As a visual thinker and as a storyteller, it’s hard for me to imagine a more potent medium than video. Books (on real, honest-to-goodness paper) will always be my first love, but video allows you to join the power and immediacy of images with the drama of a story unfolding over time. Visual elements paired with music and spoken word create an almost instant connection with the audience, and all that in an incredibly short amount of time.
Video swallows the internet
YouTube launched in 2005, and by late 2020 boasted of nearly 2 billion users.1 Since it’s very first video in 2005 (did you know that elephants have “really, really, really long trunks”?), video content has exploded, with users uploading more than 500 hours of video content to the platform every minute.2 While YouTube was the first major video platform, a parade of other media platforms have added to the ruckus. Your social media channel of choice is tripping over itself to serve you video content of all types, and with good reason—Twitter claims that tweets with video garner ten times more engagements than tweets without video3, and other platforms report similar numbers.
Is video worth the cost?
Despite all its strengths, video still has one major disadvantage when compared with other types of content: it’s hard to do well. It’s easy to thumb out a tweet or blog post, and nearly as easy to snap a semi-interesting photo, but shooting and editing even simple video content can feel more daunting.
It’s true that a well-produced video project takes feeding-a-small-army amounts of logistical planning, a fair amount of specialized (read, “expensive”) equipment, and technical skill. But armed with nothing more than a smartphone and a little planning, you can still create compelling video content. Here are some basic tips to get you started.