Discover how to create titles that give context and meaning, and are interesting without being misleading.
- The title of a video is a promise, and the video itself has to deliver on that promise. A lot of people struggle with this. They need to make an interesting title, but they also need to make sure that it gives some context of the video people are actually going to watch, but you need to do it without being intentionally misleading. This is something that I see people struggle with time and time again, whether they're individuals or companies. This is where they can't seem to strike a balance, but it's not as difficult as you would think. I just think that it's a matter of being clear versus being clever.
Am I communicating exactly what this video says it is, and am I speaking to some kind of emotional value for the viewer versus just trying to make something attention-grabbing and clever? I think this is where people make the biggest mistakes. And I think that a good example of that would be if I did a video that's titled Five Common Mistakes in Online Video. That is straightforward and that is very clear and very direct. And it's not as if it's an uninteresting title.
If you're someone doing online video, this matters to you. This is relevant. If I did a title that just said I Made a Terrible Mistake or I Messed Up Again, that would be something that grabs attention and it's interesting, but does it really convey something with clarity? Does it really explain what expectation you should have when you click on this video? It's not enough to trigger people's curiosity and to get their attention. Those things are important, but it's equally, if not more important, to make sure that you're making a very clear promise that you can be held to, so that viewer can make a determination as to whether you delivered on that or not.
This is why I feel that search-friendly titles are important. Because they communicate a specific intent that a viewer has. If you're searching for something like how to tie a tie, how to a Windsor knot, you'll know very quickly whether or not a video is making that promise and it will be very easy to figure out whether they managed to keep that promise. If you can't seem to tie a Windsor knot or a tie at the end of that video, it failed. If you click on that video and it's about shoe-shining instead of about ties, that video failed. So, I think that search-friendly titles that are very intentional and communicate exactly what they're going to deliver on should be a priority in your video content strategy and in your marketing.
I also feel that what makes for a very good video title is something that is clear, but also speaks to the relevancy of the viewer and if it can trigger their curiosity in a meaningful way, then I think that's a practical approach. The way that I usually try to do this, is sometimes I'll lead with something that feels like two titles in a video. For example, 12 tips for public speaking, things you wouldn't expect. This does two things.
It tells you that you're going to get a specific amount of tips around public speaking, and it also tells you that there are things that you may not have heard before, and that might trigger your curiosity. 12 tips is great, but 12 tips that I haven't heard before, well that's interesting. Can you deliver on that? Have I heard these things before? I think that this is a great example of how you can balance both doing an emotionally satisfying title that triggers curiosity with a title that's very clear in what it's communicating. Again, a title is a promise and this is how you're going to deliver on it.
- 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