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4 tips for a must-keep-watching video

If we’re making a video showing users how to do something, there’s a very good chance they’ll watch until the end. And to be honest, we made it for their benefit, so if they don’t watch it all, it’s no great loss to us.

But if it’s a sales video, we need viewers to watch for as long as possible. How do we do that?

One way is to learn from the people who make entertainment videos for a living. Data has given them a unique insight into what works, and plenty of them want to tell us all about it. There seem to be four major tips. Most can be crowbarred into the planning of even relatively unattractive technical business videos!

  1. Don’t just throw the video together. Plan it properly beforehand, just like a good article – perhaps as a numbered list of features, benefits, tips or whatever.
  2. Ensure the actual title and aim of the video is understood from the outset. This could even be the result of market research into what potential viewers want. Some creators even begin by making the ‘thumbnail’ image which is so important, but traditionally left to the end.
  3. Start with a strong hook – make it immediately clear what benefit the viewer is going to get from watching this video, ideally within the first 10–20 seconds.
  4. Have a final payoff in mind, which could also be set up at the start. End tightly, and move seamlessly into the call-to-action.