If you find yourself intimidated by the concept of creating video content, you’re not alone.

Every minute of the day, YouTube users alone upload 72 hours of new video content, not to mention uploads to Facebook, Vimeo, Daily Motion or Wistia.

With all that noise, making your video stand out, increasing engagement and finding ways to add value is a mammoth task; which makes doing it right even sweeter.

Fortunately, there are tons of great blueprints for creating valuable, meaningful video content.

I’ve taken a closer look at some of these strategies and have condensed the advice here, in a “delightfully short” guide to adding value with your video content. I’ve included the latest research on video content, the best expert tips, and some great examples of video content done right. If you’ve got any more tips or examples of great brand videos, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

How to Create Video Content - the quick and simple guide for social media

The Stats Behind Valuable Video Content

At first glance, taking on the challenge of adding video to your content marketing mix might seem enormous to say the least.

So why would you want to take on such a mammoth task?

  1. Video generates 3x as many monthly visitors to a website as other content
  2. Visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video
  3. Organic traffic from search engines increases by 157% with video
  4. Consumers are 46% more likely to seek information about a product or service after seeing in an online video
  5. Consumers are 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video
  6. Consumers have 57% more confidence in their online purchase with video

Online video presents a huge opportunity for you to add tremendous value to your brand, whether you overall goal is increasing conversions, improving brand confidence or simply to show you care.

With the advent of social streaming platforms such as Meerkat and Periscope, and in a world where the majority of marketers already have some way of recording HD video and access to easy-to-use editing software, it’s clear that no matter your budget or ability, you can create valuable video content.

The 5-Step Process to Creating Video Content Marketing

I’ve gone through some of the best user guides to making engaging video, and I’ve highlighted a few of the key steps that experts are suggesting you consider when creating video content.

Here is a quick rundown of my five steps toward more valuable video:

  1. Listen and understand your audience
  2. Align with your brand goals
  3. Create the content and make it resonate
  4. Share. Share. Share again!
  5. Measure. Analyse. Understand.

1. Listen and understand your audience

First things first, before brainstorming video ideas or choosing the right video tools or thinking about which cameras to buy, you’ll need to find out:

What does your audience want to see?

Making the effort to understand what your audience wants can add a huge amount of value to your video.

Before settling on an idea for your video, spend some time getting to know your audience, looking at what they want to know about your brand and what they are talking about in the industry.

Earlier in the year, Kevan’s post covered some really useful tools that can help you understand and get to know your audience. With that list in mind, here are a few ideas of where to begin with listening:

  1. Social media conversations, questions, and replies
  2. Surveys sent to your users, subscribers or followers
  3. Frequently asked questions from your support inbox
  4. A Twitter hashtag search of something meaningful to your brand
  5. Popular question headlines in a BuzzSumo search of your brand’s keywords

2. Align with your brand goals

Once you’ve identified a topic for video content that you think your audience would enjoy, the next consideration is you and your brand.

Does your video idea fit with your brand’s goals? 

After you’ve taken time to understand your audience, Katherine Hipwell of Red Bee Media suggests looking toward your brand goals and seeing how these align with the needs of the audience.

What is a brand’s objective? What is the audience interested in? And how can this be done in real time?

Here’s a neat Venn diagram that touches on the intersection of these three key questions. Aim for video content that can answer “Yes” to all three questions.

Ideal content Venn diagram

If it becomes a struggle to align brand objectives with audience wants and needs, consider shelving the idea for the time being.

It is a tough thing to do, but will help you focus on the most valuable ideas for both the brand and audience.

3. Create the content, and make it resonate

Once you’ve figured out what your audience wants and how that fits with your brand’s goals, you can move ahead on creating the video content. The Buffer blog has covered some ways to easily get started here.

I’d love to focus on the end result of your video:

What change in thinking, motivation or behaviour do you want your video to affect?

To make your video more interesting and shareable, there is some really intriguing advice in terms of the psychology and emotions behind video content.

