Learn about the components of a quality video, including objective quality (audio, video, editing, and lighting) and subjective quality (interest, relevance, and engagement).
- Everybody will tell you that you need to make quality content, that you need to put out quality videos. What they fail to do is to tell you what that actually means and what that would actually look like. I usually break this down to objective quality and subjective quality. Objective quality are the technical aspects of a video and its production and editing. Whereas, subjective quality has much more to do with on-camera presence, clear messaging, and also relating it to the audience in a meaningful way. Let's start with talking a little about objective quality because it's easier to accomplish that because it's something that is measurable and usually can be handled with technical expertise and the right equipment.
Terms of objective quality, you want to focus on your video production values in terms of whether this has good color, whether this has the appropriate lighting, whether it's sharp and in focus. Obviously, you want the audio quality to be good. You don't want anything distracting in terms of noise or things going on in the background. You want to make sure that it has the appropriate amount of loudness, that if there is music that it's mixed in appropriately. You also want your set design and aesthetics to be right because they either need to match the tonality of the video in terms of what it communicates, but also they need to eliminate distractive elements.
Like, no one wants distractions like blinking lights, or anything that is too colorful or stands out too much compared to the main subject. So that's also something you need to take in to consideration, when we're talking about quality. Obviously, editing is a factor when we're not talking about live video, and that's something that also can add to the quality of a video. Are there too many jump cuts? Are the transitions unnecessary? Is the pacing right? These are things that all have to be considered, and you also have to think about the timing and format of the video, and whether it's appropriate to the audience.
So these are all things that are objective because they are measurable. There's no getting around whether something has bad lighting or bad audio or whether it is distracting. This is something that you can easily, objectively qualify in terms of it being very black and white. So, that's something that we can go ahead and look at because the fact that you can throw $5000, $10000 at all this great production, and that can be right, but then you have to deal with the subjective quality. You have to deal with how the viewer interprets this past the point of saying it looks good.
It sounds good. Now does it feel good? That's where things get subjective. And I think that a lot of people focus on the subjective quality of a video when they say go make a quality video. And that's why it feels like it's so hard. Now with regard to that subjective quality, you have to, of course, start with your on-camera presence because if you are the person who's on camera, if you are the host of the video, then you're carrying the video to the finish line at the end of the day. So you have to approach this with confidence.
You have to also try to make sure your points are concise, and that you're being consistent. You also have to make sure that you are clear with your audience, that you're communicating very clearly. And if you're going to accomplish any of that, you have to have the appropriate comfort level. So one of the things I try to tell people is that if you're going to be on camera and you're going to do this, try and dress in a way that makes you feel confident, that makes you feel comfortable. Try and make sure that your surroundings are a place that you feel safe and that you feel that you don't have distractions to you that are going to take away from your delivery and the strength that you deliver across the camera.
So I think that that's something that's very important. And then the other thing that I would say is probably the best hack that I use is I try to keep all of my messaging conversational when I'm on camera. I try not to be overly formal. I occasionally try to be who I actually am, which is sarcastic and I think that that authenticity comes across and I think that people value that a lot more than if I were a lot more stuffy and a lot more buttoned up. I feel that for me, being authentic and then calculating maybe a 95% authenticity with the 5% filter of what's appropriate to the situation is enough for the audience to feel like there's a good, strong, emotional connection there.
But beyond that emotional connection, you have to do three very important things. You have to make sure that the content that you're producing is interesting to the target audience. Can not stress this enough. That is one of the first qualifiers for them staying or leaving. Then, it has to be relevant to them and have the right context. You have to make sure that this may be a topic that's interesting to me, but are you speaking to me in a very relevant way as the viewer? As something where this is going to matter to me as the viewer specifically? And then, is this engaging? Is this enough to keep my interest? Is this enough to actually make me follow through on a call to action and a commitment? If it doesn't, then again it feels like you may have wasted your time because you didn't get this all the way across the finish line.
So, when it comes to producing quality content, the objective technical value is important, but you cannot take away from the value of subjective quality and how the viewer feels about what they're watching. Because you could spend all of this money, and you might as well burnt it, if you cannot deliver on an emotionally satisfying experience for the viewer that delivers on the promise that the video is making.
- Preproduction and planning
- Production: camera, lights, and audio
- Video editing and post
- Online video platforms
- Understanding your audience
- Making awesome content
- Releasing the right volume of content at the right times
- Developing a content calendar
- Video optimization strategies