16 tips on creating video content that works 

26 min read
Raisa Lynn

Lights, camera, hit record! In the evolving landscape of digital marketing, video has emerged as the star player, captivating audiences and driving clicks like never before. The importance of video marketing for Canadian businesses is difficult to overstate.  

In 2022, 83% of online Canadians under 17 used YouTube, along with 78% of those 18 and older. 

No wonder 91% of businesses now make use of video as a marketing tool. As a seasoned video content creator with a decade of experience, I am thrilled to share with you my knowledge and insights on how to take your video marketing skills to the next level. 

Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker, a dedicated vlogger, or a business owner seeking to leverage the power of video marketing, these tips will equip you with the tools to captivate your audience and achieve your goals. 

16 tips on creating video content that works 

In this guide, we'll dive deep into the core aspects of video content creation. The goal? To make videos that capture hearts, spark conversations, and propel your success in the dynamic world of video marketing!  

Editor’s note: It couldn’t be easier to embed YouTube videos into your GoDaddy website. The maker of Airo has also partnered with Vimeo so you can upload your own videos right into your site

1. Identify your audience 

When it comes to creating video content that truly hits home, knowing your audience is the first and most important step. Identifying your target viewers allows you to tailor your videos to their specific needs and interests.

By identifying their demographics (e.g. age, education level, income) and behaviours, you can captivate them, prompt meaningful engagement and build a loyal community.

So, let's dive into some tips for identifying your audience's needs and preferences: 

  • Do some market research. Zero in on the type of person who is most likely to want what you offer. Analyse their demographics and psychographics to understand them better. 
  • Define personas. Create fictional characters representing your ideal viewers based on age, gender, interests, profession, and lifestyle. Learn how this is done here (5-minute read). 
  • Look at the data you have. If you already have a following, use analytics tools to gather insights about your existing fans/followers, including what they engage with and comment on. If you’re just starting out, look for data that is publicly available, such as Environics Analytics’ PRIZM lifestyle lookup tool (enter postal codes for descriptions of consumers living in that area). 
  • Survey your audience. Create surveys or polls to directly ask your audience about their reaction to your videos. Encourage open-ended responses rather than Yes/No answers to get the most useful insights. 
  • Monitor competitors. Keep an eye on your competitors' videos and engagement strategies. Identify gaps or opportunities to differentiate yourself and cater to needs the competition may have overlooked. 

Remember, getting to know your audience is an ongoing process. Over time, demographics shift and topics become more or less relevant.  

Stay curious, adapt, and always be open to learning more about the people who make your videos worthwhile. The better you know your audience, the more effectively you can create videos that truly work wonders! 

Related: How to identify your target market 

2. Define your goals 

Next, we need to set clear goals for our content. This is a must when it comes to creating a successful video marketing strategy.  

When you set goals, you create a sense of urgency that can fuel creativity.  

Having a clear target to strive for pushes you to deliver high-quality videos. Plus, they hold you accountable for your progress and keep you dedicated to your video marketing efforts. 

However, it's important to note that content creation goals and business goals are interconnected. Your content creation goals should align with your overall business objectives and help you reach them.

By setting specific — and measurable — goals for both, you can create videos that get results and help your business grow. Here are a few examples of goals for your videos: 

  • Increase awareness of your business. For this goal, you’ll create videos that introduce your business and explain the benefits it provides. Measure success through metrics like views, reach and social media shares. 
  • Generate leads. Product demonstrations, explainer videos and customer testimonials can be used to capture leads through a signup form. Track metrics such as click-through rates, form submissions and conversions to gauge the video’s effectiveness. 
  • Drive website traffic. Include calls to action in your videos to encourage viewers to visit your website.  Monitor website referral traffic from video platforms or use UTM parameters to measure video impact on website traffic. 
  • Educate and inform. Create tutorial videos, thought leadership content, or informative series to educate your audience. Measure effectiveness through video completion rates, engagement metrics, and audience feedback. 
  • Improve customer engagement and satisfaction. Use videos to provide value, address customer concerns or offer product support. Gauge impact through customer feedback, retention rates and repeat purchases. 

