01 March 2023

Mastering the Art of Planning and Outlining YouTube Videos for Effective SEO

Mastering the Art of Planning and Outlining YouTube Videos

Table of Contents

At the heart of every successful YouTube video is a well-thought-out plan. Regardless of the niche you find yourself in, meticulous planning and outlining your videos can significantly influence their performance on YouTube’s highly competitive platform.

The Importance of Pre-Shoot Planning

Let’s set the record straight: The depth of your pre-shoot planning largely depends on your individual style of content creation. Some YouTubers only have a hazy concept of what they intend to communicate before they jump into pressing the record button. Others meticulously script every single utterance. Regardless of where you find yourself along this continuum, there are some universally effective practices for planning, outlining, and scripting YouTube videos that can enhance your overall content quality and viewer satisfaction.

Nailing the First 15 Seconds

According to YouTube, the first 15 seconds of any video are crucial. During this brief but critically important time, most viewers decide whether to continue watching or abandon ship based on what they see. Therefore, no matter how extensive your video planning is, pay particular attention to mapping out the initial 15 seconds of your video. This should contain a “hook” that entices people and builds anticipation for what’s to come.

Your hook could be anything that captures attention; a succinct summary of your video content, an engaging visual, an intriguing statement, or even a sneak peek of what’s coming up later in your video.

Key Points Outline

It can be incredibly frustrating to finish filming a video only to realize you forgot to mention something significant. To avoid such glitches, it’s advisable to jot down key points you want to cover in your video before shooting. Consider Buffer’s YouTube Channel’s experience; initially, they created videos with bare minimum preplanning and suffered from poor audience retention and engagement. By adopting simple outlining of 3-4 key discussion points, they significantly improved their video crispness and boosted their watch time by an astonishing 61%.

Maintaining Flow

YouTube viewers are notoriously impatient. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your video seamlessly transitions from one point to another without unnecessary pauses or filler words. A well-planned and outlined video can help you achieve this ‘flow’, keeping viewers engaged throughout.

The “H.I.C.C.” Video Structure

A simple yet efficient structure for planning YouTube videos is the H.I.C.C. framework: Hook, Intro, Content, and Call-to-action (CTA). First, you hook your viewers with something interesting. After capturing their attention, introduce your topic rapidly, then deliver the main content of the video. Lastly, wrap up with a clear CTA encouraging them to like, comment, subscribe, or follow you on other social media platforms.

Shooting for the Edit

One crucial aspect of planning involves the actual shooting process—everything from camera angles to lighting setup. This approach makes video editing simpler and results in better-quality videos overall because it revolves around the concept of planning your shoot with the editing process in mind.

Advanced Strategies

Using a Teleprompter: If you script your videos beforehand, a teleprompter can save considerable time. Once mastered, using a teleprompter can hasten your recording process by 25-50% compared to reading off your script line-by-line.

Practice: Conducting practice sessions before shooting can smooth out your delivery and help you identify what works best.

Planning for B Roll Footage: This strategy can add variety to your visual content and reduce the need for multiple takes.


In conclusion, planning and outlining are not mere optional extras but essential elements for creating successful YouTube videos. By incorporating these practices into your video creation process, you can enhance viewer engagement and retention, ultimately growing your influence on this ever-expanding platform.

Content Cannon is a powerful tool that can assist you in planning and outlining your YouTube videos. With its features designed specifically for content creators, you can streamline your video creation process and achieve better results. Check out their pricing to see how it can benefit you.