Checklist: The Five Foundations of a Great Video

This is a simple and easy to follow checklist to ensure you’ve got a great video before you show the world what you’ve created. There are way more than five ways to ensure you’ve created a great video but these are a great way to build a strong foundation. I would argue that without any one of these five you can’t have a great video, however there are other factors that CAN make it better beyond these five. I hope this also helps as a way to analyze your video when giving feedback to your agency or video team.

  1. The Right Beginning
    It’s hard to get people’s attention. So once you’ve found a way to get your audience to “click play” you want them to stay engaged through your entire video. If they aren’t convinced it’s worth their time within the first seven seconds, chances are they’ll move on to something else. Your first seven seconds will be different depending on the type of video and who your audience is. For a list of different types of videos download The PLAY List.


  2. The RIght “Voice”
    In my best Arnie voice “Who is your audience and what do they do?” A really important question, especially when it comes to the “voice” of your video. If you’re video has a Voice Over then the actor who’s talking needs to be a perfect match for the audience you’re talking to. If you don’t have a Voice Over then the subtext (or perhaps overlay text) needs to be thought through as well. Ask yourself “Is this video saying the right things in the right way to my audience?” Put yourself in their shoes and watch it again.


  3. The Right Audio
    You only have five senses. And (for now at least) you can’t touch, taste, or smell (this would be awesome) a video. That means you’ve got two chances to make an impact, with their eyes or ears. Great video contains great audio that “speaks” in a way consistent with the other creative elements. Does it pause when it should, creating tension? Does it crescendo when it should, creating anticipation? Great sound can take a good video to great in no time at all.


  4. The Right Length
    In the last couple of years I’ve overheard several people saying “No one watches long videos, they just don’t have the attention span to sit through it.” Although the world is filled with more distractions fighting for our attention than ever before in human history, it’s simply not true that our attention spans are shorter. We’ll spend hours doing something we want to. Because there’s so much to distract us, people have created “tighter filters” to avoid things that don’t interest them. It’s no different in the world of video, people will watch something that’s beneficial to them. The right length totally depends on who your audience is and where they are at in the customer journey. If they are in the process of researching several solutions to their problem, chances are that they will watch a longer video to make the best decision. Here is a PIF on videos and our attention spans.

Casey Williams