Katie Tschopp is a senior producer at Zazoom, a video content creation company. She oversees Buzz60 content for clients including AOL, Daily Motion and NDN.
“What’s the secret to creating successful video for the Web?”
We’re asked that question a lot at Zazoom. It’s not surprising, given that our short-form video content has been viewed almost a half-billion times since the company launched in 2011. Our flagship brand, Buzz60, delivers topical news videos on entertainment, lifestyle, science/tech and more.
Here are four things we’ve discovered while creating Buzz60 content:
Be Reliably Unique
Creating successful video content doesn’t mean you have to be a celebrity or an established brand. The key is to produce compelling, dynamic video that delivers every single time. The last line of our one-minute Buzz60 videos is called the ‘takeaway,’ and we constantly challenge ourselves to deliver one that is well-written. It can be funny or ridiculous, but it should always be unique. The takeaway leaves viewers feeling satisfied and wanting to return for more.
Maintain High Production Quality
Our founders come from the world of network news. They know the value of selecting a visually appealing setting as well as using the right equipment. Authentic backgrounds visible through windows — like cityscapes, iconic landmarks and rich interiors — add a sense of time and place that will almost always outweigh a green screen or white wall.
Invest in a high-definition camera to automatically add extra polish to your videos whether they are viewed on a desktop, tablet or mobile device. In editing, get creative, and use video with natural sound whenever possible to spice up a piece. Your viewers will thank you.
Know Your Viewers (And How They Watch)
Aside from knowing your average viewer, when you’re creating videos for the Web, you should think about how your audience is viewing your product. Produce short, shareable, visually compatible (for the screen size) videos to keep your audience engaged.
Heavy text or tiny graphics won’t look the same on today’s smaller screens. Don’t be afraid to play around with text and graphics that, at first glance, may look too large.
Add Something Extra
There are countless sources across the Internet that provide the same basic headlines and information. To increase value for the viewer, consider adding a personal take; it’s even better if you can do it with personality and style. Your own spin will entertain viewers and keep them coming back to see what you will do again.
When the world learned it would be losing Twinkies forever, many content providers reported on the snack’s demise and incorporated quips about the sugary treats. The Buzz60 team took a different approach by offering viewers a simple recipe to create their very own Twinkies at home — a sweet reward for everyone given that nearly a year and a half later, the episode continues to generate measurable views. Videos with long-tail consumption make your library (and your company) more valuable, because they bring longevity that extends past the initial news cycle.
To create a successful online video, find a unique angle to tell a good story that speaks to your audience, all with personality injected. Deliver videos with consistent quality that reflect your brand’s identity. You won’t just be telling your audience what’s happening in the world, but providing them with an understanding through the visual lens and voice of your content.