As each year passes more and more people spend their time watching videos on their mobile devices and laptops.
This year it has been estimated that the average person will be spending around 100 minutes of their day watching videos online. With this in mind, there has never been a better time to start making your own video content, but there has also never been so much competition.
Throughout this article, we aim to highlight some easy ways in which you can stand out amongst the competition and make videos people will want to watch.
Research is key:
Before you even start to make your videos you should have a good idea of what sort of content you want to make. This stands you in good stead for understanding your audience, which is key to your success as you will need to understand what kind of content they are searching for and watching.
Looking at successful competitors is a useful way of exploring this, and with 100 hours of new content added to YouTube every minute, there should be no shortage of inspiration.
While checking out the competition is undoubtedly a good idea, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of just recreating their footage. Uniqueness is key to your success and creating your own brand and image will help you develop a strong fan base who keep coming back for more.
A good way of going about this is finding an angle or point that people aren’t talking about, what are they missing, and can you give some insight? You may even want to do some reaction videos and generate a different line of discussion while still remaining on topic.
The video itself:
Once you have a clear idea of what type of content you are making, and who you are making it for, it is time to start on the video itself.
In a world where everything is at our fingertips, the human attention span is shortening. A recent study found that our attention span has dropped to around 8 seconds, a reduction of around 25% in just a few years.
This drop-in attention span means that we expect instant gratification and when this isn’t fulfilled we move on and seek it elsewhere. It is therefore essential that you hook your audience early.
One of the best ways you can do this is to jump straight into it, talking about yourself for 10 minutes before you even get to the topic of your video is not going to keep your audience engaged.
Another way in which you can hook your audience is by utilizing the Zeigarnik effect, a psychological tendency in which the human brain craves closure. In order to exploit this, you should begin your video with a question or thought that you don’t resolve until the end.
Hooking your audience at the beginning of your video is a great start, but how do you keep them hooked for the entire video?
This is where your creativity can go wild. Avoid giving lectures where it's just your head talking to the screen and instead mix it up. There are a number of ways in which you can do this, the first and perhaps most simple way is called chunking. Chunking involves filming for a few minutes and stopping when there is a natural pause or change in topic, you should then zoom in a little so the visual change highlights this development. With the next pause, you should zoom your camera back out and so on.
If chunking isn’t to your liking you may wish to try more dramatic visual changes. Tim Schmoyer from Video Creators suggests a visual change every 15 seconds. This can range from stock footage, visual popups, or even just simple angel changes.
Not only do these visual changes keep your audience hooked, but they also help them understand and process the information or story you are presenting them with. The human brain can process visual information at a speed of 250 milliseconds and by harnessing this power you can create not only an engaging but also a memorable one.
The visual aside, sound is another important focus in maintaining your viewers’ attention.
Music can set the mood and help a story flow. Sound can also be used to highlight points or jokes, by either inserting certain sound effects or simply by pausing the background music and letting the silence highlight a point. Just make sure you don’t set your music too high or you’ll detract from anything you say in the video or overwhelm the viewer and make them turn off.
While keeping your content entertaining is obviously a priority, it is also important that the information you present is credible. Viewers want to know that they can trust you, make sure to state your arguments well, link any sources, and always mention your own expertise on a certain topic.
With credibility in mind, it is important to note that you should avoid falling into the category of clickbait. Yes, this may get you clicks but you will never retain an audience this way. As video content has become more popular viewers have also become more skilled in spotting clickbait and will actively avoid this content. Even those who do click through will stop watching the moment they realize the video isn’t what it was originally advertised as.
Once your video is up to scratch you can use it as a good hook to get viewers to watch more of your content. Use your end screen as a call to action. Point your audience in the direction of another video you have that you think might interest them or ask them to comment their views to start a dialogue.
The finishing touches:
Now you have your finished video you will want to ensure the finishing touches don’t let down all that hard work you put in.
Think about the title and description of your video, you want this to be intriguing without falling into the clickbait category, but still giving enough information on what your video is about. You may even want to create a simple SEO plan, as you would for a blog post, and research the best keywords and tags for your target audience.
You will also want to make sure that you have an eye-catching thumbnail. Make sure the photo you are using is of good quality and try to get creative with it. It is also a good idea to maintain some kind of visual identity in your thumbnails, by doing this you increase the chances of viewers being able to spot your future videos at a glance. This will also help you grow a fan base.
On the topic of fans, it is in your favor to engage regularly with your viewers. We touched on this above but there are many ways in which you can do this, e.g. replying to comments, running competitions, making reaction videos to your fan’s responses or content, e.t.c.
Finally, promote, promote, and promote some more. Social media is your best friend here. Share your content across all your social media platforms and don’t be afraid to hype yourself up, you’ve put in a lot of hard work, you deserve to be proud!
We hope this little guide will help inspire you to take your content creation to new heights and we look forward to watching all your future videos.