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How to Create Video Content That People Appreciate

By: Jacques Spitzer

Video content is a gold mine for advertising your brand. First, consider that digital video marketing is a $135 billion industry in the U.S. alone. Then, among the many mind-blowing statistics you’ll find in this infographic, factor in that 4.6 billion video ads are watched online each year and 40 percent of users take some kind of action after viewing a video ad. Yet many brands find themselves struggling for clicks, likes, comments and conversions, the reason most often being that they—not viewers—are missing the point.

Flip the Script

One of the roadblocks that brands hit in all types of marketing and advertising, particularly video, is becoming so concerned with what they want to say that they ignore what people will actually hear. At the end of the day, people will remember how you made them feel more than what you actually said. My favorite example of this is politics. I won’t give a specific example because I don’t want to imply endorsement or invoke opinions, but if you watch any well-produced video for a politician, you’ll notice it’s their energy that draws you in and not necessarily their policy. You might remember their party and main points, but not every word of their ad.

Entertain

One of the most common questions I hear from clients and prospects is, “How long should my video be?” My answer is that it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s entertaining. Some of our most successful videos for clients have been over three minutes long. There’s also one that continues to keep nearly half of viewers for the entirety of a 1 minute and 40 second ad.

We’re moving into an age in which people expect to be advertised to and don’t mind it as long as they’re being entertained. Keep in mind that “entertaining” doesn’t necessarily mean “funny.” Entertainment takes many forms, from clever to witty to educational. If you can make people laugh, that’s always a plus, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Tasty, for example, makes entertaining videos simply by adding music, graphics and fun camera angles to recipes.

Edit Every Second

After you’ve refocused your messaging around how you want to leave people feeling, you then need to make sure you’re being thoughtful with their time. This is where editing comes into play. If you can remove an extra blink, an extra breath, an extra second, or anything non-essential, do it. Respect people’s time and make sure you’re presenting a final product that has gone through the “other side of the screen” test—aka pretending you’re the viewer and gauging your gut response.

Earn and Reward Attention

The fact that you want something from your audience doesn’t matter. Remember, it’s about what you’re giving them. It could be a chuckle, a smile, or a fact they didn’t know. Ask yourself what you need to do to earn attention and what the people who give their attention will receive in return. These are very different questions from those around marketing, messaging and ad specs. Try this new approach, and you might be surprised by the number of people who are receptive to—and even outwardly thankful for—a thoughtfully composed video ad.