Above all, stay flexible.  

Goals can change as your business evolves. Be open to adjusting your goals based on new opportunities or market shifts. Being adaptable allows you to stay on track even when things change.  

Try setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Tailor them to your business goals, and constantly reassess and adjust them as you go. 

Related: The Canadian entrepreneur’s guide to setting goals 

3. Brainstorm ideas 

The world of content creation is full of thrilling possibilities, and brainstorming video ideas is where the magic truly begins! With a little thought, you can come up with great ideas that captivate your audience.  

Here are some tips to help you brainstorm ideas effectively: 

  • Viewer-centric thinking. Your viewers are what this is all about, so put them first. Dive into your audience research, understand their preferences, interests, and pain points. This will guide you in creating videos that truly resonate and provide value. 
  • Mind mapping. Start with a central idea and let your imagination branch out to related topics and themes. The connections you make will lead to exciting video concepts. 
  • Keep an eye on trending topics. Stay on top of the latest trends, viral content and buzzing discussions on social media. These can be a goldmine for inspiration, helping you craft videos that feel current and relevant.  
  • Analyse successful videos. Learn from the past to fuel your future. Dive into the performance of your previous videos and study successful content from competitors. Identify what worked well and let those insights spark new ideas. 
  • Interact with your viewers. Listen to the voices of your viewers through their feedback, comments and questions. Their input is a treasure trove of ideas that cater directly to their needs. 

4. Create an outline 

Once you've gathered your ideas, it's time to transform them into a structured roadmap. Creating an outline is a crucial step that: 

  • Helps you organize your thoughts 
  • Establishes a clear flow for your video shoot 
  • Ensures that your videos deliver a single coherent message 

An outline guides you through each step of the storytelling process. It allows you to visualize the progression of your video, ensuring that every idea contributes meaningfully to the overarching story.

Whether you're producing a short explainer or a longer video, an outline lays the groundwork for a seamless and engaging finished product. 

Here are a few tips: 

  • Start with a strong opening: Grab your viewer's attention from the very beginning with a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic or a compelling story. Make sure it hits home with your viewers and sets the tone for what's to come. 
  • Organize your key points: Arrange your video's main ideas in a logical sequence. Consider the flow of information and how each point naturally leads to the next. This organization ensures that your video is easy to follow and keeps your viewers engaged throughout. 
  • Supporting evidence and examples: Strengthen your key points with reputable evidence, examples or data. This not only adds credibility to your content, but also helps viewers connect with the material on a deeper level. 
  • Stay focused on your goal: Throughout the outline, keep your defined goal in mind. Ensure that each part of the video contributes to achieving it. This will keep your video focused and impactful. 
  • Craft a memorable conclusion: End your video with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on viewers. Whether it's a call-to-action, a thought-provoking closing statement or an invitation to learn more, make it a memorable finale. 

Don't be afraid to fine-tune your outline as you progress with your video production. A well-structured outline can only help you craft a compelling video that resonates with your audience and delivers your message effectively.  

5. Create a storyboard 

With your outline as the foundation, it's time to bring your video to life through the power of visual storytelling. Enter the storyboard - a dynamic and invaluable tool that allows you to visualize each scene, frame by frame, and ensure that your video flows seamlessly.

Person with a storyboard that maps out a video

A storyboard is like a comic book version of your video, illustrating the sequence of shots, camera angles, and key elements of each scene. It serves as a visual guide for you and your team during the production process, ensuring everyone is on the same page and knows exactly how the final video will look.  

