How To Communicate Effectively Online

4 Tips on How to Communicate Effectively Online

If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s our innate ability to adapt during trying circumstances. The transition from an established, work setting such as school to your own home, does however impact numerous qualities that we have grown accustomed to; such as Communication.Read More

Is your child at the centre of their education text with illustration of young girl sitting in front of a computer

Is Your Child At The Centre Of Their Education? – Part One

We are living through a period where child-centred education has become more important than ever before. Read More

Image of person learning on table/iPad

EdTech News – April 2021

During the last year, we’ve all found our own ways to adapt and this is also the case for how and where we learn. Some students have had the luxury of their own room, a desk, whereas others have had to share the kitchen table or sit on the bed. What’s the connection between student engagement and learning environments?Read More

animated drawing of teen sitting alone

Online Book Club Is No Replacement For A Killers Concert

Amid ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the unique frustrations and struggles faced by teenagers and their parents during lockdown are being overlooked, writes Jack Pickard.

“Hang on, my daughter has just started eating the dog’s food!” – before the coronavirus, the weekly board meeting normally ended with AOB and setting the next agenda, not retrieving your offspring from the kitchen floor. This is a typical COVID-era example used to highlight work-life struggles as we’re forced to work, study and parent at home. And parenting during lockdown is certainly not easy. But this applies to all ages of children.

Many are under the impression that teens are easier to look after during pandemic-enforced restrictions as they are more independent. Any attention or advice has been for parents with younger children, leaving the exasperated parents of teenagers forgotten and unsupported. But with so many parents of teens struggling during lockdown, this should not be the case. Teenagers, like young children, bring their own set of problems, all of which are magnified when forced to stay inside.

Take homeschooling and maths problems. Teens’ maths isn’t just simple addition and subtraction any more. Questions like ‘x2 + 4x -2 = 0, find x’ leave you not only struggling to understand the question in the first place, never mind answering it, but also wondering how someone ever lost x in the first place, given there’s one right under that small 2 and another next to the 4!

Being unable to help out in these subjects not only inhibits teenagers from being able to learn but it is also very demotivating for them, making it hard to encourage them to keep working. The result: raised voices, slammed doors and dirty looks for the rest of the day.

Another struggle for parents is trying to fill the void left by a year of cancelled activities that teens had been looking forward to so much. The advice is to find something new and interesting to do – join an online reading group perhaps, something you’d never thought of doing before lockdown. But for a teen, who was hoping to attend Leeds Fest, that just isn’t going to cut it. Not that reading groups aren’t incredibly exciting, but I reckon the atmosphere at a reading group might be slightly different to a festival. I don’t think I have ever managed to properly discuss the merits of the Great Gatsby as a commentary of the time period whilst being crushed in a mosh pit.

This excitement of freedom and friends is something that should be experienced away from parents. But with ongoing lockdown and restrictions on our social lives making this impossible – what are parents supposed to do to help their teens enjoy these times as best they can?

Freedom and friends also come with other more complicated problems. Unlike younger children, teenagers start to experience issues such as friends falling out and navigating the friendship groups that they belong to. Not quite Brexit, granted – they are not having to make complex political alliances or consider the impact that a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will have on the economy. But even so, teens are more socially developed, and their issues are much more complicated than a younger child’s struggle to pull two Lego bricks apart (unless that was actually a part of the Brexit negotiations?). 

All these things stirred together with a much-too-generous helping of hormones leave struggling parents with a rather unpleasant cocktail: a teenager with rapid mood swings and complicated problems that requires much more emotional energy than they did ten years ago.

While younger kids may demand more physically, teens require a different kind of patience, sympathy and understanding. Ignoring this and focussing attention mainly on parents with younger children alienates parents with teenagers, who are also having a hard time. As lockdowns look set to continue for the foreseeable future, let’s widen our focus to offer sympathy and support to parents and children of all ages. 

So What's Your Title?

What Makes the Perfect Video Title? (DOs and DON’Ts)

It’s getting exponentially harder to get your videos noticed on any platform. The market continues to get oversaturated, but worry not though! Here are some Dos and Don’ts to make your video title stand out from the crowd.

After reading, why not check out our Adobe Social Media Video Course for some more insightful advice on how to create impactful videos for social media!

DO – Be Specific yet Succinct

Google truncates page titles at approximately the 66 character mark. Any longer and you’ll see an ellipse () at the end of your title. Since YouTube automatically adds “YouTube –” to the beginning of every view page’s title tag, you’re already 10 characters down before you even start. ” via. 5 Keys For Creating Viral YouTube Videos.

You have a fifth of a Twitter tweet to get your video’s main narrative across – not much is it? Be open to the challenge however, we’ll provide some further tips down below to what you should place in your title.

DON’T – Be Afraid To Grab Their Attention

Now, don’t assume I’m advocating for click-bait titles, let’s not go too crazy! However, it’s an increasingly growing trend, especially on YouTube and TikTok. Be descriptive yet enticing at the same time. Don’t undersell your creation, it’ll lose you on viewer engagement.

Let’s use a rather, ordinary activity as a vlog example.
Which would you rather click on (if you had to):

Of course, it’s unfair to compare two videos that have different publish dates, subscribers and overall viewer reach. However, I think it’s safe to say that Video Title #2 is more enticing as it tells a better narrative than just another ‘vlog of me walking the dog’, it creates intrigue and is a creative way to turn a mundane event into something viewers would want to see.

Another example we found, was from our Barbican video course with the Department of Culture, Arts & Leasure. The aptly-named “Make A Plant That Tweets When It’s Thirsty” – if that doesn’t pique your curiosity, I don’t know what will!

DO – Capitalise with the Occasional UPPERCASE

Hierarchy matters and despite it being a pet peeve by some people – Capitalising all main words helps provide a more professional tone for your videos – this is also assuming that grammar has been checked in advance.

The overuse of entirely UPPERCASING titles has thankfully started to dwindle in popularity, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider fully capitalizing the odd word or two – we recommend two shorter words or one long word at most.

Why does it matter? Our minds are naturally drawn to capitalized letters as it is more dominant on-screen – the more you emphasize a word on-screen the more priority our brains provide to read it. Our brain loves to make shortcuts and providing some sense of hierarchy to your wording can help get you that elusive viewer click.

DON’T – Forget Your Keywords

SEO is KING and to truly dominate online video, it must be taken into serious account. In recent years, it’s not just viewers you’re trying to attract to get your videos seen, it’s the hidden site algorithms that you have to appease. Search engine optimization is your new best friend in that regard.

While taking into account your character limitations, priority must be on making sure that the keywords you utilize, best fit the theme of your videos for example if you’re making a compilation? Try using BEST or TOP. Whichever niche you wish to create for, it’s always a good idea to put yourself in the viewer’s perspective and ask “What would the viewer search for to find my video?”.

Remember you also have your video descriptions to fill out more of the relevant keywords for your content. The idea is to make both the viewers and the streaming platform as easily aware of where your content fits as possible.

DO – Get Numeric

We delve more into this topic within our ‘Why Our Brain Loves Lists‘ blog, but statistics show that our brain becomes more accessible when numbers are utilized – it simplifies complex prose and helps the viewer to understand what the video is about in shorter times. This is especially vital for non-English speaking natives as numbers are universally more recognized in most forms and can help bridge the cultural and linguistic gap to open your videos to new demographics.

Utilizing a numeric structure for your video content also can help with your pre-production workflow. By setting a numeric limit on your content topics – you should be able to fill in more vital tips, advice, facts, etc. while not needing to divert into filler as a means to bridge gaps. Organization is key and numbers are a basic block that we can use to help provide some order and lessen that workflow chaos.

DON’T – Skip Analysing Your Competitors

I’m assuming you’re reading this and getting new into the ‘video production’ game, but regardless of what stage in your content creation days you’re in – it’s always vital to see what similar competitors to your work are doing.

Even if you’re up against corporate juggernauts of online video, if you see opportunities you can improve your A-game to their level of reach (i.e. branding, graphics, weekly video scheduling, pace, etc.), then it’s essential advice that can help to improve your overall content. Making small to long-term goals for your content platform is a great tool for increasing the quality and durability of your videos.

Don’t be disheartened, you’ll find many of channels that have failed also, analyze them, try to decipher what caused their declines to avoid making the same mistakes.

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