Tech Industry Videos: 10 Engagement-Boosting Tips to keep your Audience Hooked
Technology companies have largely accepted video as a ideal way to engage and communicate with their online audiences. Both large and small companies are raising the bar of sophistication for what it takes to create stand out video content. The danger is that with any video content, if you don’t keep your audience engaged, they might click away at any time. The above example video illustrates a good deal of the tips below, which are techniques I have used successfully for years. For me, the guiding rule of any video is “Don’t give them a reason to stop watching, keep them hooked”.
Here’s my top 10 tips for engaging audiences with video…
- Customer Testimonials: The most convincing argument for your product or service will almost always come from thr mouth of a happy customer. If you have the ability to harvest quality testimonials, they will be worth their weight in gold and carry so much more believability than anything you can say about your company on camera or with voice over.
- High Quality Production: Just as you would probably dress nice for a first date, your video is typically your first impression online. The quality of the camera, lighting, graphics and sound all help make that important first impression. Your audience is evaluating you and they look for clues like your website, your product design and your video. For me, nothing falls flat quicker than a bad video on an otherwise nice website.
- Motion Graphics: Animated graphics can be a very sexy and cool way to present your message. They can be surprisingly time-consuming and expensive but for complex products & services – or one’s that are still pre-launch- its a great way to give the big picture in a polished way.
- Short, Tight & Entertaining Script: Short is good. Soundbites are good. Sentences that work well in the page, typically feel long-winded on video. Keep your message tight, peppered with colorful language – and hey, why not have a little fun?! So many tech presentations are so dry and boring, your audience wants to be entertained, make it enjoyable and they may just stick around.
- Editing: We all have short attention spans now. Give them quick cuts. Fast edits, make them want more. Try and find fun ways of adding editing ‘surprises’ and just try and capture their attention by never letting your content drag. If you are bored watching it, so are they.
- Music Changes: I live to add several different music tracks in any video over about 30 seconds. It helps the video feel like it’s moving along and every time you change music, it’s a new chance to get them curious to see where it goes.
- Interesting B-roll: B-roll is a term for the footage that visually tells the story. These days there are all kinds of cool and interesting trick you can use cost-effectively like slow motion, time-lapse photography, camera moves like a dolly, macro lenses, etc. The higher ratio of b-roll to interview footage that’s shown in the final video, the better! I like a 2/1 ratio or better.
- Creative use of Metaphors: When planning what you might want in your video, see if you can come up with any possible metaphors to visually and artfully explain your key points in engaging ways. For example, is your company bringing people together? Facebook had an interesting concept that essentially said Facebook was like chairs because chairs bring people together.
- Call outs: When you are trying to ‘show and tell’ it can help mitigate confusion to calling out an aspect of what you are showing. Perhaps it’s a graphic, like an underline, arrow, a circle around something, etc. Maybe it’s reinforcing a key point with a short text summary or even a list. By using both visuals and audio to make a point, it makes it stand out so much more.
- Length: Keep it short. In my experience you can say a lot in 30 seconds and after about 90 seconds to 2 minutes people start to loose interest. The caveat would be for really riveting content based on story, or perhaps educational content like a TED talk or seminar where people have actively sought out the video to consume the content.
To recap, You may want to review the above video again with these tips in mind.
Make no mistake, this list really is a gold-mine of knowledge gained over 20 years immersed in the technology and art of communicating with video. If you follow all these tips, you will almost certainly have upped your engagement! Ignore them at your peril, all they need to do is stop watching! Once you start cutting corners, you’ll never know which cut was one too far.