When discussing the structure of a video, first determine goals. Without goals, your video could lack not only unity but also credibility.
Setting goals requires sitting down and asking questions before anything is implemented. So go ahead, sit down, and consider the following questions.
Question before action
What vision do you have for your video? If you can’t spell out what you want your video to accomplish, then you’d better do some mental pruning and find the seed you want to plant. Without vision, all your efforts might be in vain. Do not underestimate the influence vision can have on a video.
Do you want to inspire or create a call to action?
Knowing the outcome of your video will provide an excellent template into which key aspects can be inserted.
Do you want users to enquire after watching it? Or make a purchase? Or to follow you on social media? This goal will guide your script.
These are just a few questions to address. Whatever your goal is, try to keep it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound)
Whether your goal is a youtube video to gain new subscribers or a business marketing promotional clip to increase sales of a certain product, take the time to assess your goals.
One thing to remember is focus. Use the following tips as another set of rules to include in your video-building strategy:
Focus: remember the purpose of your video and how it will serve your audience.
Focus: don’t ramble or spend ages getting to the first point; the goal is to capture attention and not lose it.
Focus: have a well-written script that addresses the goal and your target audience.
Knowing your audience
Before any attention-grabbing tactic is put into play, you need to know why this video matters to your audience.
In this regard, you must know your audience like the back of your hand. If you have not invested time in studying your target audience, you’re doing yourself a disservice. And you could be losing valuable buyers without even realising it.
Why should your audience watch matters; it matters a lot. While videos with artistic liberties can get away with this, the video you aim for is much more goal-oriented. Once you know why they should watch, you can find a hook.
The first 30 seconds will set up the entire video. Here is where we lure in the audience with a hook. Insert questions, statistics, interesting facts, and anecdotes to appeal to their curiosities. Once you have their attention, you can give them the principal idea. It can help to touch on a common pain point if you know you can help solve that as a way of quickly relating and drawing them in.
Have a clear map of where you want to go and tell your audience about the journey before you take the first step. By the end of the first 30s, your audience needs to know the video is relevant to them, and that your proposition sounds intriguing enough to continue watching.
Moving from one idea or image to the next might not sound complicated, but when your mission has been drawn out. And that’s where it gets a little tricky. It can be easy to make a list of benefits, but it will sound repetitive, just like a list.
Transitions help bind one idea to the next, and they do so in a seamless fashion. The links take you from one finished thought to the next. Set these up well, and audience members will be excited to see what comes next.
You’ve told your audience what you’ll focus on, right? So now comes the bulk of the video. Here, the main points will be featured and supported by facts, benefits, or outcomes.
For example, you want to make a video on combating fatigue or low energy levels. You can ask your audience initially, Are you tired of being tired? And respond by saying, Have you considered rest, meditation/mindfulness, water, eating better, sleep? Those solutions become the body of your video, the focal point.
Another example is for selling a product. Let’s say you want to sell phone service. You could ask, What is it you want in a provider? And then reel them in with, We’ve got what you want; we offer ABC & XYZ. In the body of your video, you will focus on those key points in greater detail.
A benefits, not features approach is generally considered the best when scripting for web video. How do you help them? What is it like working with you as a partner?
Remember, a web video is usually played with context, so try not to go over the 2-minute mark. Leave the finer points for the accompanying web page.
Just before you finish, it’s nice to reiterate what you’ve already said in a sentence or two.
This will bring your point home and remind viewers why they started watching in the first place.
Repetition is another technique proven to increase memory and make information easier to recall.
Some might call this space the closer; it’s where you wrap up the sales pitch and wait for your audience to buy what you’re selling.
This is a powerful tool for building integrity. It also packs a punch for lasting effects.
Technically, you’ve closed the video. However, you still have a tiny space to make a huge difference.
Most will stop at the pre-closer and think that’s enough, they will even consider the pre-closer sufficient, but without leaving your viewers with a call to action or any motivation, you’re leaving them sitting there, wondering, waiting, and without any mission.
You want to leave your viewers with that final impact, and here’s the time to do it. It doesn’t have to be more than a few seconds. Don’t let your audience walk away from your video without doing, thinking, or feeling something.
Get remembered with a stellar closing, one that your audience isn’t soon forgotten, and tell them what to do next.
We’ve discussed the importance of setting goals before crafting a compelling web video, emphasising the need to understand your audience, and the video’s requirements. Have a clear singular focus. Plus a few tips on creating an introduction that hooks the audience, using effective transitions, developing a body that focuses on benefits rather than features, and delivering a pre-close and closing that leaves a lasting impact.