6 tips for nailing the story in your video

Your CEO droning on with vapid talking points won’t bring in new audiences. Here’s how to ensure your video creations resonate.

Nailing the story in your video

When it comes to creating a great video, the story is everything.

Stunning visuals are important, and a dynamic spokesperson will help. But if your video isn’t about something—it won’t resonate. It has to tell an electric story, even if it only lasts a few seconds.

Video success starts with pre-production, where you storyboard and meticulously plan each shot. You don’t have to get too far into the weeds, but even a short video with your CEO should have some pre-planning to identify what story you want to tell—and how your piece aligns with key business objectives.

To find out if your video is on the right track, Bob Hitchcock, senior director of content marketing for Legal Zoom and former editorial content director for Walt Disney parks, has a few tips.

1. What is your strategy? Hitchcock recommends coming back to the tried-and-true objectives: inform, educate and entertain. If your video fails to offer any value, go back to the drawing board.

2. What are your key messages? It’s a mistake to have too many messages in one video. Hitchcock recommends limiting yourself to two or three items.

3. What emotion do you want to evoke? Video is an emotional medium. If your content fails to tug at the heartstrings, you’ve likely created a bland, unremarkable waste of time.

4. Who is your main character? Don’t overload your video with characters. Make someone the protagonist. (Hint: It’s the person whose actions drive the story forward.) Whenever possible, pre-interview your main subject before you hit “record.”

5. What location will you use? To highlight authenticity and make your interview subject comfortable on camera, try to shoot the video in a familiar, friendly environment.

6. Prepare topics, not questions. When interviewing your subject, don’t stick to a pre-packaged list of questions. Go where your interests take you, and foster a sense of curiosity about the person being interviewed.

To get more great tips on creating compelling videos, check out Ragan Training.

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