How to get viewers for your online video blogs

When you make a video you want as many people as possible to see it. But how do you even get somebody to watch your video? And more importantly, how do you get them to watch the whole video?

I did some research and there are many websites that give great tips on what to include when making a great video!

Mary Hockaday, Head of BB Newsroom and Andy Plesser, Beet TV, have many interesting tips (go check them out!) that I think are really true, however, I have taken their advice one step further and put a viewers perspective into this matter.

Content

To keep people coming back and viewing your videos you need something gripping, something really interesting and / or something that they have never seen or known before.

Content is the king of a video. If you don’t have something memorable in a video then make it memorable otherwise people wont bother watching it. Hockaday says a video must contain something that will have people asking: “Did you see?”

In terms of journalism videos, all kinds of things can be worth watching. They don’t only have to be tragic, like covering natural disasters; they can be powerful in many ways. A good example is interviewing a person that is extremely passionate about something. They will give answers in such a way that will stick in viewer’s minds. A strong political speech, or funny, cute and bizarre moments all have the essential ingredients for something worth watching. If you think the person or animal or even in the video isn’t that memorable, you can use other things such as music (never underestimate the power of a good song!), visual effects or animations to spice things up.

When you are about to upload your video just think to yourself, if I were visiting this Blog would I bother watching the video?

This YouTube video has over 7,485,805 views because it shows the devastating events of the Tsunami in 2004.

Quality

The script, editing and sound quality of a video make a huge difference to the ‘watch ability’.

The YouTube video showing the Tsunami footages is not of a very good quality because they were shot with Mobile phones but this is an exception.

Citizen journalism is incredibly important because the world can see an event or tragedy much faster than if journalists had to travel to the location first. However, if you are making an online journalism video and it is not about a disaster you should try and use impeccable footage. The sound and video quality should be clear and the script needs to be understandable for everyone. If viewers can’t follow your video they will stop watching.

That being said I think script and sound are much more important than editing as many videos are made with Mobile phones or hand cameras. So as long as your video is entertaining viewers will forgive bad editing.

That brings me to my next two points:

Keeping it Simple and Short

According to the BBC, and my personal experience, online media consumers have short attention spans. Therefore, try to keep your video as short as possible and only include the absolute vital parts. A short and concise video will engage much more than a long one. So while you want to keep things simple the most important thing to remember is that you want to get your story across effectively.

Have a good catchphrase and effective tags

When you describe your video never say it is about something that it isn’t or people won’t watch it. Hockaday recommends keeping your description short, to about 3-8 words. Remember this description will get people to watch your video so it is equally as important than its content! When you tag your video remember to cover every possible category that involves your video to help people find it.

Thumbnails

Beet TV also recommend to choose a thumbnail image that viewers see before hitting the play button. Many sites give you a random choice of thumbnails taken from your video that you can chose from.

Listen to your followers

I think the comments below every video are one of the most important assets to making a successful video. Viewers will tell you if they don’t like your video or if they do. So read all of your comments and implement them.

Jil D.

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