Web Video Production FAQs: 3 Answers to Commonly-Asked Questions That May Surprise You

What’s More Important – Content or Audio-Visual Quality?

While web video production is highly dependent on crisp, clear pictures and well-crafted songs, not a lot of love is given for videos with a shallow message and flat delivery. In fact, some videos manage to scrape by and win passable points on content alone. Even a slightly fuzzy 360p video can be bearable if the story/selling point manages to impress you.

But don’t think this means you can put all thought into the story and maybe cut costs on the audio-visual production.

Truth is, neither can be considered “more important” than the other. The audio-visual package is what grabs people’s attention because, ooh, shiny! However, the story/content is what makes them stay. You need seven or eight seconds of stunning, attention-grabbing scenery and sounds. Once they’re in, you need content that is neither mind-numbing nor repetitive to convince them to stay.

Excellent web video production depends on strong content and high-quality audio-visuals to pack that winning one-two combo. Without the other one, both aspects just fall flat.

What’s the best orientation to use – vertical or horizontal?

Surprise – vertical might actually be winning this one.

Back when the only way to watch online web video was through PC or laptop, vertically-oriented videos were the devil. When uploaded to video hosting platforms like YouTube or Facebook, the standard 16:9 ratio didn’t automatically adjust for videos shot at portrait orientation. For a standard 1080p, where the width of the video is ideally 1920, the most you could get horizontally was 720 pixels filled. That’s less than half.

The result were these really annoying black bars on the left and right sides of the video.

But now that a phone can do practically everything a laptop can, people prefer watching videos vertically. Horizontally-oriented video ads force the user to turn the phone sideways – and who has time for that?

(Surprisingly, not a lot of people).

Snapchat – another social media platform giant – states that vertical video ads “have up to 9x more completed views” as compared to horizontal ones. If you’re aiming for purely TV or PC-based ads, stick to horizontal. But if you’re aiming to sweep the mobile market, keep the orientation vertical and you should be all set.

Is Longer Stronger?

Given that Snapchat’s selling point is that pictures and videos disappear after a few seconds, you’d think people would go for the shorter ads. However, some market research has shown that people tend to skip 15-second ads more than they would 60-second ones. So in web video production, is longer actually stronger?

The answer is neither a yes or a no. It depends on what you’re trying to drive home. For brand awareness, fifteen seconds is enough to give people the name and general gist of your brand. If you’re selling cereal, you can show product shots of kids enjoying it and moms loving the nutrition it brings – and that’s enough. Wrap it up with your brand logo, fifteen seconds, in and out, and the people who watched it through to the end are aware you exist.

Done.

But if you’re aiming for something beyond brand awareness – call for volunteers for a charity, an invitation to celebrate a holiday, etc. – longer is definitely better. Case studies found that fifteen-second videos delving into something “deep” (something other than brand awareness) were skipped more than thirty- and sixty-second ones showing the same thing.