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For A Successful Video, Start With Your Viewers

Posted on: May 25th, 2021 by Naomi Binkley

Are you talkin’ to me?!

This is the most important question to answer for a successful video production: who are you trying to reach?

The first thing you should do when starting a video project is identify your target audience – whether you’re producing a fundraising piece, a paid social ad or a how-to video.

In television, advertisers closely monitor ratings to know who is watching at what time. That allows them to pinpoint the best value for their dollars when it comes to investing in commercial airtime.

The same goes with online and social video. The data and tools are there to so you know who’s watching, at what time, for how long… but just like our ol’ journalism days, start with the who (of the who, what, when, where, why and sometimes, how) of a story.

You need to know your viewers to reach them.

Your target viewers frame how we guide our interviews, the language we use and tone that’s set. Identify your audience + speak to (not at) them = video production success! If the topic of your video involves technology or research, consider whether you’re trying to reach someone who is already well-versed in the field or those whose interest you hope to pique to persuade them to learn more.

Is your video public-facing, where the content should be very friendly and easily understood? Or is it internal-facing (or industry), where your viewers already have knowledge of the field, product or technology and need to go more in-depth to be engaged.

Knowing your audience also allows you to be more personal in your messaging. Use language through interviews, voiceover narration and even the graphics on the screen – that resonate with me, as your viewer.

If your video is intended to welcome employees, you can craft the interviews or narration around motivating your new hires by allowing them to experience through video what’s most special about your organization. You may even find this type of video and style re-energizes your existing team. After all, it’s always good to remind people of their why. Why they choose you as an employer and what they love about their work. Win. Win. If you’re connecting with supporters or customers, make them fall in love with your organization or brand.

This is how you cultivate loyalty. Know me (as your viewer). Engage me. Make me feel something.

Now, all this isn’t to say that there may not be multiple uses for your video and more than one target audience.  In fact, Fireside is always looking for ways to help our clients to use their video footage in a variety of ways and maximize their production investments.

A fundraising video for your nonprofit event is designed to touch the heart and inspire giving but could also serve as a way to reach new volunteers, potential supporters and even, prospective employees.

Identifying your viewers is foundational to creating effective communication… then, you want to move them, inspire them and motivate them with a memorable video.

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