How to create a winning web video series

Gary VaynerchukOne way to show personality, and create a closer bond with customers on your corporate website or blog is to create a web video series. By providing your audience with a regular schedule of video content, you can keep them coming back for more and maintain their interest over the long haul.

Here are a few tips for preparing a web video series.

guidelines for creating a web video series

  • Find the right theme
    As the first step towards creating a video series, your theme should fit your audience and your business. Some possibilities include how-to videos, tips and tricks and interviews. For example, Whole Foods has created a number of video series aimed squarely at their target audience of food-conscious shoppers. In Urban Eco, they share simple ideas to enhance your home such as how you can grow your own herbs, while in Grow they show how people across the U.S. are taking food production into their own hands.

    Episode 6 of Grow:

    [youtube]Rr3Ercz5bUI[/youtube]

  • Strive to engage
    You don’t need to go viral with your web video episodes like Zach Galifianakis’ Funny or Die series, Between Two Ferns has (definitely one of the best loved web series since its debut in 2008). You do need create something memorable and exciting to build a fan base. One great example is Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV series. With 1,000 episodes running over 5 years until 2011, it made wine more accessible with a no-nonsense presentation style that made winelibrary.com one of the largest online retailers and catapulted Vaynerchuk to internet fame.

    The final episode of Wine Library TV:

    [youtube]tp2GXLWYnkI[/youtube]

  • Set viewer expectations with your first episode
    The first video in your series will set audience expectations for future installments in terms of video length, format, style etc. While you can change things up as you go, think of that first video as a template for the episodes to follow.
  • Create a regular schedule
    Figure out how you’re going to handle script writing, production and editing in advance. Working with a video production company can be a major help.

    Exactly like blog posts, episodes in your web video series need to be created and uploaded regularly, or at least when you say you will. Choose a frequency that makes sense for your topic and your team, which most likely will be weekly or monthly. Less often than once a month and you can lose viewers. No matter what you decide, stick to your schedule to build a devoted fan base.

    It can be helpful to create an editorial calendar with topic ideas for your series. Include the calendar on your website so viewers know what’s coming next, or encourage them to sign up for email notifications when new videos are released.

  • Make a web page for your series
    Create a landing page with links to all the videos in the series, along with the episode title and a short description. This will help viewers quickly find the content they want to watch. Include future topics from your editorial calendar here too. Then on each individual video page, provide a link back to the landing page with the full list of episodes.

    As an example, take a look at Daisy Whitney’s New Media Minute landing page where she posted weekly about online video until earlier this year:
    Daisy Whitney's New Media Minute

  • Include your logo and web address
    Make sure your company logo is at the start and end of your videos, along with your website address and a link back to your website. That way, if other websites embed your video from YouTube, new viewers will be able to find you. At the end of each video, remind your fans to check out the next episode and include a preview if possible.
  • Optimize your content
    Give your video series a consistent title that’s easy to spell, and be sure to optimize your video descriptions and tags for video SEO. Don’t be misleading in your tags, or too generic; otherwise your videos could be considered spam. Include sharing options too to encourage viewers to spread the word.

Follow the tips above and you will be able to build a fan base that will return each month eager to watch your next video installment.

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