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Seven Tips for Creating Amazing Videos - 12/11/2012 -

Use these ideas to make your associationís next video a content delivery super-tool.

By Allison King

Most marketers have an appreciation for videos as a key marketing tool. When I watch a video that makes me laugh or cry or think, a video that stays with me long after Iíve seen it, I am in awe of the pure genius that went into making it. So, I was eager to hear what TMGís video and digital experts had to say at their presentation, "The Unbreakable Rules of Video (And a Few You Can Bend)" at the Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting.

Kate Ottenberg, director of video services and media relations, Michael Wolcott, lead producer, and Andrew Hanelly, director of digital strategy, discussed five different video genres, and showed short clips from each of the genres to illustrate their points and inspire the audience. Their tips will get you on the right track planning your next video.

1. Inspirational montage. A montage is a series of images put to music where you tell a story with few (or no) words. This type of video can be a powerful way to deliver your message.

TIP #1: When shooting video for your montage, use the 80:20 rule, says Wolcott. That is, 80 percent close-ups and 20 percent wide shots. This will give your video more action and emotion.

2. The testimonial. Most people think a testimonial video is either great because it uses a celebrity or boring because itís just an unknown person talking about something. But it doesnít have to be either. If you donít have the budget to get a celebrity or expensive footage, you can use a simple approach to create a powerful video that will tug at the emotions of the viewer.

TIP #2: Get a lot of "b-rollĒ Ė extra footage that shows your subject doing something other than talking to the camera. This will add dimension to your interviewee, which helps viewers connect with him/her. So keep your camera on before and after the interview. You might use two to five seconds of every spot that you spent two to five minutes shooting, says Wolcott.

TIP #3: Make sure you get good quality audio. Bad audio is worse than a low-quality image. More people will tolerate a video that has a poor quality image, but bad audio makes the video completely unviewable, advises Wolcott.

3. Documentary, news, and events. This video genre is a shoo-in for associations, says Ottenberg, because many of them already have editorial staff working on news for their members. Plus, most associations have annual conferencesóthe perfect venue for shooting this style of video. 

TIP #4:For interviews, use open-ended questions so interview subjects elaborate and tell a story instead of giving you a yes or no answer. Start questions with "tell me about ______Ē so youíll get more material to work with.

TIP #5: "Put your story first, and use your brand as a backdrop,Ē says Hanelly. "For good video, people will seek out the brand that created it. You donít need to beat them over the head with your logo.Ē

4. Artistic film technique. This style consists of animation, stop-motion photography, time-lapse video, and other film techniques. High-end animation can be very expensiveóbut you donít have to spend a fortune to create a video in this genre.

TIP #6: Pre-plan, test, storyboard, and then shoot. This way you can make sure itíll look the way you envision before you shoot the whole thing.

5. Comedy and entertainment. The hardest genre to do is comedy and entertainment, says the TMG team. It has the highest reward but also the greatest risk. If you decide to do a comedic video, make sure itís for the right reasons and you have a call-to-action at the end. Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve with the video and what action do you want people to take. Will your goals be achieved best with a comedic video?

TIP #7: Steal from everywhere, advises the TMG team. You can get great ideas from things that inspire you.Try doing a parody for your comedy skit.

While the thought of creating a video that goes viral sounds exciting, it doesnít matter if you arenít reaching the right people. So make sure that you define your goals up front, know what point you want to make, and what action you want people to take.

Put your video to the three Es test and ask yourself:

  • Is it entertaining?
  • Is it educational?
  • Is it emotional?

"If you can win on one of those fronts, youíll be alright,Ē says Hanelly.

Allison King is marketing director at TMG.


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