The Real Secret To Engaging Online Videos

A lot of people get interested in online video because of money.  The promise that you can get more clients, make more sales, earn more money is tantalizing.  And it’s true.  You certainly can.  And there is value in that.  

But that isn’t my main interest with online video.  Because to view online video as simply a cash-cow or a promotional tool like any other is to view online video through a very dusty lens.

Online video isn’t simply a way to make bank.  It’s a way to spread messages, ideas, stories and dreams.  

And yes, it’s also a powerful way to share the antics of your pet rabbit. 

I love the story of how Brené Brown’s Ted Talk blew up online with over 16 million views on the Ted site and over 2 million views on YouTube.  And when you watch the video, you can see why.  

It’s powerful.  But not because the video is innately brilliant.  

You have a two-shot sequence and some slides, nothing fancy, just a human being talking to an audience.  The audio and video quality is great, so there’s no barrier to watching it.  But it isn’t exactly rocket science by video- production standards.  So how can it be so interesting?  

Why would 18 million people want to watch a human being on a stage talking for 20 minutes?

Because humans ARE interesting.

And human beings who speak their truth, who share their stories, who share their vulnerabilities, and who don’t try make us believe that they are perfect and have everything under control are REALLY interesting.  

So how can you apply this to the next video you make?  

Remember that more than anything else, your audience wants to see a real person.  Someone enjoying their time on-camera, being real and approachable, and maybe exposing a vulnerablity or two.   You don’t need a super flashy intro or a bunch of special effects if you’re being real.  Those can be fun, but they aren’t necessary if your goal is to make a connection, to engage and inspire your audience.  

-Colette Nichol, Vancouver