This post was first published by Brendan Reilly on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
It’s no secret that creating video content as part of PR and communications strategies can be highly effective, especially in a world where mobile technology and social media have led to skyrocketing video consumption numbers. But pointing a camera at someone and telling them to talk about their product isn’t the kind of video that people find particularly compelling, let alone the kind that goes viral. So what are brands missing?
There’s a lot that goes into creating high-quality videos that people will want to watch, enjoy watching and then feel compelled to engage with a brand after they’ve watched it. So many things add production value to your content, from your choice of camera to lighting decisions, audio equipment, scripting, charisma of your on-camera talent and more. One of the most overlooked aspects of what makes great video content is movement – in terms of both what you’re filming and the camera itself.A doctor sitting in his office talking about a cutting-edge medical device can make for a good interview, but by itself is not particularly compelling. Cutting from the interview to b-roll of the device being used in real-world environments, on the other hand, is much more compelling. It puts the doctor’s comments in context and the viewer gets to see this impressive technology in action rather than just listening to someone talk about it.
In the same example, a single wide shot of said device being used in a hospital or doctor’s office will get boring pretty quickly. Alternatively, multiple shots from different angles and distances that incorporate camera movement lend a sense of immersion in the action to the video.
In an interview with Fast Company, neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert said, “I would argue that we have a brain for one reason and one reason only. And that’s to produce adaptable and complex movement … Things like sensory, memory and cognitive processes are all important, but they are only important to drive movement.”
The article’s author then went on to say that companies need to focus on creating “inspiring brand/usage interactions,” and that budgets these days are typically spent on “shouting not doing.” The result is that a brand’s marketing and PR efforts become intrusive and ultimately serve as an inconvenience to target audiences rather than making people’s lives easier.
But when we use video content to relate powerful stories through more narrative and cinematic approaches, we start to create content that people want to engage with. This brings us back to movement. While the main point of the Fast Company article seems to advocate creating real-world experiences rather than focusing on static marketing content, high-quality video content can connect elements of both in an effective way.
Now, obviously I’m not suggesting that we do away with much of the traditional B2B video content we see on a regular basis, such as testimonials and business issue interviews/case studies. They all have their time and place. But brands, particularly in the B2B space, need to start telling more personal stories and upping the ante in terms of production value.
They don’t need to go the route of the uber shaky-cam Jason Bourne franchise style. But something as simple as using a slider on top of a tripod can help add some much needed camera movement to a video project. In fact, many of the camera movements that are employed as storytelling vehicles in Hollywood films can be easily adapted and put to use in B2B video content to better engage audiences. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the video below and see how much more interesting camera movement makes a project. Start using these techniques to turn your video case studies into compelling mini-documentaries and you’ll see them push the needle in the right direction for your brand.