How video directing skills can improve your business?

Have you ever fancied yourself as the next Stephen Spielberg or Baz Luhrmann? A great film director telling a great story?

Maybe yes, maybe no. The reality is that many of us have chosen different paths and developed different skill sets. However, creating quality videos is probably not one of them. Yet, there is a good chance you’ll need to start using videos soon to share your brand story and avoid being left behind by your competitors. Or, if you are using them, you’ll need to learn how to make them more effective.

Simon “Mo'“ Macrae

Simon “Mo'“ Macrae

In his podcast interview on The Mentor List successful commercial and film director, Mo MacRae shared his thoughts on how people like you and I can benefit from gaining some video direction skills.

“Business owners are creative professionals. They need to be able to communicate, tell stories and engage people. That, fundamentally, is what creativity is. Creativity is finding a way to do what you do better with the tools you’ve got.”

Video in business has evolved

You might already be using videos as part of your business strategy. Maybe you’ve used TV commercials or ‘This is what we do’ videos on your website. However, it can be used to help reach a wider audience and drive positive engagement, especially if you use social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

As we buy more goods online, we are less likely to have seen how products work beforehand. There is no salesperson around to give us a demonstration any more. Detailed video demonstrations can be very powerful ways to influence purchasing decisions. Then, once we’ve got the product home, we’ll often turn to a video to see how to put it together or to use it effectively.

You can also use video to provide more insight into your brand story. For example, if your business has a strong environmental focus, you could feature videos of your suppliers and production processes to show how you do things differently.

Other types of videos you might use include:

  • Animated videos (great for explaining tricky concepts)

  • Personal stories

  • Thought leader videos

  • Live-stream videos

  • Webinars

If you are still not convinced that you may need to lift your game when it comes to using video in your business, consider these statistics featured in the HubSpot article The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing by Alicia Collins and Megan Conley.

“Video is useful for more than entertainment, too. Video on landing pages is capable of increasing conversion rates by 80%, and the mere mention of the word “video” in your email subject line increases open rates by 19%. 90% of customers also say videos help them make buying decisions.”

But, I’m no director. What can I do?

MacRae now teaches creative professionals, business owners and other leaders about the craft of video direction using whatever resources they have available – even if that means a simple laptop or mobile phone.

“If everyone has a camera, what I want to make sure of is that they have a bit of understanding of the craft so that they can tell powerful stories and represent themselves and their brands well … You need to tell a story with video and there a lot of little tricks to that. The craft part is more critical than the camera you choose and it is more important to know what you are going to do before you turn the camera on.”

In his interview, MacRae observed that many people don’t realise how much preparation needs to be done before a video is produced. Production is actually the final step, with the first two being setting the intention and creating the vision.

To set the intention, you need to decide exactly what it is that you want to say? What do you want the audience to do? What are the messages the audience want to hear?

Creating the vision involved carefully planning how you will make it all happen. Know all the details, such as the mood you want to invoke, the way that colour and sound will be used and the triggers that will get results and prompt people to action. MacRae likened the process of directing and pulling all the pieces together to being like a conductor in an orchestra — in full control of all the instruments without playing one.

MacRae believes that we can all learn to tell stories creatively through video. The tools are relatively accessible and affordable and it will pay off, in the long run, to see video as an essential business tool and to take the time to get some basic training in that area.

You may not win an Oscar, but you are bound to see your business grow exponentially.

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Simon “Mo” MacRae is one of Australia’s most in-demand commercial directors, with over 25 years’ experience in advertising and film production. He has directed some of Australia’s most loved TV commercials, including Mother Energy Drink, Gatorade with Tim Cahill and the Sam Kekovich “Australia Day” adds for AMLC (lamb).

MacRae delivers keynotes and training on video content and the craft of directing — helping business owners, marketers and leaders understand and master the most influential mode of communication in our time to leverage their video content spend for maximum return. MacRae also offers an exclusive mentoring program for creative professionals who want to become a director.

Hear MacRae recount his personal journey (he never went to film school) along with his tips for making the most of video in your business by listening to his podcast interview on The Mentor List.

Kick start your personal journey to success from the conversations David has with his inspirational guests on The Mentor List. www.mentorlist.com.au

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