We’ve all received it. An e-mail with a link that pops up in your inbox to a video that became a viral sensation overnight. Usually the text before the link says “Had to share.” A lip-dub proposal, a toddler’s reaction to something his mom does, a panda sneeze.
The fact is that we can’t predict what’s going to become an internet sensation. But what we CAN do is maximize a video’s potential to resonate with our target audiences. To make it findable, memorable, shareable.
Online video consumption has skyrocketed the past few years. According to the latest data from comScore, about 181 million U.S. Internet users watched 37 billion videos in April. 84.5% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online videos last month. No, that’s not a typo. And that’s an astounding number. So, what does this mean to us as storytellers? It means that the online video audience is undeniable. Video is an important tool for communication. The audience is there and just like any other tool, it needs to be used thoughtfully and strategically.
- Just like any other form of communication, identify your audience.
- Develop relevant content. Understand your audience. What will resonate with them? A reaction to a surprise? A monumental moment? Information on a hot topic that’s relevant to them?
- Set a clear goal around the video. What would you like your audience to take away from this? What do you want them to do after they watch the video?
- Have a clear call to action to support your goal and make it easy for them to take action.
- Determine a distribution plan. Make the video easy to share, push it through social media channels. Maximize the video for SEO through the title, tags and key words.
What’s important is what the audience does after they watch the video. Are they sharing it? Are they clicking through to your website to learn more? As emphasized earlier, give the audience something worth reacting to and make it easy for them to take the next step.
Remember: Video doesn’t have to be scripted, it doesn’t have to be staged. The beauty of video is that you can capture special moments, reactions and the raw emotions that come with them.