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4 Essentials for Creating Compelling Marketing Videos

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Wooden "Gone Viral" door signFor several consecutive years, all of us have heard the same prediction: “This is the year of the video!” We don’t know the exact moment of launch, but compelling video is now a powerful marketing tool for hospitals, medical groups and professional practitioners. And the performance stats and results are stronger each year.

Let’s credit explosive Internet technology with nearly ubiquitous and hyper-fast Wi-Fi, broadband and streaming media. And let’s also spotlight YouTube, the top video-sharing site—along with a bunch of other hosting and enabling platforms online.

What’s more, video’s universal appeal (and ability to grab eyeballs) fits comfortably with a dozen online places, purposes and need-to-know moments. Social content leads the list, along with websites, eNewsletters, how-to tutorials, interviews, testimonials and many others. And all of these have a place in a marketing plan to attract and retain new patients. More importantly, marketing professionals understand and use data-driven and highly targeted campaigns.


Video impact adds up…

 For the reasons listed above, and other social influences:

  • About 85 percent of the Internet audience in the US watch online video
  • Online marketing minds (nearly 90 percent of them) use video
  • Mobile video ads are compelling and effective
  • Better than 82 percent of Twitter users see video content on that platform
  • More than 50 percent of video content is seen on a mobile device
  • Video content generates the best ROI, according to over 50 percent of marketing pros

So, as a marketing tool, we know that video is pervasive, highly versatile and nearly universal in its appeal. But it also needs to be compelling, engaging and important to the viewer or it doesn’t register or it has a negative viewer value.

The essential elements for creating compelling video content…

We all want our video splash to be a big one; and “going viral” is the grand prize. But “viral” is a tough gold ring to grab. It goes without saying to know your audience. So, that aside, here are some of the essential secrets to creating compelling video content:

The story comes first. Before anything else, determine how your compelling message will fit a storytelling curve. The human brain easily understands—and expects—this presentation pattern (exposition-rising action-climax-falling action-resolution). Video is a natural presentation tool.

Create exceptional value for the viewer. Your message becomes attention-getting and intimately compelling when the story reveals direct benefits or value for viewer. Connect with the audience wants and needs, and provide answers that they crave. In short, tell, don’t sell, because people buy happiness.

Short videos are best. How short? It depends on the purpose of the content. Unless the content is exceptional, viewer attention begins to slip after a few seconds. As a general rule of thumb, a common target is two to four minutes for most applications. And if your material demands a longer time, slice it into a series with several parts. The shorter content sustains interest—even as a series—and is easier for the viewer to digest.

Test for meaningful value. Although your video package is brief and compact, evaluate it for overall value. Early on, does it demand attention? Does it engage the viewer with a big idea and/or a persuasive hook? Have you made your story entertaining, relevant, value-laden and visually interesting? Have you used good production values and a professional appearance?

And for greater dynamic interest…

A “talking head” format can be commonplace and static. Here are a few bonus ideas that could add variety, interest and value to your story arc. These extras don't work in every situation, but they may lead to a fresh take on a video presentation:

  • Get out and about. Incorporate various locations—both outdoor and indoor—that are different, visually interesting and lend authority to your video subject.
  • Cut the cord with a camera-mounted drone. Is it possible to fly with a drone? The big idea is, whenever possible, to incorporate action and mobility that the viewer doesn’t usually see.
  • Is there a GoPro opportunity? These small and popular video cameras breakaway from nailed-to-the-ground boundaries and present new opportunities for motion and action to enhance your story.

The convenience and cost to create compelling video content is often within the reach of modest budgets. Most of the ordinary marketing video applications can be done quickly. But know the limits and be prepared to hire professional creative help when the size and importance of the project requires.

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