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Communication is the fundamental way we receive and transmit important – and not so important – information. There are many different ways we can communicate: verbally, visually, and so on. It ranges from a radio ad or a television commercial to a text message or a note scribbled on a napkin. Regardless of the content, the medium by which it is received has an impact on how we digest the message. Video, being one of the most powerful mediums, allows us to quickly and easily simplify communication to the receiver through both visual and auditory stimulation.
Video is quickly becoming the preferred medium for most people. It can be watched relatively passively, yet so much information can be communicated in a short time. Given that 75% of communication is non-verbal, video is an opportunity to carefully cultivate what you get across in the way you look, the way you act and the way you say things.
Here are five ways that you can use video to help you simplify your message and reach your audience more effectively.
By using a professional voice over actor, you will be able to connect with your audience on a more personal level. If your voice over actor is someone who your audience can relate to immediately, they are more likely to continue watching and listening to your message.
In order to select the right professional (or friend) for your video narration, you need to define your goals and the audience you are trying to reach. For example, if your target audience is women, you might want to consider having a female presenter (or not, as the case may be). If there are cultural or language issues surrounding the product or brand you are looking to promote, you will need to recruit a presenter accordingly.
For example, the voice over actor for the Google EpicWin Trailer has a perfectly sarcastic tone. His use of a British accent gives the mundane tasks a sense of prestige and sophistication. Imagine the video had been narrated by someone without an accent and a sarcastic tone – the message would be completely different.
Video enables you to use visual stimulation to summarize your points and simplify your verbal message. Different people have different learning and communication styles (e.g. auditory or kinesthetic). Video is great because it makes it possible to more effectively communicate to multiple learning styles.
Graphics and animation are useful when you need to explain something that can’t be seen. For example, statistics and facts are difficult, if not impossible, to demonstrate using video footage. Animation is a great way to create a scene that can’t otherwise be captured on camera.
This following video portrays the ethos behind the business using animation and music:
The brain science in video is also important to note. When you stimulate just the auditory sense (reading or hearing) you only retain 10% of the information. When you stimulate the auditory and visual sense (watching video) you retain 68% of the information. This is called Dual Coding Theory and is an important factor in simplifying communications.
The whole point of video is to leverage the learning styles mentioned above to easily tell your story. A presenter that you can see and hear is better than some written text, but go a step further and aim to show your audience what you are saying instead of just telling them.
If your new hotel is designed for maximum comfort, show it to them. If your cereal is delicious, let’s see someone eating and enjoying it! Kellogg’s Rice Krispies uses visual characters to broadcast the sound their cereal makes (Snap, Crackle and Pop). Batman creators use textual visualization to emphasize the sound of his actions (bam, boom, wam-o).
For an audience to really understand and translate your message, it needs to be completely relevant to them. Translate your message into benefits. Show them right away why they need to watch and listen to your video. Even if you have to include text-based bullet points to further emphasize a benefit, do it.
You can do this through addressing the concerns and issues that your customers/viewers commonly face. The perfect way to do this is to use testimonials from your existing customers. They’re easy to relate to and, at the same time, build trust.
Take a look at the videos on the Salesforce homepage to see how they do this.
If you plan well, you can get your message across in one minute or less. Of course, there are some examples of long-winded “viral videos”, like the Kony 2012 video (a 30 minute explanatory video). In most circumstances, however, you have 5-10 seconds to gain initial attention and about 60 seconds to keep it.
People have extremely short attention spans. By condensing your message into no more than 60 seconds, people will be more likely to watch the entire video and share it with their friends.
The process of video production can be complicated work. But the potential for simplifying your message means that you can quickly give a clean-cut, professional impression of your organization to your target audience.
About the author:
Neil Davidson is the Founder of My Web Presenters, who are a leading Video Production specialist. They work with businesses of all sizes to create and market compelling and emotive video that helps them to communicate with their specific audience.