What Makes Your Marketing Video Worth Watching

For any marketing mix, video is now an essential channel for communicating your message. Consider this:

But with all that competition, what makes a video worth watching? Our attention spans are getting shorter, and if the content doesn’t grab us in the first ten seconds, most viewers will click away.

There’s the obvious answer: video content must to speak to the needs of your ideal client.

Great Videos Depend on a Strong Storyline, Great Visuals and Surprise
Beyond that, a clearly developed storyline, excellent visuals and production values, the element of surprise—all help break through the cacophony of messages and ill-lit, poorly framed, garbled, rambling video that too often gets slapped up on websites in a vain attempt to keep up with Internet marketing trends.

Great marketing video can take so many forms because the visual medium allows for so much creativity. I recently came across this wonderful, whimsical example of video storytelling created by CognitiveMedia, a British animation studio, to promote author Stephen Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation (2010).

CognitiveMedia specializes in a form of visual storytelling that they call “live scribing.” Andrew Park, the artist and illustrator behind the drawing hand in the video, works with large corporations at conferences and events, transforming ideas into pictures in real time. This video, narrated by author Johnson, takes that practice and speeds it up to create the animation.

A Fresh Mix of Compelling Story and Whimsical Visuals
What I love about the result is how you hear Johnson’s enthusiasm as he tells a tight, compelling story about complex, abstract concepts, while you watch the evolving, fun, clever illustrations that make the ideas so easily understood. It’s a fresh approach that feels like an animated graphic short story. And you’ve gotta love those turtles.

The topic, storyline and video drew me in enough to check out the book on Amazon, and I’m now in the midst of enjoying it on my Kindle. So, the video worked, and the book delivers.

Even if you don’t have a corporate budget for a production of this nature (the video was made for Penguin Books), I hope it encourages you to think beyond a dry talking-head discourse, to push the envelope of creativity and artistry in your video productions. Whatever your strategic goals, remember: it’s all about telling a great story—using compelling, clarifying words and engaging visuals—that’s worth your viewer’s time.


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