6 Easy Steps to Create An Awesome Animated Promo Video For Social Media (Using PowerPoint!)

6 Easy Steps to Create An Awesome Animated Promo Video For Social Media (Using PowerPoint!)

6 Easy Steps to Create An Awesome Animated Promo Video For Social Media (Using PowerPoint!)

Do you want to create a promotional video for social media, to be played on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites?? Not confident or skilled in video-making and editing? Don't worry! I have you covered.

In this blog post, I'll show you, step-by-step how you to create an engaging promotional video for social media using only Microsoft PowerPoint (and a few other, free web tools). I'll be using my own video as an example - a promotion for my new book, Successful Social Media Customer Service, with animated text and background music. In essence, it's simply a video recording of a PowerPoint presentation, but I think it does looks pretty pro! Take a look:

1. Storyboard the "slides" of your video

As you can see in the video above, it is made up of several short "slides," each leading up to the call-to-action at the end. Before you begin, think about what goal you want to achieve with your video, and plot out each individual slide. This can be as simple as doodling on a piece of paper what images and text you want to appear on each slide, and how long you want each slide to appear on-screen.

2. Setup PowerPoint for Video Recording

When you eventually upload your video to social media, you want it to appear in a nice, widescreen format without any cropping or ugly black bars. I use PowerPoint 2013, and in this edition, the program is not automatically to reflect the result we want. To change this, make sure that under the Design tab, "Widescreen 16:9" is selected from the Slide Size menu.

3. Design your slides

With the setup out the way, it's time to design your slides. The colours, fonts, and images are up to you, but I would recommend sticking to one point / sentence per slide. 

In addition, use colour and animation to reflect the tone of the video and the personality of your brand. The font I chose is Nevis (free) and the background design is also free, via Canva.

Note: Consider the speed and timing of your animations, ensuring that it will be easily read when the video is played (i.e., not too fast!). And as your video will be played on a variety of screen sizes, make sure that the most important text will be readable on everything from large desktop monitors to mobile devices. An easy way to test this is simply to use the "zoom out" tool. Can you read what you've written.

4. Record your PowerPoint slides

There are a couple of ways you can do this. I used the PowerPoint add-in that comes with the screen capture software, Camtasia. It is a paid product, but you can download and use it free for 30 days. When installing, make sure to check the option to add the PowerPoint recording tool, then simply hit "record" before scrolling through your slides. 

Alternatively, if you have the latest edition of PowerPoint, there is an option to save your presentation as a video. On the File menu, click Save & Send. Under Save & Send, click Create a video. To display all video quality and size options, under Create a video, click the Computer & HD Displays down arrow.

Note: Don't worry too much about the timing for each slide now - just skip through it at a slow pace - we'll handle exat timings at the editing stage.

5. Choose your music

Before we get to editing your video together, now's a good time to choose the music you want to accompany it. I deliberately chose to feature music-only (no voice narration) with my video. The reason for this? The text alone does all the talking for me, and on Facebook, while the video begins playing automatically when people scroll by it in the News Feed, the audio does not (it has to be un-muted). If you do want voice narration, you can focus on this in the previous step, but my intention is to keep things nice and simple.

As for where to find the music? My go-to destination is incompetech.com, a royalty free site extremely popular with all kinds of video creators. You'll be able to choose music by genre and mood, or search for tracks if you wish. If you do decide to use the music from Inompetech, be sure to credit it. If you watch my video closely, I reference it through text that pops up in the final slide.

6. Edit it all together

The final step is to import your music and your recorded PowerPoint video file into the video editor of your choice, and edit it together to create a final product. Again, I used Camtasia to build my final video, but there are plenty of free and paid video editing programs out there (iMovie, Lightworks, or even Windows Movie Maker). I wanted to time it so that there was one "slide" per bar of music. To do this, I simply cut and/or extended the frames for each slide to increase the or decrease the amount of time it would appear on screen. After a little bit of tweaking, the video was complete.

Over to you

What do you think about this "quick and dirty" method for creating animated promo videos for social media? Will you be giving it a go? Let me know in the comments below!

