a woman with a camera about to make a video

Video has paid my bills for 15 years. Even now, I’m a writer, but eventually almost every client asks me about video: how to make a video, if they should make a video, where they should share their video.  Because they’re smart, yo!

Visuals are processed 60K times faster than text. I’m no John Nash, but I can figure out that means a picture is worth 60,000 words.

Cheryl Connor wrote in Forbes that multimedia turns facts into feelings. That’s important, because we don’t talk about buyer knowledge, we talk about buyer sentiment. Everyone in the world knows that Coke exists. The marketer’s job is to make us thirsty.

Social Media Wants You To Make a Video

I love words. I could talk and talk and talk about how much I love words. But by 2018, my words might just be passe. Eighty percent of web content will be video by then. That’s uh…next year! By next year, the vast majority of what people are looking at on the web will be video.

Which brings me back to my clients. Few if any of them can bring in a hair and makeup and a crew of ten to start making big budget video. That doesn’t mean they can’t crush this social media/ video sharing/ web video/ mobile-friendly world we’re living in.

In Fall 2017, Facebook made further changes to its algorithm that are going to favour video in its feed even more. But not just any video.

According to the very smart Samantha English at the Retail Marketing Academy (do yourself a favour and take her webinars, they are so worth it!) Facebook will soon start to prioritize videos of 90 seconds, that people watch at least 60% of. Another important point, Facebook wants these videos be posted to the site directly, not linked through a competing site, like Vimeo or YouTube.

Here’s what especially daunting about that change. You can’t force the eyeballs. This is something I learned in news. You can have the best scoop ever, but if you can’t entice your audience to watch your story, no one is going to hear about it. You must, must tell your story in a compelling way to get the audience to stick around for at least 60% of your video.

I have a new client I just adore. He is brilliant, I learn so much from him each time he speaks. He got a deal from a producer to make a video on his area of expertise for free. The problem is, the video is so dry, that I found it difficult to get through. It is the first thing you see when arriving at his website. So, the video itself is not only not free, it may even be costing him money, if someone arrives at the website and is put off by a bad marketing tool

Make a Video with More

Luckily, another thing I learned as a reporter and news videographer is you can make a quality, compelling, even award-winning piece of web-sharable video in one day, with very little equipment, for very little money. When I was reporting in tiny towns or for not-so-established stations early in my career, we made miracles happen with wooden tripods and broken microphones. I’m so glad those days are behind me, but they taught me it can be done.

Here’s an example of a client video I wrote, interviewed, directed (oh, and maybe you’ll even recognize the narrator’s voice) that needed to serve two purposes. My Toronto-based client, one of Canada’s Most Admired Companies, wanted to recruit staff, but it also had to be useful as a way to advertise the business to potential clients. Whereas in the past, companies might have looked to PR to get them placement on the local news, now businesses can easily tell their own stories and share with a more targeted audience, with much better results.

Join our Team! from <ahref=”https://vimeo.com/theforaygroup”>Food for Tots on Vimeo.

This was a two-person crew, shot in two days. I voiced it on site in the company’s board room before flying home to Calgary.

Don’t get me wrong. You can hire a drone (and hey, if you have the budget, please do!) you can hire James Earl Jones to narrate, he will do a much better job than I will. But if your goal is to get people to watch more than 60% of a 90 second video, the only thing you really need is someone who knows how to tell a compelling story behind the camera. If you have that person on your own team, than you are very lucky, and you’re ahead of the game. If not, there are lots of resources out there for you, you just need to get started.