10 Tips for Creating Engaging On-Demand Video Content

Skift Take

Turning event session recordings into engaging on-demand video content should not be an afterthought. The right strategy and sufficient resources must be in place long before the doors open.

As audiences’ attention spans shrink and competition for time expands, it is critical to continually upgrade your digital content strategy to include effective video on demand.

The C-suite is tasking marketing teams to create more and more compelling video content for a good reason. Well-executed video on demand is a flexible and effective accelerator for awareness, leads, and growth.

Repurposing event content is a practical and affordable way to create on-demand video content. This is why the onus falls more frequently on event teams to produce these digital assets.

Creating stellar content that delivers results is daunting enough without diminished teams and budgets. Nevertheless, world-class digital assets can be realized with thoughtful planning and tenacity.

Here are ten invaluable tips from content experts.

1. Create a Metrics Roadmap Aligned With Your Business

Planners tasked with creating a video-on-demand strategy may be surprised to find the take more challenging than it first appears. “Until recently, event content professionals planned event content and created key performance indicators (KPI) aligned to event content production and event marketers focussed on audience acquisition,” said Allison Crooker, director of event content for VMware and chairperson/executive director of the Event Content Council

It is crucial to decide on key metrics and align them with your business. “Given the expense to produce net new content, it’s a lost business opportunity to not have a well thought out strategy for capturing and repurposing event content,” said Crooker.

 2. Customize Content for Audiences and Channels

Ensure you know your audiences and how they relate to each distribution channel before embarking on a digital content project. “In a corporate environment, understanding how to collaborate with technical coworkers to establish a sales lead flow validation framework is crucial as this will prove that your content is making a positive impact on the business,” said Paul Young, freelance executive producer and content creator.  “Creating a distribution strategy during pre-production for content creation is a must as this will create a unified voice for all assets.” 

3. Turn Content Around Fast

Having event-based video content available shortly after it is captured means that attendees or members can watch it while they are still focused on the event.

Quickly executed content is critical. “Edited video content should be published one to two days, for in-person to VOD so that content is fresh for both registrants and non-registrants,” said Crooker.

4. Choose the Right Host and Create a Destination 

Position and organize content on your company website with a purpose and make it user-friendly. Choose a video host that aligns with your budget and brand. Many larger companies choose to host on Youtube, but Vimeo and Wistia offer lots more control and functionality. 

One option to consider is gating the content, in other words, forcing viewers to register or purchase a pass to be able to view it. Crooker recommends gating but allowing 10-15 seconds of open viewing to entice viewers.

5. Make it Easy to Find

No one will watch the content if they cannot easily find it. Whether it’s hosted on YouTube or in a private media library, titles, thumbnails, and descriptions are all important to help people find the content and make them want to watch it.

“Ensure that thumbnails are indicative of the content and varied so that it doesn’t look the same. When you include PDFs of slides, viewers can take notes as they watch the video,” said Crooker. 

6. Cater to Short Attention Spans

The message included in the video content may be important, but if viewers are tuning out, no one is benefiting. Keeping content short is hard, but ultimately the shorter the video, the better. Recommended is 30-90 seconds for social channels and 20 minutes or less for corporate presentations.

7.  Don’t Skimp on Rehearsal Time 

Video production expert John Corey, founder and owner of the full-service production company Doctored Pictures, underscores how preparing carefully for digital assets is key to quality output. “Speaker delivery should be charismatic, relaxed, and feel like you’re eavesdropping on experts,” said Corey.

8.  Invest in Quality 

Always aim for the best possible audio and video quality. This is an area where shortcuts rarely pay off. While video may be consumed on mobile devices, it needs to be created using professional tools to look professional.

High resolution gives you much more leeway for post-production. This means you may be able to fix issues with the video later on. Lighting and video quality continuity are vital if you edit two or more separate speaker videos into one.

9. High Production Value

Using more than one camera is the simplest way to add quality to any video production. Although it adds complexity to the editing process, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Corey recommends a minimum of two cameras — one medium shot and one close-up that is offset and usually on a slider to enhance the shot and add some subtle dynamism. “Multiple cameras also facilitate editing and can reduce post-production costs,” he said. 

If event planners still get pushback for the additional spend on cameras, Corey tells them, “It’s all about brand and high production values connote quality and has a visceral effect on viewers.”

10.  Add Some Magic With Augmented Reality

Even digital content with the most engaging speakers will go from meh to broadcast quality with refined graphics, music, and if budget permits, augmented reality. 

“Using augmented reality (AR) in videos has proven to be three times more engaging and 70 percent more memorable than traditional graphics,” said Avner Vilan, CEO and founder of Arti.AR.  “Our minds are wired to comprehend 3D content a lot better than flat 2D,” Vilan said. “AR enables us to blend the virtual into the real in a way that is much more natural for us to comprehend information.”