Videos have changed dramatically over the past decade. In 2019, people can shoot videos on their smartphones that are higher quality than some of your favorite childhood television shows. Attention spans are shrinking and video production is improving. With the changing marketing landscape, it’s important to utilize your resources wisely and create impactful content.
Before you press record, your video needs to have a defined purpose. To define your video’s purpose, you must answer these three questions:
The answer to these questions should inform every decision for a video project.
Let’s pretend that you want to sell dog food. Your team has a great idea to create a video of people playing with puppies. That sounds great! People love puppies! Without defining the video’s purpose, you begin to execute this video. Two weeks have passed and the video is shot, edited, and ready to publish. You sit down to watch it one last time and you realize there is no mention of your dog food. To make matters worse, one of the actors handling the puppies sports a competitor’s logo on their shirt. Been there? To err is human! Avoidable? Of course – with purpose!
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
– Yogi Berra, former New York Yankees catcher.
It is imperative to play to the strength of the medium. If you want to simply state facts and inform about a subject, a written medium is likely more effective for you. Video is great at making an emotional connection with your audience. You will want to use images and sounds that hook the viewer in order to increase their watch-time.
The most effective video campaigns rely on storytelling. Getting the viewer invested in your video will cause them to watch it and interact with it on social media. The better the story, the more likely people are to share your video with their friends and family. The story doesn’t have to be complicated or innovative. There is a reason that formulaic romcom movies continue to make money year after year. However, the story cannot be boring. A good plot can be retold endlessly, with different characters and settings, yet still leave the audience satisfied. Even though every story can be distilled to conflict and resolution, your story must hold enough intrigue to get the viewer invested. Without the intrigue created by a good story, it is going to be difficult to keep the viewer’s attention long enough to get your point across.
Sometimes 6 seconds is all you need to motivate and inspire. If you’ve made it this far in the blog, you have paid more attention to this post than most. This statement isn’t meant to insult the masses. The way people consume media has changed. People have shorter attention spans and expect media to be delivered to them quickly and conveniently. As marketers, it is our job to give the people what they want. Videos should be as short as possible. If your video is boring, your audience will not stick around to watch it. There are so many different ways to consume media these days that they can simply leave the page, scroll past the post, or change the channel as soon as they are uninterested. Additionally, videos should focus on a single topic. This simplicity allows the viewer to easily digest the content. However, there IS a place for longer videos in the market. Good storytelling allows videos to increase in length without viewer fatigue because the audience is invested in the video.