Question: What are some winning strategies for creating online video that is engaging and valuable for customers and potential customers?
Question by: Jeffrey
Don't Make a Commercial
"Make a video about something in your industry, something funny or newsworthy. YouTube can drive a huge amount of traffic to your site, but not if your video is some boring video just about your business. People don't want to just hear about you; they are searching for funny, valuable, interesting videos. That's what's going to bring you traffic in the end."
Just Keep It Real
"Unless you're shooting a professional video, don't be afraid to be a little imperfect. Know what you're going to talk about, rehearse, then go with it. Don't worry about cutting out every imperfection. Real is relatable and honest. It works. Instead of over thinking things, focus on getting your message across in a real and honest way, even if it includes a few 'um's.'"
Know Your Audience
"The most compelling videos will give valuable information or insight and speak directly to what the audience wants most. Just like with copy, you need to understand your audience and why they would take five minutes to watch your video instead of a yawning puppy video on YouTube. Once you know what to share, record videos in small chunks so they're easy to digest."
Outline a Path
"Great online videos make clear in the outset what will be discussed within. If you start the video by just diving in to the content, it won't be clear to viewers what they'll be getting out of it. Use an outline format, like an essay, to communicate at the start of the video what the viewer can expect to learn."
Acknowledge Short Attention Spans
"Record no more than 30-45 seconds. Anything longer than that and people will tune out, unless you've done something really, really special. People don't have the attention span to watch a two-minute video unless they have already committed to your product."
Shock! And Awe!
"The key to online video is first grabbing attention within the first ten seconds. To do this, you want to start with something 'shocking' that leaves the viewer in 'awe' and wanting more. Once you've grabbed their attention, you have to keep them engaged. In addition to the content you are giving them, you want to have images, words or some pop-up transition on the screen to keep them engaged."
Who Are You Filming?
"Too many people feel that to have a great video you must write a script, shoot with high (and expensive!) production value and totally transform yourself from the everyday. While I do recommend getting out of your pajamas and at least having an idea of what you want to say, the best videos are those that feel like it's just you and the viewer having a good ol' conversation. Be real!"
"A ton of people I know are trying to create video content, but fail to take into account people's attention spans. No one (yes, no one) is going to watch a ten-minute video on your product. Break that ten-minute video into ten pieces and release one piece per day. This keeps people coming back and turns one view of a ten-minute video into ten views of ten different videos."
Laughter Wins All
"Using humor in online videos is a great way to engage your customers. If the audience is laughing, then they’re happy. If they’re happy, they'll associate your brand with that emotion. When that happens, you’ve won. Just be careful not to sacrifice the brand’s messaging for a cheap laugh."
Lead the Thought
"Rather than creating a purely promotional video about your product or service, create several educational videos on topics relevant to your industry. Potential customers will appreciate that you are sharing your knowledge and will begin to recognize you as a leader in your field."
Hire a Pro
"Approach online video like those car commercials you see on TV: don't try this at home. A poorly produced home-made video is worse than no video at all. Find a videographer in the area that has good equipment and knows how to create a compelling storyline. Ask for references and see samples. Don't use the cheapest company; use the best that fits within your budget."
Create a Cliffhanger!
"Don't stop at one video! Create a series of educational videos that lead people from 'episode to episode.' Use what TV writers have been using against us for years by creating 'open loops' where an idea is 'to be continued' in the next video. This creates engagement and allows you to educate prospects in more than one video, and to lead them back to your website."
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