A newbies guide to videos — What’s your message?

If only we knew how easy it is to produce a video that actually works… A video that gets results and of course an astronomical return on your investment. It’s actually easier than you think. Well at least one part of it.

The part we’re discussing today is messaging. That buttery smooth, oh so eloquent, concise, laser focused message that is!

A screenshot from Psy’s Gangnam Style music video.

Have you ever watched Psy’s Gangnam Style and wondered what in the world made that video, the first to reach one billion views? I did and its actually one thing that they got right from the very beginning. The messaging.

If we mute the audio, what stands out? The dance! The message that this video portrayed visually, was the dance. We first see it less than 30 seconds into the video. The dance was the thing that most people took away from the video it the thing that viewers latched onto and re-created.

If we want just one thing from our videos, it is to have to have that one clear, concise, and focused message that your audience will be able to latch onto and take action against as a result.

We often get trapped into the mindset thinking, the more we talk about our business, the more informed people will be, that’s not the case. The amazing thing about video is the ability it has to capture people in the feels, capture their emotion. Once we start to introduce different messages (without a clear narrative, movies are an exception to this), it becomes harder and ultimately impossible to actually evoke any emotions and engage people in short format productions (videos less than 120 seconds).

So how do create messaging that is focused on the one thing?

First of all, we need a goal. What are we trying to achieve by producing this video? Is it to generate new leads, to educate, to entertain, build awareness or to increase sales. This goal should be very specific and targeted.

Once we have our goal, we need to set our topic. For example, when I do a video for this blog post, my topic would be, how to convey a message through video. Once we’ve set our topic, that is the onlything we can talk about in the video.

The why, how, what model

Step three, following the why, how and what structure, map out your video, remember to focus on your key topic. You can write a script, however, in my experience, it’s better to write questions or prompts that will trigger your answer. For example, if I want to talk about what Elixir Creative does, my prompt will be, ‘services EC offers’ and then I’m off, talking about the type of videos we make.

The reason I suggest prompts to my clients? Because, it makes you look more authentic, organic and… well… human on camera. A script can often make you look rigid and it’s always a pain remembering lines. The easier it is, the more comfortable you’ll be and the more fun you’ll have.

Lastly, practise is key. When you’re driving, walking, on the Lime’s or in an Uber, whenever you’ve got some time, practise your prompts and refine your answers. So when it’s time to video, you’ll be well rehearsed, well prepared and having a ton of fun.

A lot of times I hear videographers asking themselves “would I watch this?” and to me personally, I think that’s the wrong question. The aim of a video is to always bring value to your audience. A video with slick editing, smooth transitions and a backing track doesn’t give any real value, it only gives your business exposure (nothing wrong with exposure if that’s what you’re after). But in a B2B context, giving value to your audience is what will set you apart. thus, we should be asking “will this actually help someone?” And once we’re convinced it will, then we can ask ourselves, “would I watch this?”

With that in mind, have a go! If you have created a video using our format, do send it to us. I’d love to see the fruits of your hard work.

Once again, any questions, queries or comments email or call anytime.

Until next time, Kaushik

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