We’ve worked with a lot of clients in a lot of industries over the years. And as different as each video topic is, we’ve found that there’s one thing that can help any client get the most out of their explainer video and maximize the return on their investment.
It’s the ability to focus in and get to the heart of their core message.
Why is this important? Effective marketing drives action, whether that action is becoming an investor, signing a petition, buying your product or service, or just being better informed. If you want people to take action, they need to understand what action they’re supposed to take, and why that action matters.
“Great!” you’re thinking. “I’m a subject matter expert on my topic, I can explain this to anyone!”
That’s what we all tend to think when we’ve become experts – we know something inside and out, surely we can share it in a way that will get others excited about it too! But often we run into The Curse of Knowledge… we see this so often we wrote a whole blog post about it. Basically, when we know a topic too well, we often can’t zoom out far enough to explain it at its most basic level that others can understand. As usual, the comic xkcd says it best:
So, here are a few tips to help you focus in on the heart of your big idea:
- Explain your topic as if you’re explaining it to a kid. It’s not condescending, it’s considerate – many people won’t care about or understand the nuance of a subject until they grasp the basics. If you know your audience are experts, meet them where they’re at… but don’t assume they know as much as you do. Sometimes explaining our topic in this way helps give us clarity, too!
- What’s the one thing people need to take away? Not the list with sub-bullets. Not even the three main themes. The one headline. This is the heart of your messaging, the essential one thing.
- After you’ve identified your One Thing, ask yourself, why should my audience care about this? This is super important – more important than explaining the second and third most important aspects of your topic. This is the emotional, well, heart of your story and it’s what makes people care. And caring is what makes people take action.
- Finally, what action do you want people to take? Again, keep it as simple as you can. Do you want them to donate? Buy? Call? Register?
In our experience, if you can identify the One Thing about your topic that people need to understand… identify why they should care about it… and then ask them clearly to take one action? People are pretty willing to do it.
And the quicker you can do all this, the more effective you are – especially if you’re making an explainer video for social media.
If you’re making a training video that will be shown to a room full of people who have no choice but to sit there and watch it, you can make a longer video. But just because you can make a longer video, should you? Part of getting to the heart of your message is that once you get there, you gotta leave before it gets boring.
Ready to get straight to the heart of your big idea today? We’re ready to help!