20 Inspirational Ideas to Kick Start Your Fall Marketing on Social Media (With Real Examples)


With summer now officially over, the start of a new season is a great time to give your social media profile a refresh and to introduce autumnal ideas into your content strategy. If you're in need of some ideas and inspiration, look no further. Here's how 20 big brands are already making the most of the opportunity:

1. Starbucks uses a time lapse to showcase its new season cup design...

2. Home Depot updates its Facebook cover photo to reflect the fall season...

3. Williams-Sonoma inspires fans with a variety of recipes...

6 simple recipes to celebrate fall's signature flavor: pumpkin! http://wsono.ma/bdMwr

Posted by Williams-Sonoma on Monday, September 28, 2015

4. Dunkin' Donuts injects some humour into an Autumn-themed post...

Even these little guys love our donuts ;) #Autumn

Posted by Dunkin' Donuts on Sunday, September 27, 2015

5. Party City shows off its Fall stock in a collage...

Goodbye summer. Hello autumn! Decorate your home in warm tones with Party City’s fall décor starting at $1.49. Shop now! http://bit.ly/FallDecor_FB

Posted by Party City on Thursday, September 24, 2015

6. Pop Tarts uses humour to promote limited edition products...

This explains why we can only deliver Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts once a year. Totally worth the wait. Get them in stores now.

Posted by Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts on Monday, September 14, 2015

7. Whole Foods welcomes customers into the new season...

It's the first day of autumn... Congratulations on making it through the summer heat!

Posted by Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

8. Marks and Spencer uses a photo album to promote its new baby range...

Ensure your baby is the best-dressed tot in town this Autumn. The new baby catalogue is available now > http://bit.ly/1NWy1ud

Posted by Marks and Spencer on Monday, September 28, 2015

9. Levis encourages fans to make the most of the summer rays...

10. Panera Bread shares a soup-y factoid...

Your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents knew how to make a mean Autumn Squash Soup. #FoodForThought

Posted by Panera Bread on Friday, September 25, 2015

11. Avis promotes one of its motors with a splash of fall colours...

Welcome fall in style. #FirstdayofFall #SignatureSeries https://goo.gl/3LtnAd

Posted by Avis Car Rental on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

12. Blistex shares its autumn essentials (including its product, of course)....

Autumn officially begins today! We've got our essentials at the ready - have you? :)

Posted by BlistexUK on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

13. Coppertone provides a blank canvas for colouring in...

Colour this picture of falling leaves and a setting sun.

Posted by Coppertone Canada on Monday, September 28, 2015

14. Folgers gets us thinking about the smells of the season...

Fall is in the air, and it smells like Folgers Gourmet Selections® Caramel Drizzle® Flavored Coffee. http://spr.ly/6188ByuG0

Posted by Folgers on Sunday, September 27, 2015

15. Iams shares a cute and funny pet photo...

It's officially the start of autumn, the hide and seek season.

Posted by Iams UK on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

16. Mod Podge shares some crafty fall ideas...

The only question is, which one will you try with your kids first?

Posted by Mod Podge Rocks! on Monday, September 28, 2015

17. Pillsbury shares a Buzzfeed-made fall recipe...

Fallelujah! Time for pumpkin everything including these 3-ingredient Pumpkin Pie Roll-Ups.

Posted by Pillsbury on Friday, September 25, 2015

18. Tetley Tea plays on the colours of fall for a promotional post...

Just like the trees in autumn, our leaves vary in color as well…

Posted by Tetley Tea on Saturday, September 26, 2015

19.  Thermos shares a fan-made fall-inspired graphic...

Iced coffee with spice will always be in season. Sip on! (Credit: Alysha Dawn Illustration)

Posted by Thermos on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

20. Turtle Wax prepares its customers for seasonal spills...

We’ve got your back for Pumpkin Spice Latte spills. #Fall #FirstDayOfAutumn

Posted by Turtle Wax on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Over to you

Will you be using any of the ideas above, or have you already got your own in the pipeline? Let me know in the comments!

