How to Create a Highly Effective Video for Content Discovery

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Article readers and video viewers on the open web are in a different mindset than those people who are viewing content through social media site or search engines—they’re open to viewing new things.

If you’re looking to obtain new audience members, this is great news. Content discovery networks like Taboola will bring you visitors that haven’t interacted with you before as well as those that have, but it means you have to think about this type of user when you’re creating content for them— especially video.

We know how to make the perfect video for our user. Tatjana Biallas, Media Sales Director for DACH, is a true video expert. Here are her tips for creating a video that will be successful in a content discovery campaign.

Pick one video campaign goal: conversions or awareness.

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So many campaigns come through Taboola without a particular goal—this isn’t effective as far as we’ve seen. You have to pick a true goal, either awareness by video completion or conversion by click through rate (CTR) to be successful.

“There’s an inverse relationship between the common video performance metrics completion rate and CTR, and it’s important to optimize to one of these goals as opposed to trying to do both. They don’t accomplish the same type of action from the user, and the type of video you create should be reflective of these goals,” Biallas said.

Fill the screen: use big images in your video.

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Big images tend to be eye-catching—this holds true for sponsored content or text-based content campaigns as well as video campaigns.

“I like to tell clients to follow something called the square root law. It means that there is roughly twice as much of the recognition for every time you quadruple the image size. One study shows that a larger images sizes produce better learning—meaning a person is much more likely to retain your brand message if images are large and fill the screen,” Biallas said.

It’s not just memory—Biallas also described how images impact how we evaluate things, and whether or not we walk away with a positive attitude towards a brand, not just whether or not we remember something.

Faces should move: use clear expressions of emotion.

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Just showing a person at all dramatically increases video clicks. If a person in your video is clearly expressing emotion, they’ll be much more likely to catch a new visitor’s attention and drive them to make an action.

Recent studies have shown it can increase CTR by 67%. To be more effective, get them to express emotion.

“There is already evidence that supports emotional responses in people occurring before they have a chance to actually think about or analyze the information. Our data supports thisbased on Taboola video campaigns, a person who’s smiling in an image will get 12% higher CTR as opposed to a person who isn’t smiling,” Biallas said.

Visual channels are better for emotionally driven campaigns, and why video is so good at influencing purchase behavior—you can incite so many emotions.

Be careful with your emotions—bold, overly animated expressions of emotion actually hurt CTR. Emotions should be clear and realistic.

Make it clear you want a click: it’s not obvious with video.

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It’s not an inherent reaction in a user to expect to click on a video and be led to a page where they can engage with a brand. If this is your desired action, you have to make it clear.

“Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) either in the video itself or in the accompanying headline if you want people to click through your video. The clearer you are about the action you want, the more likely people will do it,” Biallas said.

The trick with content discovery campaigns are to be as clear as you possibly can. People don’t know your brand, so they don’t understand your nuance or personality. As an example, the words “click here” generate a higher CTR than “learn more.”

Not everyone is listening: use subtitles.

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People are often engaging in settings where they either can’t use sound, or they just prefer not to. If they can’t tell what’s going on in your video without being able to hear it, they’ll quickly move on.

“Videos with subtitles drive much higher engagement than those without because a person can still follow along without having to listen. With subtitles, your CTR is likely to go up to as much as 51%. The average increase you can expect to see is about 27%. Now for brands—I think that’s worth it.”

You first seconds are precious: make them count.

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If you’re going to successfully accomplish any goal, you have to grab someone’s attention. For a video, you get five seconds before that person will likely move on to something else more engaging.

“If you’re looking to make your first five seconds count, use lots of movement and color right from the first moment of the video. In general, the longer the video, the harder it will be to get people to finish it. Keep this in mind for brand awareness campaigns.”

If you’re looking for clicks, the relationship gets more complicated. While we may be tempted to get the user to the CTA as quickly as possible, engaged users will want to learn more before they act,” Biallas said.

We’ve found that the sweet spot for videos is 30 to 45 seconds on Taboola for videos that are looking to be both engaging and informative.

Videos are making an appearance on the open web in a big way. If you’re interested in creating a video and taking part in content discovery, contact us.