We preach, often and loudly, about the importance of good content: content your audience will value (are you sure what you're putting out there is important to them and not just you?), content that's timely, content that's relevant to your audience, and content that positions you as the expert/best in your field.
But all that content has to be presented well, too. That means it has to be:
- well written
- inherently interesting
These guidelines are perhaps most critical when it comes to video. YouTube is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate (not just tell) your target what you do, how you do it, and the benefit they'll derive from it. But writing for video is a skill, and done poorly will turn a good idea into something awful.
If a videos are part of your content strategy, keep in mind these simple guidelines for creating and producing them:
Keep it short. People's attention spans are short -- we've trained them to be with TV, where 3 cameras operate and intercut nearly every 5 seconds. The most effective video stories are told in under 3 minutes.
Get to the point. If within the first 9 seconds you haven't answered the audience's question "What's in it for me?", they'll tune out or move on.
Take advantage of the medium. This isn't a book or a feature-length film. Keep graphic elements moving; create a music mix that helps carry and tell the story; use the right voice talent to set the tone; create digital animation to illustrate the things that can't be videotaped.
Show and tell what's important to your audience. You may be interested in your company founders, your location, the number of employees, how your logo design was a happy accident, or why an blue aardvark is your mascot, but chances are, it's not relevant to the people you want to influence. (That being said, sometimes the location truly is important, like a spa being in the Seychelles or a corn producer being in Iowa). People don't care about your company; they only care about what it can do for them.
The best way to approach a video is to start with your elevator speech -- the 10 second, "What do we do better than anyone else." Demonstrate the competitive advantage (show how much more your suction thing can suction compared to other suction things, for instance). Explain, describe and make your case until your 3 minutes is up and you'll probably have an effective sales tool on your hands.