Author: Ash Read / Source: Entrepreneur By now, it’s clear that video is an essential channel for marketers. But what makes a great video
By now, it’s clear that video is an essential channel for marketers. But what makes a great video? And what keeps viewers engaged? Is it a good story? Or maybe it’s all about reaching the right audience at the right time.
We teamed up with Wistia to find out. We looked at some of our favorite examples of video marketing and uncovered some traits they have in common.
Here are seven secrets to creating successful video content.
1. Focus on stories, not sales
Before the rise of social media, if you wanted someone to see an advert, you had to rent space within a popular media channel like TV or print. On social platforms, brands can reach the exact same audience directly. This means that branded content (advertising) competes with entertainment, rather than interrupting it.
If you want your video to be watched, it needs to create some kind of value for the viewer. Videos that are purely focused on a brand, or driving sales, will likely be ignored.
The best video content tells stories that connect with the viewer. The better you tell stories about yourself, the more likely your viewers are going to understand what your company is offering and what it can do for them.
A great example of storytelling is Budweiser’s video imagining how the legendary broadcaster, Harry Caray, might have called the Chicago Cubs World Series victory:
Caray was the voice of the Cubs from 1982 until he passed away in 1998. Budweiser’s agency, VaynerMedia, created the video by laying recordings of Caray’s voice over footage of the Cubs’ win and the following celebrations in Chicago.
By telling a story that brought together history, brand equity and nostalgia, Budweiser were able to connect with sports fans worldwide in the moment of the Cubs’ victory. The video was hugely successful on social media and generated large amounts of press coverage for Budweiser. Including:
The most important part of any video is telling a cohesive and concise story. As Facebook recommends: “Your video ad shouldn’t be longer or shorter than it takes to tell your story well, so create a storytelling arc from the first frame to the last that keeps your audience interested along the way.”
2. Use the first few seconds wisely
Attention spans online are short. In fact, the average attention span is now just 8.5 seconds.
When it comes to creating successful video, you must bring your story to life quickly, so as to instantly gather interest as people scroll through their feeds.
In the opening seconds, you must give clarity to what your video is about and give the viewer confidence that what they’re about to watch is work their time.
Create a hook
One of the best ways to grab attention is with a hook at the start of your video. A hook is a really quick preview of what’s coming up in the video. Gary Vaynerchuk does a great job of this in his #AskGaryV videos:
Upload an interesting thumbnail
Both Facebook and YouTube enable you to upload a thumbnail to sit alongside your video. These thumbnails are a great way to grab viewers attention and get them excited about your video before it starts playing.
Think of thumbnails as an important first impression.
Wistia found that putting a little effort into choosing your thumbnail carefully, whether on social media or in your email marketing efforts, can actually improve your play rates. When it comes to choosing your thumbnail, avoid a blurry, motion-filed shot. Your thumbnail should suggest that the video is high quality. Pick a different frame where you subject or environment looks crisp and clear.
Great thumbnails can begin to tell a story and show viewers what’s coming up in the video. For example, the below thumbnail from Tasty shows the finished pulled pork nachos dish that the video shows you how to make.
3. Target relevant audiences on Facebook
As a content distribution platform, Facebook is incredible.
One of the features that makes Facebook stand out from other marketing channels is the super-in-depth targeting you can use to select audiences for your content.
You may have used targeting with Facebook Ads before, but did you know you can also target every post on your Page to a selected audience?
Sharing highly-targeted posts is a great way to make your content appealing to every member of your audience. And with Facebook organic reach in decline, this feature could be a great help to ensure you’re always reaching the most relevant people with every post.
Facebook post targeting allows you to segment audiences by:
Only people in the audiences that you choose can see the post anywhere on Facebook. So if you selected an age group of 18-24, no-one outside of that age range would be able to see the post (on their News Feed or your Page).
You’re also able to target individuals by interests. When you select an interest (you’re allowed to choose up to 16 per post), people who like your Page and also share one (or more) of the interests you’ve chosen are more likely to see your post.
Unlike limiting your post’s audience, targeting by interest doesn’t affect who can see the post on your Page or anywhere else on Facebook. So users outside of your interest group can still see your post in their News Feed or on your Page.
(I’ve broken down how to set target audiences for each of your posts below)
Gary Vaynerchuk explains more about the power of targeting video content in the below video:
How to customize targeting for your Facebook posts
1. Create a new post
To select a custom audience for your post, head over to…