How to Make Videos That Will Keep Your Audience Engaged

What makes a video watch-worthy?

Your video production depends on your business and content marketing strategy, a.k.a. what you’re selling and what your goals are for the video.

Your video goals depend on your customer journey timeline, buying cycle, or marketing funnel. Here’s a generic three-stage model for your consideration:

  1. Awareness/Attention – The prospective customer may or may not be aware they have a problem. Depending on their awareness, they will either be on the lookout for perspective or context or just casually go about their business until inspiration comes along. So, knowing that the prospect is in this state, what should your video’s goal be?
    • Suggestion: The video should create the problem or highlight it in under eight seconds.
  2. Interest/Consideration – At this stage, the prospective customer has identified the problem, have explored possible solutions, and have lined up options to choose from. What should your video’s content be with the customer having this mindset?
    • Suggestion: The video should create a strong desire for your solution. Your offer must stand out from the rest.
  3. Decision – The prospect is ready to be a customer. It’s time to purchase. What should be in your video that will cause the prospect to act?
    • Suggestion: Create a compelling CTA and clear out any obstacle that the viewer may have.

5 Elements of an Engaging Video

This is by no means a cookie-cutter formula, but more of a working framework for creating videos that people would actually watch and share.

People love videos that are:

  1. Customer-centric – Be subtle about self-promotion or branding. Employ clever and creative branding techniques so you won’t turn the viewers off. Keep in mind that it isn’t about you nor your brand, it’s about the customers. Always. Avoid hard sells at all cost. Instead, show empathy and familiarity with their pain points or struggles. Be their trusted friend.
  2. Straight to the point – Your subject should be the first thing that people hear and see. If you’re supposed to talk about apples, talk about apples, at the onset! In terms of technique, borrow from the thumbnail rules: use close-up images of the presenter or the subject to immediately connect with the viewer. Give a brief greeting and delve straight into the subject.
  3. Active – Keep the viewers’ eyes busy. Use jump cuts to illustrate quick thought process or shoot videos ready for interaction (after being post-produced) for example platforms like Brightcove and YouTube are great ways to add interactive overlays.
  4. Generous – Don’t hold out on information and deliver what you promised, but be concise. Remember that “brevity is the mother of clarity” and that people easily get bored. Keep the video length in just under two minutes, for starters.
  5. Confident – Do you want loyal customers? Then treat prospective customers as if they’re already loyal to you. Prophesy… or rather, project leadership and heed Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s advice to: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being,” which, in this case, is a believer loyal to you or your brand. And finally, close out strong. Use a clear spoken CTA to guide or encourage viewers to act.