“There are a number challenges with video. One is people think it’s cheap and easy because you can shoot video, very high quality video on an iPhone. You can edit it on an iMac. That’s like saying, I can write a book because I have a word processor.” quote from Stuart Maister, former BBC journalist and video communications expert, when he recently spoke to Tallboy’s MD Simon Banks. Watch the video to hear Stuart’s thoughts on how we should be using video to engage our audiences. 

The factors behind the increased use of video are the ones that we’re very familiar with, to do with the fact that we’re always on. We’re always on our devices. People want snackable content. Video really fits that. We want it simple and easy. We don’t want to download that PDF and read that long report. We want it in two, three minutes in a way that’s fun and engaging. The key to approaching video is not to say we’re going to do a video, but it’s to think about video content at the front end of a communications or a marketing or a PR strategy.

So would start simple set of questions, who exactly are we’re looking to engage?

  • Who are we trying to reach exactly? Not companies, but individuals. The type of people.
  • What do we want them to think, feel, know, and do?
  • Why should they be interested?
  • What are the whole points there in, that we need to bring to life in our story?
  • How do we do it?
  • What’s special about what we want to talk about that they’re going to find interesting?
  • What is it that we do?
  • What is it that’s at the heart of our story? But that’s often the least interesting. It’s much more interesting to think about the audience and what are they going to find the most value, and then work backwards to what it is we want to say.
  • What is we want them to know.

So categorize Video content into three Cs.

  • Firstly into collateral. Core content that basically explains who are we. What are we about? What doe we stand for? The stuff that has a shelf life that usually has a higher production value.
  • The second C is content. Ongoing campaigns, thought leadership, stuff that is topical, maybe a view of the next three months.
  • And third C is conversation. Video is being used increasingly in conversations.

Both to start conversations in a social media context, but also within sales presentations, within meetings, at events or presentations. So those are the three areas that video plays a part. I think it’s really exciting right now to be in the video space.

There are a number challenges. One is people think it’s cheap and easy because you can shoot video, very high quality video on an iPhone. You can edit it on an iMac. That’s like saying, I can write a book because I have a word processor. It’s a different sort of thing. So that’s one of the challenges.

Budgets. People think they could do it all very cheaply. But at the same time the new possibilities with video are incredibly exciting.

So the challenge for all of us who work in the video space is to show people why it’s worth investing more heavily in experts in the field, and leveraging it effectively, so they get a real return on their investment.

Stuart Maister is a former national TV and radio reporter for ITN, the BBC, Sky News and ABC Australia. He as led three award-winning businesses in the marketing communications area, pioneering broadcast PR in the 1990s and video over the internet in the early 2000s. Stuart is currently managing director of The StoryBuild Agency.

Interviewed by Simon Banks, filmed on an iPhone 6s.