s performance and make adjustments as necessary.
Optimized for the Platform:
Effective ads are optimized for the platform they’re on. They take advantage of each platform’s unique features and audience behaviors.
Tested and Refined:
Successful ads are tested and refined. This could mean A/B testing different versions of the ad, trying different targeting options, or experimenting with different content formats.
Effective ads feel authentic. They reflect the reality of the brand and resonate with viewers on a genuine level.

Case Studies: 4 Successful Social Video Campaigns

For each of the following successful campaigns, we will analyze the strategies used and lessons that can be drawn from them. However, due to the nature of this model and the restriction on generating long content, detailed case studies cannot be provided here.

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” Campaign
Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign
Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” Campaign
GoPro’s Adventure Videos

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign, featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, made a significant impact by taking a bold stance on social justice issues and sparking conversations around racial inequality and police brutality. The campaign, launched in September 2018, included a powerful video ad narrated by Kaepernick himself. Here are some additional insights and information about the campaign:

Polarizing Stance:
Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick, a polarizing figure known for his protests during the national anthem, generated intense debate and controversy. The campaign received significant media attention, with discussions spanning news outlets, social media platforms, and public forums.
Social Media Engagement:
The campaign resulted in a surge of social media engagement, with millions of mentions, shares, and conversations related to Nike and the “Dream Crazy” campaign. Hashtags such as #JustDoIt and #DreamCrazy became trending topics, amplifying the campaign’s reach and impact.
Brand Relevance:
Nike’s campaign resonated with their target audience, particularly younger consumers who appreciate brands that take a stance on important societal issues. By aligning with Kaepernick and addressing social justice, Nike solidified its brand relevance and positioned itself as a champion of individuality, equality, and perseverance.
Financial Impact:
Despite initial concerns of potential backlash affecting sales, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign had a positive financial impact. In the weeks following the campaign launch, Nike experienced a significant increase in online sales, suggesting that the campaign resonated with consumers and translated into increased brand loyalty and purchasing behavior.
Industry Recognition:
The campaign garnered industry recognition and accolades. It won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix in the Entertainment category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, one of the most prestigious advertising awards shows.
Long-Term Impact:
Beyond immediate sales impact, Nike’s campaign had a lasting impact on the brand’s reputation and image. By taking a stand on a divisive issue, Nike demonstrated its commitment to social activism and ingrained itself in the cultural conversation. The campaign contributed to shaping the brand’s identity and resonating with a generation that values authenticity and purpose.

While specific data on sales figures and revenue directly attributed to the “Dream Crazy” campaign may not be readily available, the overall success of the campaign can be measured by its ability to generate widespread media coverage, spark conversations, and enhance Nike’s brand relevance and cultural impact. The campaign exemplified Nike’s willingness to take risks and engage with social issues, establishing the brand as a leader in socially conscious advertising.

Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign:
Dove’s Real Beauty campaign aimed to challenge traditional beauty standards and promote body positivity. The campaign utilized emotional storytelling and featured real women of diverse body types, ages, and ethnicities. Here are some key insights:

  • Impactful Messaging:
    By emphasizing the importance of real beauty and self-acceptance, Dove struck a chord with viewers who were tired of unrealistic beauty ideals. The campaign generated widespread discussion and positive sentiment.
  • Viral Shareability:
    The campaign’s emotionally charged videos, such as “Dove Real Beauty Sketches,” went viral, accumulating millions of views and shares across social media platforms.
  • Shift in Brand Perception:
    Dove successfully positioned itself as a brand that prioritizes inclusivity and authenticity. The campaign helped establish a stronger emotional connection with consumers and increased brand loyalty.

Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” Campaign: Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” campaign creatively showcased the power and durability of their blenders by blending unusual items. Here are key insights:

  • Engaging and Entertaining Content:
    Blendtec’s videos were entertaining, featuring unconventional blending experiments that captivated viewers’ attention and sparked curiosity.
  • Viral Success:
    The campaign’s videos, such as blending an iPhone or golf balls, generated millions of views and widespread social media sharing. The campaign’s popularity helped increase brand awareness and reach.
  • Product Demonstration:
    The campaign effectively demonstrated the strength and quality of Blendtec blenders, influencing consumers’ perception of the brand and boosting sales.

