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Four Rules for Telling an Effective Video Story - 2/17/2014 -

Stacey Miller
Video storytelling is within your reach if you know how this popular medium affects your message.

By Stacey Miller

Video content is a crucial part of your association’s strategy. In addition to the search benefits (YouTube is the world’s #2 search engine), the medium offers a powerful way to tell your story and drive action.

To ensure your video content sticks in viewers’ minds and drives action, follow these four key rules:
  1. Make it emotional. People engage most with video stories that connect emotionally. For example, Dove has garnered upwards of 54 million views on YouTube with its now-famous "Real Beauty Sketches” – a great example of a brand story with a valid emotional angle.

  2. Kid-proof your message. Your script should be simple and clear enough for a six-year-old to understand. Play to video’s strength and rely on visuals – not fancy words – to get your point across. For product or event videos especially, use simple, short voiceover whenever possible.

  3. Instruct action. Effective videos incite the viewer to take action. Your video should include a single, clear call to action. Invite viewers to do one thing – it could be sharing via email, tweeting, posting to Facebook or visiting your website. Clear action should be the overarching goal of your video content. You can add interactive apps to your videos that engage viewers and drive calls to action.

  4. Pick something and stick with it. Pick one message and stick with it. When script revisions and edits pass through the hands of multiple stakeholders, you face the danger of additional bonus messaging appearing. Don’t let this happen. Watered down, rambling messages are a video killer.
Telling great stories over video really boils down to simplicity and authenticity. Maintain a clear goal of delivering content that entertains and helps, and keep your message and calls to action straightforward.

Stacey Miller is senior social media manager for Vocus.


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