Reverse Engineer: A Social Video

In order to better understand videos on social media, I decided to examine a successful video and learn from it. Naturally, the first place I went was YouTube.

Kate Flowers is a YouTuber with 202K subscribers. She uploads about once a week about vegan food and living along with other inspiring messages.

Looking at her most recent video (uploaded yesterday), I see that there are 397 comments and 48,213 views after only one day. While this isn’t her most popular video, I still see it as successful with an engagement rate of 23.87%. The average engagement rate on the internet is 4%, so she’s doing just fine.

I think a big reason for this is because of the authenticity of her channel. She isn’t selling products; she’s selling her brand. As well, her design is neutral in color. She uses few colors which allow the focus to be on her rather than a distracting background. She uses the rule of thirds and lead room in many of her shots as well as shots from many angles to keep attention. A lot of bad videos stay at one angle the whole time, but she uses jump cuts and differing angles to contrast with that.

One of the weaknesses I see with this video is the lack of color. It can be a strength, but in this case, it lacks something to boost the video. Her cheery attitude is the only part that brightens the video.

In her thumbnail design, Kate uses the design rule of not half. She contrasts the dark gray background behind her on the left side of the thumbnail with the lighter gray on the right side. This contrast adds interest. As well, though her head is turned away, her eyes draw us back into the center.

As I go about creating a video of my own, I will keep in mind the successes and weaknesses of Kate’s video.



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