Effective Video Tips Gleaned from the Best

Pew Research Center recently examined YouTube channels with at least 250,000 subscribers to gain insights. These popular channels alone posted nearly a quarter-million videos in the first seven days of 2019, totaling 48,486 hours of content.

YouTube is a global phenomenon. Just over half of these channels (56%) posted a video during the first week of 2019, and the majority of these active channels (72%) posted at least one video that was partially or completely in a language other than English.

Videos aimed at children were highly popular, as were those that featured children under the age of 13 – regardless of their intended audience. Videos featuring a child or children who appeared to be under the age of 13 – regardless of whether the video in question was aimed exclusively at children or not – received nearly three times as many views on average as other types of videos.

Content involving video games also popular. Content about video games was one of the most popular genres of content as measured by total views during the seven days of the study period, and these videos also tended to be much longer than other types of videos.

Certain video title keywords were associated with increased view counts. Videos mentioning words like “Fortnite,” “prank” or “worst” received more than five times as many views at the median as videos not mentioning those words. The word “Trump” in video titles was associated with a significant increase in median views among videos about American current events or politics.

Cross-promotion of videos with other social media channels increases views. Seven-in-ten of these videos mentioned other prominent social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter in their description (either in links or in the text itself), and those that did received more views than videos that did not link to other platforms.

Read the complete analysis.

Is Your Digital Home Base Worthy?

Your website is your digital home base. It is THE most important component of your digital marketing strategy. You need to make it great. Common website mistakes can take away from the effectiveness of your site.

Get the most out of your online presence by avoiding these common website problems.

Cluttered Home Page

Some home pages are stuffed with too much content. Visitors don’t know where to look. They don’t want to figure out the jumble.

Keep your homepage clean. Make every word count, and make sure they tell people who you are and why they want to learn more. Avoid adding unnecessary content or images.

Navigation is important too. Most people see this for the first time on the home page. Make sure the labels are easy to understand. Keep to no more than 7 major navigation options.

Complex Content

Make sure your website is easy to read and understand. Stick to a style sheet to limit the number of fonts and styles and create consistency from page to page.  Pages that look different can confuse visitors.

To help visitors scan and find what they want:

  • Use subheads with keywords
  • Keep words simple
  • Keep sentences short
  • Break up text into many short paragraphs

Unusable on the Small Screen

Most website designs are responsive, technically. Pay attention to the actual user experience on mobile devices.

The other day I was trying to research places to shop for a specific item. I did a google search and got several options. To narrow, I tried to visit the websites. I say “try” because none of the 5 sites was easy to navigate on my phone. I gave up!

Truly responsive websites adapt to the device type that the visitor uses. Keep your writing straightforward and make sure buttons and menus are large enough to click on smaller screens.

Great Ways to Tell YOUR Story

Humans love stories. We always have. Today, those stories are often told with online content.

How do you tell your brand story in a way that gets noticed? Here are some approaches that work.

Be fresh.

Tell unique stories or give old ones a new twist. Keep in mind that saying something is unique doesn’t make it that way.

Really dig in and find something that people haven’t seen or read before. Look for something different or surprising in the brand, product or service itself or the way you tell the story.

Pose questions.

Asking the right questions can help you figure out whether the story will matter to your audience. Some great questions to ask and answer in your content:

  • Who should care about this? Frame the story in a way that matters to the target audience.
  • When did this begin? Timeliness matters.
  • Why does this story matter? The more you can reflect why the story matters right now, the more it will resonate.

Writing some of your content in question form is also effective. Ask people a question and they will want to know the answer.

Paint the picture.

Stories need context. Give the reader all the details – in words, images and/or video – to understand the completeness of what you are talking about. Allow people to make a connection to your story by giving them ample context to relate to it.

Start somewhere compelling.

Don’t equate “story” with a chronology. You don’t have to start at the beginning. In fact, it may be more interesting to jump in at the middle or end, then fill in the details before and/or after.

Just make sure not to leave out any important details. Loose ends can ruin the impact of your story. You want people to focus on what you are saying rather than missing pieces.