How to Create Good Video Content

Learn the quick and dirty tips you need for creating a winning video.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #94

Today video contests are becoming very popular. Even though the prizes can be quite good, research shows that very few people enter video contests. In today's article, learn how to create great content so you can win some great stuff.

I have been thinking about video contests for the past few months. First, because we’ve been talking about creating a video contest for you (The Public Speaker and MarshallWolfe) readers and second, because my family has been thinking about entering a few contests. So, over the holiday weekend we finally took the plunge and decided to enter a video contest!

Today’s article about my experience entering a video contest is the first in a series. The next installment will cover how to quickly and easily make your video

How to Create Good Video Content

The first step in creating good video content is to view the video project as a fun activity.  Think of it as something you will enjoy doing. If, like me, you’re entering a video contest with your family, think of it as something that will create laughter and lasting family memories. Don't focus on the prize! Instead focus on making the experience fun. It's going to eat up time (a lot of time) so, as with all things, have fun with the process.
If you are having fun while making the video, it will show in your face and in your voice. Remember with all “performances” the audience wants a “Bob Seger” experience. (You might remember from a previous article on the secret to great public speaking, that’s when you enjoy something so much your passion just reeks out of you!) So my first tip is to focus on having fun!

Read the Video Contest Rules

Once you’ve decided to enter a contest. Be sure to read the rules. Then, read them again. Carefully! You may even want to take notes. Are there any restrictions on the format? Length? File size?

With video it's likely that you will be using images and music, so be sure that you have the proper copyright permissions for whatever you choose to incorporate into your video. Don’t get disqualified because you picked copyrighted music or pictures, or submitted a file in the wrong format.

Understand the Voting Criteria & Timing

Next, be sure you understand who is selecting or voting for the winning video, the criteria for selection, and when the voting occurs. If the general public is voting, then create something with general appeal. Kids (multiples in particular), pets, and nature often have general appeal. Try to create something that’s funny, that’s sweet, that’s cute, and that has a serious moment. A nice combination of ALL of those emotions together is your goal.

If a company is sponsoring and judging the winner, you’ll need to be sure your video ties directly to the stated themes or guidelines. You’ll also want to strongly consider including kind words about the company or product--or perhaps even consider product placement in your video. After all, the company is offering the prize in exchange for saying good stuff about their product or services.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.