6 Best Practices for Creating a Captivating Video

Apryl Casale June 06, 2024
6 Best Practices for Creating a Captivating Video

Crafting high-quality customer videos is a task traditionally reserved for seasoned creatives with years of experience and technical know-how. However, at SundaySky, we’re here to flip that narrative. We believe everyone should have the power to create standout videos, regardless of their field of expertise.

Luckily, there are many tools out in the marketplace today that make video creation accessible to any one. No matter which one you choose, you’ll want to follow some key practices in order to do your best work and elevate your chances of success.

Below are six video best practices that will turn your creations into highly engaging and effective video experiences.

1. Find your story

Every great video starts with a great story. To tell a compelling one, you’ll first need to identify the pain points you want to solve, and then consider how video can be the solution.

For example:

  • Do you want to remind customers about their unused membership benefits?
  • Do you want to show users how your latest product updates will improve their experience?
  • Do customers need to be made aware of an upcoming change to your services?

Once you’ve established the purpose and direction of your video, you can kickstart your planning process with an outline, creative brief or script, which will help you think through your messaging and content. At SundaySky, we offer pre-designed story templates that are set up for you to take and make your own – providing an excellent starting point for your video project.

For inspiration, you can leverage your prior campaigns and existing content. Think about what content you already have that could be adapted to video: like a monthly email newsletter, a page on your website, release notes, or reviews from customers. Using what you already have isn’t just smart – it’s also efficient.

2. Turn topics into scenes

Now that you’ve nailed down your story, break it into smaller topics that can then be mapped to scenes. For instance, if you’re creating an onboarding video, each onboarding step can be a unique scene in your video.
With your sequence of topics in place, you can now start to build your video. In the SundaySky platform, you do so by matching each topic (or scene) to a scene template. This will transform your content into a video where each scene flows seamlessly into one another, in accordance with your story structure.

It’s all about showcasing your message in the best way possible, and SundaySky offers a tremendous variety of templates to support that.

If you’re looking to add some variety to your video, you can also switch things up with SundaySky’s “Layouts” feature, which allows you to rearrange content in multiple ways, without changing its essence.

3. Craft on-screen text & narration

It depends what platform you’re using to create the video, but generally, every scene will include both narration and on-screen text. 

On-screen text should be simple, clear and short. Your headlines should function as titles, announcing the main point, while subheads can be used to provide additional context. Narration takes things further by allowing you to share even more relevant details.

An important video best practice is to ensure that your narration and on-screen text complement each other rather than repeat the same message, and that they are aligned with the main message of each scene. This ensures your message comes across clearly and effectively, and makes for a balanced experience where both elements enhance the viewer’s understanding.

4. Bring it to life with visuals

With your script and scenes locked down, you’re all set to bring your video to life. In SundaySky, you can select a theme, which guides the overall look and feel of the video.

A theme is a unique combination of motion graphic elements, animations, transitions and other visual elements. Ultimately, it’s what enables anyone to create a high-quality, professional video experience. And of course, you’ll want your theme to be aligned with the message of your video. 

Another way to liven up your video is by using media with motion. Moving visuals will keep your audience engaged, and you can either upload your own media or browse the video platform gallery, like SundaySky’s Getty library. Even if you’re limited to static images, you can use our zoom-in effect to give it some energy and motion.

5. Manage your timing

As you edit and finesse your scenes, it’s crucial to keep timing in mind. Although the length of your video may be anywhere from 15 seconds to several minutes, each scene should be relatively quick. This ensures viewers remain engaged, and prevents them from zoning out – especially important in today’s world of short attention spans.

What are the best practices for video length? :

  • Aim for an average scene duration of 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Cut that to 5 seconds or less for very short videos like pre-roll and mid-roll ads.
  • To maintain this timing, break up information across scenes as necessary.
  • For longer or more in-depth videos, use SundaySky’s chaptering feature.

If you’d like to learn the optimal video length for different types of videos and different digital channels, check out this comprehensive article by Vidyard: “How Long a Video Should Be”.

6. Tailor your messaging

So your scenes are set up, and your narration, on-screen text and visuals are rounding into form. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to focus on how you can serve each individual viewer with content that’s personalized to them.

Personalized messaging is much more likely to keep your audience interested, engaged and invested. It’s also much more effective in driving your desired business impact. But how do you get started?

What you’ll need to do is match particular audience attributes to your content, and then tailor your content accordingly. This may involve using personal data like first name or last purchase or membership anniversary, or categorical data like the customer segment, tier or group they fall into.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Are they a Platinum Member?
    You can acknowledge this by including it as on-screen text under their name.
  • Do they live in Boston?

You can add a scenic touch by showing Boston Harbor in the background.

  • Have they already registered for paperless billing?
    You can go ahead and scrap the relevant scene.
  • Do they have young children?
    You might want to recommend a trip to Orlando instead of Las Vegas.

Wrapping up

Creating a captivating video involves a thoughtful combination of strategy and execution, and it’s exponentially easier when you do it with SundaySky.

By taking advantage of these tips and best practices, you’ll be well on your way to producing a compelling video that engages your customers and even makes them glad they watched!
Remember: we’re always here to help. If you’d like more comprehensive guidance on building your story strategy or implementing any of these ideas, you can visit our help center or reach out to our creative strategy team.