Lights, Camera, Action!

By Jessi Pierce

07/20/15

How often are you bombarded with some form of video each day? In 2015, motion pictures have evolved well beyond just our at-home flat screens and the movie theaters down the road. YouTube has turned normal teens and adults into Internet celebrities, and Vine and Snapchat have given new meaning to a ‘quick take.’ Video is now more than just a method of entertainment; it’s a branding tool.

To a company, video helps establish a business as engaging, entertaining, and creative—if done properly. Home videos may be easy, but executing the perfect video as a marketing strategy takes time. Before hitting record, consider the following points:

Identify your message: If you’re not sure what to say in your video, how can your viewer be sure what message they are trying to receive? Be clear and concise from the very start. Videos that concern themselves with just the visual aspects as opposed to the meaning aren’t going to be successful. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. What is it that you want the viewer and potential clients to take away from the video?

Attention grabber: Length is one of the most important variables of video. Research shows that with today’s ever-present smartphones, computers, and endless other distractions, our attention span is just 8 seconds or less—down 4 whole seconds from a study done in 2000. That means you have just 5–7 seconds to hook your audience into your video. Depending on what type of video you’re aiming for (more on that in a later blog), 45 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds usually works best. That allows you enough time to get your message out there without dragging on. Videos that run 2–3 minutes are equally as suitable, but again execution is key. You don’t want someone to turn your video off halfway through, especially if the most important part of your message is at the end.

Don’t just do video to do video: It’s an important reminder that while video is an excellent marketing tool, it’s not something that should be decided upon hastily. Doing video for the sake of doing video will end up being a waste of time and money. Think of this video as another way to further expand on your brand and communicate a message. Define your message and goal ahead of time, and make sure the images, copy, and style reflect your brand.