One of my favorite stories on the topic was shared by Christina Desmarais at Inc. Christina wrote about the strategies at Unruly, a marketing company that specializes in viral video.

Unruly determined 18 psychological responses that your video should aim for.

  1. Happiness
  2. Exhilaration
  3. Amazement
  4. Inspiration
  5. Hilarity
  6. Contempt
  7. Disgust
  8. Sadness
  9. Warmth
  10. Pride
  11. Nostalgia
  12. Surprise
  13. Knowledge
  14. Shock
  15. Confusion
  16. Arousal
  17. Fear
  18. Anger

Among these, the positive emotions are the ones that are most effective at driving social shares. Emotions like happiness, exhilaration, and amazement (the first five listed above, in particular) are great indicators of a successful video on social media.

Christina’s post goes on to share 10 main reasons why people share videos with others, a list drawn from Unruly’s experience in viral video. Among the 10 reasons, here are two that stood out to me:

  • The sharer believes the product or service could be useful to friends.
  • It demonstrates the sharer’s knowledge or authority on a subject.

So when creating a video, keep in mind the emotions you’re creating with your video and the reasons why someone might share it. And in case these ideas seem a bit vague (I know I can sometimes struggle in this area!), here are some helpful resources from Wistia on the topic of emotions and video.

  1. How to Balance Logic and Emotion in Your Videos
  2. When Is It Best to Use an Emotional Video?
  3. How to Choose the Right Music for Your Video

tl;dr – Write a script that captures the emotional voice and tone of your brand, choose music that elicits the right emotion. 

4. Share. Share. Share again!

Once you’ve made your awesome and engaging video, you’ll be set to upload and share it, ready to watch the views roll in.

To get the most effective results, approach sharing your video in the same way as any other content and spread your social posts out over a long period of time.

You could be sharing your video and adding value consistently for days!

Think about how often you should post to different networks, and if you’re on the forever free plan at Buffer, you can connect a profile from each network (one from Facebook, one from Twitter, etc.) and schedule ahead 10 posts for each network.

5. Measure and attribute success

One of the most frustrating and confusing parts of making video content is knowing what success is and how to measure ROI.

After you’ve spent hours successfully creating this amazing content that is tailored toward your audience while aligned with your brand objectives, how do you even know if it worked? You might already know you need to set some KPIs, but which metrics even matter?

Carla Marshall of ReelSEO suggests focusing on three key areas:

  1. Audience
  2. Expression
  3. Participation

Audience: Look at the # of views from your target demographic or a video’s % of views from that demographic.

Expression: Look at how much watch time the video has accumulated, both the total amount and the average time each viewer is watching. Look at the # of subscribers your videos are earning, or the % of new subscribers you’re picking up compared to the number of views your videos are getting. You can also measure how many clicks you’re getting through to your website.

Participation: # of shares or the % of shares to views


When it comes to metrics, it’s always seemed that there was a lot of pressure to get ‘views’. In fact experts are now considering ‘view count’ as a secondary metric, with the majority suggesting shares and view time to be more important than views themselves.

My favorite tip for measuring the value and success of your video comes from TheMediaOctopus (from their really interesting infographic):

Key tip: Contrary to popular belief, you should focus on how many times the video has been shared, NOT viewed. The action of sharing is the gold standard in social, a metric in itself which offers a big opportunity to influence brand metrics and performance.

3 Great Examples of Memorable Video Content

There are some excellent examples of brand videos scattered across landing pages, blogs and social channels. You don’t have to look far on YouTube or Facebook to find something valuable and engaging that ticks all the right boxes.

I’ve handpicked three of my favorites. Each one provides great value for their audience and illustrates different ways you might use video, add value and connect with your audience.

The 3 E’s of Valuable Video Content

1. Educate

Video hosting platform Wistia offer an incredible series of videos that aims to educate their audience and inspire them to make better video content.


The brand goal is simple; highlight Wistia’s expertise while educating existing and potential customers, helping improve the video content their audience produce.