Here’s how to make one: 

  • Frame-by-frame sequence. Break down your video into individual frames and sketch out each scene in order. Include notes on camera movements, transitions and any specific visual elements or effects you plan to use. 
  • Stay consistent visually. Ensure that the visual style of your storyboard aligns with your business identity and the overall tone of your video. Consistency in the visuals helps reinforce your message. 
  • Experiment with shot composition. Play around with different camera angles and shot compositions to find the most impactful way to tell your story. Consider close-ups, wide shots and unique perspectives (overhead, from below) that enhance the emotional impact of your video. 
  • Focus on storytelling. A storyboard is a storytelling tool. Each frame should move the story forward and create a seamless flow that engages your audience from start to finish. 
  • Be open to revision. Storyboarding is a process. Be open to making changes as you refine your ideas and incorporate feedback from your team. 

Creating a storyboard is a fun and essential step that bridges the gap between your imagination and the final video. It helps you visualize your ideas, spot potential challenges and perfect the pacing and visual appeal of your video.  

6. Write the script 

Now for the words.  

A compelling script sets the stage for a great video and serves as a guide for recording the audio. Some videos may start with a written script, while others may flow more naturally from the storyboard.  

Try to find the creative process that best fits the nature and purpose of your video.

To write a script, you’ll need to: 

  • Know your audience. As you write, imagine you are talking to the person you identified in Step 1. Identify your audience. Use words, cultural references and a tone of voice that will appeal to that person.  
  • Be clear and concise. Keep your script straightforward and to the point. Avoid jargon or complex language that might confuse viewers. Aim for clarity, making your message easy to grasp. 
  • Come up with a great hook. Grab your audience's attention from the start with an engaging opening. Whether it's a thought-provoking question or a captivating anecdote, make it intriguing. 
  • Include a CTA. End your script with a strong call-to-action that encourages your audience to take the next step, whether it's subscribing to your channel, visiting your website or making a purchase. 

Your script is the guide that will lead viewers through the journey you want to take them on. Reread and adjust it until it’s perfect. 

7. Choose your equipment wisely 

The right equipment is crucial to getting professional-quality results. While you don't need to break the bank to shoot great videos, the right tools can boost the production value and viewer experience. 

Here are some tips to help choose the right equipment for you: 

  • Set a budget. Decide how much you're willing/able to spend on video equipment. Try to strike a balance between quality and affordability. Remember, expensive gear doesn't guarantee better videos if you haven't mastered the fundamentals of video creation. 
  • Identify your needs. Assess the type of videos you'll be creating, and the equipment required for each project. For example, vlogging may require a compact, portable setup, while professional videography might call for more specialized cameras and lenses. 
  • Get a tripod. To avoid shaky footage, invest in a tripod or a gimbal stabilizer. Smooth camera movement enhances the video quality and keeps people watching. 
  • Review your editing options. Choose video editing software that suits your needs and level of skill. There are both free and paid options available, so find one that aligns with your editing style and requirements. 
  • Accessorise for efficiency. Consider buying accessories like extra batteries, memory cards and camera bags to ensure smooth filming sessions. 
  • Upgrade gradually. As you gain experience and your budget allows, consider upgrading your equipment gradually. Focus on improving the gear that will make the biggest impact on your video quality. 

The right equipment can support your vision, but it's your storytelling that will truly captivate your audience. Focus on mastering the craft of video creation and you'll be well on your way to producing impressive videos that people love.

8. Create a production schedule 

A schedule helps you stay organized, manage your resources and ensure that your project stays on track all the way through to post-production. Whether you're working alone or with others, having a production schedule makes life easier for everyone. 

Here are essential steps to create an effective production schedule for your videos: 

