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The main reason people tell me they don't make videos, even if they're doing all sorts of other multimedia right is that they don't know where to start. Usually right after that, they ask, “Well, what should I have in my videos?”

I usually tell people there are no special ingredients for your video, beyond making sure to make a call to action clear. At the end of the video, be sure people know what they're supposed to do. Like you on Facebook? Visit your website? Buy a new service? Donate to a cause?

Beyond your call to action, a video can tell all kinds of story ideas.

#1 Story

How many times to videos with terrible quality make it to the top of viral video charts? A cute dog or kid video might be taken vertically with a whole lot of shaking (usually from too much laughing). If you apply humor, emotion, helpfulness or a story. Ultimately, all the stories we do aim to be genuine and authentic, and even enjoyable.

As time has gone by, the messages we've shared through video have adapted. Once, all we said was “Who,” like in the Bulova example above. Then, we started sharing who we were and what our products did. Then, we started showing you more about how they worked. And today, not only do we tell you who we are, what our products do and how they work, we also tell you why we do what we do.

#2 Sound

In videography, sound makes up 51 percent of the audience's experience. The sound IS the story. It propels the narrative forward. It creates a mood, gives great color to people and places and directs the audience's emotional experience, which is so important in audience engagement.

If an audience has to choose between shaky video and great sound, or poor sound quality and great video footage, they are far more likely to choose the video with great sound. They can always use their imagination to mentally construct the surroundings. Think about it. We have NPR pieces that create so much depth you feel as though you're there. But a photo without a caption gives us a very little bit of the story.

Secondly, even though you should always strive for good video quality, you can always use still images, animation, graphics and other visuals to fill in the gaps. There's no substitute, though, for good sound. It's also very time consuming, and sometimes impossible, to edit bad audio. And we want to keep video production as simple as possible to produce amazing videos for your business. Using a mic is a key part of collecting good audio.

#3 Visual Variety

The more variety of shots we have, the more engaged our audience is. The more engaged they are, the more likely we are to convert them to do what we want to do in that call to action.

To do this, we must rely on getting a variety of shots from a variety of depths and angles (more on this to come). Ideally, we shoot a handful of shots for every action so we can have enough clips so they don't have to be up on the screen too long.

#4 A Great Intro

More than 20 percent of people will click off your video within the first 10 seconds, almost completely missing your message and certainly missing your call to action. So, in these first 10 seconds, you need to let people know what they're going to get out of the video, whether that's a great story or a new skill. It also wouldn't hurt to frontload some of your best shots ;)

#5 Length

In videos, shorter is almost always better. I shoot for less than 30 seconds when I'm sharing things directly to social media, and I try never to go beyond 2 minutes. Peoples' attention spans are short and online they have a million distractions.

Even if you can't control the length of your video, faster pacing of your video clips can make the video seem shorter. Scientifically, fast cuts cause blinking, which improves visual stimulation and engagement. And with science behind it, that's something you can believe in ;)

So, if all else in your video fails, if you have a compelling story, good audio, variety, a solid introduction and keep it short, you're five steps closer to video success.

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