One of the important things when planning out your online video campaign is to vary things up a bit and keep it fresh. Sure, you will get plenty of repeat viewers coming back again and again even if you do use the same format of video every time, but if you always talk about the same stuff with only minor variations, some of your viewers might start thinking, “Same as usual – seen one of that company’s videos, you’ve seen them all.” And they won’t bother to watch your videos and may start losing interest.
As with any other aspect of life, variety adds interest and stops you (and your viewers) falling into a rut. You can, of course, vary up the length of the videos you’re posting online, with a mixture of longer and shorter. However, as we all know that content is king, varying the sort of thing that you’re talking about will also provide plenty of variety.
Let’s say that you usually post a weekly DIY video or an Endangered Animal Of The Week video. You will have some faithful viewers who follow you to learn more. However, if all the projects or topics are pretty similar, then you may get some meh-sayers who lose interest after a while. What can you do differently to keep people intrigued and to keep things fresh?
I don’t know about you, but I always find those “great ideas for…” posts, blogs and pictures on Pinterest and the like very inspiring, even if I only end up doing something roughly similar to what I’ve seen. In that spirit, to get your creative juices flowing, here are some suggestions for your online videos that you can take inspiration from:
Questions And Answers. This format needs a bit of build-up beforehand but is superb for engaging with your audience, as you will be interacting with them. Here, you encourage your viewers to send in their questions on whatever topic you’re the expert in (if you’re a professional, a politician or part of an NGO, you’re an expert!). Once you’ve got enough questions on interesting enough topics, then put together a video where you answer them. Don’t forget to acknowledge the name of the person sending in the question before you answer it. For example: “Now, here’s a question from Michelle from Parramatta. She asks ‘What’s involved in roasting coffee beans and can I do it myself at home?’ Well, Michelle…” This suits a casual, intimate style of video where you sit down and chat in your living room or some similar location. Stream it live if you dare!
Mythbusters. This is where you discover and tell the truth in a light-hearted fashion. There are two ways you can do a mythbusters video. One is to simply list the myths, then tell the truth about them. Of course, if what you have planned is a simple list and explanation, you need to present them with plenty of energy and humour to avoid being boring. It can be done:
The other type of mythbuster video is when you follow the example of the original Mythbusters TV show, where you take a popular idea, then set out to prove or disprove it. This takes a bit more work and some clever video editing (you’re going to have to shoot a lot of footage to make one of these). But the results, as we all know from the Discovery Channel show, are impressive, popular and successful:
True and False. This is kind of a cross between the two types of mythbuster video and can be run in a similar way. However, this could be fun and quite effective when combined with a vox pop (vox populi – we’ve talked about these in an earlier post). Imagine going around and asking people on the street whether they think a particular statement to do with your particular area of expertise is true or false. Then reveal the real truth. This sort of video also has plenty of scope for fun graphics, animations and sound effects.
Fails. Watching someone get things badly wrong is one of the classic standbys of comedy. We all laugh (and sometimes wince) when somebody tries to pull off some physical activity and gets it wrong… especially if you can see it coming. However, getting good footage of decent enough quality isn’t always easy, as you don’t always have a good camera and microphone handy when you see an accident waiting to happen. This is why a lot of fail videos online have crap quality (unless it was shot with a GoPro) and have music soundtracks instead of the crackles and wind noises picked up by the typical cell phone. However, if you have put together a number of DIY videos or videos where you attempt some sort of physical challenge, then there is a high chance that you will have stuffed up somewhere, hitting your thumb with the hammer, having a chair collapse under you during an interview or having the animal you’re filming bite you. Don’t waste this footage, even though it will be edited out of the serious video that you post elsewhere. As a bonus, if you put together a fail video featuring yourself, you’ll do two things that will resonate with your viewers. First, you’ll show more of your human and fallible side, rather than some picture-perfect image, which makes it easier for people to relate to you. Secondly, some of your regular viewers may recognise some of the footage or a particular project, and this will remind them of that particular message or video (and might prompt them to watch it again – success!).
Blooper reels. Even if you don’t do anything physical and don’t do the equivalent of hitting your thumb with a hammer or falling face-first into a cake, you will have stuffed up on your lines during filming. Everybody does, which is why we are here to provide our video editing services to cut out the blunders, spoonerisms and Freudian slips where you accidentally say something obscene. Again, don’t waste the footage (especially if it’s got great visual and sound quality).
Above all, don’t forget to have fun when you’re creating your online content, no matter what you’re doing!