  • Break it down. Divide your video production process into manageable stages, such as pre-production (before the shoot), production (the video shoot) and post-production (after the shoot). Since each stage has specific tasks and timelines, it’s easier to tackle the project piece by piece. 
  • Set clear deadlines. Set realistic deadlines for each stage of the production process. Consider factors like shooting locations, actor availability and editing time to set deadlines you can meet. 
  • Assign tasks. If you're working with others, assign responsibilities to each member based on their skills and strengths. Make sure everyone understands their role to avoid confusion. 
  • Pre-production planning. This stage includes tasks like script finalization, location scouting, actor auditions and lining up equipment preparation. Allocate sufficient time for each task to avoid last-minute rushes. 
  • Production days. Plan specific shooting days in your schedule, considering the availability of actors, crew members, and shooting locations. Keep a buffer for unexpected delays or retakes. 
  • Post-production timeline. Assign deadlines for each step in the post-production process, including video editing, sound mixing, adding graphics and colour grading. Allow time for revisions and final touches to ensure a polished video. 
  • Plan for snags. Make room in your schedule for unexpected delays or problems that may arise along the way. Being flexible will help you adapt to surprises without letting it affect video quality. 
  • Stay realistic. Be realistic about the time and effort each task requires. Avoid overloading or rushing through crucial steps. This can lead to subpar results. 

Creating a production schedule might seem like an extra step, but it will streamline your video content creation process. It maximises productivity, minimises last-minute stress and allows you to deliver high-quality videos on time.

So, embrace the power of planning and set yourself up for success in your video creation journey. 

9. Be a storyteller 

It's time to enter the enchanting world of storytelling — the secret ingredient that turns your videos from good to jaw-dropping!  

But let's be honest, mastering the art of storytelling can be a challenge.

It’s not the end of the world if your first few videos aren't Oscar-worthy.  

We all stumble along the way, and that's perfectly okay. In fact, nobody makes a perfect video every single time — it's all part of the creative journey.

Here are essential steps to nailing it as a storyteller: 

  • Be clear about what you want to say. Before you start writing your story, know the core message you want to convey. Are you hoping to inspire? Educate? Entertain? A single clear message gives direction and focus to your video. 
  • Create an emotional arc. Take your audience on a journey of emotions. Begin by setting the tone, introducing conflict or challenges, and finally resolving it with a satisfying ending. Emotionally engaging stories tend to stay etched in viewer's minds. 
  • Show don't tell. Visuals play a key role in storytelling. Use compelling video, visuals and framing to enhance your story and evoke emotions without relying solely on spoken words. 
  • Use humour or emotion. Humour and emotions are powerful storytelling tools. They create a connection between you and your viewers — just make sure your humour is matched to your target viewer. 
  • Know your audience. We’ve talked about the importance of knowing who you’re talking to. Addressing your video to everyone is akin to talking to no one in particular. Specificity will help you create videos that hit home. 
  • Inject personal experience. Don't be afraid to share personal anecdotes or stories that add authenticity to your content. Reliving moments from your life can forge a deeper connection between you and your viewers. 

Embrace the process of trial and error and let your creativity flow. With each video, you'll grow as a storyteller, captivating your audience and leaving a lasting impression. 

10. Above all, create authentic videos 

Authenticity is the golden ticket to winning the hearts of any audience. When your videos feel genuine and true to your brand, it fosters trust and loyalty among viewers. Creating authentic video content goes beyond storytelling. 

It's about being real, relatable and transparent with your viewers. 

Here are essential tips to make your videos feel unique to you and only you: 

  • Know your brand identity. Understand your brand's values, personality and unique selling points. Let these qualities shine through in your videos, reinforcing your brand identity with every piece of content. Learn how to create a brand identity here (7-minute read). 
  • Embrace imperfection. Don't aim for perfection in your videos; let yourself be human. Viewers will love to see your genuine self, quirks and all. Don't try to imitate others but do let your personality shine through. 
  • Be honest. If you make mistakes, admit to them. People respect honesty. 
  • Focus on real people, true stories. Whether it's testimonials from satisfied customers or behind-the-scenes glimpses of your creative process, genuine experiences resonate with viewers. 
  • Balance promotion and value. Yes, you will want to promote your products or services in your videos. But make sure your videos also provide valuable content — like tips on how to use your products or what qualities to look for before buying products like yours. Teach, entertain or inspire your viewers in every video. 

Authenticity is not a gimmick or marketing tactic; it's a commitment to being real and building genuine connections with your viewers.  

