Video has been big in marketing for several years now, and it just keeps getting bigger. Customers connect with video in a way that they don’t with text – which is okay, because articles and videos do different jobs.

Marketing videos need to be short, sweet, to the point, and convey a quick, meaningful message. They don’t need to be perfectly cut or involve paid actors. In fact, sometimes, they’re more effective when they don’t. Here are a few ways to get your marketing videos more attention on social media.

Skip The Polish

There is a time and a place for the highly polished marketing video shot by a professional director and using actors and voice-overs. That place isn’t social media. Social media is about authenticity – though it’s a curated version of authenticity.

So don’t be afraid to turn your conference room into a shooting studio with some well placed blankets and careful lighting, shoot a video with your smart phone, and get it uploading. And remember that even if you’re letting the video be unpolished, that should never be the same as unprofessional.

Don’t Do Annoying Things

TV commercials have taught companies a lot of bad habits about how consumers watch marketing videos. Social media breaks the rules. Your customers hate autoplay videos, especially if they autoplay with sound. They really hate pop-up videos of any kind. You want your customers to like and share your videos, so stay away from things that annoy them, and look to engage and entertain them.

Use Captions

Caption your videos. It doesn’t take long to do it in-house, and it doesn’t cost much to pay a contractor to do it for you. There are two big reasons to caption your videos: accessibility and convenience. Both should be on your mind as you use captions.

First, accessibility is huge. If a customer can’t take in the information from your video because they are d/Deaf/hearing impaired, you’ve automatically lost a potential customer. And it’s not just those with an obvious hearing impairment who benefit from captions; those with auditory processing issues, for example, may have an easier time understanding the language they hear with captions available.

Convenience is also important, however. Even if customers want to play your video, they don’t necessarily want to turn the sound on, especially if they’re browsing Facebook when they’re supposed to be working. By using captions, they can watch your video and get the message without getting caught by the boss.

Keep It Short

When you’re doing long-form video – an in-depth product analysis, for example, or a how-to video – go ahead and take all the time you need. But when you’re shooting for social media, shorter is better. Most videos are less than 2 minutes long – and less than half of viewers stick around to the end of the video. While this is often attributed to shortening attention spans, if you talk to video viewers, they will often tell you that they won’t stick around if they’re not interested or engaged. That doesn’t mean you need fancy special effects or someone shouting about a brand new car; you just need to have something interesting to say and cut to the chase. Our lives are busy, and we don’t have time for things that don’t spark our joy.

Know You’ll Use The Video – And Shoot Accordingly

A lot of tip videos will tell you to always shoot your video landscape or horizontal. That’s probably still true if your only goal is to upload to YouTube, but in other settings, you should seriously consider portrait mode – holding your phone vertically.

All the major platforms support vertical video marketing now – although Instagram usually squares things off – and it’s how we’re rapidly becoming accustomed to seeing video that isn’t media entertainment.

It makes sense. Vertical video is better for mobile users, and more and more users are accessing social media on their phones. So don’t be afraid to turn your video the long way and see what happens.

Don’t Be Afraid To Go Live

Scripted and polished videos are great in a lot of situations, but don’t be afraid to go off book and shoot a more casual video. There are lots of reasons to do this. You can give a behind the scenes feeling to an event; you can interact with users to some degree, and you can let customers feel like they’re in on the action. Engaging viewers is a crucial piece of marketing; that’s unlikely to ever change.

Video, especially on social media, is a huge piece of catching and retaining customer attention as marketing on the internet continues to evolve. We communicate so quickly and effectively through spoken language that short messages are often conveyed better through visual media than through text. And there’s something that’s engaging about seeing another person on the screen. If you haven’t incorporated video into your social media plans, start now.