Every day we are bombarded with thousands of videos that appear on the home pages of our favorite social networks. YouTube alone has more than a billion viewing hours per day. You got it right: a day! Once upon a time, the distribution of audiovisual content was a slow, difficult, costly phenomenon and reserved for the few.
Today, with a simple click, anyone can access a simple and fast form of distribution – or rather “sharing” – and reach many people at a free cost.
First of all, it serves to distinguish itself from the multitude of videos that are uploaded to social networks and video sharing platforms, chaotically populated by unthinkable and often roughly made films. It is not true that a viral video must necessarily be insane.
You will not have to do embarrassing dances, immerse yourself in surreal situations or make a fool of yourself in general in front of a video camera. A video curated in the form-content duality is often appreciated by the public on the net, precisely because it is placed on a qualitatively higher level than the standards of the videos mentioned above.
1. Video Storytelling
“You are not really screwed as long as you have a good story aside, and someone to tell it to.” Before setting the creativity machine in motion, you need to focus on what you want to tell and communicate. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you planning to create content to promote your product?
- Do you want to make the montage of a holiday or a party and share it with friends on your social profiles?
- Are you going to shoot a vlog (video blog) to pursue a career as a YouTuber, Facebook star, fashion blogger, influencer?
Regardless of what your field of interest is, the key to success lies in history. This is because the mythopoeic practice has always been rooted in man, who feeds the ongoing need for good stories. Whether we are talking about oral stories, videos, films, plays, songs, novels, comics, or video games, it does not matter.
Be careful. However, this does not mean that our narrative strategy must necessarily include the invention of a fictional tale.
It is also important to put your storytelling skills into play to make our storytelling operation incredibly fascinating. Identify the key points of your project and tell them clearly, with simple words and without too many filters.
2. Know Your Target
You have a beautiful story in hand and you are dying to tell it to your audience. You can’t take it anymore. You have to start shooting your video immediately and upload it to the net to make hundreds, thousands, millions of clicks. Stop!
You forget to ask yourself a series of questions. Who should be interested in your video? Who is your audience? How large is it? What are the tastes of the people you want to reach? How old are they? Where they live?
Why do they be interested in what you want to show them? In short, we could continue for hours with these questions, but let’s simplify everything by attributing these questions to a single field: the target audience.
I’ll tell you one unfortunate thing: there will be viewers who don’t like your video. It is virtually impossible to get people of different ages and tastes to agree. What you have to do first is to understand who you are addressing and consequently shape your ideas and adapt them based on your target audience’s anthropological, cultural, identity, economic and social characteristics.
Try to take a pen and paper, make a list of the questions to ask yourself (you can take inspiration from the ones you find above), and try to give yourself some answers. This is a fundamental step to carry out an accurate analysis of your target audience.
3. Video Duration
A factor not to be underestimated is the duration. It is nothing objective and varies from platform to platform (as well as from person to person). The ideal duration for a video on Facebook, for example, is 30-40 seconds. Suppose you manage to wow the viewer within the first 5 seconds.
In that case, you can postpone their attention to a more advanced minute, never exceeding 3 minutes – unless you already have a solid and consistent fan base. But in that case, the speech changes. Instead, platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo are more suitable for incorporating broader content. However, avoid exceeding 10 minutes.
4. How to Edit a Video
Speak little, speak well, speak immediately. Remember when I told you a little that if you can win the viewer’s attention within the first 5 seconds, you can give your video a longer duration? If you are talking in front of a video camera, you have to get right to the point.
You have to speak little and say the fundamental things. Don’t go around too much talk. If the audience feels teased or bored, he can interrupt you in a split second; at that point, you are screwed, like in Monopoli when you go to prison without going through the street!
Avoid all the uncertainties that take shape in those annoying “ehm,” “mhh,” “uuh.” Remember that you can take breaks between speeches that help make the speech more enjoyable and orderly. But don’t take it too easy.
Avoid stopping for too long. Eventually, you can resort to editing to cut dead spots or omit parts of speech. I recommend FlexClip video editor if you use Windows or Final Cut Pro X if you have an Apple computer.
It is not necessary to have an extremely expensive and professional video camera to shoot a good video. What matters is to illuminate the environment around you well, paying attention to obtain a video with a good dynamic range.
To do this, you can record outdoors with sunlight or indoors using the light coming in from a window (better if filtered by a curtain). Avoid artificial lights if you are not experienced enough. They could generate unpleasant color effects on the image that would disturb the user’s vision.
“The ear also wants its share.” That wasn’t exactly the saying, but it applies well to what I’m about to tell you. Whether it’s a spoken video or a sequence of images with music underneath, you need to know that audio does 50% of the work.
Always record your voice with a good quality microphone, preferably external to the camera – in post-production, you will synchronize the two tracks – and carefully choose the background music, perhaps enriching the video with sound effects if there are elements in it.
Choose the soundtrack of your movie well because it is essential to give the images a high level of pathos, an emotional charge that they could not exert on their own.
7. Take Care of the Title, the Thumbnail and the Description
And now? All that remains is to upload your video to the net and reach as many people as possible. Try to take care of the outline information, such as the title, description and preview thumbnail (which you can create in a graphics program, such as Adobe Photoshop).
Before being seen, you must package your product in an attractive way so that people who come across your content are encouraged to click on it to reproduce it. In some cases, an efficient marketing strategy is necessary to accompany the video on its journey to glory, but it is not essential.
To Sum Up
In this article, I have listed several rules for you to follow whenever you intend to create and publish a video. Whether you are a company or an individual, a professional or an amateur, it doesn’t matter.
Of course, with these tips, you will not become a first-rate director, but you will learn the basic rules. Now you have everything you need to create an effective video. Go and try it!