This year was a big year for video. This is the year that 360-degree video became major, the year that social video outpaced SEO, and the year that we got a new video player design! Okay, so maybe that last one is less of a world-mover and more just awesome for our customers. In any case, 2015 has been amazing, and we want next year to be just as, if not more, amazing.

With that in mind, we are making some awesome resolutions to make sure that our videos keep getting better.

Feel free to borrow and steal them to use as your own!

Resolution #1: “I resolve not to create long-winded videos.”

Long videos rarely hold people’s attention for their entirety, and even though it’s difficult, follow Hemingway’s advice and kill your darlings! Translation: Cut out all the things you think are super clever and cool but are not critical to get your point(s) across, and make your message only as long as it needs to be. #WWHD

Resolution #2: “I resolve to include a call-to-action in every video I share.”

Be religious about including a strong call-to-action, every single time, all year long. Need call-to-action ideas? No problem! Download Now, Subscribe Today, Contact Us Now, Like/Share Now, Learn More, and Watch More Videos ought to get you started. Also, SproutVideo now supports post-play calls-to-action for videos on SproutVideo websites and landing pages, as well as embedded videos.

Resolution #3: “I resolve to USE A SCRIPT.”

Improvisation can sometimes lead to interesting results that are occasionally useful – but you’ll save yourself time and energy by creating a script and editing it. It’s the best way to ensure you cover what you need to in your video.

Resolution #4: “I resolve to invest time, energy and even money into great lighting.”

Pro-level lighting can seem expensive to achieve, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you do acquire some gear, you typically only have to invest once, and then you’ll have much sleeker videos forever after. Treat yourself to some lighting gear this year, and review our recent post on doing how to achieve excellent lighting in different situations, even with no kit.

Resolution #5: “I resolve to use data to design a better video strategy in 2016.”

How closely are you watching what your audience is doing with, during and around your videos? This is the year to take your analysis to the next level, which you can achieve with tools like SproutVideo’s video engagement metrics.

Resolution #6: “I resolve to flash the brand more.”

Don’t hide your light under a bushel, and don’t hide your brand behind your humility. As much as you might feel like you’re rubbing it in people’s faces, nobody will remember you if your branding isn’t front and center.

Resolution #7: “I resolve to begin every video with a hook.”

Videos without a strong hook in the first 8 seconds are likely to lose viewers, with 8 seconds being the average attention span in the hectic internet age. Remember that distraction levels are high, and competition for people’s attention is even higher. Put your hook first.

Resolution #8: “I resolve to update my branded intro/outro.”

New year, new you! Time to freshen up your intro/outro to ensure it’s slicker, better, more eye-popping, and more likely to retain viewers.

So there you go – hose are our New Year’s Video Resolutions. What are yours?

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