Text content is still an incredibly powerful and accessible medium. This is clearly highlighted by the rise of millions of blogs across anything from corporations to individual life journals. That means that there is a ton of content just ready to be transformed into video – and it doesn’t need to be complicated. Don’t overthink it, do what feels right, and do what works! But first…
Should it be done?
When evaluating your own text content for video, make sure to answer this simple question: are visuals important or something that can enhance this piece? If not, stick with a podcast. You can absolutely get creative, but don’t try to stretch the content into video – there should be a happy compromise. This is important to note so it will be reiterated: not every piece of text content is going to be enhanced with video, and that’s completely okay. Podcasts work well in almost all scenarios as it gives visitors the freedom to consume in a preferred format. Now, if you want to stick with video – and you think your content is a good fit – here are some helpful tips to get the creativity cranking.
Let’s explore a few of the trending video formats that are applicable to most use cases.
- Video and Text only
- Video, Text, and Audio (but works fine without audio)
- Video and Audio (standard video)
The type of format you want use has to align with your content and audience goals. For instance, if you are social marketing on Facebook: you’re going to want to put text in there. Most social media users watch the clip without audio and this is why the video and text model has become one of the most popular formats. As for the visuals: use good-looking b-roll. Bonus points if the b-roll is relevant (this is not always possible but should be added if it makes sense to do so). There are plenty of royalty free video libraries if you are having trouble finding some filler content. Static pictures can also work, and can be made to look dynamic with a quick and easy effect. If YouTube is your primary audience, stick with standard video. People hop on YouTube expecting audio, so reserve the text-focused video for other social media.
There are a number of great options here and most can be seen with a quick scroll through social media. That’s why here, we’ll stick with the basic tips:
- Have a nice logo reveal
- Feature logo in one corner throughout video
- Highlight important pieces of text (in brand colors) if using subtitles
- Keep the b-roll moving (change the scene every 10-20 seconds)
- Keep text centered with a reasonable margin
Pretty much all blog content starts with a hook, it may start in the title, but there’s always a tidbit to keep people reading. We can re-use this hook in video. The simplest way to do this is adding captivating b-roll (doesn’t necessarily need to be relevant) and shortening the text hook to sit at the beginning. Making the text appear as part of the thumbnail is also a good way to generate interest in the content. Especially if the hook is going to be your opening frame (which it almost always should be). This method is very similar to the first video above (can you see the “hook” in the thumbnail?).
After incorporating the hook, we have too keep the flow going. If you are going to use text in place of audio make sure to time the transitions appropriately. In fact, err on the slower side. This adds a little suspense as viewers anticipate the next “mind-blowing” tip.
The next step is the overall timing of the video. Long videos are cool, if the content is really there. The goal with video, however: is to give a succinct version of the content that still resonates with your audience’s pain points. This means that they are getting just the meat of the content with no frills attached. People appreciate this, and while there are small tricks (like increasing text timing) that we can use to keep people engaged for longer – the goal is to have people feeling like they learned something valuable in a short amount of time. Sometimes the content is just so good that you can keep people engaged through long videos, but stick with 1-2 minutes as a general rule. There is a significant drop-off in audience engagement after 2 minutes.
Plus, distilling your content for video actually helps spawn new content ideas. When you look deeply into content to find the nuggets worth sharing, you analyze your own work in the frame of your audience. This methodology has certainly helped us in generating ideas and we’ll have a post on it soon so stay tuned!
One last useful tip to keep in mind: link back to the original post in the video description. This will keep your content alive and trigger an increase in traffic. More traffic equals more clicks and more conversions. With that being said, you really can’t ignore the potential of your old content. Don’t let it just sit there – reuse it!