2. Entertain

Although uploaded in 2012, so in no way new to the video content market, Dollar Shave Club’s viral commercial continues to set a high standard for entertaining and amusing content.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the goal of the video was to drive awareness of the Dollar Shave Club brand, highlighting the key benefits to their audience, in a fun and entertaining way.

3. Engage

In her recent Emoji post Courtney highlighted the great use of video content from PETA, using Emojis to communicate their powerful message and engage a very specific audience.

With their sights firmly set, PETA took a brave and unconventional approach, engaging the target audience in relatable terms yet still delivering the brand’s disturbing message in a simple yet effective manner.

The three examples are a tiny drop in the ocean of incredible brand video content. Each video indicates that by simply understanding the audience they are targeting, brands can create a more rich, valuable and meaningful content.

If you’ve experienced some engaging and valuable video content, let me know in the comments.


Hopefully this helps show that creating valuable, engaging and meaningful video is well within your grasp. And by taking a step back and aligning your business goals with your audience wants and needs, you can add tremendous value to your brand.

What questions do you have about including video on your content marketing strategy? How do you measure the value of your videos? Have you experienced some great brand videos? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.

Image sources: UnSplash, Pablo, IconFinder

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Written by Matt Aunger

A growth and community-focused brand storyteller and marketer, blogging at MattMadeLife. Using actionable content to inspire communities. When not creating content, you’ll find Matt enjoying live streams on Periscope and Blab, restoring a 1969 Sprite Caravan, collecting vintage box cameras, or sat in front of an open fire with a great book!

  • Matthew Parker

    Thanks for a good post. I’d love to see a post with some simple ideas on how to create videos quickly and efficiently for newbies 🙂

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks for the feedback Matthew. That’s a really great idea for a post. Did you read Leslie Belknap’s article on the 6 Easiest Video editing tools? http://buff.ly/1FF7rz4 That’s a great resource if you’ve already shot some video 🙂

      • Matthew Parker

        I hadn’t seen it – but it’s very useful. Thanks for letting me know about this. I’d also love to see articles on shooting and hosting video 🙂

        • Matt Aunger

          No problem Matthew. It’s a really great list of easy-to-use editing tools.

          Wow! That would be a great post and so many angles to come from.

          It could cover 1 video project, seeing it through from planning and shooting through to hosting and distribution (something like Kevan’s How to Write a Blog Post? http://buff.ly/1QkzLB9 );

          Or, it could cover the many different ways to undertake shooting and hosting for beginners, highlighting some key tools and alternative platforms, in a similar way as the editing tools article.

          What do you think?

          • Matthew Parker

            Well I think you have two great blog posts there! I’d like to see both 🙂
            Let me know if you need a test subject for the case study…

          • Matt Aunger

            😀 Will do Matthew.

  • Nice post Matt! Video is where its at and this article helps. Thanks and happy Monday! 🙂

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks Steve, I really appreciate your kind comment. Happy Monday! 🙂

  • Steph Little

    Hi Matt, thanks for a really useful post! Can I ask, what is the source/s for those key 6 stats in your intro?

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks Steph.
      Of course you can 🙂
      The source was this post http://buff.ly/1JFqoXb by Giles Henderson.
      This infographic by The Media Octopus (http://buff.ly/1dsekMt) offered the same information.

      I hope that helps 🙂



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  • Great guide! I think #1 is key. Listen and understand your audience. This is something far too many miss. Seems they skip right to step #2 and only think about their own goals. This is true for all forms of content, not only video. Then they wonder why it didn’t resonate like they’d hoped and simply write it off as low return form of content.

    Step #5 is crucial also. The number of views your video saw doesn’t tell the whole story and high viewership doesn’t automatically convert to high sales. Expression and participation plus I’d add action, are how you can really see if the video hit home and did what you’d intended or if a bunch of people simply saw it and thought nothing of it.

    Thanks for putting this together. Certainly a great resource for those getting their video game on.

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks for reading and commenting Ben.
      Great input and I particularly like your point about it being true of all forms of content.

