5 ways to connect with your audience using video

Abigail Beardsley – Hug Media

5 ways to connect with your audience using video

Video is dominating the online world. In fact, by 2022, video is predicted to account for 82% of internet traffic. Whether you’re a large-scale corporation or a smaller start-up, it’s now more important than ever to jump on the video marketing movement. Did we mention that 84% of people said they’d purchased a product or service after watching a branded video?

Yet, the art of leaving a lasting impression on your audience can be far more complex than just pressing record on your iPhone. So, how do you connect with your audience through video?

We’ve put together five top tips to help you.

Find your direction

Before the production phase of any video project, you need to find and focus your direction. Take this as an opportunity to look at your business. Think about your brand, your competitors and your target market.

To connect with your audience, you need to understand them. You also need to help them build a perception of your brand. We like to think of this in the same terms as meeting a stranger. If your company has minimal brand awareness, for instance, it may not be practical to offer vlog-style content and expert advice before you’ve introduced yourself. Your audience is more likely to tune in if they know who you are and what you do. It’s about familiarity and trust.

As a start, try focusing on your company, what sets you apart; your unique offering. If executed well, your audience will begin to recall your brand. And if all goes to plan, they’ll eventually think of you first when they have a pain point that needs addressing.

When choosing the tone and messaging of your video, it’s essential to consider your audience. For example, a video for employees will have a different tone, message and meaning than one that targets potential customers. Put yourself in your audiences’ shoes and embody what they need – even if it’s something they haven’t realised yet.

Connect with talent

If you’re looking to connect with your audience, they need to click with your on-screen talent. The best talent is one that reflects your brand identity and your message through their personality and style. It could be a celebrity, company director, employee, customer; even a cartoon character of a two-headed dog for that matter.

Once you’ve chosen your talent, focus on the way they present themselves and how they communicate your message. Your audience is going to be more interested if the person speaking in front of the camera is clear and relatable.

Our top tip: Focus on a unique quirk or niche hobby that your talent has. Doing so will give an insight into their personality, and in turn, your brand.

When it comes to communicating a clear message, body language is key. To portray a relaxed vibe, we often sit talent on a high stool or have them to lean on a surface. Alternatively, it can be more engaging to have talent talk to camera while performing relevant tasks. It’s important to remember that their body language needs to align with your message. For instance, a relaxed and casual appearance may not fit a professional video with a serious mood.

Lastly, spend time with your talent prior to production – strong relationships and trust create better on-screen performances.

Make meaning with movement

Movement isn’t usually what comes to mind when you think of connection, yet in video, it’s everything. In the film world, we classify movement as:

1. within the frame (e.g. talent moving)

2. camera movement (e.g. tracking and panning)

Movement can draw attention to meaningful action on screen and set emotional pace. Long, stationary shots filmed on a tripod create moments of stillness, whereas handheld camera delivers suspense and intensity. Using different methods of movement can add additional dynamics to your video.

We often find ourselves reaching for our gimbal to create smooth movement that aligns with the natural human perspective. This also allows us to cover a lot of ground in one continuous shot; think Children of Men, Birdman and Russian Arc.

If you don’t have the equipment or the technical skill to move with ease, stick with stationary shots. You can add dynamism by directing your talent to move within the frame.

Set your tune

Sound is a subtle and efficient way to set an overarching mood

in a video and can trigger instant emotions. When it comes to music, melodies with a low tempo are often associated with melancholy or relaxed moods, whereas high tempo soundtracks can evoke high energy reactions. Music can also trigger memories, which in turn, activate emotions; think Christmas jingles inspiring joy or famous ballads rousing nostalgia.

Equally, sound effects and ambience can engage your audience. Our favourite example of this in a filmic sense is the first sequence of Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible. Using a low-frequency sound (or in this case, infrasound), Noe curated an intense feeling of unease in the audience. A fully immersive sensory experience.

Create with colour (and light)

Colour can impact mood, behaviour and learning. Even more so, colour is often processed sub-consciously, making it a powerful tool for connecting with your audience. It can be used to reflect and influence emotions through costumes, props, setting and colour grading in post-production.

Likewise, light can be manipulated to create mood and direct attention. Lighting is often overlooked as people assume that organic light creates naturally lit images; this is often not the case and makes lighting an incredibly complex craft.

We often play around with lighting to create mood when filming branded content. Our promo video for Invacare features low-key lighting and high contrast to create a gritty and emotional feel. In reverse, our upbeat video for Australian Hearing displays high key lighting combined with pops of colour to set a bright and bubbly mood.

Video marketing is on the rise, it's true, but that doesn't guarantee you will instantly connect with your audience. Take the time to think at every stage of development not only to create content that reflects your company but also leaves long-lasting impressions on your audience.