Research and planning tips
How to make a YouTube video 01, As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube has a huge hold on the video content market. Brands use this platform to engage with consumers, produce value-adding content, promote their products and services, and build brand recognition. But if you’re new to video marketing, you might be wondering how to make a YouTube video in the first place. Or, if you’ve tinkered around on YouTube before, you might simply be looking for ways to improve your video performance. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
As you set out to create your video, consider our top tips for making videos for this platform; from research to equipment to optimisation and more, this post is packed with tricks that will help you make the most of your new video from start to finish.
- How to make a YouTube video: our top tips
- 5 Research and planning tips
- 4 Equipment tips
- 2 Intro and intro tips
- 5 Video uploading and optimization tips
- Wrapping up
Perform competitor research
The best place to start as you learn how to make a YouTube video is with a little competitive research. Take a look at how your competitors are using video content in their marketing strategy, and use them as a source of inspiration as you create content. You can also find their content gaps and fill them with your own content; for example, if you notice your biggest competitor doesn’t have video FAQs, that can be a great way to stand out and add value for your potential customers.
To get started, create a list of your competitors, and then review their YouTube channels. Take a look at which of their videos have the most views and comments to see what your target audience is engaging with. As you review them, see if there are themes you can learn from – patterns that unite the most popular videos, topics that don’t get a lot of traction, and so on. This process will help you understand what resonates with your audience before you invest resources into creating your own content.
Perform keyword research
YouTube keyword research is an SEO tactic you can use to find the best search terms to include in your video content. Simply adding intentional, researched search terms to your video title and meta description can drastically improve your video’s performance.
You can start by making some assumptions about what your audience is searching for. For example, a decking company might already know people will search for “DIY deck repair” or “how to restrain a deck.” Do a bit of research on your own by searching for these terms on YouTube. If you see videos from your competitors, you know you’re on the right track. As you review them, see if they have a lot of views, are high quality, and answer the question appropriately. This will help you see where there are opportunities to create better content that could rank higher in user searches. You can perform more sophisticated keyword research using an online keyword tool; we’ve compiled our favorites in our post The 9 Best YouTube Keyword Tools in 2020.
As you incorporate your search terms, consider including a written copy of your video transcript in the description to maximize your possibility of showing up in search results. For more on video SEO, check out our post Video SEO: The Ultimate Guide.
Create a cohesive tone
There’s a reason why movies are categorised into genres. Imagine this: you’re watching a horror movie, and you’re on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the next blood-curdling moment. But just as you expect a dramatic, terrifying scene to unfold, the movie takes a comedic turn. Suddenly you’re watching two characters exchange quippy dialogue, and the thrill is totally lost. Talk about a mood killer. The same thing can happen in marketing videos.
As you consider your video, think about the overall mood of the piece you’re creating, and how all of the video’s elements – music, lighting, voice over, even the colour composition – come together to create that mood and reflect your brand. Be sure the tone of your video is consistent throughout and reflective of your overall goal. You can start this process by simply brainstorming a list of words to guide your process; you might want to create a video that’s motivational and inspiring, one that’s serious and tear-jerking, or one that’s high-octane and fast-paced. Whatever direction you choose to go, establish that before you collect footage so your video reflects the mood you’re trying to create.
Scout a location
If you’re filming on location, for example at your office or home, location scouting can be a pretty easy task. Simply set up your camera in various places to find the best physical spot for your shoot; as you preview options, consider what’s in the background of the shot and the lighting to find the optimal location – but more on that later.
If you’re shooting off-site, allow yourself plenty of time to find the right location. Consider whether you need access to electricity depending on your equipment setup, how the natural light affects the shot at that time of day, and how crowded the location is. Be sure to scout on the day of the week and time of day you plan to shoot to collect enough data on your location. For example, if you’re filming outdoors at a local park, you may want to plan your video shoot during school hours so you have the place to yourself. Finally, some locations require permits to collect footage, so be sure to do your research and ask for permission if you’re using someone else’s business or a public facility.
Write a script and create a storyboard
The last thing you want to do is show up on location with no idea of how the end video should look. Overcome this avoidable problem before you capture your footage by taking time to create a script and a storyboard. Begin by writing your script. Your script might include on-camera dialogue that actors say, or voiceover that’s layered on top of footage in post-production. Either way, keep your script simple, and keep your sentences short. When someone is reading text, they can go back and re-read it if a sentence is long or complex; however, when watching a video, viewers aren’t likely to rewind a video to listen again. You get one shot to make a lasting impression, so be sure your message is simple, concise, and clear.
Next, take your script a step further as you create a storyboard. A storyboard is like a comic-book-style overview of your video. It shows how different shots come together to tell a single visual story. You can create a storyboard using software like Storyboarder, or you can simply sketch out your ideas. You don’t need to invest a lot of time and resources into this process; the goal is to have a high-level overview of the content and flow of your video so you can produce it well and tell a cohesive story.
Both storyboarding and script writing should take place before you start collecting footage so your team has a shared vision for the end result. If you need a little inspiration to get the process started, check out our post 21 YouTube Video Ideas for Businesses.
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