Photos by Paiwei Wei (Tw: @Paiwei IG: IG @PaiweiWei

The data is unmistakable: Video marketing is up 63%, 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television and social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined! So how much do you know about social video? And is your brand prepared for it?

On November 4th, we gathered a team of expert panelists who shared their expertise in the space including Matt Gielen – Founder/ CEO, Little Monster, Ilana Foglia – Editor/Stylist Tastemade, and Thomas Kramer – Co-Founder/COO Paladin Software. Our moderator was Chris Strickland – Content Strategy Lead, Jukin Media, and SMCLA Board Member.

Chris Strickland at the Social Media Video Panel on November 4th at BlankSpaces

Here are some READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME takeaways:


“If your audience lives, they’re on YouTube.” – Matt Gielen

They’re probably also on Facebook, they might be on IGTV, they could be on TikTok soon, but for now, if they breathe, they’re definitely on YouTube. Here’s what we learned about the leading video platform:

  • Your thumbnail and video title are critical. These two elements, along with the video description, should be very clear about what the video is about. Some tips for a good thumbnail: Close ups of a face, ideally one that is showing a strong emotion. Bright colors work best. Have something in the background as well as the foreground.
  • When editing for YouTube, remember that it’s more intentional than other platforms, meaning that people intend to lean back and actually watch (with the sound on). So don’t shy away from a long video.
  • One of the more fascinating elements of YouTube is contextualization. This means that YouTube takes into account where you are and on what kind of device before deciding what to suggest you watch next. For example, if you search a movie title from your phone, it will suggest the trailer, but if you’re on your laptop it will suggest the full movie. It also takes into account time of day, and day of the week (and many other factors) knowing that this will affect what you are in the mood to watch.

Now that we’re fascinated and terrified, let’s move on to other platforms. Is it okay to repurpose videos across platforms? Yes, it is, but that doesn’t mean you should use the exact same video. You’ll need to do some slicing and dicing for the audiences on each platform.

Facebook and IGTV

Whereas YouTube is intentional, Facebook and IGTV are not, so your goal is to get people to stop scrolling and watch. That means your most compelling content has to be in the first three seconds. If your best imagery is 15 seconds in, cut it so that it’s at the beginning. How do you know what your best imagery is? By testing it. For example, Tastemade discovered its best imagery is “things being spread or poured,” which is a fun little fact.

85% of videos are watched without the audio on, so add subtitles and/or make your video something that is understandable without text.


This platform is so new that it led to a broader discussion of new platforms in general.

Illana prefers to poke around and see how she responds personally to something new, and if she can see it working for her needs. Matt learns the fundamentals of a platform and how other people are using it successfully. What is the editing pattern? The cadence? The music? Thomas is always “highly skeptical” of a new platform. “I’m seeing people get a strong dopamine hit [from TikTok] but … not a lot of data visibility.” Chris also takes a wait-and-see approach, and asked how many of us remembered “ello”? [Writers note: The only ello post of mine that got any engagement was one that said, “I don’t understand how I use this.”]

But the bottom line for any new platform is use it, get comfortable with it, get a sense of the trends, then see if it fits your needs.

Ilana Foglia of Tastemade

Best Practices and Keys to Success

  • Test, test, and test some more to figure out what your audience responds to. For example, on Tastemade, white walls play well. So do reds. Shooting something on a walnut-colored table does not.
  • Consistency is key. Post videos at least 3x/week or as much as 30/month.
  • A good test of a successful video: Can you drive traffic off it to where people can actually take an action from a sales or marketing perspective?
  • Less is more. You don’t have to be on all the channels, just the two or three that you like/find the most success on.
  • Most important of all: Your video must be entertaining.

Tools mentioned:

  • Vid IQ – Learn what’s working and what’s not.
  • Measure Studio – Behind-the-scenes math to see what’s working
  • Buzz Sumo – Find the best tags for your video
  • Tubular – Measurement and Analytics
  • Crowd Tango – See what videos are resonating with a certain topic

Thank you to sponsors Vital Proteins and Fruit Bliss!

Vital Proteins Collagen Waters and Fruit Bliss Fruit Snacks

Join us December 2nd for The Best of Social Media LA

Get inspired and learn from the best! If you’re looking for social media inspiration, this is a great opportunity to hear case studies from Los Angeles’ most interesting social media professionals and campaigns. Eventbrite coming soon.

Call for entries ends 11/8

Did you work on a winning social media campaign this past year? It’s time to show it off. Submit your 2019 social media marketing campaign for a chance to be featured during our upcoming Best of Social Media LA event. Info and entry here: