We’ve talked before about online video and the trend seems to be going in favor of video more and more. Is it the “Next Big Thing” online? No, but it’s a great way to supplement your text content and show search engines you are thinking about more than just one way to distribute your information to your audience.
The thought of video can be daunting. Do you need to hire a video crew to be successful? Do you have to invest thousands in video equipment? Do you need to be doing tons of videos to make it successful? The answer to all of this is no. You can keep it simple and succeed. Here are four simple steps to ensure your videos will work in your favor.
1. The first 3 seconds are the most important – One look at your Facebook feed or even your favorite news website and it’s no doubt everyone is vying for your eyeballs. From the selfie of your friend at the game or the latest grumpy cat video, you are competing with all of this with your content. You have 3 seconds to convince people that the rest of your video is worth watching. If it takes you 20 seconds to get to your point, you’ve already lost your viewer.
2. Think mobile or don’t waste your time – People consume millions of hours of video online each day and it’s no surprise that with the overwhelming increase in smartphone and tablet usage, this consumption is increasingly happening from their mobile devices. If you are loading up your videos in a format that only works for certain devices, computers, browsers, etc., then you have lost your opportunity before someone even pushes play. Best practice: upload your videos to YouTube, embed the code on your website, and check that the player looks good in a mobile device.
3. Keep it brief – If you want someone to watch all of a video, keep it under a minute. Why do you think Vine limits their content to just 6 seconds? Instagram allows just 15 seconds. There is a reason for this. People WILL NOT sit and watch your 5 minute video no matter how interesting you think it is. Strive to keep all video content under a minute and if possible, 30 seconds or less.
4. Think “home grown” – You can hire a video production crew to come in and make you a series of videos to post to your site. You’ll get quality, but you’ll also get a big bill. Online video doesn’t have to break the bank. You can invest in a low cost video camera and a tripod or even use a mobile phone. Shooting on the fly can be very cost efficient and can actually come across more genuine than the high end approach.
If you do decide to start making more videos, make sure to get your biggest bang for the buck by placing them not just on YouTube and your site, but posting out to your social media channels as well.