Let’s Get Visual: Communicate with Video

By Curtis Cunningham

Let’s face it. We like to watch.

Next to face-to-face communication, there’s nothing more personal or effective than video communication. It’s a rich medium that allows us to tell our story with images and sound. It creates a platform for viewers to experience information. Videos also build trust. Being introduced on screen, whether it’s a product, service or experience, creates believability. We are human beings. We’re hard-wired to use the human face to tap into our emotions and this, in turn, helps us retain information.

Video is quickly becoming the preferred communication medium for most people. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video must be worth 10 times that. So much information and emotion can be communicated in such a short amount of time.

Thanks to faster Internet connection speeds, we’re watching more video than ever. Next to Google, YouTube is the second most-used search engine. If your company doesn’t have its own YouTube channel or at least videos on YouTube, the chance of you showing up in a YouTube search is slim to none. One hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Cisco says online video users are set to double to 1.5 billion and online video traffic will comprise up to 55% of all consumer Internet traffic next year.

Take that leap

Where are you in this video frenzy? Are you taking advantage of this ever-growing communications channel?

If you’ve never created a video for yourself or your company, figuring out where to start may seem daunting. The first question is whether to hire a professional video production company or create it on your own. I will remain somewhat neutral on this issue. This decision is usually based on budget, time, expertise and marketing strategy. I would caution you to remember this old saying: If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.

Once the video contractor is in place, let the cameras roll. There are many different approaches to take. I tend to lean more towards an on-camera testimonial approach. Real stories from real people at real locations are relatable, believable and reliable. This approach is more budget-friendly then a scripted epic with actors, wardrobe, props and a professional voice-over talent.

Make the abstract real

Graphics and animation also work well. Video enables you to use visual stimulation to summarize your points and simplify your verbal message. We all have different learning styles. Video allows us to more effectively communicate to these various learning styles. Graphics and animation are best used when you need to explain something that can’t be seen. Animation is a great way to create a scene that otherwise can’t be captured on camera.

Whiteboard animation is another great way to communicate complex ideas simply, quickly and in a fun way. This relatively new concept is different from regular animation because it allows the viewer to watch the drawing unfold before their eyes. It’s as if someone is creating a visual narrative just for the viewer. As VideoMarketing.net notes, whiteboard animation itself may increase the memory retention that’s already enhanced by watching video. The images are being created simultaneously for the viewer while new information is also being received. Here’s an example.

Share big

Regardless of how you create your video, when it’s done, get it out there. Don’t bury your video deep within your website — stick it on the front page. Post it on YouTube AND load it direct to Facebook. Link, share and link again.

The process of video production can be complicated. But the potential for simplifying your message and engaging your customers will enhance you and your company or organization. Remember, show, don’t tell.

Curtis Cunningham is a member and past president of the InterCom board. He is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Lawrence Productions, Inc., a digital storytelling company specializing in custom video production since 1985.