We’ve all heard how video is a great tool for inspiring your target audience – prospects and existing customers alike. But talking about inspiration is all very well, nailing down what will inspire them is more difficult.
In my role as a video director it’s not uncommon to talk to clients who are struggling for inspiration. You may think that’s my job to come up with the inspiration for a video production, but while that is partly true it’s more about finding the inspiration from within.
Before I go into how to find the inspiration for your video comms (or other marketing, communications or event content), let’s first look at why inspiring your audience is important.
When we talk about inspiring you target audience, we’re talking about creating content that’s memorable and inspires them to take action. Many video content creators will say that content needs to be educational, entertaining or inspiring. I think that the aim should be to make all video content inspiring, whether it’s for education or entertainment, so that viewers keep thinking about that content and so that it influences them to change behaviours and take action.
In business people often say how a particular book or a TED talk has inspired them to change their outlook or the way they run their business. They talk about how something that they’ve read or heard, resonated with them, made them pay attention – a kind of Eureka moment.
This is what I want to achieve with video comms. Maybe not viewers jumping out of the bathtub saying, “I’ve got it”; but to feel inspired to do something, whether that’s to share the video with a colleague, buy a product or find out more about a company’s services.
What Does Inspirational Video Content Look Like?
If you’re thinking that you’ll never find that inspirational element that will make your content stand out, don’t worry you can. Even if you perceive your company’s services or products to be ‘boring’, there is something that can be extracted from your business’ DNA that will inspire your target audience.
What you need to really understand is who your target audience are. Without a clear idea of who you’re trying to communicate with, you’ll struggle to identify what will inspire them. Context is also important. What inspires someone in conference setting – in a group – such as an event opening video, will not necessarily resonate as strongly with someone watching the video on their phone alone.
So before you can really think about what will inspire your audience you need to understand who they are and the context they will view your content in. You will also need to have clear objectives for your content. “We need a promo video because everyone else has one”, is a reason for commissioning a video, but not an objective. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and what you want viewers to do when they watch your content.
Having given the factors above some thought it’s now time to look at what it is you do that inspires others. Think about your story, the history of your company, how products or services were conceived, the people in your business, what inspires them about the business and what they do that inspires their colleagues and customers.
Storytelling is a useful tool – yes an overused buzzword, but one that’s particularly relevant here. Telling stories about ourselves, our customers and the world around us is a very effective way of inspiring others – it creates an emotional response and it enables viewers to relate to your business in human terms.
Extracting those stories and finding inspiration is what I do at NRG Digital. But it’s a collaborative process to create authentic content – the factors that will inspire your audience need to come from within the business, not super embossed from elsewhere. My job is to help uncover this and then tell those stories in an inspiring way.
I’m fascinated by where inspiration comes from. Not just for producing creative content like videos or ads, but also what inspires people to start companies, develop new products, or just do things differently
If you’ve got stories to tell about things that have inspired you, or how you’ve found inspiration in your professional life, please share in the comments below.