7 proven best practices for video marketing

Table of content
  1. Introduction
  2. Define your target
  3. Hook line and sinker
  4. Keep it simple stupid
  5. Captions are non-negotiable
  6. YouTube: the King of all Kings?
  7. Search Engine Optimisation 
  8. Adding Animation
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90 Seconds
2 years ago・13 min read

To drive results and connect with consumers, follow these seven best practice video creation tips from the world’s leading video creation platform.

From the first TV commercial, aired in 1941 for Bulova, to the advent of TikTok and viral video marketing, since its inception in 1951, the introduction of video was a ground-breaking gamechanger for the marketing and advertising industries; however, at no other time have the opportunities for brands who get their video content right, been so significant and substantial than what they are today.  

How so? This year, the average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching video¹ – and with nine out of 10 consumers overtly wanting to see more videos from brands and businesses in 2022,  the opportunities for brands who embrace this content are limitless². Video delivers stronger SEO, higher open rates through email marketing and streaming accounts for more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic³; with results like these, its vital brands are not only using this medium as an integral part of their strategy, but doing so to best effect in order to cut through the clutter and achieve desired results. Those who do so get a bigger piece of the pie, growing revenue 49% faster than non-video users and generating 66% more qualified leads per year, according to a recent WordStream study. 

90 Seconds, the premiere global video creation platform, is best placed to ensure your content is optimised, targeted and delivering clear ROI. Working with over 4,500 of the world’s biggest brands – across each and every sector – we know what works, what doesn’t and how to deliver results with numbers as high as the figure you’ll see reflected in your bonus pay out once the CEO gets wind of your success. To get you started, here are some best practice tips to follow this year to ensure you’re producing content that sings success. 

Define your target

It might sound basic but its priority number one – without a North Star or an idea of exactly where you’re going, what your aim is and whom you’re targeting, your video isn’t going to be tailored to reach maximum effect. You risk ending up with a wishy-washy piece of content – your goal needs to be front of mind in all that you do. 

For example, how old is your target viewer? This will help you identify how and where they consume video online. Where does your target viewer work? An all-important question especially for B2B companies as it will help streamline the tone of your video as well as placement. What are your customer’s pain points? This keeps front of mind what you need to say and focus on – especially important when you have just a few minutes. How do you solve the target viewer’s problem? The solution to this problem will serve as the framework for your video, helping you to choose whether you opt for an explainer-style Product Demo, Animation, Livestream, or UGC-styled Customer Story piece for example. 

Your video should have a clear purpose. Studies show that just having a video on your homepage increases traffic by 87%, so like chocolate cake, when its bad it’s still pretty good, but take the time initially to set your vision to ensure you’re creating the very best piece of content you can – a video that is targeted and optimised to best effect to deliver clear ROI. With 74% of people who watch explainer videos going on to purchase the product or service, its worth putting in the effort up front⁴. 

Hook line and sinker

A few years ago, most video marketing experts would state that a brand had just ten seconds to grab a viewer’s attention before they move on. The reality is in today’s digital and video proliferation, you need to capture attention quickly – within three seconds to be precise. 

Like a news headline, or email subject line, the graphics, title and first few seconds of the intro of your video needs to woo the audience instantly. That doesn’t mean one needs to employ a clickbait mentality, but you do need to think strategically and creatively about how you’re going to ensure your video stands out. With an infinite library to choose from, the temptation for customers and consumers to keep scrolling is very real.  

According to Facebook, 65% of people that watch the first three seconds of your video will watch for at least 10 more seconds and in addition to that, another 45% will watch a further 20 seconds of content. That’s a substantial amount of time to get your message across but grabbing the attention in the first place is essential. So how do you do this?


Well-performing thumbnails⁵ tend to have a human in them, text and an aspect of the video subject. They also tend to mix complementary colours and are designed to visually appeal. Often overlooked, but a gem in the toolbox. 

Make your point immediately

There are different approaches to this, for example, using a quick sketch, questions, facts or title cards… Like this example from KPMG who employs the use of a question to immediately capture interest.


