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What Does It Take to Make a Video Engaging? – ReadWrite



Nate Nead

You likely already know that video marketing is extremely powerful. Online videos are more common and more popular than ever, the format has distinct advantages over written content, and every year, it gets cheaper and easier to start your own video marketing strategy from scratch.

However, to be effective in the video marketing space, you need to create engaging videos. What exactly does “engaging” mean in this context, and how can you achieve this?

Why Engagement Matters

Whether you’re creating videos as an extension of your core content marketing campaign or you’re creating them for a video ad campaign, engagement should be one of your top priorities. But what does it mean to be engaging?

In the strictest sense, “engagement” means holding someone’s attention. Instead of having your video on in the background while they do something else, your viewers are fixated on what you’re saying and doing. Accordingly, every second of your video is going to be more powerful – and you actually carry some persuasive power.

Some campaigns use the word “engagement” to refer to a measurable action taken by a viewer. For example, a viewer can be said to “engage” with your video if they leave a comment on it, “like” it, or subscribe to your channel because of it. While this is a slightly different use of the term, these interactions do serve as proof that your customers are engaged.

Engagement is important because it makes your video more impactful and more powerful. An engaging video that gets 10,000 views has the potential to generate more traffic, persuade more people, and increase the value of your brand further than a non-engaging video that gets 100,000 views.

So what steps can you take to make your video content more engaging?

Differentiate Yourself

There are millions of brands using video content marketing to promote themselves online. If you have an idea, chances are, someone has already done something similar to it. And if you make a video that looks and sounds the same as a thousand other circulating videos, no one’s going to pay much attention to it. If you want to strongly engage with your audience, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself. Fortunately, there are ample ways to do this. For example, you can target a different audience niche, you can apply a different visual style, or you can cover the same topic in a totally new way. The bottom line is that you have to present something original or people simply aren’t going to pay attention. Experiment until you find a unique style that works for you.

Take Advantage of the Medium

Why use video as part of your marketing platform if you’re not going to take full advantage of the medium? Videos are powerful because they give you a chance to blend together different streams of visuals, audio, and even written content in engaging ways. If the quality dips in any of these areas, or if you only focus on one, you’re not taking full advantage of the medium.

In line with this, it’s a good idea to work with a professional design team and use professional equipment to record and polish it. If your work looks like it was made by an amateur, it’s not going to be very engaging.

Keep It Concise

Be cautious when planning your video length. There’s certainly a place for long-form videos; if your target audience is into the idea and you have ample material to cover, you can create videos longer than an hour and still be successful. But for most brands and most applications, the sweet spot is much shorter.

That’s because user attention spans are notoriously short. If you want to get someone’s attention and hold it until the end of the video, your best bet is to keep the video a tight, trim few minutes in length. If you’re not convinced of this, try creating a number of different videos for your campaign of varying lengths and see which ones people watch and interact with most.

Start With a Hook

Remember, attention spans are precious and short. Trimming your video down to be 5 minutes in length is a great step to make it more engaging – but you can’t guarantee that people will spend even 5 minutes on your video. Instead, you often have less than a minute to capture the attention of a viewer, and sometimes only a few seconds.

The first 10 seconds of your video should do something to “hook” the viewer. Don’t play a long theme song or feed them a dense backstory. Instead, hit them with an interesting fact, tease a surprise in the middle of the video, or pique their interest in some other way. If you can win them over in the first few seconds, they’ll likely stick with your video for the remainder of its duration.

Stimulate Curiosity

Curiosity is powerful. If you can stimulate the natural feeling of curiosity in your viewers, you’ll be able to hold their attention much longer. To do this, give them something interesting but incomplete. For example, you can say something like, “scientists believe the chances for life existing elsewhere in the universe are overwhelming. But why?” This provides them with an interesting fact and a bit of context – but they’ll have to keep watching the video if they want to learn more.

Tell a Story

Human beings are wired to love stories. We find it much easier and faster to process information if it’s presented to us in the form of a narrative, with a beginning, middle, and end – and some characters we can follow throughout the sequence.

If you’re a skilled video creator, you can create a story out of almost anything. You can invent hypothetical characters where there are none, giving agency to even inanimate objects, and come up with a compelling narrative that illustrates your point. People will love it.

Trigger an Emotional Response

It’s also helpful to trigger some kind of emotional response. When people feel an intense emotion, they start engaging more strongly. As an added bonus, when people experience a strong emotion from a piece of content, they tend to share that content with their own friends and followers, giving your video more potential to go viral. As for what specific emotion to trigger, that’s up to you. You can try to make your viewers feel overwhelmed with joy, give them a little bit of outrage, or just offer them a genuine surprise.

Increase Credibility

If you want your videos to become even more visible, you’ll need to spend some time increasing your credibility. You’ll probably make a lot of claims in your video, but how can you prove that those claims are true? Citing your sources is a great way to start. Listing your personal experience and credentials is another. You can also take some time to spell out the major counterarguments to your point and find a way to dismantle them – or just prove your point with a demonstration. The more credible you’re seen to be, the more engaged your viewers will be.

Give Them Something Practical

People like to speculate and utilize their imagination, but they’ll be even more engaged if you give them a reason to use this video in their own life. Include some practical tips or major takeaways your viewers can use in their lives. If you’re successful, you’ll increase viewer engagement while also increasing the likelihood of your video being shared with others.

More engaging videos have the power to completely transform your strategy for the better. You’ll need to invest time and money to make your video strategy work, and you probably won’t be successful with your first forays into your campaign, but if you’re patient and diligent, you can secure a substantial return. 


Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO & Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting company that provides strategic advisory services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing and software development. For over a decade Nate had provided strategic guidance on M&A, capital procurement, technology and marketing solutions for some of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB clients alike. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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