Video Best Practices to Create Attention-Grabbing Video Content

Written by
Lucy Manole

Did you know?

The human brain has a reticular activating system (RAS) that filters out unnecessary information and focuses on things that are critical to our physical and emotional needs. We unconsciously use this filter to determine whether or not something is useful.

So, imagine what happens to the universe of digital content out there. Each piece of content created is competing for attention and only those that can get past the RAS filter will get the eyeballs they deserve.

Videos are considered to be the most effective content format that can drive qualified traffic to your site. Whether you are planning to create your website or already have one, videos can fetch results and boost your conversion rate.

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But there are millions of videos floating around the digital sphere. How can you get your content to stand out amidst this clutter?

Simple. Your video needs to grab attention early!

In this post, we have a few best practices that can help you create captivating videos that’ll help improve your brand image and conversions.

1.   Get the Basics Right

There’s a sea of video content out there! 500 hours of video gets uploaded on YouTube each minute. So, if you want to attract attention to your video, you need to convince them that your video is worth clicking on.

Begin by asking yourself these questions. This simple exercise will help you outline the script and create a video that carries a clear message.

a. What’s the Goal of the Video?

Make watching your video worthwhile by determining your goal. Are you planning to launch a product or announce a groundbreaking offer? Do you want to show how your product or service works?

Every video should have a goal or a purpose. This will ensure that your video content and call to action are clear and concise.

b. Who’s the Target Audience?

Research well to understand your target audience and their core emotions, challenges, and needs. These are the factors that influence actions like watching the complete video, sharing it on social media, or clicking on the call-to-action.

Knowing your audience will help you create content that focuses on their pain points. So, talk to your audience and understand their biggest concerns. Record their responses as this is actual gold dust for your video script. It isn’t easy to unearth such information; but if you get it, your video will be ten-fold more powerful as it speaks honestly to the audience.

c. Why Should They Care about the Video?

Are you addressing a specific problem? Are you sharing how to avoid an issue or offering a precaution? Your video should include why the audience should spend time watching this video.

d. What Are the Benefits?

Viewers are always looking for the WIIFM (what is in it for me) in content. They’ll be thankful for watching your video and leave positive comments if you –

  • Teach them something new
  • Offer them an unconventional idea that they would like to share with their social circle
  • Offer a great discount

e. What’s the Take Home Message?

Give them a reason to take action.

For instance, in the case of this video shared by My Jewish Mommy Life, a viewer (a new parent) watching the complete video or subscribing to the channel will get useful tips to take better care of their baby.

Answering the above questions will help you create a clear and concise video script with a strong call to action.

2.   Have an Enticing Thumbnail

The thumbnail is the first thing your viewers will see before they decide to watch the video. It’s like a mini-promotional poster for your video content.

YouTube confirms that 90% of the top-performing videos use custom thumbnails.

Though a custom thumbnail isn’t a YouTube requirement, it’s a mandate if you want to appeal to your audience and the video giant’s algorithm.

Here are a few quick tips to create a click-worthy thumbnail.

a. It Should Carry the Video Title

The thumbnail should convey the video subject. For this, make sure your video title is catchy and not more than 60 characters in length. Also, avoid using symbols and overusing caps.

b. Use Compelling Imagery

For creating an enticing image for your video, follow Google’s best practices. The image should be of resolution 1280×720 (with a minimum width of 640 pixels). Upload .PNG, .JPG,.GIF, or .BMP formats only. Also, maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is mostly used in YouTube players and previews.

Finally, make sure your image targets an emotion like curiosity, happiness, or anger. This will increase the chances of clicks. We will address this point in detail later.

c. Optimize It for Multiple Devices and Platforms

More than 70% of the YouTube video plays comes from mobile devices. This also means marketers need to optimize their videos for a variety of devices.

