You’ve probably watched more than your share of video content on the Web. What is it that keeps you coming back for more? We’re not talking about the endless array of cat videos on YouTube, though we’ve laughed at our share of those, too. We’re talking about videos that tell a story, share an experience or explain a new product.
Because of the way Google and YouTube measure traffic for video, (the viewer has to watch for eight seconds to be considered as one view); you must grab attention quickly, then continue to deliver compelling, watchable content.
Follow these tips on how to create compelling video content that will have your audience watching and engaging with you and your business.
- Understand your key message(s) before filming. Break up information into bite size pieces and deliver it in a fresh and relatable way. Whether you’re delivering straight to camera in a “video diary” format, or creating something more complex, the audience should walk away knowing exactly what you were trying to say or show.
- Add music for enhanced impact. Music can be an engaging addition to your video, and can help add an emotional appeal to your message. Websites like audiojungle.com allow users to search and purchase music affordably for video.
- Vary the view. Secondary footage, B-roll or even photos can really help keep your audience’s attention. Software like iMovie or Celtx allows even those with basic editing skills to storyboard a script ahead of time, so that it’s easy to “drop” images or footage into your video.
- Tell a story. Storytelling is a powerful tool in video. Know your audience well, and tell them a story that specifically relates to their interests and needs.
- Categorize information. Think in terms of main categories or “buckets” when planning your overall content strategy for video. Categories might include:
- About videos, which convey who you are as a company or as individuals (e.g. a profile on an employee who has been with the company for over 25 years)
- Demonstration videos, which showcase a product or service (e.g. a 30 second overview of how a new machine works)
- Education videos, which teach viewers a new skill related to your industry or niche (e.g. a garden center would explain how to get a perfect lawn)
- Testimonial videos, which would highlight great reviews or stories about your business from actual customers or clients (e.g. a happy family who has benefitted from your services)
- Include a promise or a benefit for your viewers, and then show how you deliver. For example, in a short video about excellent customer service, show how one of your agents went the extra mile for a customer.
- Keep it short! 15-30 seconds is plenty of time to deliver short information or snippets, 60-90 seconds can show a product in a new and interesting way, and three minutes is the perfect length to tell a story in a “mini-documentary” style. This is the Web, after all, so think in terms of easy-to-view, shareable content that anyone could watch during a lunch break or quick free moment.
- Create a series. If viewers liked the first video, they will come back for more. A series is a great way to create repeat traffic, as well as unique traffic from sources that have linked to your original video. Blendtec has been remarkably successful on YouTube for their “Will it Blend” series, which is widely considered one of the first uses of video content marketing on the Web.
- Use strong Calls to Action. Your content is great…but make sure it compels viewers to act. Whether you simply want them to view a unique landing page on your site, ask them to do so, both at the end of your video and in the description below (if hosting the video on YouTube).
So there you have it, folks…your recipe to video content greatness. We’d love to see your examples of your favorite videos…send us a link in the comments!