Understanding your online video audience

As a communications agency, it's incredibly important to keep on top of the ever changing face of broadcast and social media.

Due to changing viewing trends and the way we consume media, brands are often under pressure to produce high quality video on a frequent basis as part of their content strategy.

While user generated content has its place, online isn't solely a place for random iPhone footage of something you’ve seen in the street. Smart televisions, mobile devices and tablets have provided brands with an opportunity to engage a wider audience, however it is also creating new challenges. The issue now is defining what’s right for online audiences over television audiences.

Earlier this week we attended industry event BVE to find out more. It is a misconception that television is the aim for most producers because, now, there is a lot of scope for producing online content. Television channels have rigid schedules and target audiences, while there’s more scope online for a range of viewers and topics.

From a brand’s perspective, the issue has veered away from the ability to publish their content outside of broadcast, to engaging a new audience with different viewing habits and typically shorter attention spans. Whilst we are happy to sit at home and watch something for half an hour to an hour on TV, online content is usually consumed when time is limited AND with a variety of outside distractions – either sneakily watching it at work, on the train, or even in the loo! Brands need to bear this in mind when creating content specifically for an online audience – whether it be sponsored programming, social or educational video.

With YouTube having over 1 billion unique users each month, it can be incredibly hard to make your content stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips on how to drive users to your videos and channel:

  • Have a thumbnail which attracts users – something which stands out from similar content
  • Keywords - it sounds obvious, but it's still something people miss. Use keywords in the title and description as well as naming the video before upload. Also make sure you tag!
  • Write an interesting description – much like creating a press release, all descriptions must include the most interesting and exciting parts of the footage to keep viewers attracted.
  • Post videos in HD over SD as YouTube favours the higher quality.
  • Interact with similar users – commenting on other users content will inevitably drive them to your own content
  • Remember who your audience is and create content that speaks to that demographic. Over branding is a killer. The messaging needs to be carefully and creatively incorporated into the content so as not to off-put the audience.
  • Make sure the opening is impactful – viewers need to be kept interested and a boring opening scene will put them off straight away.
  • Don’t just copy what your competitors are doing – strive to create the content THEY want to rip off
  • Concentrate on what you want to say, who you want to say it to and what you want them to do at the end of the video
  • Use animation wisely. It is a great tool for instructional and informative videos, but live video is far more effective at creating empathy and feeling.

Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager, TNR

PRmoment Awards 2019