Finding Your Style: YouTube Production Trends
Unlock your creative potential by following these tips!
Sometimes, having an amazing video idea isn’t enough. There could be dozens of videos about the same thing, yet some of them rise to the top of the Trending page, while the others struggle to get noticed by the algorithm. That tells us that the way you present your idea matters just as much as, if not more than, the idea itself. Assuming you have your thumbnail design and titles perfected and your click-through rate is great [link to this blog post], the only thing left is to make sure that the video itself delivers the goods.
An idea is an abstract collection of words, images and emotions that needs to be given shape. Where does your video begin? Where does it end? What happens in the middle? Regardless of the topic or type of your video, these are the questions that need to be answered before you even start filming in order to keep the viewers engaged all the way throughout the video.
Start with a teaser, assure the viewer that at some point in the video they are getting what they came for. It can be a snippet of something that happens later on or a bold, straight-in-your-face introduction, explaining what exactly is going to happen next, as done by ZHC in his videos. This part is very important, if not hooked, most viewers click away from a video within the first 5 seconds.
Think about how your story develops. Is everything going by the plan or is the whole operation failing? How does it lead to the climax of the video? For instance: a seemingly silly and useless product can turn out to have an incredible redeeming feature in the middle of a review. A prank that has been going so well can backfire. After failing at every step of the way, you finally achieve the goal introduced in the beginning of the video. A story is a rollercoaster ride, ups and downs are what makes it exciting, use it to keep your audience emotionally invested.
A good story is one well concluded. You can recap and sum up the video or finish it abruptly on a cliffhanger, but be sure to tease more relevant videos.
When it is time to tell the story, there are multiple ways to go about that.
- Casey Neistat takes you along on his day-to-day adventures in the follow-me-around type of vlogs.Take your camera for a stroll, record what happens and your reaction to it as it happens. The locations and people in your videos are ever-changing, as your viewers get an authentic glimpse into your life.
- Pewdiepie shares his ideas from within his house in the talking head type of videos. This narration style gives you much more control over everything that happens in your video. You get to set up the scene and lighting exactly the way you wanted and tell your story from your point of view.
- No camera? No problem! Kurzgesagt relies on great visuals in their video essays. Record your voiceover and pick the visuals that can illustrate your point the best. There is no limit, it can be stock footage, pictures, animations, gaming content – you name it! Everything you can imagine can be in your video.
Which one feels the most convenient for you? The good news is, you don’t have to pick one! You can make a follow-me-around vlog and switch to talking-head when you need to give the story more context, like Raven Elyse does in her House Tour video; or start talking to the camera in your studio and transition to stock footage or animation to better illustrate your point, like Gloom does while sharing stories of her misfortunes. Jaiden Animations takes let’s plays to a whole new level, by using animation to reflect on her Pokemon playthrough. Picking a narration style and keeping it in mind while filming will save you a lot of time at the editing table.
Now, this is the part that can make or break your video. Even if all the pre-production steps were ignored and the video was filmed with no clear idea in mind, editing can save it. Footage can be reordered to make a more convenient story and audiovisual enhancements can make up for the lack of narration. At the same time, if some of the fundamental editing principles are ignored, a carefully planned and prepared material can completely miss the mark in the end.
When in doubt, cut it out! Unlike in movie theaters, on youtube, people can jump from one video to another at any point, which is why long pauses, slow explanations and irrelevant segways are just unaffordable for your content. Cut it all out. Make the flow of information as uninterrupted as possible, because the moment you let your viewer stop to catch breath, they are gone.
Keep them focused! When you are telling a long story, regardless of how interesting it is, at some point your viewers will start to zone out. They need an occasional shake up. Employ zoom ins and zoom outs, change your framing with every other cut. Keep your editing dynamic, so that the viewers don’t have to work hard to stay focused.
Show, don’t tell! Sometimes you may want to talk about a moment that hasn’t been caught on camera, but that doesn’t mean that you have nothing to show. Use graphic or text pop-ups to emphasize your words. The internet is full of videos and images that can illustrate and enhance your story. A video without any action, may as well just be a podcast.
Say no to transitions. Every editing choice should serve a purpose and when adding a transition, it is important to consider its impact on the story. A transition should explain what happened in between the scenes or it can serve a comedic purpose, but in most cases, unless there is a big difference in time or location, a jump cut will suffice.
Sound of silence. Sound is the most important part of the video. If the sound is off, the whole video is unwatchable. If there is no sound, it is boring. The only use for silence is in an anticipation of a sound. It does not have to be music or somebody talking, background noise can be quite satisfying as well. Remember the ASMR sensation?
Most importantly, keep your viewers in mind. After all, no two audiences are the same. Your viewers’ demographics and the community built around your content play a vital role in this equation. And vice versa, don’t fall for trendy editing if it does not feel right to you. Be flexible with the principles above, as long as they are not ignored completely, your style will attract the right audience for you.
If you’re interested in better understanding how improving your style can benefit your channel, check out this article.
Hope you found some useful information, good luck!
Tags: Emotional Volatility, Creator, Emotions, Growth, Motivation, Content Creation, YouTube