Video is the future of social media. Not surprising, since it remains the best method for communicating critical information AND provoking a particular feeling in people. In 15 to 60 seconds a successful video must accomplish the same things that a 90-minute feature film accomplishes.
The Greeks had it right: we love drama. They figured out the formula for successful drama over 2,000 years ago. Here’s the short version:
- Premise. What story are you telling? What feeling are you provoking? How do you hook your audience into watching your video within the first 5 seconds?
- Plot point 1. What critical action happens that adds to your story?
- Middle. This is where you show people your message.
- Plot point 2. A twist to the plot that helps everyone to remember your message.
- Climax. How does your message peak visually so we’ll remember what you showed us?
- Resolution. What did the characters in your video learn and what did we learn from them?
One double-spaced page of dialog is equal to 60 seconds of video. It’s a challenge to whittle your message down to one page. And once your script is one page, it’s time to edit your dialog down by at least 50%. Your mission is to show people your message instead of telling them. We’re humans and most of us learn visually.
Much to the dismay of writers, the right actor is critical to success. Finding the actor who can deliver the nuance required in your video is even more challenging. That’s why we see movie directors working with the same actors throughout a series of projects. Once you find your key actor, build a video campaign with them in mind. This is the reason why we saw Carly Foulkes in all of those T-Mobile ads. She was able to show us what would have been a page of monologue with just a quick smile.
Question | Were these T-Mobile ads successful?
What’s the setting for your video? What’s the wardrobe? What’s the overall look and feel for your video? These decisions help bring out the emotion in your video. As much planning and care should go into this step as the other ones.
Think about your favorite movie scene. Better yet, watch it again tonight. What did it sound like? When you originally saw the scene you may not have been aware of it. But a powerful video will include a soundtrack. And sometimes the soundtrack will include the equivalent of negative visual space—no sound at all for a short period of time.
This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book on Strategic Marketing & Advertising. To learn more about my books and classes and to receive a discount, you’re invited to subscribe to my List by clicking HERE.
Photography by JESHOOTS.COM