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How to Create the Perfect Video Content for Your Audience


By   |   July 5th, 2016   |   Reading time: 5 minutes Digital Journalism

Social media is all about video right now. We explore how to create winning video for your audience, that will shine through all the digital noise.

This year has continued to deliver on our social media predictions: if you want to be a cool kid at the social media table, you need video. For publishers and agencies, video is the can be a way to increase reach, engagement, and awareness.

But video is tricky. One doesn’t snap their fingers and instantly have video with viral potential. In our recent NewsWhip survey of over 250 respondents, we discovered the common challenges facing content creators for video.

video problems NewsWhip survey

How can you produce quality video that has a significant reach, without needing exorbitant resources? How do you balance quantity and quality?

Through our continued analyses and rankings of video on social, interviews with thought leaders, and observations, we’ve determined the steps you need to find ideas and create content for successful videos.

1. Determine the goal of your video

Before we go blindly trying to create video and hoping it will be a viral hit, we need to figure out what your video will achieve. What will the value be to your audience?

When we’ve advised brands and agencies on how to build their own newsroom, this has been the first step. Will your video entertain? Inform and educate? Inspire?

Verywell, an About.com publisher, seeks to inspire their readers with stories about wellness in all areas of life. The below video about how cats improve one’s wellbeing, has been viewed over 8.6 million times. While it could’ve been an article, or trendy ‘listicle’, Verywell created a highly engaging video, with vivid (okay, super cute) imagery that makes the content more memorable.

The video saw over 24,000 likes/reactions, 8,400 comments, and an incredible 151,000 shares. The video both let viewers enjoy a few moments of kitty cuteness, while also learning about the health benefits of owning a pet.

Once you know the value your videos will bring to your audience, you can start thinking up ideas for content.

2. Discover the best content ideas

What’s driving the most engagement in your industry right now? Are there any stories that seem like they have viral potential, and would interest your audience?

Tech Insider New Blue Facebook Video

This video from Tech Insider explains how scientists recently discovered a new shade of blue. While this could’ve just been presented as an article, the video allowed Tech Insider to pair knowledge with beautiful visuals that wowed their audience.

Since publishing the video, it’s driven 11 million views, and 110,000 likes/reactions, 142,000 shares, and 9,300 comments on Facebook.

You can also find the biggest content themes driving engagement right now. Instead of converting an article into a video, you can find ideas for unique content.

millennial fashion colours

For fashion publishers, this look at what’s currently getting attention for fashion brands on Instagram reveals that beach-wear and warm colors are stealing the show. Fashion publishers and brands creating video might seek to focus on these trends or produce related content.

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3. Execute! Lights, Camera, Action.

It’s important to monitor the videos getting the most engagement, both in your industry and across all verticals. Sure, that cat video from BuzzFeed is super adorable, but what makes it so successful on social?

Even more serious content can make an impact, with the right presentation. This video from NowThis about the treatment of homeless children saw over 494,000 likes/reactions, 1.05 million shares, and 19,000 comments.

We’ve gone over the top tactics for video before, and the best practices have held true.

Shorter videos perform best (except for Facebook Live!). Square and vertical videos are favoring the mobile-first majority, and videos that can be viewed without sound.

top video Facebook April July 2016

We can look to the top performing videos to inform our own tactics. By keeping a pulse on what’s bringing video content that coveted virality, we can apply it to our own videos.  The above data comes from NewsWhip Analytics. 

4. Analyze What’s Working

Engagement analytics can give you guidance to how well your videos are doing. Are your total likes, shares, and comments growing? Are there specific videos that see significant buzz and stand out?

Close monitoring of your engagement metrics and where they’re coming from can help you adjust your video strategy and tactics productively. You can find what is truly having an impact and growing your audience.

BuzzFeed Tasty Strawberry Ice Cream Spike

For food publishers, analyzing engagement metrics over time can reveal which video recipes are getting their followers’ stomachs growling. NewsWhip Spike lets publishers see that engagement in real time. 

Tracking your Facebook reactions can reveal if your content is having the value impact that you intended. If you’re trying to trigger your audience’s’ emotions, Sad reactions could be a successful measure here. Or if you’re aiming to make them laugh, look at the Ha-Ha reaction on your content.

The Weather Channel shows off the thrilling and terrifying powers of Mother Nature on their Facebook page. For them, they might want to look at their “Wow” reaction metrics to see how well they’re amazing their audience. The above video drove over 17,000 Wows compared to 48,000 likes.

Go forth and begin your quest for video domination

Now that we have these vital steps, we can start creating video that works. Save time and cut out the guesswork in finding content that will actually resonate with your audience.

Again, here are the questions that should guide your strategy:

  1. What value should this video content bring to its audience?
  2. What stories can we adapt or create, that our audience will care about?
  3. What are the best video tactics, right now, driving engagement?
  4. How are our videos doing in terms of engagement and views? What should we change or keep doing?

As video becomes ever essential on virtually every social network, it’s important to experiment with the medium as a way to keep delivering the best content for your audience.

We’ll keep tracking the top video trends and content right here on the blog.

Get a look at the videos that are winning social media buzz right now, with a free trial of NewsWhip Spike

 

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