The use of video in business appears to be on an irreversible growth path. According to eMarketer.com, by 2015 76 percent of the Internet audience—roughly 200 million people—will be viewing video online on a regular basis. The explanation for this phenomenon is pretty straightforward: videos are more powerful than words, simply because people think visually.
When we read, our minds convert printed scribbles into visual images that we encode with emotion and remember. When information comes directly in the form of an image rather than words our minds can grasp more and make more connections because we do not have to engage in any word-image translation. Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research underscored this concept in his research, which unveiled that one-minute of video equals 1.8 million words. In a single frame, therefore, a video can deliver the same amount of information as several pages of text.
Although there is an abundance of easy-to-use and inexpensive technology for producing and uploading good-quality videos, many advisers complain that they do not have the necessary talent and experience to create their own videos. Here, I’d like to provide five basic rules that can help almost anyone produce quality videos.
1. Create a Script
Invest a good amount of time in creating a well-written script, as it provides the foundation for a great video. Your script should employ a crisp language void of industry jargon, clearly articulate your points in an easy-to-understand fashion, be engaging and, most importantly, end with a call to action.
In the majority of the instances, the problem-solution format is the most suitable to follow:
- Articulate the problem
- Explain how you can provide a solution or alleviate the client’s pain
- Provide a call-to-action, such as call-in, email, sign-up, etc.
2. Keep It Short
Although the eMarketer.com research confirms that videos are becoming a favorite means of communication, let’s not forget that people have short attention spans. If we do not engage our audiences within the first 20-30 seconds, chances are we’ve lost them. Video content must be concise, relevant and engaging. Although a three- to five-minute video can pack the same information you’d deliver through a white paper, I’d suggest keeping your video within a three-minute range maximum. If you have a lot more to share, create a series of short videos to ensure viewer engagement.
3. Capture Clear Audio
Poor audio is one of the key reasons why viewers stop watching videos. Think about your movie-goer experiences. Most often, poor audio is the key characteristic of a low-budget production. Although web audiences are more forgiving than theater or TV ones, always ensure that your video’s audio is clear. An affordable wireless microphone system that can be paired up with your camcorder can be purchased for around $100. However, more traditional and decent quality handheld or clip-on microphones can be found for about $20.
4. Let There Be Light
Good lighting for a video is just as important as clear audio. Often, your camcorder light is not powerful enough to achieve good image clarity. In that case, use auxiliary lights you may have on hand in your office, such as halogen desktop lamps. If additional lights are not available, you may want to identify a major light source like the natural light coming through a window. In that case, ensure that your subject faces the window (the window will be behind the camera) to enhance the natural light effect and prevent silhouetting effects.
5. Edit for Success
Shooting a video and posting it directly on YouTube, especially when you are pressed for time, is a great temptation. However, we always recommend to our clients that their videos undergo some post-production review to ensure quality. Today, the majority of commercial computers come with the Windows Movie Maker program or iMovie for Macs. These programs are sophisticated enough to help improve your video production. If you do not have access to these programs, there are free options available like Lightworks or JayCut. This software will allow you to display your firm’s logo throughout the length of the video and also add a text box where your website URL and your contact info can be displayed.
Have you had any experience with video production? Feel free to post questions, comments or share additional video-making tips.
i-Impact Group Inc.
Editor’s note: For additional video tips, see Christina Nelson’s article, “Expand Your Practice’s Web Appeal With Video,” from the March/April issue of FPA’s Practice Management Solutions magazine, as well as Kristin Harad’s recent blog post, “3 Video Marketing Myths Busted!”