Understanding what audiences want from video

Understanding your audience is a paramount objective of producing any form of content. If you can’t engage with your readers or watchers, they mightn’t find what you’re talking about interesting. And, as you probably already know, that’s not what you want.

Spend some time researching which demographics are interested in your client’s output. The last thing you want to do is commit time to creating something visually amazing, all J.J. Abrams style with lens flare all over the shop, only to discover that the client looks after children’s educational shorts. Rookie error.

It’s important to bear in mind that if you’re purely looking to engage with your audience, on a first encounter, to not be too product or company focused. Your key objective in engaging with your viewership is making them trust and believe in the stuff you’re going to be talking about.

The tools

A great way of getting to know an audience is through an online survey, which can be easily hosted on the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

This will provide you with direct insight, and it doesn’t have to be long – just a few key questions to help you get inside the mind of the viewership. We’d recommend Survey Monkey, if you were interested in this technique, which is free.

Another handy tool is Facebook’s Audience Insight tool – also free. It may look a bit complicated at first, but you’ll be offered a tour of the programme on your first visit, which should inform you how to make use of all those fancy pants graphs.

It would also be unjust not to mention Google and YouTube Analytics in this instance. If you’re producing video for yourself (as oppose to an external or unrelated company), you shouldn’t have any trouble in finding out what kind of person is visiting your site. You will also have access to their age, gender and what kind of device they’re using to digest your content.

Identifying a persona

Once you’ve managed to glean as much information as possible about the kind of person you’re making video for, create a customer or buyer persona. Who exactly is this person? What do they do for work? What do they enjoy doing in their free time? What have they bought in the past? Where do they live? What do they watch on TV?

It may seem unfair, but pigeon-holing your audience is a good exercise. A healthy thought process is to imagine if they were a celebrity with a stand out personality – if so, who would they be? Kim Kardashian? Samuel L. Jackson? Keith Lemon? You get the idea…

It may sound like an obvious one, but having this information to hand will be an invaluable reference point when creating your content.

Own it

At the end of the day, if you create something you truly believe in, your faith in it will shine through. Make it authentic and own it. Understanding your audience is undeniably the key to successful video production. If you can put yourself in their shoes, your content will be all the more genuine.

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