Video is a critical tool for communication across social media, websites, advertising and more. To ensure your message is clear, compelling and on brand, review these best practices and guidelines.

On this page:

Best Practices

  • Make it short: Try to keep videos under two minutes.
  • Tell a story: Regardless of the length of your video, make sure there’s a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • Remember the viewer: Make sure your video is compelling and interesting the entire way through. Think about what matters to your audience.
  • Have a hook: Capture attention within the first few seconds to give the viewer a reason to stop and watch—whether that’s through interesting visuals, posing a question or using different camera angles. Share the most important information and footage first. 
  • Consider the platform and audience: Think about where you’re sharing your video and who you’re talking to. If you’re sharing on multiple platforms, consider tailoring your content to meet specific channel needs and viewers.
  • Explore different formats: Don’t be afraid to use live, 360, GIF, interview or Q&A styles. Vertical and square videos may be better suited for certain channels rather than horizontal. 
  • Captions are essential: Allow closed captioning on YouTube and edit captions as necessary within settings. If on-screen captions do not exist within the video, download the text file (.SRT format) from YouTube and upload it together with your video when sharing on social media. View additional best practices for captioning according to accessibility standards.
  • See it, don’t say it: Use footage to say what you can’t say in words; use text to communicate what footage can’t show. You don’t have to do both at the same time.
  • Repurpose, reuse, recycle: Make the most of your video. Re-edit it to use on different channels, but consider reformatting when sharing on social media channels and websites or through advertising.

Social Media Video Best Practices

In addition to the general video guidance above, please review these special considerations for social media video content.

  • Front-load footage and copy: Capturing attention immediately matters even more. 
  • Don’t rely on sound: On many social media channels, content plays automatically, with the sound off. Tell your story through on-screen captions and visuals. If sound is necessary in order to understand the content, consider notifying viewers with a small graphic.
  • ‘Socialize’ text (especially at the beginning): Convey the benefits and connect to the viewers—why should they care? Use an active tense and direct, engaging language.
  • Keep captions short: Convey only one thought per frame. Follow university standards below.

Text Guidelines

Videos often benefit from active captioning embedded within the video, which draws the viewer in even when the sound is turned off. There is some flexibility when it comes to format and length, but it’s important to retain the standards below for consistency and brand recognition across media channels. This type of captioning is different from closed captioning. 

  • Typeface: Sofia Pro medium or bold
  • Editorial: Follow AP style, with the following exceptions: Don’t use a period at the end of a sentence (unless within a quote) and capitalize the first word on a new frame only if it starts a new sentence or is a proper noun. Be sparing with commas and other punctuation.
  • Text Colors: UB Blue (text box), Hayes Hall White (text) and Greiner Green, Solar Strand or Victor E. Blue (highlighted text) to emphasize one word or key phrases.
  • Transitions: Always reveal text overlay from left to right.
  • Formatting on-screen quotes: Use full-screen overlay in UB Blue, keeping text left-aligned.
  • Text overlay length: One or two lines of text, three maximum.
  • Narration: Narrated text should be differentiated from text overlays. No transition on or off screen.
  • Video/photo credit: If content features copyrighted material, overlay a photo or video credit line in the top left corner while the video/photo is on screen.


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UB Production Group

If you need help creating a video, we are fortunate to have award-winning video production services right here on campus.

The UB Production Group has years of experience producing high-quality video for:

  • UB Websites
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Alumni and Donor Outreach
  • Fundraising
  • Student Recruitment
  • Community Education
  • Entertainment
  • University Events
For more information, contact:

Jamie Enser, Executive Director                          716-645-6254