5 simple rules to making videos that people actually watch

As a digital marketing agency, we get asked to create a lot of videos for our clients. From heartwarming stories to corporate explainers, the content can vary massively. But if you want to make sure your videos actually get watched, there are a few key rules that always apply…

1. Think about sharing triggers before you start

As social media users, we can all think back on the stuff we’ve shared and notice patterns. Funny videos, moving films, throwbacks and mood enhancers are always likely to pop up in our feeds. The same goes for the stuff that broadens our horizons: informative films, shocking revelations, and fun little insights.

Pick a sharing trigger before you start, and you can focus the tone of your video to ensure optimum shareability*.

*I can’t believe I just said ‘optimum shareability’. Sorry.

2. Keep it under 60 seconds if you can

Statistics say that the most popular and engaged-with videos on Facebook are less than a minute long. Studies show that our attention spans fall off a cliff after 2.5 minutes. And those in the know tell us that if you don't engage someone in the first 9 seconds, you never will.

So if your video is of a bloke in a suit talking to camera for 7 minutes, you’ve got a problem. No matter how lovely and informative he is, nobody’s going to watch the whole thing. Except you, while you edit the incredibly long video and wish you’d made better life choices.

3. Make sure it’s visually interesting

As above, really. If your audience has nothing to look at but a bloke in a suit with a blank wall behind him, they’re not going to stay engaged for long.

You can always lift a dull concept by filming from a few angles and cutting to scenes that illustrate what’s being said. But the best way to create something really colourful is to start off with a cracking script. Put more effort in at the beginning (or get a lovely creative agency like us to do it for you) and you’ll probably get better results at the end.

4. Consider using subtitles

Remember that most videos on social media will autoplay silently as you scroll through your feed. And if you’re in a public place, watching videos at full volume is just rude. Own this fact by adding subtitles and supers to your videos, and making sure your script sounds as good on paper as it does out loud. 

5. Seriously, keep it short

Think about the last time you watched an online video for longer than 2 minutes. Exactly.

If you're in need of some exciting video content, why not give us a call? Or pop down to our office in Manchester for a cup of tea and a chat.