Tone can be set in various ways, but it’s primarily communicated through:

  • Visual style – regardless of whether you’re using animation, every brand has a unique visual style (fonts, colours etc). Your brand should have an identifying style that lets viewers know it’s yours.
  • The tone of voicespecifically the language chosen by the actors or voiceovers, and the style in which it’s delivered – i.e., formal or casual. For voiceover, consider gender and accent. For example, if your brand values are accessibility and connection, consider employing a voiceover artist with a Yorkshire or Scottish accent, which was recently voted as the most trustworthy accent in the UK⁶.
  • Music – your chosen background, or lack thereof has a huge role to play in setting the scene.

Make your opening shot count

Pique your audience’s interest immediately with a compelling opening shot coupled with a soundbite. Try to avoid using a still as an opening shot – a moving image is preferred; the human eye is skilled at keeping track of moving objects and as such, they naturally capture busy minds.  And with over four million videos uploaded to YouTube each day, standing out is paramount. Take this example from Primark who have grabbed attention immediately through their moving logo, setting a bright and upbeat tone through the opening few notes of their chosen accompanying track. If their logo was static and they chose to opt for softer music, the effect would have not been the same. They’ve also used moving screen grabs showcasing social media attention to continue to draw the eye, convey demand, as well as humanising the brand by showcasing a relationship with customers. 

Keep it simple stupid

In partnership with 90 Seconds, Primark were able to immediately grab the attention of their customers through video, with a clear takeaway: they’re opening a store in Chicago on 11 March. They kept it bold, bright, simple and attention-grabbing, not diluting it with a wealth of other messages around the Primark offering – its affordability, accessibility, the products available etc…  Your brand could do 101 great things, but in reality, very few people are going to invest time to learn about each and every single one through your video. When producing video content, clarity should be front of mind – select a few key themes/ messages in the ideation phase that you want your viewer to retain and deliver a message that resonates. 

Humour can be a helpful tool in communicating ideas simply and quickly. People are actively searching for content that makes them laugh with 71% saying that they watch videos on social for this very purpose⁷. But avoid using jargon and keep it simple – if it has to be explained to be funny, it’s best avoided. Turning the traditional in-flight pre-departure safety video on its head, Air New Zealand did exactly that with this humorous, memorable and quirky video with 90 Seconds – mixing up the traditional format and injecting humour to capture attention and communicate its brand values whilst meeting an aviation-mandated requirement.   

300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute – no matter how many cool features your product or service has, a viewer isn’t going to sit through a video detailing all of them… Not when there’s a video of a Parrot singing ‘Baby Shark’ to be watched…! Keep it simple and entertaining and your videos will perform a lot better.

Captions are non-negotiable

Captions are no longer an optional extra. With 69% of consumers now watching videos with the sound off⁸ and 80% of people being more likely to watch a video for its duration if captions are available, it’s clear that the preferred way of consuming video is to read it. 

With 85% of Facebook videos now played without sound⁹ and 75% of all consumers muting their phones throughout the day¹⁰, if content creators fail to caption their videos, consumers risk missing the message entirely. 

Reading content also helps to retain messaging to memory. A recent study from the University of California, Berkeley found that reading commentary is intricately linked with retention; with one study referring to reading as the “brain’s way of filtering and fine-tuning the flood of visual information that calls for our attention in the modern world¹¹.” 

If you don’t include captions, you’re failing to maximise your video’s potential and you’re also risking isolating viewers, as well as incurring extra dollars when it comes to having to reproduce content for alternative languages.  By subtitling your videos, brands can seamlessly localise content for a global audience – all done intuitively through the 90 Seconds workstream within minutes. Captioning also sends a clear message of inclusion allowing the deaf and neuro-diverse to better understand and participate in your content. 

In terms of captioning, stay true to the original dialogue – don’t shorten, simplify or change language for effect. For those watching and listening it can be a jarring experience and disrupts comprehension if the words on screen don’t match the soundbite. Be mindful of visual branding – ensure your captions are consistent and cohesive with the overarching brand, matching fonts and colours. Finally, pay careful attention to tone – we all have experience with awkward misunderstandings arising over email, so pay close attention to complexities involved with qualities like sarcasm and irony.

YouTube: the King of all Kings?

TikTok, Instagram Reels? Facebook stories? All great and important platforms for consideration in their own right, but put it this way – if YouTube were a country, it would be the most populated one in the world, followed by China and India with two billion active monthly users¹². YouTube truly is the global platform of choice with the average user spending 40 minutes on this platform via their mobile each day. The exact ideal platform does depend on your strategy, but no matter the target, as the second most popular website in the world (behind Google), you’re missing a trick if YouTube doesn’t feature heavily in your distribution plans. 

