3 Rules for Great Videos

It’s easy to see the many ways in which video can support your marketing and grow business. After all, more than 73% of consumer internet traffic is video – and that number is growing. Likewise, video in an email can double – or even triple – click-through rates. But is all video alike? Of course not. Videos can run the gamut from documentary-style storytelling and broadcast television style to a talk-show format, “live illustration” explainer video, or even short, animated GIFs. But we’ve identified three essential rules that can help you make the right video for your business:

    1. Know your audience. Who needs to see this video? Why do they need to see it? And what biases and preconceptions are they bringing with them? Also, how are they likely to be viewing it – in the office? In a theater-style presentation? Or on their mobile phones? The answers to these key questions will tell you a lot about the kind of video you’ll need to produce.
    2. Know your message. As in any other media, a clear focus is essential. Even a highly engaging video will be a waste of resources if you don’t begin with a solid understanding of what it needs to communicate. So, always start by asking yourself this: If people walk away from the video knowing, learning and/or feeling one thing, what must that be?
    3. Know your limits, specifically, in these important areas:
      • Budget – Unless you have the technology and expertise you’ll need to create the results you want on your own, you’re going to need to invest in videography – and this is definitely an area in which you get what you pay for. A brilliant videographer can get great results using little more than an iPhone and smart lighting, but poor-quality DIY video – and make no mistake, that’s most self-made video – can actually do more harm than good. That said, you don’t necessarily need to have a broadcast-TV production budget to achieve results. A well-written, smartly produced video can be highly effective – and surprisingly affordable if you’re willing to use stock videography, simple animation and/or no voiceover.
      • Expertise and Experience – A quality video requires quality visual design, storyboarding, writing and production. And keep in mind that you may be good at writing whitepapers, but if you don’t have scriptwriting experience, that skill may not automatically transfer to a video about the same subject.
      • Talent – In video, talent typically refers to the people seen and heard on-screen or heard in the voiceover. Those faces and voices can make the difference in how credible your video comes across to audiences. That said, you may know your technology backward and forward, but that knowledge may not translate to a compelling video presence.

Armed with the essential knowledge these three rules will give you, you’ll be able to best identify, evaluate and get the best ROI from any investment you make in video. Whether you’re aiming for an Emmy Award or you want to support sales and promote learning opportunities, the right resources will help you leverage your team’s skills and knowledge and produce a video that delivers results.

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