I understand large corporations may have multiple complex messages to convey to staff and stakeholders, or your business is so good, you need to say everything about it. I feel the challenge for many communicators and marketers is distilling these messages simply and concisely. Video can illustrate complex ideas, through the use of motion graphics for example, but video is not good on conveying huge amounts of detail, as these generally have to be long and complex.

Attention spans these days is getting shorter and shorter and (I include myself in this.) I often find myself on YouTube about to watch something, but notice that it’s over five minutes long, and think, “I don’t have time to watch this now, I’ll come back to it later”, and never do. Or I start to watch a video and before it has even reached 2 minutes I stop watching because I’m bored.  The days of when a corporate video being 15 to 20 minutes have long gone, but I still see clients today who feel the need for a lengthy video, as they have so many messages to convey and assume it can be done in under two minutes!

Video is not a magic bullet. Video is great a conveying messages quickly- a picture is a thousand words and all that – but it can’t bend time, you can’t have 20 messages and expect it to be short, well, you could try, but I don’t think it would be an engaging video and one that I would want to watch it.

KISS – Keep it short & simple
There are lots of acronyms for KISS, but I like this version as it’s really relevant to video.  Keep your messages short, succinct, and use everyday language in your scripts, interviews and when talking to camera. Using words that make your communication simple and uncomplicated ensures that you’re understood by everyone you’re speaking to. After all, if your viewer doesn’t understand what you’re saying, there is no point saying it in the first place. Don’t assume that people understand your technical jargon and don’t assume you appear smarter by using it. Knowing your audience and adjusting your message and words accordingly is far smarter. The key to effective communication is to use simple, easy-to-understand language.

Why shorter is better:

  • Shorter videos are more engaging than longer ones
  • People want to consume information quickly
  • 50% of people will watch a one minute rather than two-minute video
  • The longer the video the more likely viewers will not watch till the end
  • Critical that the most important information in your video comes sooner than later
  • Viewers are used to choice and will watch multiple videos that are relevant to them

You must understand what’s really important to the viewer.

Extract from “How to Get Video Right’ book by Simon Banks. The essential guide to video strategy in the rapidly changing digital age.

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