Video is one of the most effective storytelling tools you can use - there’s just something about video content that sparks emotion and creates lasting connections. It’s time to learn how to give your target audiences the best video experience possible so they are engaged, entertained, and moved to share it with others.

Why is video content so powerful for engaging our audiences?

Video content is incredibly powerful because it shows people rather than tells them - it effortlessly engages and entertains viewers, and allows people to experience who you are and what you do on a whole different level. Video content encourages people to connect, feel, and care (which leads to trust, loyalty, and MONEY).

No matter what you talk about or do in your video, you have to make sure it makes people FEEL the way you want them to feel. Try to think of videos as “edutainment”- education + entertainment.

But WAIT! Before you run out and purchase a pricey GoPro or DSLR camera, take a moment to walk through the steps below and get crystal clear on the purpose, concept and vision for your video.

Step 1: Ask yourself some basic questions to better understand your target audiences and what they might want or need from your video.

-What does your target audience really CARE about? What is valuable to them?

-What motivates your audiences? Low price? Humor? Being part of a community?

-Where is your target audience most likely to consume video content? (YouTube? Facebook? SnapChat?)

Step 2: Do some brainstorming and creative thinking to identify which stories you can tell using video on social media channels.

-Why would your audiences CARE about this story? How does it impact them/get your message across?

-Who are the characters in your story (who else can you talk about)?

-What is the climax/turning point of the story?

-Do you want to give away the ‘ending’, or leave your audiences hanging?

Step 3: Decide which call to action you’d like to make in your video (what do you actually want people to DO? i.e. donate to our cause, visit our website, sign up for the event) and be sure this call to action is written into your video script.

Step 4: The ever important social media channel selection. Once you’ve discovered your stories, it’s time to think about which social media platforms will be best for getting your story seen and heard. Every platform has its own language, and you can’t do them all! Start with the channels are you actively using now, and build in additional social media channels as you begin to create more video content. (Hint: If you’re new at this video thing, start with uploading videos to Facebook, then play with Instagram, then think about starting your own YouTube channel!)

The Video King: YouTube

Adding videos to your YouTube channel is crucial to increasing SEO and driving traffic from YouTube to your website and social media channels. (Did someone say Google?!) Good descriptions, tagging, and titles are important to maximize these efforts (as well as proper linking of your calls to action in your description!)

Video on Facebook

If you have the Facebook “Pages Manager” App on your phone you can upload a video you shoot on your phone directly to your Facebook page. Or, try Facebook Live! Statistics show that people spend 3x longer watching video which is Live compared to video which is no longer Live. (Facebook Live is also available to public figures and verified Pages, not just personal pages!)

Video on Instagram

Instagram Stories are another great way to share your videos (this is very similar to "SnapChat" - that platform all the 'kids' are using. When you go to take a photo on Instagram, you’ll now see a movie camera icon. Tap it to enter video mode, where you can take up to 60 seconds of video through the Instagram camera (used to be 15 seconds)! You can also post a short video directly to your Instagram feed (or try the app "Boomerang" for even more fun!)

And a Few Bonus Video Tips To Get You Going:

  • Begin your video with a 5-second title shot which includes tagline, logo, and music, then use this in every film for consistent branding

  • Switch camera angle, sound, or cut to new scene every 12-15 seconds

  • Use a brightly colored background in your videos

  • End your video with bloopers

  • End with a video directory

  • Find James Wedmore (YouTube guru) and watch his videos. He’s just awesome!

Maine Video Production Resources

If you're in Portland, Maine and need more help creating video content for a low cost, contact Tom Handel, Executive Director of The Community Television Network to learn more about their classes, membership options, and use of their studio space! (I'm the Board President and there are some big changes happening that you're going to want in on!)

Also, there are a number of talented video producers here in Maine. Here are my favorites!

Nick Callanan, No Umbrella Media

Johannes Wiebus, Jynx Productions

Chris Cavallari, Filmosity Productions

Rebecca Conley, Boco Video Productions

Arthur Page, Independent

Now, get out there, be brave, and start using video as a storytelling tool for your brand, organization, or business!

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