How to STAND OUT on Social Media With Effective Visual Branding (Eve Mattresses Case Study)

How to STAND OUT on Social Media With Effective Visual Branding (Eve Mattresses Case Study)How to STAND OUT on Social Media With Effective Visual Branding (Eve Mattresses Case Study)

How to STAND OUT on Social Media With Effective Visual Branding (Eve Mattresses Case Study)How to STAND OUT on Social Media With Effective Visual Branding (Eve Mattresses Case Study)

Does your brand have a strong visual presence on social media channels? Do you want to increase brand recognition online?

Using consistent visual design elements in your social media marketing efforts helps people to spot your updates in busy news feeds while simultaneously showing off your business' personality. Ask yourself the following question: Given one quick glance (and that's all most social media content gets!), can people spot your brand amongst dozens of others?

In this blog post, I'll show you examples from Eve, a mattress manufacturer - and how it uses colour, fonts, and composition to make its brand stand out on social, and to convey its core messages. 

Before we look at Eve's social content, here's a screen grab of its website home page. Consider how Eve mirrors this style on social to tie all of its branding together.

Clean, simple and uncluttered with yellow, grey, and white the prominent colours. Now, onto Facebook...

In a series of "tired Mummy/Daddy" posts, Eve implements a consistent template, from the handwritten font, to the yellow background and border, and even the placement of the status' elements:

Confessions of a tired Daddy.

Posted by Eve Sleep on Friday, August 21, 2015

Confessions of a tired Mummy.

Posted by Eve Sleep on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Similarly, a consistent template is used for its "quote" series of posts; a type-written font (the same as on its website), followed by a key word that is big and bold. Notice a more subtle form of branding - the eve logo used as background wallpaper.

Let’s never forget it.

Posted by Eve Sleep on Sunday, August 16, 2015

All together now: “Unicorns. Butterflies. Sunshine. Puppies. Rainbows...” (You get the idea.)

Posted by Eve Sleep on Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Eve knows that a catalogue photo of a mattress isn't going to make for an eye-catching piece of social content. Often, it uses the long, linear angles of its product to create images that are much more visually appealing, abstract even:

“Buy good shoes and a great bed. Because in this life, when you’re not in one you’re in the other…” - Ancient Japanese Proverb (Via @indiaroseco)

Posted by Eve Sleep on Saturday, September 12, 2015

A mattress that melts around you, exhibit A. (Via India Rose)

Posted by Eve Sleep on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Does your mattress have sausage dog approval? Ours does...

Posted by Eve Sleep on Friday, August 7, 2015

Even when Eve is not promoting its mattresses, its brand colours and core message (delivering happy mornings, sunlight) are deliberately sought out to feature in status updates, like these interesting or quirky photos:

steps on the Southbank with 'eve yellow' ceiling

Posted by Eve Sleep on Friday, February 27, 2015

We love yellow flowers and morning sunshine...

Posted by Eve Sleep on Friday, May 1, 2015

Is it just us, or does this lemon meringue pie look just like an eve mattress?!

Posted by Eve Sleep on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

To celebrate topical and cultural events, Eve's logo gets a subtle transformation...

One of our favourite cycling festivals is upon us again! Who’s partaking in Ride London this weekend?

Posted by Eve Sleep on Saturday, August 1, 2015

May the 4th be with you! #MayThe4thBeWithYou

Posted by Eve Sleep on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter weekend.

Posted by Eve Sleep on Friday, April 3, 2015

Over to you

What do you think of Eve's social media content? Has it inspired you to work on your own company's visuals to add consistency and breed familiarity amongst your fanbase? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Easily Create Amazing Facebook Video Content For Business (With Real Life Examples)

How to Easily Create Amazing Facebook Video Content For Business (With Real Life Examples)

How to Easily Create Amazing Facebook Video Content For Business (With Real Life Examples)

Do you create promotional videos for Facebook, or is it something you are considering? It's an avenue that I'm personally interested in experimenting with - particularly short promotional videos that can be used as entertaining Page content, as Facebook ads to drive business objectives, or both - ideally, no longer than 10 seconds.

Why limit a Facebook Video to 10 seconds?

