Sometimes… Sometimes I imagine that if William Shakespeare was alive today he’d be working for a Stratford-Upon-Avon based tech start up. And he would be known, not as a playwright or a scribe or a poet but as a ‘content creator’. He’d sit there wouldn’t he, Shakespeare and twiddle this freebie pen he got from a tone of voice conference in his beard – twirl it into curled wisps, and sneak admiring glances at Anne Hathaway – his wife to be – working in the cubicle adjacent to him.
Listen, I know you came to this article looking for a list of ways video is wicked powerful and then got me babbling on about an imagined alternative reality Shakespeare but just bear with me okay? It’s my article anyway isn’t it? It’s certainly not yours! You wouldn’t go into someone’s house and just be like: ‘Oh can we turn the heating off?’ Even though it’s perishingly cold’ Or: ‘Oh can we change the colour of the sofa-throw.’
Well, don’t come to my article and kick off that it promises something in the headline it doesn’t immediately delve straight into, okay?
Sorry! Feel like we got off on the wrong foot – back to alternative-reality Shakespeare!
Anway – Shakespeare is kicking out this superlative ‘content’ in full on iambic pentameter when Sally From Sales comes in and the conversation goes something like:
Sally From Sales: “Hey Bill! Great work on this new bit of content! Thing is, we’re really looking to get our website come up higher in Google for the phrase ‘buy our great new wearable fitness tech now’ So if you could just scatter that phrase into your content roughly a hundred times in that exact wording that would work really nicely! Thanks Bill!”
Alternative Reality William Shakespeare: “Are you… I mean, it might just seem a little… It might just ru…Totally ruin it?”
Sally From Sales: “Oh no I’m sure it’ll be fine – any problems though do drop me a quick note, seeya later Bill!”
Alternative Reality William Shakespeare: “Okay…Then. If you say so…
This is what we’ve come to now isn’t it? Writing lengthy pieces of content such as this using lots and lots of keywords and phrases like ‘video production Nottingham’ so that google gives us the thumbs up and gets our website up the search rankings. But hey, now I’ve started writing I’m kinda enjoying it, so off we go!
Anyway – how about some reasons why video is the most powerful way to communicate!
You can make a case for videos and films to be essentially a culmination or distillation of all the other art forms there are out there, bear with me on this:
Film takes the prose and cadence from great literature. Moreover, it also takes the structure and devices. Perhaps most famously with directors such as Quentin Tarantino adopting the chapter (Kill Bills), flashback (Resevoir Dogs), and intertwining non-linear narrative jumping back and forth in time (Pulp Fiction) structures more often found in works of literature. And naturally, film begins usually begins life as a script, be that a corporate video script or full-blown film screenplay.
Likewise, the cinematography (lighting and camerawork) is often inspired by and pays homage to the works of painters and artists. A long history of watching how light falls, how it changes the mood, tone, style and texture of a picture or scene within art has been gifted to the craft of film to make use of within its scenes. The composition and framing too – are often paid homage to within filmmaking.
Music is also of course a big one. If Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and co were alive today I genuinely believe they would work as film composers. I’m not a huge fan of classical music per se – but I am passionate about film composers, indeed my iTunes library is stocked full of soundtracks for films I love.
And of course from theatre – the performances – although typically heightened and emphasised to fit the size of the room they appear in naturally find themselves in videos and films through the actors and presenters.
In this way it could be argued that creative video & film content takes the collective power of these forms and brings them together to the fore.
It can work with great brevity
As we’ve previously chatted about – you can tee up a lot of info in a short video. Especially if you take into account the many and varied levels of meaning. By levels of meaning I don’t mean in a poncy art school way, I mean in a nigh-on literal way.
For instance, say there’s a single shot also accompanied by a line of voiceover and some sort of graphic – this whole thing lasts for circa 2 seconds. Say it’s an introductory promo for a corporate company: The voiceover intones the heavier mission-critical stuff, the graphic complements this with an illustrative animation really pushing this message home too. It’s then further complemented and given a fresh angle with the live-action shot underneath – showing an employee smiling and happy – giving a softer human angle. Again, these 3 elements are all layered on top of each other giving both supportive and fresh takes on the core messaging behind the film. And this is all done in about 2 seconds flat. Time this by 60 to have a 2-minute video and you can impart a stunning amount of information both in hard facts and touchy-feeliness
To break it down, the average reader reads 200 words per minute, so that’s the equivalent of 400 words of text for our 2 minute video. Which is a pretty hefty amount to be faced with. And what’s more the above stat is with readers at a comprehension level of 60%. With video content creators typically see an uplift of +33% in brand recall and +45% in message recall, so it boosts the chance of sticking in viewers’ minds no end.
It forms a strong human connection
I don’t know why but film has this knack for picking up the intangible, the ineffable. Many things which make your company different from your competitors and hence a strong part of your offering are things which are hard to define. This comes down to the culture of your workplace which in turn can be broken down into the values and ethos of the people within it.
Strip off culture, values and ethos and you begin to look seemingly identical to your competitors minus the logo and branding. Video content which is crafted from a genuine insight into your workplace, the people within it and their way of doing things gets to the beating heart of your business or organisation and what it has to offer.
The alternative, and we’ve all seen them, is those ‘about page’ headshots – I’ve mentioned them before. either with an in situ candid shot at a desk or a more formal studio type scenario. Don’t get me wrong these can be really effective and great for a cursory overview but it’s also nice to go into some depth and show more personality.
It allows for easy metaphors
Okay, for this sub-heading I want you to picture a scene – we’ve all been there – it’s a dreary grey seminar in a charmless business park. One of those sub-par motivation speakers – there to inspire and sell books (but mostly sell books) is doing a talk. They will kick off by forming an abrasively clunky and overwrought metaphor (well a simile if we’re being completely correct) about your business. They will then take this metaphor and stretch it until it tears asunder. Then, they will take a pneumatic drill to each individual broken piece and tear them apart too. Tear them down to a sub-atomic level.
“Alright! Say your business is an aeroplane, right picture it as a plane. Only sometimes the plane is high in the sky, right? But sometimes it’s also low…! Sometimes there’s no nuts on board or someone has the nuts and is allergic to nuts, sometimes you get that free meal you used to have but now in the era of cheap flights never have, you know the one with the mini pipette-sized coke cans? Anyway, sometimes the plane…”
And so on and so forth.
What I’m trying to say is: oftentimes text-based metaphors unless executed with panache can just smack of diabolical cheese and unmitigated smugness.
Films have the ability – obviously the better made the better but you’d be surprised what you can get away with – of just making an implicit visual connection. And having this remain unexplained but still feel very much real and clear. It adds so much to your messaging as a business.
Creative video brings subjects to life
Look dude, I know already how cheese that sub-header is… But… It just makes stuff cooler okay? It just does, don’t question it – don’t fight it. Don’t ask me for evidence because I’ve nearly finished this article now and I’ve got loads of tabs open on my browser. You know when you have loads of tabs open if you open just one more it’s like the straw that broke the donkey’s back and just the whole computer just freezes. Then you have to hard restart it and lose all your work?
Okay, I can see from here you’re definitely wanting me to hunt for some evidence. And I will cos I’m kind like that, but god… God only help you if this forces my browser to crash and I lose all my work and have to re-write.
*** One crashed browser and resentful re-write later***
Here! Here is your evidence – are you happy now, reader? Now I’ve lost and re-written the past thousand words. All because you wanted some evidence of how cool video content was on your website?! Even despite the fact I could easily have just saved this document offline or copy and pasted it into an email. And sent said email to myself. Well I hope you’re happy now! Pah!