Five tactics for making compelling online video

The past few years witnessed an ongoing transition as media companies that previously focused on creating words and images have added producing video content to their portfolio of skills. The same is true in the content marketing world where companies have used videos to reach out to consumers with key messages, drive people to websites and add a multimedia twist to their tablet magazine editions.

Creating compelling video content is no easy task though. Here then are five quick tactics for making videos that will connect with online audiences.

1 Ensure it isn't boring! - Quite often people who produce video content fail to ask themselves a key question - would I actually sit and watch this video myself as a consumer? Would I watch a talking head ramble on for five minutes without reaching for the off switch? Or sit through a product-related video that feels like an online post-mortem and has no personality at all? Boring videos reflect very badly on a brand and will attract few viewers, so ensure that videos you produce for your brand are pithy, smartly edited and well-constructed.

2 Tease people - One of the most popular types of online video is the preview where you see a glimpse of a product without it being fully featured or explained. Consumer electronics companies are specialists at giving sneak previews of products before they are officially announced, like this Sony video. Everyone loves to be let in on a secret and these type of videos are ideal for promoting a new product or project.

3 Curate content - The jury was out on whether brands should be curating existing web content to promote their products, but as time goes by the arguments against using existing viral videos are starting to tumble away. If it is done well and it is in keeping with the brand's values it underlines that the brand has an understanding of what works online and in some instances has a sense of humour too. This political video from a German union shows how online videos can be curated to get a message across. Several brands are working with content curation sites like BuzzFeed to develop content that promotes their message but uses existing viral video and images.

4 Keep your voice - One common mistake that brands make when creating video content is to lose the tone of voice that they have across their other marketing media. If a brand's tone of voice is quite formal then this should be reflected in the video content. Vice Media's head of video, Al Brown said this recently ‘If you are doing it in the print world you can do it in the video world, it's just making sure your voice isn't lost. Video is as much a tool as anything else. You have to learn to use it to your best advantage, but the main thing is to make sure you have that voice.'

5 Don't always agonise over quality - especially with event videos - Most videos that brands create should be shot on high quality equipment and carefully edited. However for some branded content companies getting a video online quickly is more important than ensuring that it is technically perfect. Viewers will accept lower quality content if they feel that they are being offered something that is compelling and straight from an event. Videos shot on smartphones and uploaded on the fly aren't right for all brands. But there may be a time - for example at an event - when a quick minute of something exciting uploaded to a video channel instantaneously is going to be more cherished and encourage more consumers to engage than a carefully constructed and edited piece that follows a few days later.

Posted by: The CMA

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Posted in CMA blog
10thSep 2013

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