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By: Jason Miletsky, CEO, Sequel Media Group

Video as marketing tool offers countless advantages—it gives people an opportunity to take in information easily and it’s a much more digestible than copy. It also has the potential to go viral, spreading to an audience beyond the individual to whom it was initially targeted.

But with hundreds of hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do marketers, small businesses, brands, and producers make their content stand out? Ultimately, the key to great video content is in the value of the entertainment and information; but, there are some other basic rules for creating successful online video content.

Here’s a run-down of tips for creating a great video that might even go viral.

  1. Keep It Short and Punchy—When people watch TV, they tend to be in a fairly relaxed state of mind, and they’re conditioned to watch shows for 30 or 60 minutes at a time (or longer). Watching videos online is different—it’s more active. Our faces are mere inches away from our monitors and tablets, and our fingers are on alert to click us someplace else at the first sign of potential boredom. Statistics indicate that more than half of all viewers will drop off after the second minute that a video plays, so keep your videos short and punchy.
  2. Allow Videos To Exist Independently—If online viewers aren’t ready to watch videos for longer than two minutes, they’re certainly not prepared to emotionally invest in an ongoing storyline, new characters, plot lines, etc. That’s why I advise brands and producers to aim for thematic content that doesn’t require viewers to have watched the other videos in a series.
  3. Be About Something—Rather than trying to be funny or silly, make sure your videos are educational, interesting, and/or informative.
  4. Worry Less About The Camera, And More About The Lighting—You can do just fine with a flip camera. Keep your eye on the lighting of your shoot—it can be the difference between your videos looking well produced and being produced by a high school A/V squad. Keep the lighting consistent throughout, watch your shadows, and don’t let people’s faces look too blown-out. Lighting isn’t easy, so take some time to get it right before hitting the record button.
  5. Watch Your Language—Make it easy for networks and sites to promote your video, and that means keep it clean.

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