The verdict is in: visual storytelling is not just a neat way to share content—for many communicators it is the only way. People absorb and retain information through visual stimulation better and more rapidly than through any other format. The growth and reliance on video to share a brand’s story has been remarkable. And the proof of video’s success as a content tool is evident in the public’s desire for more of it.
Video is a powerful and versatile tool for communicators. Employee and customer testimonials captured on video can have a significant impact on a brand’s public image. Videos detailing unique stories about a brand have the potential to engage customers in a way that no other content can match.
It seems to be a no-brainer that all communicators should be encouraging the use of video in their media strategy, yet there are a number of brands still sitting on the sidelines. Concerns over planning and quality stifle creativity before it has a chance to flourish.
Do not be afraid. The idea of making video work for your content was explored in depth at the Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) Strategies for Growth conference in Washington, D.C. this week. Josh Andersen, production manager at Fred Meyer, shared a number of tips on how to make video work effectively for your communications efforts.
- Planning: Start with the end result in mind. Know what you want to say with your video content, make an assessment of the tools it will take to get there, and know your audience.
- Talent: Who is going to be in your video? Let them in on the process. Explain what you are looking for and make them feel comfortable.
- Location: Choose a background that is relevant to the content of the video but will not distract from it. Avoid locations that have a lot of noise.
- Lighting: Don’t rely on the natural light of a location to illuminate your subjects. What the naked eye picks up can be quite different from what the camera sees. Make sure people are well lit, and avoid unflattering shadows or dim lighting.
- Microphones: Again, what your ear hears and what a built-in camera microphone picks up are two very different things. Use hand-held or lapel mics so that your subject’s voice is the primary sound heard in the video. This removes or at least significantly cuts down on the ambient noise of a location.
- Composition: Frame your subjects appropriately. Make sure they are centered in the frame and not too far away or too close to the camera. This will aid in capturing them in a realistic manner, and it will also appear more comfortable to the viewer.
Follow Josh Andersen: @josandersen
Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell