Part 4: Getting your academic research film noticed
In our Academic Research Film series, we’ve looked at all of the processes and techniques that are involved in actually making your film; from selecting the right equipment, scripting, structuring, recording techniques, right through to the final editing process. But now that your film is actually finished, where should you place it?
In this, our final article in the series, we’re looking into some of the suitable channels and social media platforms you can upload your content to, and how you can generate buzz for your research videos.
Choose your platform wisely
When uploading your academic research film, it may seem obvious but you need to post your video to the appropriate platform. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. all come with a built in audience who have certain expectations, so you need to think about where your video will best sit. For research videos, we recommend YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn initially, as each of these platforms give you access to a large audience with a user-friendly interface where long-form content is allowed (and expected).
Our favourite of these three platforms is without doubt, LinkedIn – it’s the more professional forum where you can generate discussion, with the added bonus that if you already have a LinkedIn profile, you’ll have an established network of colleagues and peers ready (and willing) to share your video content across the sector.
Whichever platform you decide to use, you also need to be aware of the platform’s ‘back-end’. You need to monitor views (and shares/likes/comments) to see if your video is getting any traction and whether there’s anything you can do to increase engagement if it’s somewhat lacking (such as replying to viewer’s comments or sending posts to specific people who you’ll know will have an interest in the topic). You can also look at engagement data (for example, how long people are watching the video for) to see whether there’s a common drop off point within the video, which can then guide you on whether a re-edit is needed for a possible future roll-out.
Making your academic research film ‘discoverable’
When you upload your video content, you need to ensure that the title is descriptive and ‘SEO’ friendly. Essentially, something that you can imagine as a Google or Bing search term. Make sure you include links to your website and a transcript of the interview content and once you’ve uploaded to these platforms, think about where else you can share it, and look for additional platforms and channels that are frequented by your intended audience. This could be a specific journal or within a forum, your own website or blog page, or even some of the other social media channels that you or your audience use, such as Facebook or Twitter.
You’ll also need to think about how you can actually get your audience to stop and watch your content, rather than just scrolling right past it. So with that in mind, here’s a few tools and techniques you might want to try.
Start with an engaging, user-friendly title that steers away from too-much technical jargon. It could even be a pun, or something humorous, or a question perhaps… but it needs to grab attention. This also applies to the thumbnail or image that you use, so be sure to use something dynamic. If you’re using a screen-grab from your presentation, select an interesting image or photo, rather than a shot of your home office or lecture hall.
Always include a description of the content and the questions you will be asking/answering within, and again, think about how you can ‘hook’ your viewer. You want to entice them to watch but without giving away too much detail (otherwise they may feel there’s no point in them watching as they’ve already learnt any take-home messages).
Always include a link to your website or blog – make it as easy as possible for your viewers to get more information if they so wish.
Think about what you would like your viewer to do after they have watched the video, and use the description to signpost them in the right direction.
You also need to ensure that you add hashtags for your video content… but make sure that these ‘tags’ are SEO friendly, rather than too obscure. A good selection of hashtags is a great way to bring viewers to your content, where your title/imagery and description can grab them.
Finally, share and promote the links wherever you can (this can be in chat-rooms, forums, Twitter, Facebook etc.) and for those that are willing to go the ‘extra mile’, think about getting in touch with academic journals, your colleagues, stakeholders or strategic partners to see if they’d be happy to promote, endorse and share your video too.
So, this brings an end to our series on ‘Video Production for Academic Research Films’. We hope we’ve given you some useful tips to guide you through the production process; from scripting and structuring your video; selecting the right recording equipment; how to frame a shot; interview techniques; editing and the post-production processes; to finally, uploading and sharing your content across online media platforms and channels.
If you’d like to read more from our earlier articles, you can find the links below, or, if you’d like to speak to one of our team about your idea for a research film, get in touch today. We’d love to hear from you.
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Or just want to chat through a video idea you may have…
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