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The Three Se"C"rets of Successful Video Communication

Nov 29, 2007
The implementation of these three elements will vary depending on your audience and type of video, but the overall principles should remain the same.

CAPTURE Attention: Depending on the delivery method of the video, you only have as high as one minute to as low as three seconds to get the attention of the viewer. Without capturing their attention, the rest of the video is wasted regardless of how awesome and informative it may be.

Make it intriguing, humorous, or out of the ordinary. Leave them wanting more. You are naturally excited and passionate about your new video, but the viewers initially will not be.

So test the script by making it generic and impartial. Switch out references to your product or service for some other generic one (or a competitor), then imagine yourself watching the video and gauge your enthusiasm. Keep the pacing of the scenes tight and to the point, and maybe introduce some variety with the camera angles, lighting, etc. Certain videos may not need as much attention-getting elements as others (ie, training videos), but the idea is to be intentional about going beyond the mundane and formulaic.

COMMUNICATE Benefits: Once you have their attention, you must prove and demonstrate what you do, how you're different, and why the viewer should agree with your propositions. Make every effort to PROVE your points versus talking about them. Video is one medium that enables you to actually demonstrate your message, so take advantage of that as much as possible.

CALL to Action: If you've kept the viewer's attention and conveyed the benefits of your message, you must close with a strong and clear call to action. What do you want the viewer to do with the information you just gave to them? Do you want them to call your toll-free number, browse your website, or simply agree with your vision and values?

Nothing is more fruitless and frustrating than watching a video and at the end, it leaves you asking "What was that about? What was the point of that?" (think: most superbowl commercials). You've created a video for a purpose and with a goal in mind (ie, increase sales, branding, fundraising, entertain, etc.), so you must summarize what action you want them to take.

People are lazy by nature, and simply communicating facts about your product or service is not going to produce an outcome. This is why infomercials are so effective at selling stuff you don't really need and hadn't planned on buying. There is a continual push to "call the toll-free number and try the product for 30 days! This offer is available for the next ten minutes only!"

Of course, it's not always appropriate to have a pushy salesman approach for your video, but it does prove that if you want results, you have to ask for it.
About the Author
Paul Lyke is the managing director of MidSouth Visual, Inc., a Nashville video production agency.
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