The role of video in integrated marketing campaigns is increasing at a rapid pace, as was clearly evident at Vidyard’s Space Camp event last month.

I had the pleasure of moderating a fantastic panel of video marketing veterans, all in the field and executing in real-time.

We covered a wide variety of topics in our 50 minutes, but the topic I heard most people discussing in the hallways afterward was not just how to drive conversion from video, but how to get them distributed and amplified in the first place.  And much of that discussion came down to not just distribution channels, but elements of the video itself.

The bar for creating a compelling, viral video that drives both awareness and buyer interest is dropping, but marketers still need to be strategic about the components and make-up of a good video.

Based on an analysis of some of the Web’s most successful videos as well as those featured and discussed at Spacecamp, here are six elements that I’ve found most consistently make good videos worth sharing.

Humor

Even serious brands can incorporate a sense of humor into their message and visuals. It’s a great way to show your human side, to help get the prospect’s guard down a bit, and to keep their attention to share a more serious or directed message and call to action.

Story

Good videos have a purpose. A beginning and end. They have a story line, no matter how thin or superficial. You should be able to write this story in the form of a script or storyboard before you start producing frame one.

Brevity

Get to the point quickly. We won’t watch anything that’s not premeditated online for more than five minutes. Two to three minutes is even better. Keep things moving.

Relevance

You’re not trying to talk to everyone. Know who your audience is, what they want, and ultimately what you want from them. A successful video doesn’t need millions of impressions. it needs maximum exposure and pass-along specifically to the people you care most about.

Sex

Clearly doesn’t have to be explicit. To see a great video that demonstrates an appropriate use of sex but tempered with humor, check this out.

Surprise

Do something people aren’t expecting. That alone could be the trigger that gets people to click the social share buttons at the bottom of or at the end of the video.

So what works for you? What common elements of good online videos consistently get you to engage and share?

Matt Heinz