10 Mandatory Ingredients of Online Video Content

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This definition of ‘great video content’ has to be one of the most subjective definitions in existence.


How many times have you heard someone say: “We’ve produced some great video content for our client.”


And then you watch it and shake your head (until it nearly falls off).

Is this ‘great video content’ claim based on personal preference and / or original client buy-in?

Probably (sadly).

Who ultimately decides?

The public, of course, but how can you predict before hitting publish?

While I could bleat on for years about the subjectivity of this topic (and why I can’t stand PR and Advertising people developing these ideas in isolation), I’d prefer to share some practical criteria for online video content that covers the important bases. 

Online video content: 10 Key Ingredients


1. The first 15 seconds – Let’s rip this directly from the second edition of the YouTube Creators Playbook: Many viewers decide whether they are going to keep watching your video within the first 10-15 seconds. Attention spans can be short and they are just one click away from abandoning your video. The video’s content – “What am I Watching?” – should also come across in the first few moments and hook them early to give them a reason to stick around.

Here’s an example of a video which does that (in my opinion): Built To Last (from First + Main).

Or, worse, an original idea that sounds great at the time (and to your client) but constitutes about 15 seconds of compelling footage and the rest is just filler?



So, you’re basing this


Based on what? The fact that YOU like it? Or the original idea made YOUR client happy?









I’m especially skeptical of such claims when they come from advertising and PR people (when they work in isolation).




A video idea on paper is VERY different to a scripted and story-boarded Video is such a fine art, and unless you specialise in video production,  I spent at least four hours today trying to find an answer to ‘what is good video content’ (and a hundred other variations).


Unfortunately, as I suspected, this is a VERY subjective topic and probably one of the biggest reasons so many brands (and their advising agencies) get video content wrong more often than not.














Content is the information provided on the site. It is not just text, but music, sound, animation, or video — anything that communicates a sites body of knowledge. Good content should be engaging, relevant, and appropriate for the audience. You can tell it’s been developed for the Web because it’s clear and concise and it works in the medium. Good content takes a stand. It has a voice, a point of view. It may be informative, useful, or funny but it always leaves you wanting more.
original, different, unique.

  1. Does the content address a specific audience need? Can you describe this need in writing?
  2. Is the content an exercise in company ego gratification?  Or does it serve the audience’s needs?
  3. Do you speak to the audience in their voice, not yours?
  4. Does your content encourage a specific audience response?
  5. Do you communicate in language well suited to the audience’s education, culture, and business context?
  6. Is your content ethical and truthful?  Do you ask the reader to do something that isn’t right?  Do you avoid product claims that aren’t supported by fact?
  7. Have you made the content useful to the audience?  Does it make an impact on them?
  8. Is you content logical?  Does each point flow logically to the next?
  9. Is your content easy to digest?  Is it broken down into granular segments?
  10. Is your content linked to company strategy and business objectives?  Does it support where your business is headed or impede its progress?
And here are three bonus questions.
  1. First, if your content is for the web, does it adhere to the Nielsen readability guidelines?
  2. Is it optimized for search engines? 
  3. And finally, whether online or off, do you enjoy reading it?  If not, no one else will, either.
first 15 seconds

where will it get featured / syndicated

channels / categories

The first thing the viewer sees should be compelling, whether it is 

the personality or the content of the video. 
• Personalities should address/welcome the audience, ask a question, 
spark the viewer’s curiosity, tease the rest of the video. 
• Use a ‘teaser’ for the content of the video; start with a quick clip of 
what’s to come later in the video.
In a lot of cases of non-fiction programming, it is important to make it 
clear to your viewers what your video is, and what they’ll be 
watching. If the viewer still doesn’t know exactly what they’re 
watching in the start of the video, they’re gone.

Audience
Valuable <-----
Call to action
Compelled to share
Identifiable
Genuine
Fun / Entertaining
Informational
Creative
Inspiring
Something ‘new’
Attention grabbing
Story / twist / sub-plot
Touches feelings
Mirrors society
Educational
Plot
Characters 
Script

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