Getting people to watch your video isn’t enough anymore. Now the goal is to get viewers to click, share, comment, or otherwise engage. Here are 4 tips you can consider when crafting your content to produce something that people will want to interact with.

1. Create Emotion

If you can stir your audience’s feelings, they’ll want to share that emotion with others. The key emotions to aim for are happiness, sadness, hope, and fear. In other words, make them laugh, make them cry, inspire them, or scare them. These are those visceral reactions that will have a bigger impact which leads to that precious engagement.

You can also toy with anger and shock, but these might not always get you the kind of reaction you’re looking for. More on that later.

2. Give Your Viewers Control

When people feel like they’re part of the content, they’ll take ownership and join the conversation. By creating a sense of community, you’ll build a consistent audience that wants to interact with you and with each other.

This can be achieved by polling your viewers, asking them what they’d like to see from you, or even bringing their comments right into the video. When you look at successful video-based brands like “Epic Rap Battles of History“, they always give their fans the power to decide which direction to take.

3. Get Controversial

This one can be dangerous, but if you do it right it can pay off big time. By using a controversial topic, you can stimulate debate amongst your viewers. As those comment threads grow, your video will be exposed to more and more people and many will come back to defend themselves.

But as we said, you have to be careful with these kinds of emotions. If you take the wrong side or your stance is too strong, you could attract too much negative feedback. So while it’s ok to stir the pot, don’t make yourself a villain.

4. Keep it Short

At this point, we all know that attention spans are lower than ever. Most people are watching videos on their phones when they have some spare time and simply won’t make it through something longer than a few minutes. Therefore, the shorter your video is, the more likely someone is to watch the whole thing and take those next steps.

Here’s a great infographic from Kissmetrics that breaks down video lengths, views, devices, habits, and more.

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