Creating engaging video content

Videos and animated content are an increasingly important part of modern communications as they are very appealing to digital audiences.

The GCS Communications and Membership Services team last week organised a Comms Exchange with Design102 editors Rob Thom, Richmond Owusu – along with video team manager Konran Morrison. The purpose was to talk through video editing, and how post-production fits into the production process.

Rob said:

“I’m glad so many people took the time to join the comms exchange. Government comms teams produce so much in-house video content, and I hope everyone found the information and tips we shared about editing useful in helping improve the quality of their output.”

Here are Design102’s top 5 tips for creating engaging video content:

1. Take time to understand the brief

Video editors should properly understand their client’s desires and, if needed, suggest alternative creative solutions in the pre-production stage. Your role is to draw people in. Remember that even the most dry topic can be presented in an interesting way.

2. Be as brief as possible

People’s attention span has shrunk significantly in the era of social media. According to Facebook research, the average video length is 55 seconds, while the average watch time is only 18 seconds!

“You have to be ruthless when it comes to cutting any fluff. Boil down your content to the absolutely essential parts.”

3. Keep your folders tidy

This is important for efficiently managing your footage when assembling videos. Never ever delete videos you have created. You never know whether the client will come back with any future request.

In terms of storage, do not use cloud services as they are not secured. Use a password-protected external driver instead. It is also wise to have two master copies of your final video: one with subtitles and one without.

4. Sound and music matters

Spend your time researching the right music tracks so that they fit the ambiance of your content. It goes without saying that you should not use upbeat music for a serious topic.

Audionetwork and AudioJungle provide options to download royalty-free music.

You may also consider adding sound effects, such as bells ringing for a Christmas-themed video, to define the emotional character of your video and make it feel more real.

5. Don’t forget about formatting, branding and accessibility

After receiving initial feedback, the last part of the video editing process should be adding graphics, branding and ensuring accessibility. This can include adding names to introduce speakers (these should never cover their faces), logos and subtitles.

Subtitles are of course important for people with hearing impairments, but nowadays, they also play an important role in raising engagement. Imagine busy people in public places who cannot play the sound out loud so instead just follow the subtitles.

Design102 hopes to offer practical editing training sessions in the future once office working returns. Check the GCS website for updates.

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