How to Deepen Your Impact and Engagement Through Video

Perhaps you're about to announce your annual results. Maybe your organisation just funded a school in an impoverished community. Or you're about to launch a conference and need to call in delegates. Whatever the project, the goal for storytellers is always to drive engagement around it.

As more and more platforms come to support video content, the data is increasingly showing that, across the board, video is the best tool by far for driving audience engagement and retention of information.

Video is then the obvious choice for any team looking to engage their audiences, but how can you make sure that you're getting you money's worth?

Here are six tips to help you plan out your next video project.

1. A good story needs to be told

Documenting your company's success is important because it forms part of your company’s identity and it is important that investors and regular people see it.

The story needs to be about a real success, either an achievement or success in comparison to competitors. Documenting this success can further reinforce its success and draw attention to a specific topic.

Video is also far more engaging than text and audiences are more likely to watch a video than reading a 600 word article explaining the same thing. Key for engagement is making sure the video documents real people and real stories that have had a tangible impact.

2. It needs to be a sincere extension of the brand

The audience needs to be able to identify your content when scrolling down their news feeds. Your brand is unique to others and so too will allow your video content to stand out.

Your video then, should not only be an extension of your brand visually, but also communicate your company's values.

An example of going beyond a company’s brand, is the Kendall Jenner Pepsi advertisement that created a global backlash. You need to make sure that what your video is conveying reflects your company and is not just hopping on to a trend to get more views. Pepsi has never been the brand associated with social cohesion and centrist politics and their audience immediately identified this.

3. Always treat the subject matter with respec

When your story features people who have been effected by your products and services, always be aware of how you frame them in the video. Who are they to the viewer? Be cautious not to make them look helpless until your company swooped in.

These stories need to be focused on further developing and improving the community. When filming people always make use of consent forms and be sensitive if there are things that the person may feel uncomfortable sharing. Always make sure that people clearly know that the video will be published and everyone they know may see it. Be especially careful when children appear in the video. Guardians of every child need to give written consent and then be aware of how you frame them. Ask yourself if the video could effect their future one day when they are working adults.

4. Quality is important

Marketing and advertising is always in the budget, but more specifically, has enough thought been given to documenting your Corporate Social Investment (CSI)? Keep in mind that as an extension of your brand, what is the quality of the video saying about you?

Use professional production teams who are experienced storytellers. Find out if the production company has only done studio shoots or have they produced well filmed and high quality stories out in the field? Is their equipment high enough quality to produce the type of quality you are looking for?

5. Tailor your content to your audience and publishing platforms

Even before you say “Action!”, you need to have a clear vision of where you want to publish your video. If it is for Facebook or other social media platforms what is the style you will use? Think of text on screen and the length of the video that is suitable for social media consumers.

Who is your audience? Is it existing clients, potential clients or stakeholders? Each of these categories changes how you frame your content. Clients want to see how you have done a good job and exceeded expectations while investors will be more interested in seeing the numbers and percentages. But even then these do not need to be static numbers and figures on screen. These can be animated to move and be dynamic. The more entertaining your video is the more information your audience will absorb.

6. Packaging your product

Make sure the team working on your video have a “beginning-to-end” approach, and consider the full package. Everything from the presentation, dress and lighting of your subjects, to the titles on screen, to the opening and closing animations needs to be considered and professionally addressed.

Even descriptions for you videos, tags and hashtags are important to reaching a large audience.

Next time a video contractor tells you to put the video on YouTube, ask them to supply a thumbnail.

In 2017, frayintermedia was contracted to communicate the impact the South African Development Community's (SADC) secretariat's work had on citizens' lives across the region.

Our solution was a series of social media videos which grounded SADC's work in the lives and stories of real humans. The videos were published on Facebook and all videos were translated into SADC's official languages; English, French and Portuguese.

You can view the videos in their natural habitat by clicking here or click on the video below:

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