5 (Plus) Tips for Creating Compelling Videos
John Gelety: Video goes hand-in-hand with other content. Like in any successful campaign, strategy is key. Think about what you want your video to say (again, what’s your story?) and how it will be placed with your other marketing materials.
FS: Is there a basic format for producing a quality video?
JG: Because of the advent of HTML5 and more advanced Flash technology, you want your video to be in the highest definition it can get. Natively, recent camera technology shoots at around 1920x1080 but also goes as low as 1280x720. Newer screen resolutions are amazing, but also remember that the majority of online video is watched on mobile devices. That means brighter but smaller screens. Simply put, just make sure whatever you shoot is clear, steady and audibly strong. Video is a “show me” medium, so as long as the images are compelling, you’ve done half your job.
FS: What length do you suggest for videos that will be sent to potential donors and other supporters via e-mail or that will appear on the organization’s website?
JG: Attention spans, at least online, are getting shorter and shorter. The ease of clicking around the Web and watching videos means it’s easier to watch something for a minute and then move on. An average short-form video is around 3.5 minutes. If the video is not compelling or to the point, people will drop off around 10 seconds in. That’s why it’s important to know your story and where it’s headed.
You can definitely do a five-minute (or more) video about your organization or cause, but think of any video you do as a story in three acts: Act 1 should pose your main argument and set up the rest of the video in a captivating way. Act 2 should be focused on the details. Act 3 should wrap up the story and have a call to action. Shorter videos have more of a chance of repeat viewings, but longer videos give you a chance to flesh out your campaign. Consider a series of short videos in chapters instead of one long production.