As we all know, there is an overwhelming amount of content on social media. Whether it be photos and videos from our friends’ summer vacations, IGTV tutorials from our favorite artists, or promotional posts from our favorite cosmetic companies, we are bombarded with thousands of images per day. At some point, we begin a screening process where we start ignoring things that do not catch our interest. There are thousands of makeup artists, hair stylists and beauty influencers uploading content each day. That is why, that as a beauty professional, it is important to ask yourself the following:
What makes your content good enough for someone to give you that extra 3 seconds or more of their day?
What makes your content unique enough for someone to stop scrolling and open your post?
The most important way you get users to stop and view your video is through covers and that is why choosing the right cover for your video is crucial.
You may be wondering what I mean when I say “cover”... Well, a cover is the first image you see on a video before it is played. Think of it as a thumbnail on youtube, except it’s for Instagram. Covers allow you to pique Instagram users’ interest, whether it be on their timeline or from the explore page and it encourages those individuals to stay and watch your video! From my personal experience over the years, I’ve noticed a few important tips that go towards choosing a good cover, and I’m about to spill the tea!
When You Post a Video Without Choosing a Cover, One of Two Outcomes Will Happen:
Your cover could end up being a plain black screen
Your cover could end up being a random and ineffective thumbnail taken from your video
When your cover is a black screen, it will keep everyone in the dark about what your post is truly about. It leaves users guessing and it will not make it past the screening process I spoke of earlier. People are much less likely to open videos without getting the gist of what’s to come in the video. Because there's so much content out there, people are not looking to waste their time with images and videos that are not of interest to them.
Allowing Instagram to choose a random thumbnail from your video is never a good idea either. When you do this, you leave the possibility of your cover displaying an image of you in an awkward or embarrassing position or having something completely unrelated or uninteresting being displayed. Think of it as allowing Instagram to randomly choose a picture from your gallery to post. Would you ever do that? I didn’t think so. Only you can make the right choice. Never leave it up to Instagram. Additionally, when shooting your video, think of ways to be creative so that you have interesting video clips to choose a cover from later.
Here are 4 tips for making an awesome cover:
1. Show That Gorgeous Face Off!
A good cover for any beauty post shows your face or the face of the person that you're doing makeup or hair on. When it comes to hair or makeup, “before” photos tend to do very well. They do better than “after photos” because they draw attention. Before photos make viewers wonder what the end result of the video will be.
2. Make Sure You Show Action in Your Cover
When you look like you're being active in your cover, it gives off the impression that something is about to happen. Viewers will be interested to watch because they will feel as though they will either be entertained or they may even learn something. In order to choose a cover that makes you look active, stop at a time where you are in the middle of your makeup or hair technique. For example, choose a frame of the video while your hands are in someone's face and you are brushing on setting powder or concealer.
3. Choose a Cover With an X-Factor
When I say add an X-factor, I mean to add something that is going to give it that “oomph”... That wow factor! What this wow factor should do is immediately catch peoples’ attention, and get them to consider watching your video. An example of how to do this is to uniquely show cosmetic products on your face if it is a makeup post or have your hair looking flat out crazy if it is a hair post. Another example of an X-factor could be to add something in the image that pops. Let’s say you are doing a wig tutorial and the colour of the wig is a very bright, such as neon pink, this would be considered an X-factor that pops out of the screen and grabs the users’ attention. A final example of an X-factor could be facial expressions. Having a silly or shocked facial expression; something extremely theatrical is something that could draw in the attention of your viewers.
4. Make Sure the Cover you Choose is High-Quality
It is extremely important to choose a high-quality cover. Due to the fact that you are choosing a still image from a video, your cover can easily be blurred. No matter if you have done steps 1 thru 4 perfectly, but your image comes out low quality, you will not get the volume of views and engagement that you are looking for. With all of the images that users are bombarded with every day, they are not going to take the time to strain their eyes and try to understand what is going on in your video. Taking the time to select a high-quality cover will help attract viewers to your video and ultimately to your Instagram page in the end.
These steps are very important. However, depending on the type of video that you are shooting, sometimes it is hard to incorporate each of these tips into your cover at once. These tips should be thought of as weapons in your arsenal depending on the video that you are shooting. Always try to incorporate a minimum of 2-3 of these tips into your cover. Once you do this, monitor how well your post is doing and compare it to other videos that you have posted in the past. Continue to monitor your future videos to see if you notice any results and give us a shoutout if you do. We would love to hear from you about your progress! If done right, I can virtually guarantee that you will see results. Keep in mind that when you are analyzing how well your post is doing, look at the reach of your post in comparison to the number of views. The closer this ratio is to 1:1, the better.
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about our tips on making a great cover! Curious about how to give your social media a boost and reach a wider audience? Don’t worry, we got you covered!
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