Compared to other social networks, the restrictions for posting videos to Facebook are very generous. Files can be up to 45 minutes long, with a size limit of 1.75GB (Instagram and Twitter limit videos to 30 seconds each, for example). So, I could publish a long promotional video, but I'm interested in the 10 second limit for several reasons:

  • Caters to the short attention spans of Facebook users (much more likely to watch a 10-second video than one that is several minutes), especially in the middle of the crowded News Feed compared to, say, a dedicated YouTube video page.
  • Focusses message: 10 seconds is enough time to drive home one idea. Keeping it simple increases the chances of engagement.
  • Time and turnover: Making a 10-second promotional video is (relatively speaking) going to be quick. And if one idea bombs, you can move into the next one fairly swiftly.

What ideas make up a powerful 10-second Facebook Video campaign?

Let's take a look at some key elements and strategies for making a captivating Facebook video, complete with plenty of real life examples.

Use a call-to-action

Chocolate and biscuit sounds like trouble. #MikadoBy the stirrer. Stick out your personality.

Posted by Mikado on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Anchored by the #MikadoBy hashtag, Mikado used several videos to showcase the personalities of the people who buy it's chocolate-covered biscuit sticks. The hashtag is used in the text of the video status update, as well as appearing within the video itself. The videos end with a "Shop Now" call to action button, linking to the website of supermarket, Tesco.

Try stop-motion animation

Cadbury Dairy Milk's 5-second video uses a crude form of stop-motion animation to inspire its fans to pair strawberries with its giant chocolate buttons. Watch the video a few times and you'll notice a consistent timing for each shot that generates a compelling rhythm for the piece of content as a whole.

Speed up the frame rate

In this example, Starburst has increased the speed of the video to hammer home how fast its products are flying off the shelves. However, this strategy is also eye-catching, and allows much more to be packed into just 10 seconds. You could apply the same tactic by shooting a time lapse of your workplace, an event or interesting scene.

Use consistent branding

Dear Monday, you're the worst. Sincerely, everyone. #KeepOnSucking #JollyRancher #Monday #MondaySucks https://instagram.com/jollyrancher/

Posted by Jolly Rancher on Monday, August 10, 2015

If you've been using branded images on Facebook for a long time, fans will expect and recognise consistency when you experiment with video. In this example, Jolly Rancher features its brightly-colored mascot.

Your one-stop destination for long-lasting, bold fruit flavor!#KeepOnSucking #JollyRancher

Posted by Jolly Rancher on Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In this example, the candy brand is less reserved, whacking its logo front and center within a five-second video. 

Convert a photo into a video

Find out how to rock these Peanut Butter Cup Rocky Road Brownies: http://bit.ly/1NsiMY8

Posted by Reese's on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Probably the quickest way to produce a Facebook-ready short video is to convert an image into one, as Reese's has done in this example. All it consists of is a zoomed-in image (slowly zooming out) and a hastily-added text overlay. Probably took about 5 minutes in Movie Maker, but still performed very well.

Delicious Possibilities.

Posted by HERSHEY'S on Friday, June 5, 2015

Check out this similar example from Hershey's - 6 images flashed on-screen, and a tag line at the end - simple!

Share fan-made videos

Chip. Throw. Eat. Repeat. #BoldSnacking

Posted by Doritos on Thursday, September 3, 2015

As well as creating your own videos, why not encourage your fans to get in on the fun? Offer a small incentive or prize, and - Like Doritos above - hopefully you'll have lots of effort-free video content for your Facebook Page.

Make your video understood without sound

Mesmerizing, isn’t it? – Blue

Posted by M&M's U.S.A. on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I bet I can guess your favorite color. It’s red, right? – Red

Posted by M&M's U.S.A. on Friday, August 21, 2015

Videos on Facebook autoplay when scrolled past in the News Feed, but the audio remains muted until a user clicks it off to hear sound. Assuming that plenty of people won't turn on the audio for a whole variety of reasons, consider creating videos that work without sound - either by using on-screen captions, or simply publishing a visual treat with backing music - as in the examples from M&M's above (the clips are a tad over 10 seconds, but you get the idea!).

Over to you

Has this blog post inspired you to give Facebook video a try? Will you be making use of any of the strategies above? Let me know in the comments below!

