Video needs to tell a story

What better time to be inspired by movie-making than right after the Traverse City Film Festival?

Movies tell a story and the 1- to 3-minute videos you post for your business should, too. Don’t just post a video because Google likes them or it will help your SEO or because that’s what marketing blogs (ha!) tell you to do. Make a video because it’s a great way to tell a visual aspect of your story.

And please, plan your video. Think about it before you even pick up a camera (or a phone). What is it you want to say and how can you best say it?

Do you want to introduce a product? Show the product, show people using it, show people talking about it, show why people need it. Do you want to draw attention to a cause? Show who your cause helps, how it helps them and why this makes a difference in the world.

Video is fun and it’s a strong way to get your point across, but it’s also intrinsically visual, so you need to think about framing, cropping, exposure and all those things you learned with still photography. But you also need to think about story, like you learned with writing. Introduction, plot, ending … these all have a place in video, even a one-minute video.

It always helps to focus (pun intended) on what you want your video story to be by making a storyboard or script beforehand. Even if you don’t stick to it 100 percent, it will help you plan what to shoot.