Is video the best solution to carry your message?

If you can say it with video, do it. With an audience attention span measured in seconds, a video is sure to grab their attention, but is your content suitable for video?

The benefits of publishing on YouTube offer merit for using video for your message.
• Free publishing platform to stream video into your website, blog and social sites
• Over 4 billion videos viewed a day
• In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube
• As the second largest search engine it is a good place to be

Here are some basics about video as a media type along with issues you should consider when exploring content ideas. We’ll suggest types of content that typically work well for video and include case studies to highlight our points.

Video Is A Media Type Format

There are big rewards for a video that is relevant and engaging but can it be integrated successfully into your marketing campaign? Companies are mistaken when they think that video is the same as a blog post or an infographic, rather than the unique media format that it is. While infographics and blog posts may have image and text content, a video is a media format that utilizes moving images, text, and sound simultaneously.

As a media format, a video is not appropriate for all content. If you’ve been stuck trying to convert static content into a video that is a sure sign video is not the best choice for your message. A video idea should be developed organically. Here is other signs video is a poor choice:

1. Does your story lend itself to a narrative curve with a climax and resolution? If you are selling a product or service, you need to create a narrative around the product instead of using a sales pitch. Go back to the basics of good content by engaging the viewer with a relevant story about what you can do for them by solving their problems.

2. Is your message a complex call to action? Though a call to action should be part of most marketing, a complex prolonged story is a sure way to lose your prospect. Either break up your content into shorter pieces of just use one simple and direct call to action.

3. Will your video be too long? Four minutes or less is an ideal length. If your message takes longer than four minutes, you need to use a different medium. Videos are not effective if they are too long. Visitors will lose interest beyond four minutes.

The Answers To These Two Questions Will Determine If An Idea Will Work Well As A Video:

1. Would your content lose meaning if it were in text and image form?
If your content requires the addition of audio elements to create meaning, a video will be a good solution. However, if your message can be effective without the use of video,
the additional cost, time and effort to produce a video might not be worthwhile.

2. Does your message require conceptual engagement?
Does your message require an audio element to be engaging? A static text format might be too dull or even difficult to understand without the benefit of moving visuals and sound. Conversely, if your message does not require audio elements to be useful and engaging then it doesn’t need to be a video and just might be inappropriate for video form.

Content That Works Well In Video

1. Promoting a physical product or service

A) Example:  A product video for the IdeasByNet iPhone Gravity-Defying Holder

Takeaway: Don’t just talk about your product. The video should focus on demonstrating your product while showcasing it in a useful, relevant way.

B) Example: Another approach is the memorable Allstate Insurance “Mayhem” series

Takeaway: This video is creative as well as relevant. Experiencing the frustration of outdated GPS is relevant to many viewers and using humor contributed to the engagement.

2. Funny or creative video content to showcase product and service benefits

Example: Dollar Shave Club

Takeaway:  The pithy dialogue and blunt content make this video entertaining as well as interesting. Get creative with your message because unique and funny videos attract the most viewers —  you’ll also set yourself apart from the thousands of other videos on YouTube.

3. Providing instruction/tutorials

Example: How To Create An eCommerce Website

Takeaway: The key components of video; dialog, visuals, and text should be part of the instructional content. Just showing your viewers how to do something without explaining it will not be an effective teaching tool. It’s easy for a tutorial to become long and monotonous so breaking it up with personal interviews or product/service reviews will make the video more engaging.

4. Sharing information

Example: Olympic athletes—although a little old, this video delivers information about U.S. Olympic sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross

Takeaway: As you can see, a video works well for autobiographical information. Even though there is a lot of information, this video holds viewers’ attention because it is concise, with a simply story. If you are presenting informational content, a short, linear narrative helps to keep viewers interest.

5. Live event videos

Example: The SearchLove Conference includes live interviews, speakers, and commentary

Takeaway: This video uses a variety of content types to engage viewers. Simply recording one speaker for five minutes will likely loose viewers early on. Using snippets instead of extended event recording while engaging tells a better story.

If you’re a marketer who hasn’t tapped into the power of video, now is the time to start. Millennials are not the only audience for videos, consider these stats from Forbes:
• 59% of senior executives prefer to watch a video over reading text.
• 65% of senior executives have visited a vendor site after watching a video.
• 26% of CXO’s view videos daily on business related sites.
• 18% of CXO’s view videos daily on YouTube.  But with so many videos online, yours needs to be top-notch in content and creative value.

Imagine, Inc. Can help you filter content ideas as well as help you create a plan for the most effective video production. Visit our YouTube channel to see various types of animated video. Then, seeing how we’ve used the videos on our website might spur some creative juices of your own.

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