Thought Leadership

September 15, 2016

Visual Storytelling: Why Your Next PR Campaign Should Include Video

Michael Katz

Video marketing has become exceedingly popular in the last several years. Supervisor of Creative Services, Michael Katz, shares his insights into why he believes your next campaign should give the audience what they want.

Every client has a story to tell. It’s often why companies come to us. And it’s also why CooperKatz pursued a full-service agency model from day-one that can tell client stories in a variety of ways – and through a variety of channels.


For the past eight years of my career, I have been the in-house video producer at a public relations agency. I’ve witnessed the transformation of earned, owned and paid content, and I’ve watched video become more critical, as media as a whole became increasingly fragmented and competitive.


The Increasing Popularity of Video

A researcher at Forrester, Dr. James McQuivey, estimated that one minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million words. Perhaps that is why Forbes found that 59 percent of exceptionally busy executives would rather watch video than read text. Insivia reported a whopping 90 percent of users declared that videos were helpful when deciding whether or not they should purchase a product.


While channels have changed dramatically over the past decade, the popularity of video has only increased. The motion of video has the ability to break through the clutter in a way that still images cannot, and can often elicit an emotional response more effectively than written words alone.


The Impact of Social Media

Social media has perhaps been the largest contributor to the ubiquity of video. And it’s clearly influenced how online or mobile videos are now structured.


Take, for instance, Facebook. My previous post “Hip to be Square,” discussed the popularity of Buzzfeed Food’s Tasty videos – videos of dishes being prepared – and the techniques used to make them more engaging to their audience.


Almost every aspect of the videos – length, shape and graphics – is optimized specifically for the Facebook feed. Features like automatic play have forced marketers to rethink how people are watching video and how best to get that information across – in many cases, without sound.


Forces like Facebook and other social platforms have created an entire shift toward short, pithy videos overlaid with text. It’s completely unconventional to how I was trained as a video producer. Yet it’s by far the most effective way to capture someone’s attention in an already crowded social media feed.


Staying True to Storytelling

As video continues to take center stage, new techniques will follow along. Form and format will continue to evolve. Some videos will be short clips. Others will be longer, documentary-style. But because we at an agency like CooperKatz have the benefit of deeply understanding the nuances of our clients’ industries, needs and communications objectives, we will always create video strategies and creative executions with the audience – as well as the medium – in mind.


No matter what, our ultimate goal remains the same. To tell the story, and tell it well. Because even though we wear many hats – PR professionals, marketers, designers, content developers, digital specialists and publicists – at our core we are one thing: storytellers.


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