Why? Its global – 80% of its audience are outside of the US, with over 100 localised YouTube landing pages, yet 72% of American internet users visit the platform. It also reaches an unrivalled diversity of viewers, reaching more 18–49-year-olds than any other cable network television in the US and unlike other social platforms, YouTube doesn’t experience a large drop-off in age for older users. But it’s not just all eyes and no action – 70% off viewers have bought a product they saw featured on YouTube. 

YouTube’s two billion daily users watch one billion hours of video content every single day. But with 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do you rise above the noise and ensure the YouTube algorithm is favouring your content? After all, if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?

Search Engine Optimisation 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the answer to that conundrum and it’s imperative that video content is optimised for both the YouTube and Google algorithms. By following these best practice tips¹³ you can raise the reach and visibility of your video exponentially.

  • Ensure videos are captioned to help appearance on the algorithm – further impetus to do so if you weren’t already swayed from the aforementioned captioning argument!
  • Optimise your video file metadata with related and user intent keywords on the video’s title and description.
  • Create a video sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console.

That said, YouTube’s algorithm, while similar, operates with greater personalisation than Google’s, taking into account a user’s search and content engagement history, alongside traditional factors like popularity and keywording. In short, no two users’ search results will be the same, but there are many things one can employ when posting to YouTube to help optimise and maximise video. First and foremost, research keywords – i.e., the phrases people are using to find similar content. Secondly, add keywords to your video, optimising copy on the video description and tags. Finally, use timestamps for longer videos, allowing viewers to skip to sections they’re most interested in.

Adding Animation

Animation adds an instant SEO injection to content. Why? The majority of search engines favour video, with users watching a video for longer when animation is in use. With people spending roughly twice as long on pages with videos, it comes as little surprise to learn that brands and platforms that include them are about 53 times more likely to rank on Google’s first page¹⁴. What’s more, with this increase in traffic comes greater ROI, with WordStream recently citing that a video on a landing page boosts conversion rates by up to 80%. 

If SEO and increased traffic wasn’t enough to convince you, consider the universal appeal of animation – they can be used globally, are inclusive in their depiction and tend to be evergreen, ageing less than other forms of content. Animation also works for almost every marketing need – from customer stories, to this explainer video 90 Seconds produced for BUPA. Using animation in your video marketing is a sure-fire way to grab attention and traffic at the same time. 

Video is undisputedly the crown jewel in your marketing plan, with moving content being able to drive traffic, boost conversion and reach audiences like no other such marketing medium. As the premiere global video creation platform, at 90 Seconds our team is uniquely placed to help you deliver best-in-class videos that are optimised, relevant and delivering results – wherever in the world you are trying to reach. What’s more, with our team of experts coupled with our video intelligence software, our unparalleled offering ensures a seamless end-to-end partnership, from creation to measurement.

While these best practice tips have been generalised for a wider audience, with experience working for over 4,500 of the world’s biggest brands, 90 Seconds can provide tailored counsel, from creation to curation for any sector – drop us a line today to get started.

¹ Zenith Media: Online video viewing to reach 100 minutes a day in 2021 – Zenith (zenithmedia.com)
² IAB: IAB Video Advertising Spend Report
³ Cisco: Service Provider Network and Technology Services – Cisco
Video Marketing Statistics | New Data For 2022 | Wyzowl
Video Thumbnail – Important Yet Overlooked Factor for Your Business Video (cincopa.com)
15 of the Most Trustworthy Accents in the UK Revealed (countryliving.com)
Sprout Social: The Sprout Social 2018 Index: Realign & Redefine | Sprout Social
Verizon & Publicis: Verizon Media Says 69 Percent Of Consumers Watching Video With Sound Off (forbes.com)
Digiday: 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound – Digiday
¹⁰ Dan Grenberg, Sharethrough
¹¹ How Reading Increases Your Emotional Intelligence & Brain Function: The Findings of Recent Scientific Studies | Open Culture
¹² Hootsuite: The Complete Guide to YouTube Marketing in 2022 (hootsuite.com)
¹³ Video marketing tips and tools to boost your traffic – Search Engine Watch
¹⁴ Our Videos Dramatically Increased Our Visitors’ Time on Page – Wistia Blog