      Video is, after all, another string to the content marketing bow and it could help to approach it in the same way as other pieces of content.

      I’m really glad you liked it 🙂

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  • A great and definitive guide for brands and businesses who wants to get started with video marketing. Great work Matt. I like videos that tells the audiences a bit of the brand experience. My favorite example is GoPro.

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks Hitesh, that’s great to hear 🙂 I LOVE the GoPro videos too! Their approach is perfect. There’s no better way for them to show off what their cameras can do than to create valuable, entertaining and inspiring videos. Great example 😀

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  • Great post. As an animator and video editor the only thing I would add is “don’t try and include too much”. If you’re new to video, it’s sometimes tempting to want to include absolutely everything about your business. Videos are not text; you can’t treat them in the same way. It’s a different kind of storytelling. If you do your job in making a great video, people will naturally want to find out more about your business.

    • Matt Aunger

      That’s a really good point Mark, thanks for sharing your professional insight.

      I think that’s true of content across the board as well. Focus on the core message and don’t overload your audience with information.

      Leave them wanting more!

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  • 2015 is really the year to start with video marketing. isn’t it Matt? I just jumped here after reading a post from Donna Moritz on making short videos for social channels. I haven’t started on the video marketing bandwagon but will give it a try. Great content for marketers, Matt!

    I would like to cite two more examples of video marketing which I find really delectable

    1. The Epic leg split [Volvo]
    2. The LG Ultra HD TV prank video ad [this was out of the box]

    • Matt Aunger

      I think it is the year to start, Ajay 🙂
      Can you link to the Donna Moritz post? I’d love to read it :

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed my post 🙂 Thank you so much for the kind words!

      The Epic leg split video is awesome. It was very nearly added as an additional example here 😛 (I had to reign myself in a lot!) – available here for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet! https://youtu.be/M7FIvfx5J10

      Do you mean this LG one? https://youtu.be/Cer8I4cX-vs I love this!

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  • Osko Marketing/Video

    Great and complete article! As you wrote “Organic traffic from search engines increases by 157% with video”, and as video is a sharable content, it increase your visibility and your brand awarness.

    The new generation of consumer (The Millennials) prefer to watch content than read it. So there is everything to gain for marketers and brand which use video a marketing tool.

  • Luke

    Thanks for this great post. I am a new blogger. I am confuse about my blog SEO. I dont understand what kind of SEO i have to do first for my blog. If i will do Video content marketing first, Is there any problem?

    • Matt Aunger

      Hi Luke, thanks for your question, I’ll answer as best I can (though perhaps someone in the Buffer team might want to jump in here?).

      In a nutshell – please understand I am simplifying things a lot here – when it comes to SEO and blogging, it’s all about keeping your posts consistently relevant to the topic you want to rank highly for.

      From what I understand, recent changes to search engine algorithms should mean that the quality, relevance of posts are given more emphasis than the number of keywords used in the copy.

      There are a few great SEO posts on the Buffer blog here https://blog.bufferapp.com/?s=seo and particularly this one from Courtney is a great guide for beginners https://blog.bufferapp.com/beginners-guide-to-seo.

      I wouldn’t suggest video instead of standard SEO if you are going to be writing posts, as if your posts aren’t of a high quality it will impact your ranking.

      Of course there’s no problem with just placing your emphasis on video content, as long as it’s valuable and engaging to your audience.

      Hope that helps.

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  • DarthSharon

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom on a topic I didn’t know to consider.I’m slowly learning that success will not come by content only and am eagerly learning how to better present my thoughts and ideas.
    You covered a lot of content beautifully and kept me reading to the very end. Bravo!
    I’m excited to apply your wisdom. Many thanks to the rest of the team as well!

    Career success with personal brand

  • Making a video is not tough. The hardest part of using a video in your campaign is to know where to place it. Right placement is always the major concern. Specially when embedding them in a article or a Blog post. Please shed some light on it.

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks Tap Analytic, that’s a really good point.

