New Rules of Web Video

Web video is here to stay, but the techniques, trends, and rules are always changing.  In order to stay relevant, you need to know what’s new and what you should be doing differently when making your video. Here are some new rules to consider when conceiving, creating, and publishing web videos for business:

Web Videos Must Be Relevant To a Specific Audience


The truth is, viral videos that everyone shares are rarely beneficial for most businesses. You need web videos tailored and relevant to a specific audience on a specific topic they are searching for. It’s more important to create your web video for your target audience than millions of teenagers (unless they are your target audience).

Web Videos Must Be Short and To the Point

Don’t bore or waste a second of your audience’s time. If you do, they will stop watching your video and click on something else more relevant to what they were looking for. To keep your audience’s attention, limit each video to one main topic with up to three key messages. It makes your web video easy to digest and more shareable. Shorter videos can also take less time to produce, which leaves you more time for promoting your web videos and creating new ones.

The Beginning Must Grab the Attention of Your Audience

You have about eight seconds to attract the attention of your audience while they are deciding whether or not to continue watching your video. You need to make sure the beginning of your video is clear – let the audience know what your web video is about and what they will get out of it. That also means you’ll want to put the most important part of your message at the beginning of the video. Skip the introductions and fancy introduction visuals and get to the point.

Web Videos Must Be Easily Found by Search Engines

The search engines don’t know what your web video is about, so you need let them know if you want it to be found. Here are some tips on optimizing your video on YouTube:

  • Write a catchy title that includes relevant keywords at the beginning of the title, and keep it to approximately 120 characters.
  • Write a video description that naturally weaves in your relevant keywords, but don’t overuse your keywords or it will be considered spam and hurt your chances of climbing up YouTube’s search rankings.
  • Select the right video category and include tags. Just like your title and description, put your most important keyword tags first because YouTube places more weight on the first tags.
  • Consider captioning your video. YouTube has a fairly simple process to help with caption creation. Not only will captioning your video make it even easier for the search engines to index your video (which helps it show up in more places on the site), but it also makes your video accessible to a wider audience.

If you’re having trouble choosing the best keywords, use YouTube’s Keyword Tool. It’ll help you come up with ideas and let you know how competitive the word is. 

Web Videos Must Be Promoted Early and Often

After posting with a detailed description, you need to promote your video and get your fans to share it. Here are some tips:

  • Strategically place it on your website in an easy to find location — don’t hide it.
  • Publish the web video on all of your social media platforms with a short teaser.
  • Post in relevant LinkedIn groups, if applicable.
  • Post in relevant blogs.
  • Add the web video to your company eNewsletter.

By following the new rules of web video, you’ll be more successful in getting your web videos viewed and shared across the web and reach your target audience.

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Tim has been in the media production industry since his days as a U.S. Navy shipboard news anchor in the 1980s. Tim has a BA in Visual Communication from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has been President of Mastcom since 2002.