3 magic questions to transform your next video

During the creation of a video, you may find yourself completely stuck.

You know the story you want to tell, but you don’t know where to start. Or you have a lot of information you need to convey, but you don’t know how you’re going to fit it into a two-minute video.

Needed: A few important building blocks

Before you identify your story and pre-interview your subjects, before you write the interview questions and start the storyboard — before you do any of that, you need to know why you’re creating a new piece of content.

We swim in content. Consider TV: Within a few of decades we’ve gone from slim pickings during the primetime slot to a seemingly unlimited selection of shows on video streaming services. But more does not mean better.

If you want to connect with your audience through video, you have to create it with purpose.

Creating video content without a roadmap may seem like it would have, at worst, a neutral outcome for an organization. After all, it can’t hurt … right?

On the contrary. Producing content for the sake of content potentially wastes resources, confuses your audience, and demotivates your team.

3 questions

Got 15 minutes? Want to get unstuck? Grab a marker, find a whiteboard, and answer these three questions.

#1: Who are we trying to reach?

This is your target audience for this particular piece of content.

Examples:

  • Left-leaning millennials living in the southeastern U.S.
  • People who made a $100+ donation to your annual giving fund two years ago but not last year
  • Potential investors who have heard of your company but don’t understand what you do

Tip: The more segmented and specific your answer is, the more effective your video is likely to be. But note that there are times when you will want to reach your entire community.

#2: What do we want them to do?

When your target audience is done watching your video, what action do you want them to take? This answer informs the content of your video.

Examples:

  • Go to a website or landing page
  • Visit your location
  • Call an elected official

Tip: Think about your audience’s viewing environment and make the action as easy as possible for them. Are they watching this on Facebook or Instagram? (Share, comment, or like may be the desired action.) Are they watching it on your website? (Sign up for a webinar, join a mailing list, or make a donation may be the desired action.)

#3: How do we want them to feel?

When your target audience is done watching the video, what should their primary emotion be? This answer informs the tone of your video.

Examples:

  • Inspired
  • Empowered
  • Angry

Tip: Anger, fear, and even despair can be powerful motivators to take action, but tread carefully here. Consider your answer to #2, then think about the feeling that is most likely to encourage that action.

Time to reassess

With these basic building blocks identified, you have the foundations of a creative blueprint. Have those questions and answers in front of you as you begin writing, and return to them every time you start to feel stuck.

Open Eye Creative is a small video production company with a huge vision: to use the power of story to strengthen and propel organizations that are changing the world. Read more.