Editing Tips for Social Video

For my last blog post of video month, let’s get into some of the details and talk about editing. There are a lot of different editing software out there, and they all do things a little bit differently, so I’m not going to give you precise instructions for how to do things. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to look up the how-to yourself. But what I am going to do today is give you some ideas of editing tricks you can use to make your videos better and more interesting. And all of these can be done on ShotCut or iMovie (the two simple, free editing tools I recommend).

Add Background Music

Background music can make your video more engaging to listen to and it seems more professional. iMovie already has a database of royalty-free music you can use, but Bensound has a good library for if you’re using ShotCut or just don’t like anything in iMovie’s database.

Use Cuts

Nothing looks less professional than a lengthy “um…” or a long pause between points. Use editing to cut out those pauses and make it flow better. (Just don’t cut it too close, or it will feel jumpy and disorienting.)

Add Images

If you have a point that could be illustrated with an image, put the image in an overlay so people can see the image while hearing you talk. This also works well if you’re doing a video that has several numbered points – you can put up a brief title card-style image to introduce each point. (I do this in my “The Art of Being On Camera” video.)

Use Title Cards

This is a technique that I don’t personally use, but other people have seen success with. Try putting an image at the beginning with your logo and the title of your video, and then one at the end that says “Thanks for watching!” or something similar.

Have a Unique Intro/Outro

Creating a unique greeting and farewell that you use on every video is helpful for branding and creating a consistent experience with every one of your videos. If you’re doing long videos or anything on YouTube, I highly recommend a theme song – a short, 10-15 second music clip with accompanying video that stays the same every video – but if you don’t want to go that fancy, you don’t have to. A good example of this is the YouTube channel The Game Theorists, who do have a theme song, but also start every video with, “Hello, internet, welcome to game theory!” and end with, “But hey, that’s just a theory – a game theory. Thanks for watching!” Something as simple as that can make your videos seem more professional and intentional.


5 Types of Videos to Use in Your Social Media Marketing

I’ve spent most of “video month” focusing on the how (and a little bit of the why) of making videos to post on social media. Now it’s time to answer the question I know I’ve asked myself a lot – what? What kind of videos should I post?

Here are a few ideas for the types of videos you can create and post on social media.

Instructional videos

Short instructional videos are interesting and can be fun to watch, making them a safe bet. And you can get an instructional video or two out of almost anything. Food product? Instructions for a simple recipe. Anything that requires assembly? Assembly instructions. Home decor item? Instructions for styling or displaying it. You get the idea.

Long format

If you have a complex product or an in-depth service, try a longer (10+ minutes) video. Most people are in a hurry to skip a 30-second ad, but if your long video is engaging, statistics show that they will watch for 20 minutes or more. These are especially good for YouTube if you have a channel, but they can also be very successful on other networks.


If you have a big announcement to make, do it in video! It will be more engaging for your audience and also easier to show how excited you are about it.


Invite your audience to submit questions and then do a video Q&A session. This could be general company questions or questions for a specific person/people (e.g. the CEO).

Customer service

Get the same question over and over from potential customers? Have a problem that people keep running into over and over? Something that you want customers to know before (or after) they buy? Video can be a great way to answer those questions. And as a bonus, not only can you post them on social media, when you get those questions, you can tell the customer, “That’s a great question, we actually have a video answering that!”

And more

Obviously, there are a lot more types of videos you can do. See what some of your favorite brands are doing, or use Google to find inspiration. A lot of figuring out what works for your brand is going to be experimenting. Post all different kinds of videos and see what your audience likes best!


Equipment for Filming Social Video

Don’t have a professional video camera and a lighting kit? No worries, neither do I. If you can afford to buy professional equipment, great! But if you can’t (or don’t know how to use it), that’s okay. There’s a lot of substitutes you can use. My incredibly cheap filming setup involves a whiskey bottle – and no, it’s not for drinking.

Broke/Beginner Tier

If you don’t have any filming equipment and can’t afford to buy anything new, or are new to video and aren’t sure if you want to invest in it just yet, this is the equipment you want to use.


Film: Your phone, computer, or tablet’s camera. I film with my Lenovo Tab 4.

Audio: Your phone, computer, or tablet’s built-in microphone.

Setup: Use what you have around the house. Mine is a folding chair, a stack of index cards to change my tablet’s angle, and a whiskey bottle to prop it up against.

Lighting: Find a place with good natural light (like a sunny room with closed curtains) or do a basic three-point lighting system – I use my basement’s overhead light for a back light, a lamp to the left of my camera for a fill light, and my phone’s flashlight propped against my tablet as a key light.


If you have an Apple device, iMovie is free and it’s actually a really good video editing program. If you don’t, I recommend ShotCut – it’s not as intuitive as iMovie, but it has a lot of functionality and it’s what I use. (If you have a computer that still has Windows Movie Maker, that will also work.)

Intermediate Tier

If you’re ready to put some investment into video but aren’t ready to go all-out, this is the tier you want to be in.


Film: Your phone, computer, or tablet’s camera.

Audio: A simple condenser microphone that plugs directly into your filming device, like this one ($20).

Setup: A tripod for your filming device.

Lighting: A simple lighting kit, like this one ($60).


iMovie or ShotCut – yes, they’re both free, but they’re good enough to use here, too.

Advanced Tier

You’re totally sold on this video thing and are ready to invest money into it to get the best video you can get – this is the equipment you want.


Film: A high-quality DLSR camera, like this one ($460).

Audio: Professional microphone – I recommend the Blue Encore or Yeti ($130).

Setup: Tripod with fully adjustable head for your DSLR.

Lighting: A professional LED light kit with filters, like this one ($90).


Adobe Premier Pro ($20/month) – one of the editing software used to edit blockbuster movies. It’s not super intuitive, but if you have time to watch/read tutorials and figure it out yourself, you can do anything on this.

Extremely Advanced Tier

If you’re at the point where you’re ready to sink thousands into your video to get the best product possible, hire a professional film crew for everything. They do this for a living and they’ll give you great results.


Why You Should Add Video To Your Social Media Mix

If you follow me on social media at all, you probably saw Tuesday’s video talking about using video on social media. In that video, I mentioned that video was huge in 2017 and is only going to get bigger in 2018. Today I’m going to dig into specifics and give you some cold hard numbers for why you should be using video on social media.

This is going to be a shorter post, because there’s some really impressive numbers that make the point a lot better than I could with a lot of words. So, without further adieu, here are some of the most relevant numbers regarding why you should be posting videos.

Also, video helps build trust with your customers. Video is engaging and has the potential to involve emotions – combine that with useful and valuable content, and you have a recipe for both engage and trusting customers.

In short, video gets you results. All kinds of results. It doesn’t mater what kind of results you’re looking for, video can get you there.

I’m going to spend this month focusing on video. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram┬áto see the videos I’ll be posting about social video, and stay tuned for written articles on this blog!