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What makes good video content, from a publisher’s point of view

Engagement. Plain and simple. The best content drives eyeballs, and that means more advertisers and/or subscribers. And, knowing that watching video is one of the top three activities performed online, publishers would do well to integrate as much video as possible into their editorial coverage. “In addition to being packed with information,” says SE Ranking, “videos tell stories, which is why they tend to stick in people’s minds longer than cold, hard facts.” And, let’s not forget, 89% of respondents in a recent report from Wyzowl say that watching a video persuaded them to buy a service or product.

Carolina Jones
Carolina Jones
Jul 2, 2024

Here are 10 areas of focus for every publisher to remember when building a video content strategy. You can take a look at The New York Times, Buzzfeed or National Geographic if you need inspiration.


Who is your audience, anyway? Effective video content starts with a deep understanding of your target audience. Men or women? Gen X? Millennial? Boomer? Urban or rural? This analysis should include interests, viewing habits and preferences. Tailoring content to your audience's needs and expectations is critical to increasing relevance and engagement. And it doesn’t stop there. How do they get their information? Listicles or narrative? Short form vs long form? Video or text?

Compelling Storytelling

Good content <> good story. Engaging videos tell a story that captivates the audience. This involves creating a strong opening, developing a clear narrative arc, and delivering a memorable conclusion. Emotional storytelling – whether through humor, inspiration or empathy – that reflects the audience's experiences tends to be more engaging. This relatability can foster a deeper connection.


Videos that address current events or trending topics are more likely to attract immediate interest and engagement. Audiences are often looking for the latest information and perspectives on breaking news so being among the first to publish content on a trending topic can give publishers a competitive edge. Early movers often capture a larger share of the audience's attention before the market becomes saturated with similar content. As a bonus, videos tied to current events are more likely to be shared on social media.


As for production values, sometimes less is more, and an authentic iPhone video can be as compelling as a professionally shot commercial. In general, though, high production values including sharp visuals, clear audio, and professional editing contribute to a better experience and higher viewer retention. Poorly executed or unintentionally sloppy video, can distract from the message and cause viewers to disengage.


Experimenting with different video formats such as tutorials, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and interactive content can keep the audience engaged. Mixing up the types of content prevents monotony and caters to varied viewer preferences. Incorporating features like polls, Q&A sessions, or a Call To Action like subscribing, commenting, sharing, or visiting drives engagement.

Platform Focus

Each platform has unique characteristics and best practices. For example, videos for YouTube might prioritize SEO and longer formats, while videos for Instagram or TikTok should be concise and visually striking. Understanding and optimizing for each platform's algorithm and audience can enhance performance. With the majority of video consumption happening on mobile devices, ensuring that videos are optimized for mobile viewing is crucial. This includes appropriate aspect ratios, subtitles, and quick load times.


Like that tree in the woods, video is only valuable if it’s seen. Remember to use keyword-rich titles, descriptions, and tags to optimize SEO discoverability. A compelling thumbnail that’s eye catching and a cute title can significantly impact click-through rates.


Regularly posting new content helps build an audience and keeps viewers coming back. Consistency in posting schedules and content quality builds viewer trust and loyalty.

Data Analysis

Regularly analyzing video performance metrics such as view counts, watch time, engagement rates, and viewer demographics helps publishers understand what works and what doesn't. Using this data to refine content strategies is crucial for ongoing success.


Social currency is the value information has when it’s shared. So, making sure as many of your videos as possible ‘go viral’ enhances your brand and adds to your value. It makes your existing users feel validated and gets your marque in front of a whole new audience.

In Sum

Good video content from a publisher's perspective is characterized by a deep understanding of the audience, compelling storytelling. Timeliness relative to the news agenda is critically important for top-tier publishers. It enhances relevance, improves SEO, builds audience trust, and increases the potential for social media virality. By consistently producing timely content, publishers can maintain a competitive edge and effectively capture the audience's attention. If you’d like help developing or upleveling your video strategy, contact us here!

Carolina Jones
Carolina Jones
Content Strategy Manager

Carol is VideoElephant’s Content Strategy Manager, fostering partnerships with publishers and our clientele. Previously at AccuWeather, she developed strategic plans for content production. In her free time, she loves to cook and watch movies!

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