      It’s true that once you’ve tackled the video process and made something valuable, finding the right placement for videos is the next major consideration.

      The right placement is very specific and will differ for types of video, the audience and the business goals.

      Unfortunately I haven’t looked into how to get the best placement within an article or blog post. I’d suggest starting with a process of trial and optimisation to figure out what drives the most engagement for your specific audience.

      Sorry I can’t be more specific. If you find a better solution I’d love to know, so please share it back here 🙂

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  • Albert Freeman

    Very useful, thanks Matt. I work in local government and have had good success with video over the past year. I want to up my game a bit though, so this is all useful. Wistia’s how-to videos look great. They’ve got themselves a new subscriber. 😉

    • Matt Aunger

      Thanks Albert, I’m glad it helped and it’s great that you’re having success with video. What kind of videos have you found work best for you? I’d love to see some! Wistia’s videos are really great. Easy to follow and full of some fantastic tips. 🙂

      • Albert Freeman

        This year I’ve mostly been doing spontaneous videos of events in Bradford, rather than planned or campaign videos. Our audience, particularly on Facebook, have liked what we have been doing. The most successful video this year has been this one of Victorian tunnels that are now being redeveloped: https://www.facebook.com/bradfordmdc/videos/782095765205943/

        • Matt Aunger

          Wow. I bet trying to shoot in that lighting was pretty unforgiving 😛 I love the amount of engagement you got on this video. It’s also pretty obvious that it’s an important topic that has struck a chord with the public, judging by some of the comments! Great video for driving engagement.

          • Albert Freeman

            It shows how good an iPhone 6 is at shooting video – no extra equipment was used, just me and the phone! It was then edited in iMovie in an iPad. Knowing what I know now, I think I could do it better, but it’s all a learning process.

            Yes, the engagement blew me away. I knew the tunnels were something people were interested in, but I wasn’t quite expecting it to become our most successful Facebook post ever!

          • Matt Aunger

            Even the interview? The sound quality is excellent for a phone recording! It’s no wonder live streaming is suddenly taking off when phones are capable of that level of quality.

          • Albert Freeman

            Yes, the interview too. Since making that video I have bought a SmartLav+ mic, so audio quality will be better for future videos. But you’re right, it is impressive what just a phone can achieve given the right conditions.

  • Hi Matt, this is Akhtar from https://goodwpthemes.com. First off, thanks for very well written with useful tips article! Yes. I tried this method to update my existing post in the blog.. This is very helpful tactics to get more traffic.

  • I really enjoyed your article . Thank you. I think video is becoming more and more important if you want to stand out and get noticed on the web. I totally agree with what you say about shorter being better – I find myself switching off or trying to fast forward longer videos.

  • Paul Farmer

    Hi Matt,
    This is a very informative post. Thanks for putting it together.

    I would like to get feedback from you, and any other interested readers, on a solution we are bringing to market to provide additional tools/options to reach viewers and engage them – custom highlight preview clips (which link to the source video) that can be displayed on websites or shared over social media.

    Once the video has been finalized, our tool allows creators/presenters to select the segments they feel will be most relevant to the target audience. The segments are combined into a custom summary clip which can be embedded or shared. Viewers can trigger/control playback of the custom clip, or access the source video, simply be hovering over, or clicking on, the related thumbnail.
    This would allow visitors to quickly find interesting/relevant content, while giving content presenters/creators new ways to capture viewer interest and engage them. The idea is to provide greater choice & control over the viewing experience, plus save a lot of time, effort & frustration.

    To provide an example, here’s a link to a website I put together with clips from each of the three (90+ minute) US Presidential debates: http://usdebates2016.vidsnippets.com/?page_id=71

    Here’s a link to some clips I shared over Twitter: https://twitter.com/vsi_p

    The tool is designed for use by non-technical staff to enable more staff participation in the content selection/presentation processes.

    We initially targeted engineering/inspection markets, but think there may be strong potential for use in helping marketers and companies increase the ROI of their video assets. Do you see this as being something the market would be interested in?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.