3 Tips to Improve Your Videos Today

In this article, I’ll cover 3 tips on improving your videos right away:

  1. Develop a hook in the beginning.
  2. Use storytelling to make a point.
  3. Employ pattern interrupts to keep audience attention.

There are technical things, such as lighting and audio, that can certainly improve the quality of your videos. But I wanted to take this time to focus on things you can control, if you don’t have lighting or audio equipment. 

These tips can help you make compelling videos even with your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Developing a hook

If you are already making videos on YouTube and study (or at least peruse) the analytics, then you’re familiar with this downward sloping graph:

This is a graph from one of my YouTube videos. This is what I call the viewer attention span graph. Everybody’s extremely excited about the video in the first then 10 seconds.

Then for their own subjective reasons they click out of the video.

It could be for a variety of reasons – the music, my voice or they just don’t like my Marvin the Martian t-shirt.

It’s extremely important to understand this downward sloping curve because your job as a video content producer is to lessen the downward slope as much as possible. In an ideal world, you’d want that curve to be a straight line at 100 percent (everybody who clicks on your video keeps watching your video).

The longer they watch your video – the better your video will be viewed by YouTube’s algorithm which will result in higher rankings on YouTube. This will help with organic views on your video.

This is why the first 10 seconds are absolutely crucial for any video. This is when viewers took a chance on your video, clicked it and now you’ve got 10 seconds to impress them and keep them on your video.

This is why you need a hook to keep them watching.

The biggest issue I’ve seen with video producers is people often start with a logo or some static photo in the beginning. STOP!

This is the quickest way to lose your audience!

Here’s the secret sauce to hooking your audience in the beginning:

  • Little known but big difference – You say something about your topic that is not well known, like a subtle trick or hack that has a big impact.
  • Well known but little understood – You say something about your topic that is generally known but not understood. Like video marketing. Everyone knows what it is but most don’t know how to get started.
  • Revolutionary Idea – You proclaim something as the next big thing and you have to stick around to get this amazing idea.
  • Predict the future – You looked into your crystal ball and foresee something big about to happen in your industry. If they don’t watch your video, they’ll miss out.
  • Back to the fundamentals – You see everything doing all these complex things but really what’s needed is to get back to the basics. Stick around this video and you’ll show them how.

Remember these hooks are at most 10 seconds. So you can say 1 or 2 sentences to hook your audience. Be succinct but be impactful.

In another article, I’ll go into more depth in how I use these techniques with my video marketing clients and it’s how I am able to induct them in my 30 in 1 video marketing plan.

Storytelling in videos

In my clients’ videos, there’s always a formula to them:

  • The hook.
  • The question or dilemma.
  • The expert answer.
  • The story or metaphor to back up the expert answer.
  • Pattern interrupts (which we’ll get to a bit later so keep reading…)

Just because you answer a question or dilemma is not enough. In fact, you’ll lose the attention of your viewers (no more watch time to boost your YouTube metrics) if you just do a question and answer only format.

People are compelled by stories. People want to learn by metaphors. There’s a reason why the Bible and Aesop’s fables continue to fascinate the world to this day. It’s because they use stories to make their moral statements.

If I started writing blog articles on video production or video marketing, but I don’t have any video clients or don’t make videos myself… How much of an impact will my articles have on readers who’ve never met me?

My points have more chutzpah in them if I can “show” them rather than tell them why and how video marketing works.

So when you’re answering user queries in your videos, always have a story to back it up. 

Let’s take the example of a mechanic making YouTube videos. Let’s say the video is about the importance of changing oil regularly. If the mechanic tells a story about that one time in winter he had to push his car 5 blocks to the gas station because he forgot to change his car’s oil… 

It’s a much more compelling video as now he or she has a real life example to emphasize the importance of changing oil in a car regularly.

Stories make your narratives and points more powerful. It makes people stick to your videos to the end, which YouTube’s AI definitely likes.

Employ Pattern Interrupts

Remember the first point about the hook?

It’s a form of pattern interrupt. In today’s digital world, people are endlessly scrolling through their phone or swiping up, right, left… This is why you only have a few seconds once you actually get a user’s attention.

A hook in the beginning is a form of pattern interrupt. A typical social media or YouTube user has the behavior of switching from one video to another at an incredible pace. Your job is to interrupt this behavior so they focus on your content.

Again, this is why an introductory hook in your video is crucial.

But this is not enough!

You’ll need to sprinkle pattern interrupts in your videos. They’re even more important the longer your videos. If you don’t have variety in your footage, then you’ll have a talking head video.

Remember those days in college when you had to sit through 2 hours of a lecture? Most people don’t remember those times fondly because they were incredibly boring.

Nobody likes talking heads.

This is why video production professionals often employ 2 cameras in a shoot. It’s to change the perspective in various parts of the video to keep it interesting.

But if you’re shooting video yourself, then you might not have this luxury. One way I do this is to use old clips (from Seinfeld or other clips from popular culture).

Take this example. I say it’s a “very scalable process.” Then I cut to a popular, 1980’s cartoon where Voltron connects various parts of his body:

I also use popular memes and GIFS.

When using popular media, just be cognizant of the fair use principles. I often use only 5-10 seconds of any movie or TV show and almost always from different movies or TV shows. This is just enough so I don’t violate any rules or infringe upon YouTube’s community guidelines.

As a general rule, change things up every 30 seconds in your video. This could be a switch in camera framing (using 2 camera setup), switching to b-roll, or employing the popular culture inserts I discuss above.

Remember your primary goal is to keep the user on your video. The more watch time per user the better your video will rank on YouTube, Facebook or any website where you can upload your videos natively.

Final Word

As a recap, here are 3 quick tips if you’re shooting videos on your own:

  • Develop a hook in the beginning.
  • Use storytelling to make a point.
  • Employ pattern interrupts to keep audience attention.

These are basic things to improve your videos today. In time, definitely consider professional video production and talk to our team once you’re ready to level up your video game.

DMCA.com Protection Status