Sites are often staffed with professionals from both Web and television companies that tend to look for certain elements in any production. Make sure you hit these marks:
Save Money on Equipment ... But Not Too Much
Don't worry about buying a top-of-the-line professional camera to make your videos. Part of the charm of web-videos is their DIY charm. Having that said, most video sharing sites (ie. Dailymotion) are launching higher quality video, so you don't want your videos to look TOO DIY ... go with a mid-range video camera and you should be fine.
Find Your Own Voice
This is so important. Everyone is inspired by others, but make sure you're taking inspiration and not copying. Viewers respond to originality, so do what comes naturally and don't look back.
Keep It Short
Video shouldn't drag on longer than 3-5 minutes. Users are one click away from distractions online, so the second a user gets bored, they will click away to something else.
Avoid Extra Camera Movement
Too many pans and zooms make Web videos hard to follow, especially because most people watch videos in small players without making them full screen.
Short Intros and Credits
Keep your intro simple and get your voice across in as few moments as possible. Your credits should fly by quickly, so save the fade-ins and dissolves for longer format films.
Once you've found your own, unique voice, let it be heard. Don't be afraid to speak up and be yourself, but do make sure you have the proper microphone. Nothing kills a perfectly executed dialogue like the tin-can effect of a poor sound-recording job.
Get your friend's band to record something for you or lend you a track or two rather than ripping off Britney ... or do something yourself. Besides, it's illegal to use music that you don't have the rights to, and who needs a lawsuit for using Metallica in the soundtrack to their freeboard blooper reel?
Edit Edit Edit
Trim the fat--the most viewed videos will flow uninterrupted by long breaks in action. Remember that viewers on the Web will click right away if they get bored by a long drawn-out sequence. Cut out unnecessary frames and keep the momentum for your viewer.
Use a Descriptive and Attention-Grabbing Title
Don't include your profile/user name in the video title -- use that space for a descriptive/funny/informative/attention-getting title.
Many people create daily videos and put the date in the title of the video. Unfortunately, most people won't watch it after that date and homepage programmers wont program it because it looks untimely even if the information is evergreen. Hence, the video has a very short shelf-life. You could either go in and manually change the title of the video the day after you posted it or write the main topics in the title description.
Add a Great Description
This is your opportunity to tell the viewer what they expect to see in the video -- and you can use the space to drive them back to your profile for more of your awesome videos by putting a link in the description.
Finally, many, if not all, of the largest video-entertainment sites that take user contributed content have creative user programs. Make sure to join and participate in the programs and their user communities. You can get more tips, feedback from other creative users and suggestions for resources through these programs.
Danny Passman is the Senior Creative Director of Dailymotion in the U.S. He
oversees all of the content acquisition and programming. Before joining
Dailymotion, Danny was a series development exec at VH1 and fuse.