How to Create Video Content that Ranks

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

A recent study by HubSpot showed that in-email video leads to 200-300% increase in CTR. It also showed that including a video on a landing page increased conversions by 80%. YouTube has even been cited as growing over 100% every year.

These statistics are all the proof you need to know that video is the future of online content. So…

What are you doing to optimize your own video campaigns?


The Science Behind Video Content

To build a video campaign that drives ROI, we first need to know a little bit about neuromarketing, and a lot about what your users are looking at.

For starters, let's look at the selective attention of your general user.

Our natural selective attention makes us visually prioritize motion, then image, then text in that order. This means that, on the most fundamental level, the most engaging and eye-catching content plays to this strength. 


Because it is so much more engaging, video content needs to be a critical part of your content strategy. 

Video-Savvy Users

Digital content, like videos and webinars, is growing more popular amongst today's users. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that video content is becoming "common practice." Video is steadily becoming the preferred form of content consumption. 

So - how do we create this content users crave? 

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Technical Side of Video: the 3 S's

Video may be the future of online content, but it only works if you NAIL it, making it difficult. Nothing screams poor brand experience louder than a shoddy video with poor scripting, picture quality, and sound. So, to be sure that all my readers out there are coming out of this an expert videographer, here are some technical how-to guides for the 3 S's.

S#1 - Scripting

When it comes to video, the rule for success is always "SCRIPTING, SCRIPTING, SCRIPTING.

Starting with a robust script/outline will help you in more than the obvious ways. For example, writing a hearty script will get you researching your topic more and will render you more informed. Also, the more you work over what you'll say on camera, the more natural you'll seem.


Your script should include more than just your lines. It should also include any screenshots/screenshares, logos, and text overlays you'll use.

S#2 - Shots

As a general rule, if you're looking to get all of your shooting done in one quick shot - don't.

When we do video content at Directive it takes on average 2 hours to create just one 4-8 minute video. This includes: 

  • Scripting
  • Timelining shots
  • Shooting(reshooting if necessary) 
  • Editing (sound, white balance, etc) 
  • SEO/Youtube Optimization
  • Publication/Post

Thus, whenever you are debating between a single shot and breaking the shot into multiple cuts, choose the second. 

Excluding long frame, dynamic motion shots like POV etc, more cuts will always be better. Working out any shot specificities such as Cutaways, Pan shots, Video Overlays, or Steady Motion Shots beforehand will make the shooting go much smoother. 

When filming a still shot, the more cuts you have - jump or otherwise - the tighter hold you have on the user's attention.

Remember that selective attention "motion" priority? 


This is why Brain Dean's videos are made with a bazillion cuts in each video - even though he's never really moving.

Looking for some examples of awesome cuts/shots? Check out Backlinko's Youtube Channel.

S#3 - Style & Sound

Lastly, make sure that you have consistency between your different shots. And make sure that the technical post-production features of your video have all been addressed.

This means checking if your sound EQ is balanced. For the most part, the sound quality will be determined by your recording. Getting the cleanest audio recordings from the get-go is the best way to guarantee high-quality sound in post. 

But, nobody is perfect, so here is a great Youtube Tutorial for sound editing in post-production: for those of you that are interested. 

This also means doing some painstaking white balancing. White balancing tricks and tips can vary depending on what editing tool you use. My favorite is Final Cut, so here is a brief explanatory video on how to fix white balance in Final Cut. 

This is where video production ends up zapping your time. And these technical back-end fixes can be really tough for non-videographers. But, if you are willing to put in the leg work, they will give your video a strong, professional look.

If you are a one-man marketing team looking to take on a video campaign of your own, you'll need a solid editing tool. To help you out, here are some of the best free video editing tools available online today.

But, for the real pros, investing in Final Cut is always worth it.

Optimizing Video to Rank

Just like any content posts on your site, creative or otherwise, there’s some technical know-how necessary to optimize your video to rank. 

Even if you have the most engaging and actionable tips-focused video online, if you forget to format, Google will forget you.


On-Site Video Optimization

Videos are assets that aren't text based. So, as always, you need to insert alt text to make sure the site-crawlers can interpret the content.

However, alt text for video can be a bit tricky. 

As opposed to ordinary images, where your alt text is just an explanation of the image to a crawler, video needs keywords as well.


This is because Google can now listen to your videos to access it's keyword density. So to make sure that Google is doubling down on the keyword orientation and relevancy of your video, make sure your alt text is a complete transcript. 

For on-site video content, you should also make sure that your videos are properly compressed. Unformatted images and videos can really slow down your page speed and potentially hurt rankings. 

And we are trying to increase our traffic and engagements with these videos - not shoot ourselves in the foot. 

YouTube Video Optimization

YouTube is not your website. You don't need to optimize it as if you are trying to get the entire domain to show up on page 1 of the SERP. But, that doesn't mean there isn't any technical SEO that will go into your YouTube ranking.


If you have enough video content to start allocating it to a YouTube channel, you are already aiming for the top.

If that's the case, you'll want to know what tactics will help boost your YouTube ranking, Such as...

1. Descriptions - These are the YouTube version of your alt text. It should essentially be an exact match transcript of what you are saying in the actual video (but more heavy-handed keyword wise).

2. Keyword Density - Keep in mind that Google will be listening to your video to assess its keyword density. Which means that your title and your actual on-screen lines are what will determine what keyword you are ranking for. Sadly this means that you can't retroactively optimize your posts for new keywords. It's not like you can go back and edit your actual speech, after all.


3. Encourage Social Interaction - This is the big kicker because YouTube is an intersection of Google search and social media. It prioritizes your social interactions within the video in its ranking. This means that the number of likes, shares, re-posts, and comments you generate all matter.

What's more, YouTube gives you credit just for encouraging these social interactions. Using annotations and text highlights that tell users to "subscribe" or "like this video" all boost ranking.

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Before You Start: 3 Key Questions to Ask

I've spent the last 1500 words or so discussing the importance of high-quality production in your video campaigns. But, like I said, video only works if you NAIL it. So, before you get all excited and spend your next quarter’s budget on a fancy new video studio, make sure you take the time to sit down and think about the costs/benefits. 

Before you dive into any video campaign, large or small, be sure to ask yourself these 3 key questions:

1. Do I have the RESOURCES? A high-quality video will require high quality set up. This means a real studio, a real mic, a real steady cam, and taking the time to set them up correctly.

Here is the Before and After comparison of our “studio” at Directive Consulting

Directive Video Studio #1

Directive Video Studio #2


Needless to say, we didn’t start seeing results of any kind until we invested in a proper setup. 

2. Do I have the TIME? Remember the golden rule of video production: 1 minute of on-screen footage requires 1 hour of production AT THE LEAST. Make sure you are willing to put in the hours if you want to see the results you're looking for.

3. Do I have the PEOPLE? Not everyone is meant for on screen content. Some are great debaters, some are great orators, and others are great anchors. But there's a real truth to the fact that "not everyone is made for the limelight." 

So be considerate of personalities when you are putting someone in front of the camera.

Good luck! and happy scripting ;)

About the Writer - Sean Thomas Martin


I am the Marketing Marketer at Directive Consulting. We specialize in comprehensive search marketing campaigns for industry leading B2B brands. For a detailed consultation free of charge, click here!

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