Five steps to using online video as an effective communications tool

The way people process information is changing. Today we look for bite-sized video content that can be easily processed and instantly shared, take for example Twitter's recent 6-second innovation, Vine Check out these top tips from Detlev Weise, Chief Executive Officer at simpleshow, for using video to communicate with your customer.

Microsoft suggests that by simply having a video embedded into a landing page, a website is 500 per cent more likely to retain visitors, making video an essential tool for any 21st century business. Here are five techniques marketers can adopt to ensure online video conveys the right messages and reaches the right audience.

1. Tell a story

Before you even begin to approach your storyboard, you must consider your audience's point of view - what previous knowledge do they have of your product or service? It's key to analyse your topic and filter out layers of information omitting anything that isn't core to your message. With video the age-old saying "Less is more," is certainly true. A good story can help your audience understand and, above all, remember the message. Whether you are marketing a product, launching a service or making an announcement, make sure your video encompasses the three key elements of a story: identification, dramatic composition and resolution.

2. Visualise it

Our background is in animation and so while there are many ways to tell a story, we're firm believers that images are a hugely effective way to communicate a message: they remain in people's minds longer than words and many symbols are understood at first glance globally. For this reason, don't be afraid of presenting your message symbolically. Simple illustrations can help convey the content in an easily comprehensible manner. You can source your own images if you have a talented animator on your team, but otherwise we would advise taking your concepts to a professional to execute the drawings.

3. Turn up the sound

Speech, music and sound effects are all perceived differently to visual stimuli, but exert an enormous influence on your audience sub-consciously. Be ambitious when it comes to the soundtrack. Using background music in your clip helps you stir different emotions in your audience. While you do need to bear in mind the editing and usage rights, using music can also help the pace and atmosphere of the film. Good sound design can help your film become easier to understand and attention to detail will further improve its impact.

4. Spread the word

Decide the objective of your video and think how to reach that audience. Do you want it to explain your service, communicate a milestone or attract visitors to your website? How you host and distribute the clip will determine whether it reaches the target audience and, ultimately, whether it will achieve the desired effect that makes a tangible difference to your brand.

How and why a particular video is shared online is almost impossible to predict, it must evolve naturally from a piece of genuinely engaging content that people are compelled to share. That being said, help things along by making your video shareable, easy to find and easy to embed onto other sites.

5. If in doubt, ask an expert

Videos made off a shoestring can reach hundreds of millions of people across the globe however, a professional-looking video is key when it comes to presenting your business. A poor-quality video can ruin even the most beautiful concept or even an entire brand reputation, so if in doubt follow the golden rule and ask an expert.

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