Are you trying to create videos that truly engage viewers? If you are then your goal should be to keep them interested for as long as possible then encourage them to react.
Unfortunately, as much as you may be trying to do those things – you may be making several key mistakes along the way as well. Some mistakes may be minor and have very little (if any) effect, but others could potentially ruin your video engagement.
With that in mind there are several common mistakes that you should know about, and take steps to avoid completely:
Not focusing on a single message and goal
If your video has more than a single message and goal, they are likely to get in the way of each other, trip themselves up, and ultimately just distract or bore viewers. The only thing worse than having multiple messages and goals is having none.
Ideally you should set the goal and message of your video well in advance, and plan around it. That way when viewers watch the video they’ll be a definite takeaway and a clear course of action for them to follow.
Creating videos that are (much) too long
The longer a video is, the more the chances that some viewers will become disinterested and click away. Although there is a lot of debate over the ‘optimal’ length for videos and the factors that affect it, the one thing that is clear is that shorter videos tend to be more engaging.
While this doesn’t mean that every video you create should be 15 seconds long, it helps to try to make your video as short as possible by being succinct and direct. If your video ends up between 1 to 2 minutes, you should be able to engage most viewers.
Getting off to a weak start
During the first 5 to 8 seconds of your video a significant number of viewers will make the decision whether to keep watching or not. Because of that if your video gets off to a weak start and beats around the bush, most of them will decide it isn’t worth their time to continue watching it.
If your intention is to engage viewers, it is crucial you start with a strong hook. That hook should convince viewers to watch your video by letting them know what they stand to gain, i.e. how it will benefit them.
Did you know that the majority of viewers watching videos on the internet now comprise of mobile device users? That has been the case for several years now, and it means that if your videos aren’t mobile-friendly then you’re literally ignoring over half of your potential viewers.
Considering ignoring such a significant number of viewers is never a good idea, you should try to make sure your video is mobile-friendly. In particular you should be constantly aware of the fact that it will invariably be watched on devices with smaller screen sizes, so any important elements can’t be too small that viewers won’t be able to make them out.
Poor quality video (and audio)
Viewers nowadays expect a certain quality from the videos that they watch, and if yours fall short of their expectations they aren’t likely to watch it for long. Keep in mind the quality of the video includes the quality of its audio as well – which is often overlooked and may sound indistinct or have lots of background noise.
While recording high quality video footage and audio does depend on several factors, you should at very least be sure that you edit it afterwards and polish it so that it looks good. For example you could use Movavi Video Editor and follow the steps at https://www.movavi.com/support/how-to/video-for-youtube.html.
Not triggering any emotional reaction
If your video does not trigger any type of emotional reaction whatsoever, it is likely to simply fall flat and not engage most of its viewers. That is because emotional is a key driving factor behind engagement – as can be seen from how videos that trigger intense emotions rake in tons of reactions.
Try to incorporate emotional triggers when you’re planning your video so that you avoid this problem. Additionally it may help to use visual storytelling elements as building blocks to truly provoke an emotional reaction.
Forgetting the call to action
Without a call to action when viewers are done watching your video they’re likely to simply go back to what they were doing previously, and browse through other videos or scroll through their social media feed. That is why the call to action is important, because it lets viewers what to do next and spurs them into taking action.
The last thing you want is for viewers to just consume your content passively, which is why it is essential that you do include a call to action. The stronger that call to action, the better it will be for your engagement levels.
Not tracking the performance of your videos and learning from them
Are you tracking the performance of your videos using tools such as Google Analytics? Do you analyze each video and try to determine why it performed better (or worse) than expected? If the answer to either of those questions is ‘no’ and you aren’t learning from your videos – you aren’t taking full advantage of the opportunity that is available.
The single most effective way to improve the engagement of your videos is to iteratively improve them. What that means is that you should use each video as a learning experience, experiment, analyze, and draw conclusions.
Over time that will help you to figure out specifically what your target audience responds to, and how best to engage them.
While that may seem like a long list of things to avoid, most of the items are really fairly straightforward. More importantly the simple fact that you’re now aware of them should help you to avoid making them in the first place.
If you can avoid most of the mistakes listed above, you should see an immediate improvement in your video’s engagement levels across the board.