With social media platforms such as Vine, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook all pushing for short-form content, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes the trend for YouTube videos as well. Online attention spans are only going to continue shrinking, thereby emphasizing the importance of the first 30 seconds and final few seconds of a YouTube video. Businesses that fail to brand within these times will lose the power of this marketing tool and also sabotage the video’s ability to earn views.
With over 72 hours of footage being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s crucial to capture attention immediately and hold it. By incorporating the following elements, you’re not only increasing your probability of going viral – you’re improving your branding efforts as well.
Key elements for a successful YouTube video include:
- Frontloaded footage. Viewers are a little more forgiving than web browsers. While internet users will determine within 10 seconds whether or not they’ll stay on a website, videos have approximately 30 seconds to make the same case. Forget the “suspense” and storytelling techniques. On YouTube you’ll want to get straight to the action and keep it entertaining.
- Memorable ending. Assuming that you were able to grab their attention and keep it, you’ll want to ensure that you have a memorable ending. Skimming content is very popular on YouTube, so even if they don’t watch the whole video, chances are a user will at least skip to the end. Whether it’s a twist, flashy logo, or something completely unexpected, this is the last impression that viewers will have of your brand. Make it a good one.
- Repeat key messages. This really hammers in the image of your brand for the audience. It also ensures that people who skip to various portions are exposed to your brand and its message no matter where they start viewing the video from.
- Use variety. Just because many people skip through videos, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any who will watch the whole thing! While you want to repeat key messages, be sure to use variety so that it doesn’t become redundant for the viewer. Employing different techniques is a good strategy and make sure to forget the 3x rule – three times is no longer enough.
- Annotations. YouTube annotations allow you to make calls-to-action, link to other videos, and encourage viewers to reply. Brands that take advantage of annotations experience a higher ROI because the audience is more engaged and prompted to take action.
- Answer questions. This doesn’t mean that you have you have to have a question and answer session on camera, but there are certain questions that you can assume viewers have. What is your brand? What does it do or offer? What makes you unique? Why should I be interested in your products or services? Of course, you can get as specific as you want depending on the topic, but there are always unspoken questions to answer.
- Eliminate weird things. Yes, you want to be creative, but being too weird can actually discourage viewers from sharing your video. Eliminate anything that would give viewers second thoughts about sharing this with their mom. Creativity and uniqueness are good things, but use them tastefully.