Video Content Strategies for 3-Minute Videos

Whether it’s Instagram reels that build an individual’s professional brand or integrated video marketing campaigns designed to connect your sales team with new prospects, videos are powerful tools. 

Videos are often the best approach to catch people’s attention on websites or social media. Hootsuite reports that LinkedIn video posts earn an average of three times the engagement of text posts.

Plus, people are watching more and more video – for entertainment, to learn, and to  explore companies, communities, and products and services. 

A recent study from Channel Factory found that before the pandemic, video made up roughly 73% of all internet traffic. That number is expected to increase to 82% by the end of 2022. While some of this consumption is from paid streaming services, there has also been an explosion of user-generated video content.

Are You Creating Effective Video Content?

Today anyone can create a video on their smartphone and easily share it on social media. Sales people can share stories from the field that demonstrate their industry connections and expertise. HR teams can post videos from volunteer and community-building events to showcase their organization’s culture for prospective candidates. And leaders can share quick clips to give teams a window into current priorities and to celebrate wins.

But not all video is great video. While high-cost production values are not a requirement, being clear, concise, and compelling matters more than ever. As an organization or professional, gimmicks and pranks are not the ideal approach. But you also don’t want to end up with a boring video that no one finishes watching and no one shares. 

How to Create 3-Minute Videos that Wow Employees and Customers

So, how can you create a great 3-minute video that will be not only useful, but an entertaining one that gets people talking and helps you engage employees, customers or prospects? Here are our top strategies for creating quick videos that grab attention and help you connect with your audience and influence the outcome you need.

Creating video content with laser-focused intention: Who is it for and what do you want them to do?

It’s common that once people set aside time to create videos they start to pile on other ideas. “While we’re doing this, I should also talk about…” Or, “I know we’re doing this for employees, but the board might be interested in this also.” A video aimed at sharing an exciting development in R&D with the rest of the company may turn into an update on 5 new initiatives. It’s not that you can’t repurpose content for multiple audiences, but you will get the best results when you hyperfocus.

  • Get clear on your primary audience and what action you hope to influence with your video. Have multiple audiences? You may need to create multiple versions of your video to make sure they hit the mark. 
  • Understand your target audience’s motivation for watching your video, in order for your content to resonate.
  • Sharply focus on a single issue if you want to create meaningful content and try to cut out any extra material that over complicates your message. Just have too many concepts you want to cover? Then break it up into a video series.

 

No more boring videos. Tap into emotionally connected storytelling. 

More than many other mediums, creating video content can show people you see them and help you reach them at an emotional level. Businesses often produce videos that are factual and educational. While that has its place, we can all take a lesson from consumer companies that speak to the heart, as well as the head. According to Sprout Social, investing in relationships with consumers directly impacts business revenue and strengthens customer loyalty. Consider this as you decide how to present your content and even your choice of recording location.

  • Speak to their issues, in words and ideas you know they are talking about. You can research this on social media channels for the latest. 
  • Anchor your video with a well-constructed story. Hook viewers by creating and relieving tension and bringing your topic to life in a relatable and believable way.
  • Be crystal clear on your call to action, and (when appropriate) break it down into memorable and easy to understand steps.

Ruthless editing. It takes time to create the perfect short video clip.

Just like writing, it’s often harder to produce a short video than a long one. According to recent research from HubSpot, the sweet spot for consumer videos is under 3 minutes. Working through the flow and approaching your video script with a critical eye is important. Otherwise, your story may meander, or you may not spend enough time explaining your most critical points.

  • Start with a video script that is no more than 300 words. If you plan to demonstrate or show something, make it even shorter.
  • Include your own “stage directions” – Will you be standing, sitting, or sharing visuals? Any transitions will require a few seconds and should be built into your timing.
  • Edit your content by recording, timing, and then reviewing what you have on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll be surprised how reading out your talking points will quickly help you identify extra words you don’t need and refine what you are trying to say. 

 

Practice. Don’t let your video content fall flat from unprepared talent. 

We know from coaching corporate professionals that even experienced presenters need time to practice before recording videos. Even movie stars rehearse! Your intonation, speed of delivery, eye contact and expression all make a big difference in how you are perceived.

  • Try to vary your speed and voice to keep people engaged. Experiment with different approaches and see what you like best when you watch it back. 
  • Highlight your most important words and make sure you allow space around them – stop for a beat. Comedians call this “letting the joke land.”
  • Share your dry run video recordings with trusted peers who you know will give you critical feedback. It’s ideal if they are a profile match for your primary audience.

Be real. Show your authentic human self when you’re creating video content.

Being rehearsed is not the same as being robotic. It’s okay to sound like a real person, and even fumble on a word. What’s most important is to communicate the messages and the emotion you mapped out in preparation, not that you are uber-polished in your delivery.

  • Deliver with warmth. It can help to have a family member or close friend sitting in to be a friendly audience. For most people, the delivery will be more natural than when delivering alone staring into the lens.
  • Share something of yourself in your video. You might show your home office in the background. Or maybe you wear a special necklace or that shows your personality. 
  • Don’t assume you have to dress professionally, be in a video studio or office setting, or use formal language to be taken seriously.

 

Even for a quick video you plan to post to social media, keeping these video content best practices in mind can be the difference between a post that sits and an engaging video post that takes off. Have fun with your next video recording!

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Heather Muir

Heather Muir

As Vice President of Marketing, Heather directs Mandel’s marketing, branding, and communications strategies in collaboration with the Executive Team. In addition, Heather leads Mandel’s public- and industry-relations activities. Prior to joining Mandel in 2010, Heather held several marketing and communications roles within the learning and training industry. She is also an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Training Industry, Inc.; eLearningGuild; and the Association of Briefing Program Managers (ABPM). Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis, and has completed graduate courses in business and entrepreneurship at the University of Washington.
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