5 Tips for Creating Compelling Video Content

Video can be an effective way of driving business, but only if you get the basics right

5 Tips for Creating Compelling Video Content

Video is a highly effective communication tool for businesses of all sizes. It can also be a very cost effective one, with a single piece of content reaching thousands of viewers. Video can establish a closer relationship between customer and brand: vlogs and online video create an intimate and relaxed medium to engage viewers and can reinforce customer networks, as they are shared and commented on within communities.

However the key to video success is ensuring that the content of the video is extremely well targeted and planned. This is particularly important for smaller companies who often do not have massive budgets. Effective videos don’t have to be expensive to make, but you do have make sure that they are compelling in some way. Here are my five tips for doing just that.

  • It’s all about the content. First think about who you are trying to reach. The video should be about something that touches your desired audience, for example, answering a specific business problem. Or it could be about something unusual, a “water cooler” story – something a viewer will remember and tell others about. Stick to just a couple of key messages in the video that you incorporate into the narrative. This will help your viewers remember what the video was about.
  • What it do you want to achieve from your film? Is it for the viewer to look at your website, or call you, or even to buy something online? You have a great opportunity to tell them what you want them to do, at the end of the video.
  • Next, consider who you want to be the face and voice of your organisation. Try to use an enthusiastic, lively person who appears natural on screen. People are often scared to be on camera, even when it’s their own film, and they show their fear by appearing more reserved than normal, so it is important to encourage your spokesperson to relax and to give them plenty of time for several takes.
  • A business video needs to be engaging. Your viewers are consumers too and are used to viewing exciting video content on YouTube. Translating this into a business video generally means using strong visuals. Think about interesting filming locations in your office. Or, how about getting your spokesperson out of the office? You could film anywhere that has some link to your business. For example if you are restaurant supplies firm, how about filming them in various restaurants and cafes. If you are a company based in Newcastle, how about including some Newcastle landmarks in the film? If you do have the budget, invest in titles and other simple graphics as they can really lift a video and also reflect your brand personality.
  • Viewers start to lose interest after just one minute. so try to make sure your video isn’t too much longer (and definitely no more than three minutes). Additionally, try to introduce some sort of device around the minute mark – be it a change in visuals, or music, or an editing effect, to re-engage viewers whose attention might be wandering. When preparing the ‘script’ it is useful to remember that we generally speak at the speed of about three words a second.


Business videos are increasingly popular with customers who find them more digestible than website text, eshots or brochures. Creating engaging video content is a great way to communicate them and can springboard you into competing with much larger organisations.

Keren Haynes is co-founder and CEO of Shout Communications.  Before becoming a broadcast consultant Keren was a journalist in the BBC’s Business Unit. Prior to the BBC her experience includes working on news programmes at ITN and Sky News as well as being a news-reader at ITV Central.

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