GoPro’s Adventure Videos: GoPro’s adventure videos showcased exhilarating and immersive footage captured using their cameras. Here are key insights:

  • User-Generated Content:
    GoPro encouraged users to capture and share their own adventurous experiences, building a community of content creators. This strategy helped generate a constant stream of authentic and captivating video content.
  • Inspiring and Aspirational:
    GoPro’s videos conveyed a sense of adventure, freedom, and adrenaline, resonating with viewers who were seeking thrilling experiences. The content inspired viewers to consider their own adventures and amplified the desire to own a GoPro camera.
  • Brand Association:
    GoPro successfully associated its brand with adventure, extreme sports, and a lifestyle that aligns with its target audience. The campaign established GoPro as a leader in the action camera market, increasing brand loyalty and driving sales.

These campaigns demonstrate the power of storytelling, emotional connection, and creative engagement in capturing audience attention and driving brand success. Each campaign utilized unique strategies and resonated with their respective target audiences, leading to increased brand awareness, positive sentiment, and, in some cases, significant business growth.

Common Elements of Successful Videos

While each successful video is unique, several common elements tend to characterize most viral or highly engaging videos:

Strong Opening:
The first few seconds of a video can determine whether viewers keep watching. Effective videos often start with a powerful visual or statement to grab attention.
Emotionally Engaging:
Videos that resonate on an emotional level—whether they inspire, amuse, surprise, or move viewers—are more likely to be shared and remembered.
Clear and Concise:
Successful videos often convey their message as succinctly as possible. This respects the viewer’s time and attention span.
Even if viewers don’t watch the video to the end, they should know who it’s from. Effective videos often incorporate brand logos, colors, or other recognizable elements.
Valuable to the Viewer:
Whether they’re educational, entertaining, or inspiring, successful videos provide some value to the viewer.
Well-Crafted Story:
A strong narrative can keep viewers engaged, help convey your message, and make your video more memorable.
High-Quality Visuals and Sound:
Good production quality can make your video more enjoyable to watch and can reflect well on your brand.
Call to Action:
Encouraging viewers to take some action—like sharing the video, visiting a website, or making a purchase—can increase engagement and help achieve your video’s goals.
Adaptable for Different Platforms:
Successful videos often work well across different platforms, even if that means creating different versions to match each platform’s specifications and user behaviors.
Surprising or Unexpected:
Videos that surprise or defy expectations can be more memorable and shareable.

Using Influencers and Micro-Influencers

Influencers and micro-influencers can help amplify your brand message and reach a larger, more engaged audience.

Choose the Right Influencers:
Look for influencers who align with your brand and have a following that matches your target audience.
Leverage their Creativity:
Influencers know their audience best. Let them have creative control over how they present your brand.
Form Long-Term Partnerships:
Instead of one-off promotions, consider forming long-term partnerships with influencers. This can lead to more authentic content and better audience engagement.
Look Beyond Follower Count:
Micro-influencers may have smaller followings, but their audiences are often more engaged. Don’t overlook them in your influencer marketing strategy.
Set Clear Expectations:
Make sure influencers know what you expect from them, from the content they create to how they disclose the partnership.
Measure Performance:
Track the performance of influencer content to understand its impact on your goals.
Integrate Influencer Content into Your Broader Strategy:
Use influencer content in your own channels, like your website and social media profiles.
Create Mutual Value:
Find ways to provide value to the influencer, not just the other way around. This could mean offering them exclusive access or discounts, promoting their content, or helping them grow their platform.
Be Authentic:
Choose influencers who genuinely like your brand. Their promotion will feel more authentic, and their audience is more likely to trust it.
Stay Compliant:
Make sure any influencer partnerships comply with relevant regulations and platform rules. This often means requiring influencers to disclose the partnership to their audience.