It will help you foster a community of loyal supporters who appreciate your honesty and value the videos you produce. So, be yourself, be genuine and let your authenticity be the driving force behind your video success. 

11. Let your customers speak for you 

Speaking of authenticity, user-generated content (UGC) is as authentic as you can get.  

When people see praise from your happy clients, it builds trust in your brand. This is why using client testimonials in your videos can be a game-changer for your business.  

Just be sure to get permission from the customer before using their comments in posts or videos.

Man recording a testimonial with a smartphone

Here's how to do it effectively: 

  • Create compelling stories. Turn testimonials into powerful stories. Feature clients sharing their needs and the positive results they achieved thanks to your products or services. 
  • Show real faces and emotions. Film clients sharing their thoughts in person or via video calls. Seeing real faces and emotions adds authenticity to their words. 
  • Go for diversity. Feature a diverse range of clients in your testimonials. This shows that your products/services are used by a broad audience. 
  • Include before-and-after images. If it makes sense, include before-and-after pictures to show the transformative impact of your products or services. 
  • Celebrate customer successes. Showcase clients who achieved significant success with your offerings. Success stories inspire confidence in others. 
  • Ask for influencer endorsements. If possible, get a testimonial from an industry influencer or well-known figure. Their stamp of approval can boost your own credibility. Learn how to recruit an influencer to your cause here (7-minute read). 
  • Ask for permission. Always ask for permission from clients before featuring their testimonials in your videos. Respect their privacy and avoid any future legal snafus. 

By using client testimonials in your videos, you're providing authentic social proof of your brand's value.  

Let your satisfied clients do the talking and watch as your videos become a persuasive tool in your marketing arsenal. 

Potential customers will feel more confident in choosing your products or services, leading to increased sales and a loyal customer base. 

Related: How to use social proof to close more sales 

12. Create a catchy title and thumbnail 

The title and thumbnail of your video are the first things viewers see, so they deserve special attention. After all, if viewers don’t respond to the title or thumbnail, they won’t watch your video.  

Crafting scroll-stopping titles and thumbnails can maximise your video's visibility and engagement.  

Here are a few ways to craft titles and thumbnails that get the click: 

  • Be consistent. Be sure to use your brand style and tone of voice in your title and thumbnails. If you’ve chosen a relaxed, slangy brand voice, your titles should match that tone. The same holds true if your brand is more zipped-up and professional. 
  • Use emotion. Tap into the viewer's emotions with your title. Whether it's humour, inspiration or shock, write a title that evokes feelings that your target viewers will respond o. 
  • Test your title options. Experiment with different titles for similar videos to see which ones attract more viewers. A/B testing helps you write titles that will have the maximum impact. 
  • Design eye-catching thumbnails. Thumbnails are the little images that show in search results. Use high-quality images and bold, legible text.  
  • Feature human faces. Human faces attract attention. Incorporate faces in your thumbnails to make them more inviting. 

Your title and thumbnail serve as the first impression of your video, so make it count. By combining creativity, relevance, and strategic optimization, you'll entice viewers to click and discover the amazing content you've crafted.  

Check out this video on how to use GoDaddy Studio to create a thumbnail on your iPhone. 

13. Transcribe your video 

Adding a typed transcript of the audio offers a range of benefits. Not only does it make it easier for anyone who is hearing-impaired to enjoy your video, it improves its search engine visibility by allowing you to include more keywords.

Here's how to transcribe a video: 

  • Transcribe it by hand. Listen to your finished video and manually type the spoken content into written text. This method ensures accuracy and allows you to review the content as you go. 
  • Use an automated transcription tool. Use automated transcription services or software to create a written script. While these tools are convenient and save time, they require manual editing for accuracy. 
  • Include timestamps. If your video includes important visual cues or time-sensitive information, include timestamps in the transcription to sync the text with the corresponding video moments. 
  • Edit for clarity. Review and edit the transcription to ensure it's clear, concise and free of errors. You can use the spellcheck tool included with your text app.  
  • Include in video description. For longer videos, consider adding the written text in the video description. This provides additional value to viewers and search engines alike. 

