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Why you should use video to get your message across

Back in the day, when I had a full-time job and a full head of hair, I worked for a large firm of City-based independent financial advisers. Oh, the stories I could tell about that! But I won't, because not only are they a damning insight into office culture of the 1990s, it's not why you're reading this blog. Ask me over a pint.


My job involved all sorts of IT-related things, one of those was being tasked with training colleagues to use software. I spent an age writing course material outlining how the systems worked (screenshots, step-by-step instructions, finger painting etc.) then followed up with face-to-face training. After a few months of this approach one thing became clear: The course material was very rarely read, possibly down to the fact that software manuals for financial services-related computer systems are very very boring.


It soon became apparent that my pupils grasped the concepts I was teaching much faster when I showed them how stuff works. I made the training sessions very informal, we even had the occasional laugh over a HobNob (a laugh while eating it, not at it), which for a guy training people to use systems that handled pensions and life insurance policies is no small feat.


You achieve a far greater imprint on your subject when you use a visual medium to explain something to them than you would if you just hand them a wad of documents and tell them to crack on.


The same can be said of advertising, hence why the TV advertising industry is worth billions. Okay, so some of the adverts we see on a regular basis are more irritating than a tight-fitting hessian thong, but we certainly remember them. I love animals, but I'd happily take a virtual cricket bat to one of those CGI'd meerkats, yet as I swing the bat and take aim I remember precisely which product they advertise...so their marketing campaign must work. To be fair, such organisations do use written material (newspaper adverts, billboards etc.) but the big results are achieved through TV (and to a lesser extent radio) advertising.


What I'm getting at is that using a visual medium like video gets your message across to your audience much faster than the written word. I'm not belittling the power of the written word - far from it, but for a first impression that makes a positive impact on how customers, clients etc. perceive your business, your product, your band, your comedy act or whatever you're trying to promote, video is the way to do it.


For example, a 30 second well-executed clip, placed prominently on the home page or landing page of your site does two things:


1) It gives a snapshot of what you and/or your product are about. You're an estate agent - we see happy customers shaking hands with one of your agents, receiving the keys on the doorstep to their new yet eye-wateringly mortgaged home. You're a tree surgeon - we see you in action, lovingly caring for an elderly customer's bush. You're a bidet manufacturer - we see a newly fitted appliance being tested by its happy cust...well you get the idea.


2) It says you are serious about getting your message across. You've gone the extra mile to deliver your message quickly and clearly to your audience. Okay so they can spend the time perusing your web site, that's what its purpose is, but why not give them a brief and professional-looking video to pique their interest? Over the past 14 years I've learnt a lot about video production from watching others, so much more so than from the raft of text books I've studied ("What you reading there Mike?". "Err...Adobe After Effects CC Visual Effects And Compositing." "Oh right, cheers mate bye."). I've watched some of the biggest productions being made, I've watched small 2 or 3-person shoots, I've seen countless tutorial videos, all of which has sunk in far easier than anything I've read in a book.


Have a look at this video I made a couple of years ago, it's a bit corporate-y and straight-laced and I must update it to make it a bit more human, but in essence it shows you the way in which video gets your message out there, whether you're advertising your business, explaining to customers how your product or service works, or just greeting them with a friendly face when they visit your site.

Talk to me about how video can assist with your business. Just don't talk to me about 1990s office culture unless you're buying the drinks ;)

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