Video quality is vital, right?
Well, of course it is. But what is the line that separates acceptable quality from high quality, and when is acceptable good enough?
The quality issue is particularly applicable to how-to videos. Informational and instructional videos don’t often amass millions of views, but they are the steady and reliable performers that viewers turn to daily. They’re also prime fodder for marketers. Many how-to and informational videos release on a regular schedule and develop loyal followings, making them key venues for targeted online video advertising.
Here’s the wild card, however. How good does the video need to be?
As an example, I’m a regular viewer of yoga teacher Tara Stiles videos. She’s been uploading to YouTube for four years now, and has posted about 379 videos that have collectively earned 12.6 million views, for an average of about 33,000 views per video on the video sharing site. She’s also snagged advertisers such as Nissan Leaf.
Stiles also recently began producing a weekly video series called The Yoga Solution for healthy living site LiveStrong.com. Those videos are averaging about 15,000 views per video so far, with a total view count of 600,000 since the launch at the start of the year. Her second LiveStrongWoman show debuts next month.
There is a marked difference in quality in the videos that live on YouTube under her channel and those on Livestrong. The Livestrong videos feature better lighting, audio, and camerawork and have more of a produced feel.
As an example, here are two yoga videos focusing on hips, one from YouTube and one from Livestrong. Both have largely similar view counts. As a regular “consumer” of Tara Stiles videos I’d do either video. Sure, I can tell the Livestrong ones are better empirically, but I still like the homegrown videos too. Now, I’d never advocate producing poor-quality videos, but the two styles raise the question of what is the bar with quality for how-to videos? How highly produced do they have to be?
My conclusion? Make your videos good enough. If you can make them better, do that. But a whizz-bang style of production won’t make the difference. What matters is -- you guessed it -- what’s inside. Tara Stiles is just a darn good yoga instructor, whether there are sirens in the background and bad lighting in a hotel room, or whether she’s doing a warrior pose in front of a swanky infinity pool.