By adding the transcription as captions or in the video description, you create a more engaging and valuable viewing experience for viewers. So, take the extra step to transcribe your videos and make them accessible to all, while boosting your search rankings. 

14. Optimise for search 

Speaking of search engines — creating an amazing video won't get results if nobody finds it.  

That's where search engine optimization (SEO) plays a key role.  

Using relevant keywords in your video, transcript and description increases the chances of your video appearing in search results. Engaging video that gets likes, comments and shares tells search engines that your video is valuable.  

To optimise your video for search, follow these tips: 

  • Find keywords related to your products/services. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find popular and relevant keywords related to your video's topic. 
  • Add those keywords in titles and descriptions. Incorporate keywords naturally in your video's title and description to help search engines understand its content. 
  • Use tags and categories. Choose relevant tags and categories to accurately describe your video and help Google categorise it appropriately. 
  • Encourage engagement. Interact with viewers to show search engines that your content is valuable. 

While SEO might seem like one more task in an already crowded schedule, you can outsource the work to a digital marketing agency or SEO consultant if needed. 

15. Explore influencer marketing

In addition to paid advertising, consider using influencer marketing to promote your videos. Influencers who align with your brand can introduce you to their engaged audience and generate buzz around your video. This can be a more authentic way to reach new viewers who trust the recommendations of influencers they follow. 

While organic efforts like SEO builds long-term relationships, paid promotion boosts your reach and visibility through influencer partnerships or ads.  

It's important to continuously evaluate and adjust your promotional strategies based on the outcomes you want to achieve and the resources at your disposal. 

16. Promote your video 

For smaller businesses and creators, navigating the promotional landscape effectively is crucial. 

A few tips: 

  • Start with organic/free efforts. Weave relevant keywords into your video's metadata like titles and descriptions. Engage with your viewers on social media platforms by sharing teasers, behind-the-scenes clips and updates about your video. Work with other creators in your niche to tap into their audiences and widen your video’s exposure.  
  • Set a realistic budget. Determine a budget that fits your marketing goals and available resources. Even a modest budget can yield results when used strategically across various platforms and campaign types. 
  • Understand paid advertising basics. Educate yourself on the fundamentals of paid advertising, including the different platforms and their advertising options. Take advantage of resources and tutorials provided by the platforms to optimize your campaigns effectively. 
  • Monitor campaign performance. Keep a close eye on key metrics such as views, engagement, click-through rates and conversions. Analyse the data to understand which aspects of your campaigns are working well and where adjustments are needed for continuous improvement. 

By using both organic and paid promotional efforts, you'll amplify your video's visibility and connect with a broader audience.  

Stay in step with the latest advertising trends and platforms to make the most of your promotions. Remember, promoting your video is not just about reaching more viewers; it's about reaching the right people. 


As you venture into the world of video content creation, remember that analysing each video's performance is a non-negotiable step if you want to succeed. Take the time to explore the metrics provided by your platform, as they give you insight into how your videos are performing. Look for trends and patterns to understand what resonates with your audience. 

Interact with your audience by responding to their comments and feedback; they can provide valuable ideas for future videos. Use engagement metrics to gauge how well your viewers are responding to your videos. Audience retention is a crucial metric that helps you understand how well your videos hold viewers' attention. Analyse the retention graph to spot drop-off points and refine your video's pacing and storytelling. 

Comparing the performance of different videos can reveal commonalities that contribute to success. Learn from your best-performing videos and replicate those elements in future content. As well, learn from videos that didn't perform as well, and use this knowledge to make improvements and refine your approach. 

The journey of video content creation is exciting. Embrace the power of visual storytelling, let your creativity flow and apply these tips to create video content that captures attention and achieves your goals.  

Whether for personal passion or professional growth, video marketing can open doors and create meaningful connections within your community. Start creating impactful video content and see the difference it makes! 

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