I Spent $3 Per Day on Facebook Ads Over 2 Months: Here's Exactly What Happened

I Spent $3 Per Day on Facebook Ads Over 2 Months: The Results May Surprise You

I Spent $3 Per Day on Facebook Ads Over 2 Months: The Results May Surprise You

Do you advertise on Facebook, or are you considering it? In this blog post, I'll show you what I managed to achieve over a two month period between July and August 2015, limiting myself to a budget of just $3.00 per day. 

The aim of the ad

Plain and simple, I wanted to advertise the Summer 2015 Edition of my book, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips. When clicked, the ad would lead viewers to the product page for the book on Amazon.com. 

Note: The one considerable downside to linking the ad direct to Amazon is that it left me unable to track conversions with a Conversion Pixel, i.e. of whose who clicked, who actually went on to purchase the book? However, I was happy enough to spend $2.00 to give the ad simple exposure and, if clicks ended up costing little, all the better.

The ad design

People see hundreds of ads on Facebook every day (and ignore most of them), so the aim of my ad design was to keep it nice and simple. The main ad image - what people will normally notice first - tells people that the Summer 2015 edition of 500 Social Media Marketing Tips is out, and every other element is used to support this information, and drive clicks: get 10% off for a limited time, essential strategy, over 60,000 copies sold, etc. In the past, I have used the "Buy Now" call to action button. This time, I decided to experiment with the slightly less pushy "Learn More." 

Ad targeting options and placement

Using information about my audience gained from the 500 Social Media Marketing Tips Facebook Page, I narrowed my targeting down to the following.

  • People based in the US (since the ad linked through to the US Amazon website, this one was a given).
  • Men and women aged between 25 and 55
  • Interested in social media marketing and Social Media Examiner (one of the most popular social media for business websites)
  • This gave me a potential reach of 1.1 million people, and an estimated daily reach of 91 - 240 people.
  • The ad was placed in all available positions: Mobile News Feed, Desktop News Feed, Desktop Right Column, and Audience Network.

Ad budget and schedule

Here's my daily ad budget of £2.00 ($3.12) per day, set to run continuously and optimised for Clicks to Website (my Amazon product page). I allowed Facebook to optimise my cost per click. If there was one thing I would have changed, I would schedule the ad to run at the times when my US audience were most online to see it, rather than having the ad run all day. This could have saved me wasting a portion of my budget.

The results

This image shows the performance of my ad between June 15th 2015 and August 15th 2015. Here's a quick breakdown of the results:

  • My ad reached 19,376 people
  • It was clicked 308 times
  • I spent £56.20 ($87.50), which worked out at an average of £0.18 ($0.28) per click.
  • The average click rate was 1.03%.

I'm well aware that some marketers boast CPC results of as low as 1 cent per click, but considering I was targeting a specific group from the US - a more expensive market to reach in the first place compared, say, to somewhere like India - I was pretty pleased with the results. On several days, my CPC was less than $0.20.

Here's an interesting observation from the Placement results of the ad. The majority of my reach and clicks - a whopping 81% and 59% respectively - came via the Audience Network. The Audience Network automatically delivers my ad into relevant non-Facebook apps. Does this prove the increasing importance and effectiveness of mobile advertising or did Facebook just target those people more heavily on my behalf? Hard to tell, especially without conversion analytics.

Closing Thoughts and Plans for the Future

Many businesses are reluctant to advertise on Facebook, but for a couple of dollars a day - the same amount that many of us wouldn't hesitate to spend on a takeaway coffee or a quick bite to eat - it can prove a cheap and effective segment of your marketing spend. I'm fairly pleased with this summertime Facebook ads experiment, but I'm excited to tinker with the setup to see if I can improve its performance. For starters, I'd like to:

  • Find a way to track Amazon conversions from Facebook.
  • Schedule ads to appear when audience is online to spend budget more efficently
  • Experiment with ad images, copy, and call to action button
  • Experiment with manual bidding to see how it affects performance.

Over to You

What do you think about my Facebook ads strategy? How have Facebook ads worked (or not) for your business? What kinds of Facebook ads experiments would you like to see me perform in future? Let me know in the comments below!