Welcome to this two-part online video master class on how to make effective online videos and market them on the Web. Today, we'll cover five key elements of an effective online video.

1. The Simpler the Better

Creating an effective video isn't always simple, but the content within it should be. Though video can help you to explain complex messages, on screen it's best to keep things simple.

The video should have one clear message to get across. To ensure that you do that effectively, you should keep on-screen graphics, props, animations, and lengthy dialogue to a minimum.

If you do, your audience will be able to easily take in the message of the video.

2. Short and Sweet

Differences of opinion abound regarding the optimum length of an online video, but there is one golden rule: Short is sweet.

Ideally, your video should be 2-5 minutes long. If you find it difficult to cut your video down to that time-frame, think of creating separate videos. Doing so will allow you to make your videos simpler. And, in the end, you'll have more video content.

3. Get With the Times

Staying up to date with video techniques, technologies, and content types is crucial. Outdated content will not get you far, so make sure every aspect of your video production is up to date.

Even research what styles of video are currently popular both among your niche and among wider online audiences. You'll likely increase the chances of your video achieving wider popularity.

4. The Big Three: Inform, Educate, Entertain

Three types of video are consistently popular on the Web: informative video, entertaining video, and educational video.

It might be self-evident that entertaining content is popular online, but informative and educational videos are actually just as popular—and, sometimes, a lot easier to produce.

How-to posts, video guides, and perhaps even your FAQs on video can make for popular and relatively timeless pieces of online content.

5. Remember Your Audience

First and foremost, your video is going to be viewed by your direct audience. You will therefore have to cater your video toward them, particularly in terms of language and style.

Members of your primary audience will play a vital part in the overall success of your video, so you must communicate and engage with them in a way they would appreciate. Therefore, you must carefully plan everything from the core content of your video to the channels you intend to market it through.

Next week, in Part 2, we'll cover five ways to market your effective online video.

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Andy Havard is the top marketing executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK-based corporate video production company. Reach Andy via LinkedIn.