So, you’ve come to the conclusion that the growing influence of video is too great to ignore? Good call!
But before you hit the ‘record’ button, it's important to iron out the finer details of producing and promoting a web video.
After all, what good is an explainer or event graphic if it isn’t seen or heard in the right places?
Here’s what you need to know about making your video shareable, so both you and your audience can reap the rewards.
Tell a story
Everyone loves hearing a good story. The same holds true for online audiences, who gravitate towards a strong narrative. This isn’t just opinion; it's fact.
When absorbing information and decoding language to extract meaning, our brains are largely inactive. But when the same information is presented as a story, our minds become much more engaged. Apply the same principle to your video and you’ll undoubtedly enhance its online impact.
Also, be sure to cover the key elements of great storytelling - introduction, problem, solution and call-to-action (what you want your audience to do).
If you can evoke an emotional response, your video should generate a lot more interest. The top emotional responses to viral visuals are happiness, surprise, admiration, and satisfaction.
Content marketing master Neil Patel says the emotion that seems to get the most traction is inspiration. But with videos that evoke emotions like anger, you need to offer viewers a next step, otherwise they won’t go anywhere or accomplish anything.
Go back to the key elements of storytelling and look at your structure. Follow this format for a powerful response:
Exposition (introduction) > Point of Conflict (why your viewer is watching) > Rising Action (evidence to support your proposition) > Emotional Climax (the “ah-ha” moment) > Falling Action (preparing your viewer for the next part) > Dénouement (drive your point home) > Resolution (wrap up with a CTA)
Keep it short
With a huge number of videos competing for the collective attention of internet users, you stand a greater chance of attracting engaged viewers with shorter content. You should also bear in mind the optimum length for videos on your distribution channels of choice.
For example, there is nothing wrong with uploading a 10-minute video to YouTube or Vimeo. But when it comes to social media, you should edit your video according to what works best on each network.
HubSpot recommends the following ideal lengths for video:
- Instagram - 30 seconds
- Twitter - 45 seconds
- Facebook - 1 minute
- YouTube - 2 minutes
Think about SEO
You’ve got to think about user intent when uploading and sharing your web video. How will your audience access the video? What will they be searching for?
Don’t forget that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine after Google. By following SEO best practice for video, you could markedly improve your online presence.
Here are some tips:
- Write a clear title - Tell the viewer what your video is all about (e.g. how-to, review, tutorial etc.)
- Write a detailed description - Explain your video using keywords within the first 2-3 lines, as this is what will appear on search engines.
- Include links in your description - To your website, social media profiles, or any other relevant destination
- Tag your video - Help Google and YouTube learn what your video is about to improve your ranking and help it appear as a related video in the sidebar
Create a sharing strategy
Even the very best videos, where the script is tight and the animation is great, won’t take off or have a tangible impact unless you share, share, share. Any sharing strategy should be part of a wider content plan, which lays out your future intentions in writing.
For example, with an editorial calendar you can ensure every video has a clear objective, message, or purpose. When you do start sharing across key social channels and include on your next eDM, audiences will be given something valuable and worthwhile.
You should also consider when your audience is online and engaged. People don’t spend nearly as much time on technology over the weekend as they do during the week. Launch your video on a Monday or Tuesday and give it the chance to perform.
Include a CTA
What are viewers meant to do after they’ve finished with your video? Either in your video or its description, make sure you’re encouraging people to make the next move with a call to action.
In addition to your key message or objective, you can also ask the audience to rate, review, and share the video. Just remember to make it relevant and easy for users to do.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 but has been updated for greater accuracy and relevancy.