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Hollywood Insider Tips for Creating Viral Video

Source: Jonathan Kos-Read

Over 83% of human learning is visual.

Which is why so many brands these days are using video as part of their marketing mix.

For Aquent’s latest AMA webcast, Hill Holiday’s Senior Content Producer Arestia Rosenberg gave a great talk on How Brands Use the Power of Video through visual storytelling.

A former “hack” from Hollywood (her words, not ours), she draws on her movie and television production and development  experience to explain how to create compelling videos and answer questions about integrating video into a marketing mix.

Here are some of the highlights shared by our Aquent blog staff from the webcast—which are available on demand on our YouTube channel and also downloadable via Slideshare.

1.    Why make a video?

Video makes stories visible. It creates context around a message and evokes those deep emotions. We use video to inspire, to make people laugh, and to make our audience do something. When it comes to the data, we know that 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. We also know that 40% of the top 1,000 shared Instagram videos are posted by brands. In other words, going visual expands your reach exponentially.

2.    What makes a video great?

Videos are awesome when they mean something. To generate that meaning, every visual story must contain these elements: Characters/people we’re emotionally invested in; a hurdle/journey/challenge; and a goal or reward/payoff. When it comes to emotion, video content should seek an instant emotional connection by tugging at the audience’s heartstrings, making the audience ROFL or feel nostalgic, or making the audience say, “WOW!” or “WTH?” Remember also that unexpected or surprising elements can really grab attention!

3.    What should you make?

To figure out what to make, ask these two questions: "Wouldn’t it be cool if we [insert something cool]?" and "Do we have the right to [insert that cool thing here]?" Concentrate both on creating something unique (you don’t want to do something that is overplayed) and something your audience wants and will appreciate. Once you find your visual storytelling sweet spot, you're ready to move on to the next phase.

4.    How can it be made?

There are three basic ways to do this (each with its own pros and cons):

  • Hire production partners
  • Make the video in-house
  • Curate it

The decision on which way to go, will be based on budget, time, and resources. If you have the budget, go ahead and hire a production partner. If you’re strapped for cash or tight on time, curate it by taking something that already exists and repackaging it. In other words, the answer to this question is, "It depends!"

5.    How do you measure effectiveness?

When it comes to measurement, think about what makes sense. What was the goal of the campaign/video? What does success look like for your company—is it views, subscriptions, clicks, engagement, sales, or a combination of these? Figuring out at the outset what you are trying to achieve will guide how you measure things once you've released your video into the wild.

Remember: It's All About Emotion

At the end of the day, Rosenberg stressed this notion: Emotional content is shareable content. Get the emotion and the story right, put it in motion through video, distribute and promote it on the right channels, and you will see success.

Have an example video you’d like to share? Link to it in our comments!

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