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Moreover, videos are a top-performing content type on social channels. For instance, the popularity of IGTV has made it pertinent for video marketers to optimize their content for Instagram. The same is true for Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t restrict your video marketing efforts to YouTube only. Since video is high-performing content on social channels, remember to tap into the power of video across social channels.

d. Avoid Misleading Images

Misleading and irrelevant images are counted as clickbait that’s associated with internet scams or profiteering websites. Not only will it increase your bounce rate but it will also make search and YouTube algorithms hate you for using it. Worse still, with the high bounce rates, YouTube will stop showing your videos.

A thumbnail is supposed to offer context to the video. So, use this image to depict what the viewer can expect from watching it.

3.   Make It Relatable

Let’s look at a few examples before we proceed.

Check out Buzzfeed’s Facebook page. The media company enjoys millions of followers.

Notice Will Smith’s page? He enjoys sharing video content that appeals to his 105M followers.

What’s the common factor among these pages?

Each of them offers relatable content that’s sometimes shocking, funny, and motivating. Relatable content attracts more views as it resonates with the viewers.

How many times have you seen a video or a meme on Instagram and felt, ‘Yes! That’s me, totally!’? Probably, more than what you are willing to admit!

One sure-shot way of creating relatable content is to tell a story. This can help you create a video that connects with your audience on an emotional level.

Here are a few points to remember when telling a video story.

a. The Content Is for Your Audience

Pointing out your target audience will give you a clear idea of what exactly you need to hook them. When planning your video, make sure the story, design, sound, and other elements are chosen carefully. The aim is not to sell your product or service; your video content should resonate with your audience.

b. People Remember Characters

More often than not, a character or a human edge outdoes a plot. Remember the Volvo commercial featuring Van Damme’s epic split?

This amazing personification has struck a chord with the audience and helped Volvo make its video more engaging and interesting.

Similarly, check out this ad by Motorola. The smartphone brand uses humor and wit to convey its brand message.

c. Conflict Triggers Action

A story with a conflict persuades the viewer to take action. Notice how this Babbel commercial adds an element of conflict that’s resolved comically.

Make sure you add a dramatic conflict to your videos to convey your message and make your content more engaging.

d. Emotions Create a Huge Impact

When communicated authentically, any kind of emotion (anger, warmth, sadness, joy, or any other) can make your video relatable. Make sure your script, visuals, props, music, and the other aspects of your video communicate emotions just like this HP Sprocket ad.

4.   Remember: Story-Telling Isn’t the Only Way to Wow the Audience

Without a doubt, telling a story can make your video more relatable. But it is critical to remember that there are many ways of telling your story.

Say, you have a high-technology product that demands a lot of technical information sharing. Would you share all that information in your video? Surely not!

The overload of information will dissuade your audience from watching your video and worse still, confuse them. Instead, try explaining something concerning the technical information.

Check out this video that talks about the technologically advanced Bose sleepbuds in a creative way. It engagingly shares all the product information, making it interesting and easy to understand for the audience.

The same is the case with this commercial for MG Hector, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the English actor.

  1. Optimize Your Video Content

Videos are an excellent SEO tool, provided they are optimized the right way. You may invest all your efforts in starting an impressive video blog but if you forget to add the right meta tags or schema, your content will not rank.

How can you grab attention if your video doesn’t land up in the SERPs?

When building a website, we pay special attention to the keywords and phrases and naturally incorporate them to improve our site ranking. The same goes for videos.

Here are a few quick tips to optimize your video content.

  • Research to see what your target audience is looking for and find ways to include those words and phrases in your video title, description, transcript, alt tags, and URLs.
  • Insert a video transcript to make your video accessible to a larger audience and help search bots find your content.
  • Choose a suitable video hosting platform like YouTube and Vimeo for improving your brand awareness.
  • Ensure that the rest of the page is relevant to the video and search engine optimized.

Wrapping Up

Video content is transforming how businesses reach and engage their target audience. It is considered to be the most effective, convenient, and shareable way of communicating your brand’s core message.

With the abundance of video content out there, businesses must take a creative leap of faith and leverage videos to make an emotional connection with their audience. Use the tips and tactics shared in this post to create engaging video content for your brand.

 

Originally published on June 3rd, 2021
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Video Best Practices to Create Attention-Grabbing Video Content

by Lucy Manole time to read: 7 min
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