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Crafting “Crafty” Content for Video!

As a marketing and sales manager, I attend a lot of coffee meetings and engage with a diverse group of professionals and peers. It’s a fantastic job for a high-energy extrovert who loves a good cup of joe and stimulating conversation. I find it equally rewarding to learn about other local businesses and discover the various ways we can assist each other along the road to success.

With the recent shifts in marketing trends, we see the online, mobile community targeted with a laser focus. Modern content strategy and communications plans delineate methods of attracting clients across mobile platforms and social media channels. It’s no surprise that video is at the forefront of these efforts; a moment of video contains the same message as 1.8 million words. It’s a powerful medium to leverage.

Getting back to those meetings I attend: the general community WANTS to use video, but perhaps the idea which stirs the most trepidation is the content itself.

What the heck do you put in a video?

Now, if you’re like me (get ready for it), the idea of being placed in front of the camera produces the same general feeling as standing before the proverbial firing squad: it’s horrific. I personally squirm and play with my hands. I have very long, skinny fingers. I digress.

In order to disassemble these perilous feelings of dread, you need to prepare for your video. You need a content plan – preferably something that’s fleshed out (in your mind; better if it’s on paper) before your first meeting with a video professional.

The questions I ask every client look like this:

1. WHO is your audience;
2. WHAT is your message;
3. WHEN does it need to be produced and deployed;
4. WHERE will filming take place;
5. HOW do you want to represent your business?

Sounds awfully journalistic, huh?

Integrated video is quick, visual journalism. So you want it to deliver the punchline that not only sells, but transmits an unforgettable message into the universe. Think of the viral videos you remember with greatest clarity: they shocked you in some way, did they not? There was a moment where you connected with that individual or business – you either laughed uproariously, sincerely empathized, gasped, nodded, grimaced, let a tear fall or some unique combination of these reactions.
Now, while the visceral “shock value” of viral content might not be equally suited to professional marketing video, the idea remains the same: you want to capture your audience’s fragmented attention and you want to hold it.

So don’t be afraid to get creative. Want an example? Recently, a client proposed the idea of using screenshots and interspersing them with live, on-site filming to play a trick on their audience: the geeks in the universe would get it and roll their eyes in general disdain, and the non-geeks would emit a parade of giggles, systematically nodding their heads in unison to fake “getting it.” The message delivered here was the importance of understanding how to leverage Google’s latest tools and who to contact if the understanding isn’t there (the “who” to contact would be our client). I am a non-geek. I didn’t get it. I nodded my noggin faster than a Jacoby Ellsbury bobble-head. Would I call this business for help based on their video concept? You better believe it.

When you are genuine and let your personality shine through, your content pops on its own.

Write your ideas down. Be a director. This is your movie.

And, action!

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