The Secrets of Engaging Video Content

If you’re wondering how to make a video interesting, you’re not alone. Engaging video content is an essential component of any video content strategy — after all, if your videos aren’t interesting or compelling to viewers, you audience won’t stick around for very long, and they certainly won’t be back for that next video. 

They say that you only get one chance to make a first impression, but online, the timeline is even more condensed. If you don’t engage with and capture the attention of your audience within those first few seconds, you could lose your audience before you even get started, and that’s no way to kick off a relationship with your fans — though it’s a great way to end it.

But for those that are interested in developing great video content and cultivating an audience that’s impassioned and on the lookout for your next post, it’s important to have a video content strategy in place. Some personalities and influencers may get lucky and hit it big in their first few videos, but for most it’s a steady push that’ll get you to where you want to be.

Here are some additional video content tips and secrets that can help you take your videos to the next level.

Capture the Attention of Your Audience

It might go without saying, but if you can’t capture the attention of your audience in the first few seconds of your video, they’ll be clicking off before you can get a chance to show your audience anything, much less a reason to stick around. Unfortunately, the same thing that’s driving you to create video content is also driving millions of others, and your content will need to be entertaining and capture your audience’s curiosity if you hope to build that audience up.

Just like how trailers and promos can help build anticipation for a larger work, one of the ways to make your video content interesting is to hit your audience with something up front, then work your way back up to it in the body of the video. It could be as straightforward as telling your audience what to expect in the video, or setting the stage for the video so that your audience isn’t coming in cold.

Introducing your video is also a great way to pique the curiosity of your audience, building anticipation for what they will be seeing.

Hold Your Audience’s Attention

Once you’ve captured the attention of your audience with a compelling intro, it’s time to hold it. If they make it past the first few seconds, most people tend to watch for about another half-minute or so, which means that you only have 30 seconds before boredom creeps in. In that time, you’ll want to transition from the intro into the body of your video without losing your audience.

However, it’s not like you’ll be able to see your viewers in real time and determine when or if they click off, so a lot of this is trial and error. Sometimes it’s best to introduce and get right to the important video content. Other times you may be able to get away with a quick detour, as long as you come back to that setup in your intro within a short amount of time.

If you have access to your video stats, try to correlate any drop-offs with what you were doing at the time. If it happens when you jumped off topic or during the set-up, that’s something that you can revisit and improve on in future videos. Don’t forget to analyze your comments, subscribers and likes, too — significant shifts could mean a problem with the type of videos you’re creating or your approach, and if it’s not positively impacting your numbers, you’re going in the wrong direction.

If you’d like, you can always ask your audience what they think. No one comment speaks for everyone, but a lot of people saying the same thing could be something that you want to pay attention to.

Ensure That Your Video Lighting Is Adequate

You may not be creating a feature length film, but that doesn’t mean that your video should be a blurry and dark mess where nobody can see what’s actually going on. If you haven’t figured it out by now, adequate lighting is one of the most important components of engaging video content, and it can improve the look of just about any camera. If you’re shooting video indoors, you’ll need strong lights to avoid a choppy, dim mess.

Indeed, it’s often the lighting, not the camera, that makes the biggest impact on video quality, and great lighting can make that cell phone look like a bonafide DSLR with the right approach. However, if you’d like to shoot low-light videos without extra lighting and have more options when it comes to processing and color grading, a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a fast prime lens can help compensate for that lackluster lighting. 

That said, most online video content is vibrant and bright, with either natural sunlight (outdoors) or specialty photo lighting (indoors) to help set the scene. As for what lights to get, ringlights, softboxes and even cheap hardware lights will all work, but if you’re mixing different types of lights you may have conflicting hues and color casts that could be distracting in your final product.

Leverage Traditional Storytelling for the Most Impact

Even if you’re not telling a story in a traditional sense, you can still borrow a bit from traditional storytelling practices. In fact, it’s said that there are only seven types of stories and most stories fall into one of the seven buckets. But the type of story isn’t necessarily important to a video content creator — it’s more about the flow of your videos and how it can mimic traditional storytelling. 

Generally, it all starts with anticipation, or your intro. It’s the setup for the story to come, and then you can break into the rest: dream, adventure, success, invincibility, frustration, nightmare and resolution. The idea is that the ups-and-downs are used to drum up interest, while the resolution packs it all up in a nice little bow, leaving your audience wanting more. While much of it is likely too heady for most online video content, these kinds of ebbs, flows and buildups are hallmarks of great content of all types.

If you’re ready to try your hand at creating some compelling video content, Loyalfans is here for you. It’s the only social network that helps you get paid for your original content, and it also lets you decide who has access and how much they need to pay for it. 

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