The three E’s to an effective video

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Video is one of the most engaging mediums you can use to communicate with your audience however how do you ensure you are conveying your message in the most effective way possible? At Visual Culture we often talk about the three E’s; engage, entertain and educate.

The three E’s – Engage, Entertain, Educate

When deciding on the duration of your video remember it should engage with your audience and hold their attention for the duration. Think about how the video will entertain your audience and whether it will educate them in an idea, a concept or perhaps a process.

Deliver your message effectively

Early on in my career I learnt very quickly how to deliver effective messages into a short amount of time. I vividly remember the days working with some producers trying to cram 45 seconds of dialogue into a 30 second commercial. Lot’s of fine tuning in editing required and questions like:

  • Are there any duplicated messages that could be reduced?
  • What could be removed from the dialogue that is being clearly shown in the visuals? (again duplicated messages)
  • Can we tighten up all the small breaks in the voiceover?
  • Can we get our voiceover artists to speed up the tempo rather than add this as an audio effect later on? (think of a chipmunks sounding voiceover – not good).
  • Maybe there is just too much valuable content that needs to be added and rather than cull it down, can it form a campaign?

For short form videos, narrowing down the content will work effectively. But there is always a case for long-form video content to deliver your message effectively.

Keeping engagement levels up

No matter what the duration of the video, you need to find ways of mixing up the style, tone and pace of the video to help refresh the viewers experience. For an interview based video, this could be as simple as changing a camera angle or switching over to some relevant overlay footage. Perhaps for a change of topics in the video, the music also changes along with the tone and pace of the segment. Music plays a huge factor in drawing out that emotional connection of the viewer and it’s really important to match that emotion with an appropriate music track. Sometimes it’s a as simple as adding animated graphics and different stages throughout the video.

Add shade, highs and lows

And another important addition is to add what I call light and shade, highs and lows to the videos tone.

We recently completed an edit that we just couldn’t justify cutting to less than 11 minutes without losing the story. As an editor by trade, I’ve always been ruthless when cutting unnecessary content but this particular video worked best at that duration. We knew the video needed to be shown at a conference with over 400 people in attendance. On paper, 11 minutes seemed like a very long time but once you started watching, the engagement level remained throughout. This was due to those moments of light and shade, the change of topics, music, locations and interviewees. It also brought on different emotions with people in the crowd laughing and even crying. But ultimately the video had an important message to deliver that was embraced by the audience.

Breaking it up

We often like to suggest to our clients in breaking up a ‘hero’ video into smaller videos. A good example of this could be a recruitment video. A 3 minute promo video could be produced featuring a number of staff describing how great the company is. Then individual shorter videos from each of those interviewees could also be produced so the viewer can find out more about their own particular story.

How will you hold the attention of your audience?

Have you had a video that has performed exceptionally well? What was it about the video that made it so successful?

If you would like any further advice for your next video reach out to [email protected]

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