Finding Purpose for Your Video

When it comes to web video, there are gobs of reasons for you to pick up a camera and produce something cool. You can use video to sell products, to share your wisdom, or even show off your cat’s excellent dance moves. It might come as a surprise, then, that one of the most difficult things for some aspiring video producers to grasp when coming up with a solid video strategy is, well, purpose.

So before you push the little red button to start recording, you might want to ask yourself a seemingly silly question: “Why am I making this video?” The clarity that your answer can bring your production is anything but silly. In fact, that answer could mean the difference between a compelling message and a confusing mess.

Why Define Purpose

When we work with our Producers, we often try to drive home the idea that everything about a video should be carried out with intentionality. When you set out to shoot a quick how-to video, you don’t want to find yourself making constant mistakes and remarking, “Oh, that’s okay. We’ll just edit it out later.” Truly awesome videos don’t leave much to chance. When you can quickly and clearly state a purpose for the video you are producing, you know that you have a sort of outline to follow. You have a singular message that you can use to measure what you are doing or saying. Ironically, having a solid plan can also help you relax, stay more conversational, and relate your information in a more personal way.

How to Define Purpose

Okay, so you know you need a plan, but how do you come up with a good one? Here’s the way we recommend thinking about your purpose:

My audience will ________________ after viewing my video because ____________________.

To define your purpose, you should consider how you want to move your audience. Do you want them to buy a product? Do you want them to trust you more? To sign up? To click? To laugh? Once you can answer that question, you can begin thinking about the best, most compelling message you can deliver to move someone to taking that desired action. If you’re selling a product, for example, you can compare yours to the competition and tell the viewer why they simply can’t live without your widgets.

Time to Record

That’s about all there is to it. Once you’ve determined the purpose for your video, get out there and push the little red button!

Remember, your video is more of a signpost than a destination. You don’t just want your audience to watch your video, but you want to move your audience to the next step!

Written by Rocky Walls

Rocky is the man behind the wheel on the 12 Stars Media bus. When he’s not working alongside fellow 12 Stars team members, he's consulting one-on-one with companies about using video in their marketing and communication plans or engaging rooms full of communicators by speaking in places like Microsoft HQ or the Big Apple.   A communicator to the core, all work and no play wouldn't make Rocky a dull boy, but he has his fun too: he loves to hang out with his wife and two boys, and together they’re Disney fanatics who visit Disney Parks annually.   He’s an amateur chef (though he won’t tell us if he wears an apron), and believes whatever you can get out of a box or in a restaurant, you can make at home if you try, by golly. And like any real professional in the video biz, he’s an avid fan of watching movies.