5 Steps to Communicate Effectively Using Video

1. Know your audience. Gather as much information as you can about your intended audience. Where do they live?, how old are they?, are they married?, what is their level of income?, what is their level of education? Don't be a stalker here but the more info you have the better. The worst  answer to the question "Who is your audience?" is "Everyone" If your target is "everyone" you can be sure you will miss it every time. If you are trying to communicate a message to two extremely different audiences it is sometimes best to develop a custom video or message for each audience. For example if you are communicating to a group of high school students and make a reference to the Brady Bunch you will probably get a bunch of blank stares. Likewise if you are talking to a group of senior citizens and reference Justin Bieber you may get get some confused looks. Unless of course there is a grandmother in your audience that rocks out to Justin Bieber. Simply put, the more you know about your audience the more you can tailor the video to their liking and mindset which will increase the chances of them responding to your message.  If your target audience happens to be people in a particular region you can look up the demographics for that particular region online using a site like wikipedia For example I happen to live in Johnson City, TN. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_City,_Tennessee#Demographics

2. Tell a Story. We are surrounded by information and statistical data in today's world. By the way did you know that on average most people breathe 23,000 times a day. We have become numb to numbers and data especially when we have nothing to compare the data to. How many times have you wanted to fall asleep during a Powerpoint presentation that looked like a lesson in Algebra? Telling a story that conveys your message can connect with emotions and with that people are more likely to actively engage and listen to what you have to say.  In addition, they are more likely to remember what you said and share the story with their friends and colleagues. Remember when using video you also have music, and other visuals to support the emotion in your story. The video doesn't have to be just a talking head on screen.

3. Production quality or lack there of precedes the message. If your message is about the luxuries of a boutique hotel and your video is dark, shaky and the audio cuts in and out it will not matter how nice the hotel is. In short, make sure the production quality matches the quality of the product or message that you are showcasing.

4. Call to action. Video is typically a stepping stone to lead viewers to a desired result. Is the intent of your video, education, entertainment, or advertising? Is the desired response simply an emotional one or do you want the viewer to  do something else like check out your website, make a phone call, or stop by your store. Make the next step as easy as possible for the viewer.

5. The person who has the story is not alway the best to tell the story. Sometimes the person that seems to be the natural fit to be in a video isn't always the best option. The president or CEO of your company may have an irrational fear of being on camera. If that is the case, find someone who is comfortable in front of the camera and is familiar with your company and the message that you are trying to communicate. If this person doesn't exist inside your company or circle of friends then it may make sense to hire on camera talent to deliver your story.