Not only is visual content a time-efficient way of reaching customers, it is also a highly engaging and effective way of capturing and maintaining online attention. With the recent launch of YouTube’s Video Builder tool, a level playing field has been laid out for businesses that previously didn’t have the resources to create videos from scratch.
But the tool only helps to put all the piece of the puzzle together. What businesses now need to start thinking about is what content to use in the video. What content will be most effective at reaching target audiences, and how do you maintain consistent branding?
Keep to a consistent colour palette
When using video clips of different subjects, using a common colour palette can help create a sense of unity between the material. Try to use the colours that feature in your logo and other branding materials in order to clearly tie the piece to your business.
In order to convey different moods, you could use a ‘colour arc’. This is where the video start with clips that have one predominant colour and then change it to another colour. You can look at example videos here to see how effective this can be.
Choose images which authentically represent your customer base
Small businesses have an advantage over bigger corporations in that they are much closer to their customer base and are more likely to know exactly who their audience is. Customers gravitate towards content that they see themselves in, so make sure the subject matter you choose is reflective of this.
At iStock, we’re able to leverage our 25 years of demographic research experience to ensure our contributors are representing a diverse range of people in their video and photography, and that what they capture is both globally and locally relevant.
Keep it short – a minute or under for social
Social media has reduced everyone’s attention spans, so your video needs to get the message across quickly and effectively. If you have a longer message to convey, post the full piece on YouTube or your website, and create a cut-down version – 15 to 30 seconds maximum – to share across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The shorter clip will capture the initial attention of audiences and drive clicks to the longer form video.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up – include illustrations and imagery
Video is a very forgiving medium – you can easily include photography and illustration within the clip to compliment the dynamic movement of the video sections. You can also experiment with introducing movement to the still images. A simple zoom in or out of a still image, or perhaps a slow pan across it, can create a nice flow for your video.
Keep it real
At iStock, we’re able to tap into the most recent Visual GPS insights provided by Getty Images, and we can clearly see that people want more visual content that depicts ‘realness’. People want and expect imagery to be representative of themselves and the world they see around them.
Especially during our current reality, consumers want brands to tell a visual story of authentic connection. Video clips that include people are the most frequently requested subjects right now.
In this ‘new normal’, it has never been more important for businesses to communicate with a sincere, authentic visual language which is personalised to their target audience. It therefore goes without saying, that video content should strive to be authentic and representative of a diverse cross-section of society.
Try and avoid tokenism and instead take an honest stance towards inclusion – and that includes celebrating all aspects of diversity, including age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability. Videos that celebrate diversity and inclusion and provide the viewer with a sense of real human experience have the power to connect.
To help small businesses connect with their audiences, we have made these free images available for use from iStock. These images aim to support brands as they continue to share their stories with their community, despite physical distancing challenges.
Petra O’Halloran is the Creative Research Project Manager at iStock by Getty Images