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Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Having a visual element in your social media post is a no brainer.  Whether it’s an image, a video or an image carousel, visual posts get much more engagement than text only posts. But of the visuals, which is more engaging? Image or video?

An image is an instant and a video is not. As images are silent snapshots of one moment in time, in image-based social media posts it can be hard to relay a full message. These posts usually require the addition of some text to fully land your message. If that image and accompanying text fail to be sufficiently engaging, you could lose your audience. 

With videos, not everyone is going to stop in their super scrolling tracks to watch some of your video, let alone the entire thing. So if your video fails to be sufficiently engaging in the first three seconds, you could lose your audience.  

So neither image nor video comes without risk. But does one give you a better chance of reward than the other? Research suggests yes. And it’s video. Here’s why…

1-More attention grabbing

Human eyes are attracted to movement. Even when they’re looking through an orange pipe. Unlike still images, videos produce movement. Therefore videos naturally draw people’s attention.

2-More engaging

A recent report by mention found that video posts on Instagram generated twice as much engagement compared to image and carousel posts. With its movement, sound and length of time, video has great storytelling power. It is this emotional, storytelling element that makes video so engaging. 59% of company executives would rather watch a video than read an article or blog. People share video more than many other types of content. It is estimated that a whopping 92% of people who consume mobile videos share them with other people. Creating shareable content is important; it helps expand your reach online. 

3-More memorable

65% of people consider themselves to be visual learners. With video you are able to package the message or information that you want to communicate into a short narrative, which is both visual and auditory. Remembering a short story or a narrative is easier than remembering an image and text. Studies show that viewers retain 95% of a video’s message compared to 10% when reading text. Indeed, HubSpot found that 80% of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the past month. When a person remembers your video, they remember your brand, and that recall can translate into more leads for you.  

4-Increases intention to buy

Videos are powerful when it comes to the purchase decision making process. HubSpot found 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. It also found that 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.

5-Boosts your website’s SEO

65% of business decision-makers visit a marketer’s website after viewing a branded video. You want to be driving people to your homepage to help improve your website’s SEO, and quality video marketing content can do just that. 

In conclusion, it’s clear that quality video marketing can reap great reward. But that doesn’t mean you need to rush to make every social media post a video one. There will be instances where an image may be better. Do some testing on your own channels with your visuals. Take similar types of posts and try one with an image and another with a video. See which gets better engagement from your audience. 

Ultimately, whether you choose an image or video for your social media post, the important thing is that you nail the message you want the audience to go away with. The choice you face is whether to communicate that in a silent snapshot or a video. The decision will come down to the particular message you want to communicate, what type of content your audience engages with best, and the resources you have available. 

Want some highly engaging video content to liven up your marketing? We can help you. Email us at hello@marketinnhospitality.co.uk and let’s have a chat. 

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Let’s think G&T (any excuse). In a social media post, the graphic – be it a photo, GIF or video – is the tonic and the caption is the gin. The tonic (usually) takes up most of the space. But it’s the gin that makes the drink (and perhaps you) really sing. So it’s worth taking the time to get the caption (gin) right. And if there’s no image in your post and it’s just a standalone caption (neat gin – we all have those moments), then getting that caption right really is paramount. 

To help stop the onset of headaches (those induced by writer’s block that is), here are our top tips on how to write good social media post captions. 

1. What’s the why?

Thinking about exactly why you’re posting will help focus your writing. Do you want your audience to take a specific action? Are you trying to get them to think or feel something in particular? Do you want to demonstrate that you’re an industry expert? Being really clear on your ‘why’ will help ensure you write a caption that achieves your objective.

2. Have your audience front of mind

What makes a good caption for one audience, might not for another. The content, tone of voice and style of your captions should be in tune with your target audience. Got a young, trendy, woke audience? Then use their slang and throw in pop-culture references. A finance-focused B2B audience? Then stick to professional and formal. 

3. Keep it short and simple

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” True words from Mark Twain. Typing out your stream of thoughts is the quick option. But we are in a world of super fast scrollers with ever-decreasing attention spans, trying to cut through the relentless noise of content. So it is essential you put in the time to pack your message into a short, crisp, attention-grabbing caption. Concise and digestible captions are much more likely to get engagement than long, essay-like ones. 

If your caption does have to be long, for example you’re sharing a list of your top 5 lessons from lockdown, then be sure to make use of bullet points and spacing. To help avoid the ‘essay feel’, try using relevant emojis as your bullet points instead of standard ones. It adds a pop of colour and personality to the caption, and is much more eye-catching.

4. Prompt interactions

Social media channels’ algorithms value content which generates active conversations with and amongst users. So if your posts aren’t generating these, they may not even appear on your target audience’s newsfeed.  

Your posts need to prompt your audience to interact. You can do this by asking questions that will spark conversations or by adding calls to action. A simple way to start conversation is by flipping a one line statement into a question. For example, ‘A Pin Gin G&T is the first thing I’ll be ordering when I visit the pub again.’ to ‘A Pin Gin G&T is the first thing I’ll be ordering when I visit the pub again. What will your first order be?’

5. Share useful information

Your captions are an opportunity for you to provide your audience with useful information. This will make your audience feel that you care about them, and that you’re not just about promoting your business. It can also help demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field. Useful information you could share is relevant facts, tips, ideas etc. For example, if you’re a retailer that sells drinks, a bar, a drinks manufacturer, a party planner, you could share your favourite cocktail recipes. 

6. Change shoes: What would I think if I was on their side of the feed?

Transport yourself to your audience’s jam-packed news feed. Putting yourself in their shoes is a great way to evaluate your caption. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Would my audience bother to stop and read the caption? What’s in it for them?

  2. How would the caption make them feel/think?

  3. What action, if any, would they take after reading it?

  4. What would it make them think of my company/brand?

7. Learn from your analytics

It’s important to use the analytics on your posts’ performance to get an understanding of what your audience likes. If you consistently see certain types of posts receiving less engagement, then it’s time to try something different. 

Good luck with your caption writing, if it – or any other parts of your marketing – are inducing headaches, we’re here to help at hello@marketinnhospitality.co.uk