The modern internet is all about visual content. You’re supposed to instantly attract attention and keep the viewer glued to your content as long as possible. 

This is best done with a 30-second video. But, how do you make your 30-second video amazing? 

Read on and find out.

Why a 30-Second Video?

Different audiences have different expectations. Depending on what audience you’re targeting, your video will have a different impact based on its length. 

When made for an expert audience, a video should be long, elaborate and packed with information or it will come out as patronizing. 

When made for a layman audience, a video should be short, straightforward and packed with just enough information to keep the viewer engaged or it will come out as overbearing.

Giving a long video to a layman audience or a short video to an expert audience would make them both quickly lose interest in the video as they start feeling it isn’t on their level. 

Making a 30-second video is then about understanding the layman audience and providing it what it expects, wants, and needs.

Grab Attention With The Title

A typical layman is constantly distracted, with dozens or hundreds of open tabs in the browser and several chat apps running at once. 

To grab their attention, your video needs to have the right kind of title that gives off what’s known as “information scent”, making them drop everything to click on and watch your video to the end with undivided attention.

Jakob Nielsen, a usability expert, compared the way users hunt for information online to the way animals forage for food in the jungle—by trying to sniff out the information scent, as it were. When it comes to video titles, this means your title should be:

  • Scannable
  • Understandable at a glance
  • Informative
  • Honest in setting expectations

A title that provides an overwhelmingly strong information scent can actually turn the audience away. 

This is known as “clickbait” and may fail catastrophically when the audience catches on that the video titled “THE PRANK THAT NEARLY KILLED ME” neither shows the prank nor that the video creator was in mortal danger.

Write A Script For The Video

Movies and shows have scripts and your 30-second video should too. It’s not an ego boost but a simple and easy trick to make your video-making efforts much more efficient. 

A video script lets you plan ahead and organize your video before you’ve even start making it. If you start making amazing videos, your scripts will serve as a great portfolio and a launchpad to success.

A typical English speaker will say around 150 words per minute, so a 30-second video should have a script of around 75-80 words. 

The script should include the description as well as all the narration. If you find yourself going over the word limit, just keep writing and split the script in two; now you’ve got the script for the sequel too!

Make A Storyboard

Now that you have a script, it’s time to visualize the scenes. This step will ask you for some drawing skill but you don’t have to make your storyboard professional or anything; a scribble will do. 

The storyboard serves as a general guideline on the order of your scenes during your video. 

You should have an understanding of how objects in your video stand in relation to one another and, if there’s movement, in what direction it’s happening. 

Optimize The Video For The Target Platform

Social media platforms allow for the sharing of short, easily consumable content, such as a 30-second video. 

However, each platform has its own quirks you should exploit to the max to make your video have as much spread as possible. 

For example, Youtube allows for the setting of thumbnails while Twitter and 9gag by default autoplay videos muted.

Platforms are increasingly adopting muted autoplay as a default because video content makers abused the autoplay feature by putting in a blaring soundtrack that irritated and repelled the audience.

No problem, just go visual. 

And keep in mind that the majority of video is viewed without sound, so subtitles can help keep every audience engaged.

Use Visual Conventions

When you start making a video, you’re not supposed to invent everything from scratch. In fact, trying to be completely original is very likely to confuse your audience. 

Instead, you should draw from the pool of visual conventions other video creators are already drawing from.

For example, if you want to show that something happened in the early 20th century or before, you can make your video monochrome instead of writing out the year.

As you watch videos from content creators, you’ll start noticing these conventions. Here are a few examples that showcase how Vidico makes use of important visual conventions to maximize the impact of video marketing:

Background Elements

In this video for mattress brand Koala, the audience can easily tell that the second part of the 30-second video is happening in the kitchen because of the pan rack in the background. The first part can immediately be placed as happening in the bedroom, again because of the background, which is pristine white. 

By understanding how the layman viewer picks up visual cues seen in the background, you can place your story wherever you want without being overbearing about it.

Costume

In this Square Terminal video, you can see how the clothes make the layman viewer understand the person’s standing in the world. 

As the video starts, we see fast food servers wearing a uniform. The owner of the restaurant, Tim, wears the same uniform but is then shown wearing different clothes, though still with an apron. 

The layman viewer can immediately understand that Tim has grown his business, seeing how his clothes are now more intricate, but is still doing the same job as before. The message is clear—this service helps you move up in the world.

Facial Expressions

Our brand commercial for Wisr shows the power of facial expressions. The video opens with a man in plain clothes sitting over a stack of papers with an anguished expression. 

The papers worry him. The camera shows five people in business suits opposite him with satisfied, smiling and intent expressions. One of the businesspeople hands the man a pen and the man signs. The businesspeople cackle and burst out laughing. 

The story is perfectly clear without any dialogue and can be shown across the world without any translation—it’s a business contract that goes against the best interests of the man and works for the business people.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of 30 Seconds

You can accomplish a lot in a 30-second video. These examples prove the power of a short video to build a brand or sell a product.

Want to see what you can do for your brand in 30 seconds? Reach out to Vidico today!