I’ve been making comedy videos for almost 10 years now. A viral comedy video got me an agent. Another one got me a part in a Channel 4 sitcom when one of the writers saw it retweeted on Twitter. But I don’t do it for the parts – I do it because I really enjoy taking control of my own content, making people laugh, and improving my skills.
During the first lockdown, like many people, I became extremely anxious after losing a lot of my work. I started making videos one day to reflect the mood of the nation and to take control of my creativity. If nobody was going to ask me to act or write something then I’d do it myself! They started going viral, and I learned from my mistakes. Trial and error is the best way to learn.
So here are my top five hits to give your video the best start, whatever you choose to create!
Length is everything…
The shorter your video is, the better chance it has at being watched and shared. Nowadays people have the attention span of a newt and if they see something is more than two minutes, they are much more likely to turn off if the first five seconds don’t grab them. Some platforms have max time lengths anyway but always aim for around 30 seconds or a minute for your first few videos. Once you build followers they’ll be happy to watch longer content. Editing your content is hard but be ruthless – get your friends to tell you what to cut. Remember to focus on the first five seconds of your video – grab their attention and make them keep watching!
It’s all in the Title or Description
It’s no use making a great video then sharing it with a very waffly description or long title. Keep your title, tag line, or description short and snappy. Make it clickbait. What would make YOU watch a video? A question often works well too – eg ‘Is this the most annoying Love Island contestant?’ For my first video, I just added the words ‘Britain’s Biggest Bridezilla’ and that got it going. For my viral back to work video, I chose ‘How people really feel about going back to work’. You’ve got to imagine people going through their feeds and think about why they’ll stop to watch YOUR content. How can you describe it in a fun and attention-grabby way in one sentence?
Timing is crucial
When you share your video – think about what time of day to upload. Each social media platform has a different demographic and a peak time/day. Do your research first. When is your audience most likely to be using it? Use something like Sprout Social which has regular updates on the best times to post per platform. Is your content best timed to a particular day (Valentines day for example) or during a particular TV show that might be trending (Love Island)?
If you’re struggling to know what to make or how to try and get more likes, look at what is trending and what the mood of the nation is. This might mean a very fast turnaround for content. Or it might mean you make content in advance of a predicted trend. For example, every Saturday the hashtag #caturday trends. Got any funny cat videos? Post them on Saturdays with that hashtag. I timed mine to go out when certain restrictions were being lifted. So when the Government announced the Tier rules over Christmas and that they’d come into place the next week – I scrabbled together a parody music video called New (Tier) Rules to go out on the morning the rules started. If you want to know what’s trending check Explore on Twitter, TikTok etc or scroll through feeds. What are people talking about? Angry about? Excited about?
What would YOU share?
These days lots of people have WhatsApp groups in which they share things to make people laugh. This increased a huge amount during lockdown when people couldn’t meet in person. So when you make your content, ask yourself if it’s something YOU would share with your friends. Is it the kind of thing they’d find funny? Would you retweet it?
If Anna has inspired you then be sure to check out our heat Content Creator Award, you can nominate yourself or a comedy video you think deserves recognition here and be in with a chance to win these fabulous prizes! Registration ends on 14th September.