It is late at night. You scroll through your Instagram feed when an interesting video appears.
Maybe your partner is sleeping next to you. Maybe your roommate snores through the room in the dorm. In any case, you don't want to disturb them.
You have two options:
- Get up and try to find your headphones in the dark
- Watch the video in silence and hope it is still good
Let's face it, you don't get up. Fortunately, if it's a good silent video, you can watch it with no problems.
Bonus: Download a free guide that explains the exact steps A creator has received over 23,000,000 views on YouTube without a budget and without expensive equipment.
Silent Videos: What They Are and Why Brands Should Care About Them
Nobody likes a video booming loudly as they scroll through Facebook or Instagram. In fact, many users have likely muted the automatic playback of the sound in their videos.
When silent auto playback is the default, 85% of the videos were viewed with the sound off. That means your audience is likely to see your video longer if it's quiet – and optimized for silent playback.
Users have the choice to disable the automatic playback of the sound for all videos in their Facebook settings. And with publications far outside the social media space – think of the Telegraph newspaper, Time Magazine, and even Cosmopolitan – that publish articles on how to disable autoplay sound, you can bet that many people will choose theirs To continue newsfeed browsing in silence.
If you want your own Facebook feed to remain silent, just go to Settings and turn off videos in the Start With Sound newsfeed. Or just put your phone in silent mode. Anyone whose phone is set to silent also sees silent video clips by default.
On Instagram, it's as easy as tapping the video that causes the noise and mutes it. Alternatively, you can simply put your phone into silent mode.
Facebook's own data shows why you might not want to overdo this in the audio department: 80% of users actually respond negatively to a cell phone ad that plays loud sound when they don't expect it – and the last thing you want is spending money on advertising just to make people think less about your brand.
By creating videos that work with or without sound, users can choose how they want to interact with your videos so that your message can appeal to anyone who is viewing them, whether they actually hear it or not.
7 tips for creating silent social media videos
Below are our 7 best tips for creating silent social media videos that your audience will be happy to see (quietly).
Tip 1: add subtitles
This should really be a default setting for any video you create for social media. Why? Simple: accessibility.
Many in your audience may be hearing impaired or deaf. Not adding subtitles or subtitles to your videos will affect the experience of your video (and your brand).
Regardless of whether you’re subtitling or adding subtitles to your videos, look for the segment of your viewership that is often ignored. In addition, adding subtitles can improve your overall viewership. Facebook’s internal testing has shown that video ads with subtitles are viewed on average 12% longer than ads without subtitles.
Would you like to label your videos for free? Of course you do. There are many online tools that can help you with this, including Hootsuite. With Hootsuite, you can upload subtitle files alongside your social videos to Compose to publish subtitled videos.
Facebook and YouTube also offer auto-subtitling options, while Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat have to pre-burn or encode subtitles.
Tip 2: Do not rely on music for the meaning
While music ads certainly add a nice dramatic layer to your video, you shouldn't rely too much on them to get a point across. Your video should be able to stand alone without sound.
Remember: you optimize for silence. This means that you rely on visual elements for most of the meaning of your video.
Which brings us to …
Tip 3: Show, don't tell
It is an often repeated rule of storytelling that you should "show, not tell". It refers to the idea that the audience reacts better if you give them scenes with strong visual elements that convey information rather than directly telling them what's going on.
The same applies to your videos. In fact, you should challenge yourself to create videos in which the entire message can be completely transmitted through pictures – with no sound or captions. This makes it not only silent and video-friendly, but also more unforgettable.
It's not just a guess – there is actual science behind the idea that people remember pictures better than words.
A great example of this type of video comes from Thai Life, a Thai insurance company that released a series of videos in 2014 that will bring you to tears without saying a word.
Tip 4: Use sound on purpose
While silence optimization is a good practice, you should make sure that your video has a sound that satisfies those who can hear it.
If there is no soundtrack at all, your video may be lost – or worse, make viewers think that something is wrong with their speakers. This results in a frustrating user experience that can keep your audience from watching your videos.
Add music or playful sound effects to highlight your message for those who literally want to hear what your video is about. You just don't want to rely too much on music and sound effects (see Tip 2).
A great example of the deliberate use of sound comes from Huggies. The “Hug the Mess” campaign included a video that showed the difficulties children can face – and how their towels can help with cleaning up.
No dialog and no labeling is required. The only sound that is included are the animated arts and crafts projects that respond to the mess. That makes it so appealing that everyone who watches with the sound switched on can enjoy it.
Tip 5: Follow the 3-second rule
As a rule of thumb, you have approximately 3 seconds to attract your viewer. After that, they either watch your video or have already forgotten it while scrolling through their feed.
This also fits the time that a view counts as a video for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
How do you use the 3 second rule? Immediately give your viewer an impressive video or picture. Think of it as a promise to your reader that the rest of the video is worth the clock.
A great video series that does this well is from Buzzfeed & # 39; s Tasty. The short video recipes they share are very popular. Tasty's main Facebook page alone has more than 84 million likes.
Your recipe videos always contain a great picture right away, which promises viewers to learn how to make a tasty treat in the end.
Tip 6: plan ahead
It is easy to believe that you can easily record your video on the fly. However, you need special planning for your video to work without sound.
Think carefully about which story you want to tell and bring your key message to the most visual elements.
If you need to use a language to clarify your point of view, consider how best to do it in a video without sound. Are you going to use subtitles? Short snippets of text on the screen? Make sure to give your recordings visual space so that you can insert this text without competing with your visual images.
Tip 7: Use the right tools
If your video contains language, you can use various tools to create subtitles.
Facebook's automatic subtitle tool is a great option for your Facebook videos. YouTube's automatic subtitle service provides text for your YouTube videos. Both tools automatically generate a series of subtitles that appear overlaid on your video. You can edit and preview them to make sure they're correct.
Other popular apps for adding text to videos are:
- Hootsuite: Add subtitles to your social videos or ads by uploading an .srt file during the publishing process.
- Vont: Choose from over 400 fonts and make custom changes to text size, color, angle, spacing, and more. Available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
- Gravie: Add text, overlay graphics, and clipart to your videos to convey more than words can say.
- Text on Video Square: Choose from over 100 fonts and make custom font size, alignment, and spacing changes.
For more free and affordable tools to add text to your video or create videos that are visually so compelling that they sound silent, check out the eight apps and desktop programs listed in our Social Video Toolkit.
Simply upload your silent videos to multiple social networks via a dashboard, plan them, optimize them and promote them. Try Hootsuite for free today.