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How to improve your video marketing content

How to improve your video marketing content

Posted 11th March, 2020 by Sarah

7 minute read

Earlier in the year, we wrote a blog post titled ‘A beginner’s guide to video marketing’. In it, we looked at the importance and benefits of video marketing for all sized businesses and offered tips on how to get started.

If that article was Video Marketing 101, this is Video Marketing 102.

In this post, we’ll look at the tips and tricks the professionals use to create video content that’s best in class.

These tips can be applied to social media video, advertising, and certain promotional landing page or homepage videos.

Need a website before you can populate it with Oscar-worthy video content? Head to our domains and web hosting pages to get yourself set up.

Start with style

Research shows that unless humans actively choose to focus on something – like a Netflix boxset for example – their attention spans last just eight seconds.

That means they zone out of meetings in the first eight seconds if they don’t feel the agenda or discussion points are relevant to them, and they’ll decide to skip an online video within the first eight seconds if it doesn’t give them a good enough reason to keep watching.

So how do you create content that demands to be watched?

The following styling tips should help…

Consider closed frame filming

Open and closed frame filming are two of the most commonly used framing techniques used by directors. Open frame footage makes viewers feel like they’re a fly on the wall or as if they’re watching a documentary. The idea of this shooting method is to make audiences feel like the scene on screen would exist if they were not there watching it. Because of this, the footage seems much more realistic.

Closed frame filming makes what’s on screen feel much more exclusive – like the world of the film is the only thing that exists. The subjects on screen never leave the limits of the frame and everything that goes on within the shot happens for a reason. Done well, this has greater power than open frame filming to intrigue viewers and to draw them into watching the film for longer.

Up the pace

Traditional storytelling follows an arc. It begins with an introduction, continues with rising tension, there’s a climax and then the pace settles down to a resolution. Also known as Freytag’s Pyramid, this structure still works well in writing such as blogs and longer pieces of film such as movies.

However, it’s not as effective in shorter video marketing clips. In fact, if you spend too much time scene setting in these sorts of videos, you run the risk of your viewers tuning out. The alternative in video marketing is called the ‘emerging story arc’. This means that videos should start fast, keep up the pace and deliver a series of unexpected surprises. In this way, the arc becomes a wave.

Give them dessert first

This phrase was coined by Ben Jones, the global creative director at Google’s Unskippable Labs. The full quote goes: “Give them dessert first or a punch in the face – a thing at the beginning that’s like ‘ah there’s a reason I should pay attention to this.”

In other words, open with impact, plunge the viewer into the video, frontload your footage to ensure you don’t lose your viewer’s attention.

Utilise the science of supers

Just in case you haven’t heard of them before, supers are texts and graphics that appear on screen during a film.

A variety of research studies have been done into the effectiveness of supers in video. One of the most well-known was carried out by Murray, Munrai and Manrai.

After analysing real-time reactions to supers in more than 200 videos, they found that comprehension rates were greater when supers were greater than half an inch in font size.

They also found that supers were comprehended better when they were accompanied by a voiceover.

Integrate your brand naturally

According to research by Unskippable Labs, where you make your first mention of your business or brand in a promotional video matters.

Unskippable suggests that integrating your brand within the first five seconds of footage optimises recall. However, if the purpose of your video is to raise awareness, you should place your brand mentions later in the clip.

And there’s more. Unskippable suggests that showing your brand or product in natural usage leads to better viewership and audience recall than if you choose to simply layer your logo on top of the film footage.

Consider animation

Animated videos tend to be more expensive to produce than those that feature real-world footage. This is because companies usually need to hire specialist production teams to create them.

However, if you have a budget for film or a team member who could get to grips with a free animation making service such as Animaker, it can often be worth going down the animation route, especially if the purpose of your video is to explain a particularly complex or dull topic.

A study by Foundation University in Pakistan discovered that video audiences recalled the content of animated videos better than they recalled the content of videos that contained real-world footage.

Always include a call to action

This may sound obvious but missing out a call to action is one of the most common mistakes rookie film producers make. Even if the aim of your video is not directly linked to selling, you should still add a call to action nudging customers to watch another video, sign-up to your newsletter or interact with your company in another way.

Google’s Unskippable Labs found that adding a call to action increased brand lift i.e. future interaction with a brand – even if viewers didn’t act on the call to action after watching the video.

Categories: Blogging, Marketing, Small Businesses

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