What are the elements of a good video?

Video is taking the internet by storm. A simple scroll through most platforms or searches will demonstrate the power and prevalence of video. This is important for anyone trying to get any message, marketing or otherwise, across online. While video has become pervasive, not all video is good. You cannot simply have video for the sake of it and there are a few important elements necessary for video to be good and for it to be effective.

One-third of all time online is now spent watching video. If you do not have video content you are missing a significant opportunity.

Here are a few interesting statistics:

  • 85% of the US internet users watch videos online
  • Every minute, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
  • Half a billion people watch Facebook videos every day
  • The share rate for video on social media is 12 times greater than the combined shares of text and images
  • Conversion on landing pages that incorporate video can increase by as much as 80%
  • The average days has more than 8 billion video views
  • Facebook posts with video have a reach of 135% more than photos

Given these amazing stats, it is crystal clear that video is a powerful force online and if you wish to get any traction with your content, video must be included. If you want to increase your reach and engagement, video is critical.

That is all very well but how do you ensure the video is good enough?

Here are some ideas to ensure your video gets the reach and potential you need:

Make professional videos with good equipment

With so many people trying to jump on the video bandwagon it is essential that you stand out from the general mass of videos. This means that you need to use professional equipment. While many great videos have been made on the average smartphone, this will not work unless the content is exceptional. For the average video, top equipment is necessary. This includes sound and lighting.

It is immediately evident when a video has been cheaply produced with poor equipment. The quality of online videos is improving exponentially and in order to remain relevant and effective, you need to use good cameras and sound equipment. A tripod is also important for stability and getting the right angle. Depending on where you shoot the video, lighting might also be needed.

That is not to say you have to go out and invest a fortune in top quality video recording equipment but try and avoid a cheap cellphone video at least. In terms of return on investment, the money spent on a good camera or two will pay off quickly.

The video needs to include all important information

Many people assume that a video will be watched in the context of the website or article in which it is posted. This is often not the case. If important information is left out of the video it might not makes sense when viewed in isolation. Always create the video in such a way that it can work independently of the context. Include all key information.

Often people will forward the video or post in a different context so the video needs to be able to stand alone and tell the full story without the original text or environment.

Do not forget SEO for your video

SEO is just as important for video as it is for any other type of web content. You need to incorporate relevant keywords as well as the brand and business name in the title of the video. Do the same in the tags and descriptions. It is also a good idea to include a link in the description.

Brand the video

The same applies to branding. If you rely on branding on the site or the context of the original posting, this will be lost when the video is shared to others sites or platforms. Use strong branding in the video itself. You want people to instantly recognize the brand behind the video no matter where or how they view it.

Capture the viewers’ attention quickly

It is not only important to hold the viewer’s attention for the duration of the video but you need to start with a bang to catch their attention in the first 10 seconds. Many viewers will quickly leave if they are not instantly interested in the video. Pay careful attention to your intro. Make it powerful and captivating.

Create videos that will hold the viewer’s attention

Just because video is more effective at getting a viewer’s attention it does not mean that all videos will hold their attention span. Online viewers have a notoriously short attention span so keep this in mind when creating videos.

Some studies show that more than half of viewers will stop watching a video after 60 seconds. Short punchy videos will be more effective than longer ones. Take a look at good TV adverts for guidance. Videos of about 30 seconds are very effective and more than a minute is probably pushing it.

Start off powerfully and include the critical information in the first few seconds.
Give the viewer some idea of what is to come and how it can benefit them.

Have a powerful call to action

You want to end the video with a clear and strong call to action. Decide what this will be before writing or creating the video concept as it will all build up to the call to action. You might want them to go to your website, subscribe or take some other action. You want the call to action to be part of the video and not in the text below it in case it is shared and the rest of the message is lost.

Use music wisely

Music can add interest and excitement to your video if carefully selected and applied. Most people enjoy good music and it can help keep their interest and add a bit of punch to the video. It also helps to create the mood and atmosphere you want for your video must be selected carefully. Just as the right background music can enhance the video a poor choice can destroy it and even put people off the video altogether. If you are not sure, get a few people to watch the video with the music and get a few opinions.

Be sure to only use music that you are legally permitted to use otherwise you could run into legal issues.

Ensure the audio is clear and audible

There is nothing more frustrating than listening to a video and not being able to understand what the person is saying. The entire purpose of your video is to get a message across and if you cannot hear the person clearly the message will be lost. Most people will simply stop watching.

Foreign accents can also be an issue. If you have to use audio from someone with a strong accent try to keep it short and use bold subtitles.

Poor audio is often the result of using poor equipment. A quality microphone is not expensive so if you want to make professional videos it is probably a worthwhile investment.

If you do a bit of research and link your video to topics or ideas that are trending at the time you will have a much greater chance of getting shares and likes. This will give your video much greater reach. Do a bit of homework on Google (Google Trends), Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to see what people are talking about. Do some keyword research using one of the many tools available.
Some marketers are highly adept at this technique and use it with great success.

Experiment and test

You will not get it right every time especially when you are just starting out. Always analyze the performance of your videos and compare different styles, formats, and other variables. Try to pinpoint what works well so that you can constantly improve your videos.

You want to entertain the viewer, give them some value and/or solve a problem they have. If you are doing this, you are halfway there.

Elements of a good video

There are a few basic elements you should include in order to create a quality video that will get reach while still getting your message across.

Have a goal

Before you even start to plan the video, be clear on what your end goal is. This will guide and direct you in what to say and how you deliver it. Without a clear goal, the intended message will be lost on the viewer.

The hook

The hook is a short powerful segment that will grab the viewer’s attention and make them want to continue watching. It could tell them what to expect from the video, what it can do for them, what problems it can solve or why they should not miss out.
It is normally delivered in the very beginning of the video but can be used again later to keep their interest.

A brief introduction

Just as with a written article you want to start with a short introduction to set the tone for the video and explain what is to follow. Keep it short and sweet.

Deliver content

Do not beat around the bush with other information but after the brief introduction launch straight into your message and deliver your content. It helps if you have planned it all out in advance or work according to a script. If you know the subject well and are passionate about it you can probably do it without a script but it is always safer to have one to fall back on. Unless you are doing a live video you can always keep trying until you get it to the standard you want.

The important aspect is to stick to the topic and not ramble or go off on a tangent. If you do this you are likely to lose the viewer’s attention.

Thrown in a bonus or an offer

Giving the viewer some value and reward is sure to grab their attention and make them more likely to share with others. Try to offer something tangible the viewer can take away from the video that is of value to them. It does not have to cost you anything but will reward them for their time.

This offer can form part of your hook at the beginning of the video or can be incorporated later if appropriate.

Don’t forget the call to action

I know we mentioned this already but it important so ensure it is powerful and persuasive. Do not confuse the issue with options so stick to one clear call to action. Everything in the video should build towards the strong call to action at the end.

Final thoughts

The importance of video for any form of online presence should be pretty clear. It is essential that video forms part of your online activity. If you are not already using it then start immediately. You can start off small and slowly grow and expand as your skills in this area develop. The important thing is that you start and do not ignore it. The trend towards video is increasing rapidly and will not go away anytime soon.

Video is a great way to inform and engage your audience and a powerful way to get your message across. Use it but use it wisely.