From Fortune 500s to freelancers, from presidential campaigns to community non-profits: brands of all shapes and sizes must communicate effectively with their audiences. Period. And in the age of social media, online video is emerging as one of the more effective ways to do this.
Good video content can satisfy that short-term communications need while also providing valuable long-term branding and identity-building. And the research clearly shows that doing online video right reaps huge rewards. But it’s equally true that bad video content can do real damage to a brand’s reputation.
So how can business leaders and marketing execs capitalize on video’s tremendous benefits while avoiding the pitfalls?
Make sure your videos follow the “5 C’s.”
1 | Compelling
What is the purpose of this video? What story does it tell and how will this story be relevant to my audience? These questions need to be carefully considered before any video production actually begins. And always be wary of the all-too-common pitfall of confusing what you and your team find compelling with what your intended audience will actually care about.
2 | Creative
Once you’ve decided you have a worthwhile story to tell, the next step is making that story come to life. There are an infinite number of creative directions you can take, but here’s a good rule of thumb: make sure the creative aligns with the content.
In some cases, direct-to-camera and minimal graphics/sound effects are all that’s needed. In others, elaborate animation can be incredibly effective — especially when trying to simplify complex subject matter for a lay audience.
Bottom line: don’t determine the creative approach in a vacuum. Consider your audience, your brand, and the message you’re trying to get across — then tailor the creative approach accordingly.
3 | Concise
The digital age is wreaking havoc on attention spans. The moment a viewer determines that your video is digressing into content that isn’t relevant, it will be tuned out. Keep things laser-focused on your central point, and avoid extraneous content wherever possible.
How long should your video be? Again, there’s no right answer here. But there are general best practices to keep in mind depending on the type of video you’re creating.
4 | Connected
If you create an Oscar-caliber video but no one sees it, did it ever actually exist?
The answer is no. Don’t undermine the efforts of your video production wizards by mailing in the dissemination strategy. Think carefully about who your target audience is and how best to reach them. There’s no one right way to do this (noticing a theme yet?), and unless you have a captive audience of 100,000 follows or a six-figure advertising budget, you’ll probably need to develop a multi-pronged approach. And if your video is as good as you think it is, it should have some degree of viral appeal. So think of all your various dissemination tactics as planting a bunch of seeds that, over time, can grow organically on their own.
5 | Call to Action
Last but not least, make sure your video doesn’t just broadcast a message to your audience, but engages them. Social media is not a one-way channel, after all. In most cases, you’ll want the video to inspire some kind of action to be taken by viewers: buying a product, donating to a cause, clicking a link for more information, or one of a million others. The viewer must have a clear understanding of what that call to action is and how he or she can answer it.
Here at The Eastco Group, we make great videos that help advance our clients’ goals. From engaging corporate video to full-length feature films. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your organization use video to move the needle.