Keep them interested.

Video is always changing – that’s as true today as it has been since the first video cameras were invented, back in the 1930s.

Fashions come and go, whether it’s speed ramping, glitches, slo-mo shots of the backs of people's heads as they walk down a corridor – we’re all a bit guilty of latching on to the latest trends and overusing them, with the result that we  - and more importantly the end users of the content - get bored with them just as quickly. The same can be said for music, graphics, sliders, drones and gimbals, so for people making video content we have to be aware of this and try not to make stuff that looks and sounds just like everything else.

We need to go further – try to engage your audience with something unexpected, something that intrigues, or poses them a question. Make their viewing more active, less passive. Otherwise your snazzy new video which was designed to get your important message across might just sit there gathering cyber spacedust on your website or on social media: unloved, unwatched, or even worse – unshared.

Have a look at the two horizontal lines below – which one is the longest?


I love this illusion – you might by now have guessed that despite what your eyes are telling you, both lines are exactly the same length.

Why have I included this? Well, I bet it got you thinking and you might even have done what I did and cover over the diagonal lines to double-check what your brain is telling you is impossible – the horizontal lines really are the same length. You were engaged, you were intrigued and your reading of this post became active and not passive.

So, I went off on a bit of a tangent and it wasn't perhaps the route you were expecting me to take. We need to think the same way when we plan videos. It's about being open to how the video will look and what elements it might have - stopping to think if that interview or that piece to camera really is the best way to connect with your audience. When we plan our videos we need to ask: How can we approach this bit of content differently, so that viewers take in the message, stay with it till the end, and tell others about it too?

If you're interested in the illusion above, invented by Franz Carl Müller-Lyer in 1889, there's more about it here.