Setting Clear Goals for Your Video Campaign

Before you start creating a video, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Here’s how to set effective goals for your campaign:

Align with Business Objectives:
Your video campaign goals should align with your overall business objectives, such as increasing brand awareness or driving sales.
Be Specific:
Instead of setting a vague goal like “increase engagement,” aim for something more specific, like “increase comments on our posts by 25% over the next quarter.”
Make Goals Measurable:
By making your goals quantifiable, you can clearly track your progress and measure your success.
Set Timeframes:
Having a deadline can help keep your campaign on track and allows you to measure results over a specific period.
Consider Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Determine which KPIs will best measure your progress towards your goals, such as views, shares, or conversion rate.
Be Realistic:
Your goals should be ambitious, but achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and demotivation.
Consider Each Stage of the Customer Journey:
You might need different videos to achieve different goals at each stage of the customer journey, from awareness to consideration to purchase.
Understand Your Audience:
Your goals should reflect what’s realistically achievable with your target audience.
Revisit and Revise:
As your campaign progresses, revisit your goals. Don’t be afraid to revise them if circumstances change or if you find they weren’t set correctly initially.
Communicate Your Goals:
Make sure everyone involved in creating and promoting your video understands what your goals are and why they’re important.

Identifying and Understanding Your Audience

Your video content should be tailored to the interests, needs, and behaviors of your target audience. Here are some ways to better understand your audience:

Create Buyer Personas:
These are detailed representations of your ideal customers, based on market research and data about your existing customers.
Conduct Surveys and Interviews:
Regularly gather feedback from your audience to better understand their preferences and behaviors.
Analyze Your Social Media Insights:
These can tell you a lot about who your followers are, what content they interact with, and when they’re online.
Monitor Comments and Engagements:
The comments on your posts and the types of posts that get the most engagement can provide insights into what your audience cares about.
Keep an Eye on Trends:
Be aware of trends among your target demographic and within your industry to keep your content relevant.
Check Out Your Competition:
Your competitors’ audiences are likely similar to yours. See what’s working for them and what’s not.
Stay Open to Feedback:
Be open to constructive criticism and feedback from your audience. It can help you improve.
Consider Different Segments:
Your audience is not a monolith. Consider creating different content for different segments of your audience.
Test and Learn:
Use A/B testing to see what types of content resonate most with your audience.
Stay Adaptable:
As you learn more about your audience, be prepared to adapt your content strategy to better meet their needs and interests.

Personalizing Videos for Audience Segmentation

Personalization can make your video content more relevant and engaging for your audience. Here’s how to do it:

Use Viewer Data:
Use data about your viewers’ behaviors and preferences to create personalized video content.
Address Viewer Pain Points:
Show viewers that you understand their challenges and offer solutions.
Speak Your Audience’s Language:
Use the language and tone that your audience uses and feels comfortable with.
Offer Personalized Recommendations:
Use viewer data to offer personalized product or content recommendations.
Create Segmented Content:
Create different versions of your video for different audience segments.
Use Dynamic Video Content:
Dynamic content can change based on data about the viewer, providing a highly personalized experience.
Leverage User-Generated Content:
User-generated content can make your brand feel more accessible and relatable.
Incorporate Personalized Call to Actions:
A personalized CTA can make viewers more likely to take the desired action.
Retarget Based on Behavior:
Use retargeting to show viewers video content that aligns with their past behaviors.
Test and Learn:
Use A/B testing to understand what level and type of personalization works best for your audience.

Crafting a Compelling CTA

A clear and compelling call to action (CTA) can help guide viewers towards taking the action you want them to take. Here’s how to create effective CTAs:

Be Clear and Direct:
Tell viewers exactly what you want them to do.
Use Actionable Language:
Start your CTA with a verb to convey action, such as “Buy now,” “Learn more,” or “Sign up.”
Create Urgency:
Make viewers feel they need to act quickly to avoid missing out.
Make It Stand Out:
Use design elements like color, size, and placement to make your CTA stand out in your video.
Align CTA with Video Content:
Your CTA should be a natural continuation of the message in your video.
Keep It Simple:
Avoid complicated language or jargon in your CTA.
Tailor CTA to Platform:
What works as a CTA on one platform might not work on another. Make sure your CTA fits with the platform it’s on.
Experiment with Different CTAs:
Try out different CTAs to see what works best with your audience.
Offer Value:
Make it clear what value viewers will get from taking the desired action.
Test and Refine:
Regularly test your CTAs and refine them based on what you learn.


Creating a successful social media video campaign is a comprehensive process that requires thorough planning, creativity, and continuous testing and optimization. The key is to understand your audience, tell engaging stories, keep up with trends, and deliver a clear and compelling call to action. Whether you’re using influencers, optimizing for different platforms, or personalizing your content, each decision should be strategic and based on data.

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