The advent of TED Talks has spawned a whole new category of video called “thought leadership videos.” In our opinion, the best thought-leadership videos are truly informative, elevate your audience’s thinking about the topic, and incorporates good storytelling. And of course, the natural outcome of creating stimulating video content is that it can be a great way to build a positive association with your company and loyalty to your product.
It’s our hope is that this blog will guide you through some best practices for creating successful thought leadership videos.
- Cast the right people! How are they on camera?
Finding people that are known and respected in your field is just part of the equation. It’s also essential that these thought leaders are charismatic and engaging on camera. While featuring people that come from within your company is a go-to method for many, we encourage our clients to think big and expand their search to other trusted experts in your field thereby helping give your video series credibility. You can often find these thought leaders on TEDx videos or YouTube, which is also a great way to discover how they will be on camera.
For those people that don’t already have existing videos out on the web, we highly recommend that you do a camera test to see how your potential thought leaders come across on camera. For the test, you can use an inexpensive handycam or even an iPhone. These tests can also then be edited together to gauge if the content is clear, easy to follow and insightful. You can even host a mini-focus group by showing these videos to some of your current clients or customers to get their feedback.
- Create a roadmap for your video series
When thinking about creating a thought-leadership video series, we encourage our clients to outline the entire series in advance with all of the potential topics. Once you have the whole series mapped out you can then get consensus within your team to make sure you haven’t left any good topics out, or perhaps there’s a possibility to combine or reshuffle your topics. You can begin to assign which thought leader would best represent each subject.
- Tell a good story with compelling examples.
At the heart of all engaging videos is good storytelling. This is a topic for an entire blog in itself, but at its essence, we feel strongly that you should encourage all of your thought leaders to integrate good storytelling into their presentations. Facts are interesting, but good stories and specific examples are what is going to make the video memorable and infuse it with heart and soul. For example, if a thought leader is talking about the challenges of getting government agencies to advocate for solar energy projects, it is the story about the resistance and then the success of a local firehouse that went solar that is going to inspire the audience, and help them remember the video for years to come.
- Discovering the ideal running time for each video
People’s attention on the web is short. So, when producing videos for the web we always encourage our clients to make videos that are shorter and more concise. For promotional or explainer videos we encourage under two and half minutes.
Having said that though, thought leadership video might be an exception to the rule depending on the topic. Many TED talks are over ten Minutes -if you’re injecting good storytelling, it can take a little longer for the story to unfold. If you find your scripts or outlines are exceeding four minutes, consider breaking up the topic into chapters that can be released in shorter videos. We think it’s better to leave your audience hungry and asking for more rather than tuning out early.
- Be humble – Avoid Selling to your audience.
The trend in thought leadership is to be humble and avoid selling or pushing your own products. Your goal should be to engage your customers in great content that is truly helpful. We believe if you do that well, they will become loyal fans of your brand and products. And you will look like a rockstar, because you are one.
- Lights, Camera, Action – Making the most of your production day
Depending on how well organized your team is, you should be able to create a three to five-minute video in an hour. That means that in a single production day, you could potentially shoot up footage for up to six videos. If you have thought leaders who are presenting on more than one topic, we recommend scheduling them in such a way that they can have a break between presentations.
- Making sure your thought leadership videos get in front of the right audience.
Once you have your first thought leadership video completed, it is time to promote the series on a variety of social media channels including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. See our post What Makes A Good Social Video Strategy? on how to maximize your efforts of these specific social media channels. The short of it is when designing the longer thought-leadership videos or a series, you should also be thinking about how you might create a shorter “teaser” for each video that you can use on social media to drive customers to your site to engage with the full-length videos.
The team at Studio B Films believes that thought leadership videos are one of the most effective ways to connect your audience to your company or brand as a trusted expert in your space. If you are interested, Studio B Films will help you define your goals and maximize your budget so that you make the most of your marketing efforts. Go our Contact Page to get started.