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  1. 1. Since this is the last session before lunch, I thought I’d make you hungry. Macaroni and cheese. Bread and butter. Peanut butter and jelly. Oreos and milk. Cherry on a sundae……Videos and words. Words alone are powerful. Videos alone are also powerful. Words and video together go beyond anything they could do alone. Photo credits: 1
  2. 2. If you consider yourself a writer, you may have found slides like these fascinating. For the first few times. I know everywhere I turn, I see emails and webinars about video this and video that. It’s like a favorite song that’s been on repeat one too many times. This slide was my contribution to the bandwagon two years ago at LavaCon. Videos are super-exciting and more accessible than ever thanks to improving technology and software. You can shoot basic publishing-quality video using just your smartphone or capture your screen (even with PowerPoint!), and edit it with programs such as Techsmith’s Camtasia, Adobe Captivate, and more. Applications such as YouTube, Facebook, and Vine use videos so much that people wonder what’s wrong if you don’t have a video Even though our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, words are still important. ***************************************** One statistic you see commonly thrown around is 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. How did they come up with that number? It comes from the common saying, A picture is worth a thousand words. You have 30 frames per second in standard video x 60 seconds per minute. That’s the number of pictures in a minute of video. Multiply that by 1000 words and you turn this common phrase into an internet statistic. Let’s find 2
  3. 3. something a little more scientific. Source: or-hyperbole/ According to comScore, which measures online engagement and use, 45.4% of internet users viewed at least one video online over the course of a month. Source: That’s 100 million internet users who watch online video each day. Some will be about cats, but some will be looking for a product or how to solve a problem. Source: comScore also found that the average user was exposed to average of 32.2 videos per month Source: 90% of online shoppers at a major retailer’s website said they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. Retailers who provide online video report that products with video sell more than products with no video. (Of course, some of it depends on your product and your audience. At the very least, you need some sort of visual, because…<next statistic>) Source: Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. We understand images faster and remember them better. They also affect us more emotionally. Ask anyone who is interested in brand. And how much photos convey more than just text. Our eyes and brains are also stimulated more by movement than by static images, which is why video is so effective. Source: 75% of executives told Forbes they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. 50% watch business-related videos on YouTube. 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. Source: But even with all this video watching, you still need to be able to cut through the noise. You generally have about 3 seconds to grab your user’s attention, especially at the top of the funnel. (“The funnel” is marketing jargon. The top of the funnel is the wide world in general. You have user’s attention but not commitment in the middle of the funnel. At the bottom of the funnel, the user is most invested in their relationship with the company.) Photo credits: Boeing Creative and Information Services For further reading: hyperbole/ 2
  4. 4. and marketing-media-online The best and quite comprehensive collection set is from VidYard: and 2
  5. 5. Words have been around spoken even before they were written. Still, written language has been around for about 5,000 years (or longer if you count mnemonic or symbolic glyphs). What was the content of this earliest writing? Records. It would be about 500 years after that when we started using writing to record stories and other oral knowledge for entertainment or instruction. Writing makes temporary thoughts tangible. The fixed nature of words on a page allows your brain to slow down, think, and evaluate. The permanence allows information to endure long after we are gone. Reading words also engages different parts of your brain than watching a video. Yes, your brain processes images 60,000 faster but reading is an active experience, not passive, and gives you a richer experience. Your imagination is not limited by a budget. Writing is important, and not just what you read. Even in this day and age of computers, neuroscientists find that the act of handwriting helps improve memory. Photo credits: 3
  6. 6. Further reading: of-writing/ typing 3
  7. 7. Before we get to inserting words in videos and videos in words, words are the basic element of videos because EVERY VIDEO NEEDS A SCRIPT OR STORYBOARD. Note: No copyrights were harmed in the making of this presentation. There are much more professional examples out there, but it’s sometimes easier to make my own than ask for copyright permission. Also, I think it makes it more accessible to see what someone can achieve relatively inexpensively at home without a big budget. Every professional tells you this, but you’d be amazed at how often this advice is ignored. Scripts and storyboards are a necessity, not a luxury. Since I’m sure you’ve heard this from many other places, let’s go over some of the highlights: • When creating simple videos, they prevent speaking unnecessary words. How many times speaking do you say um or ahhh or another space filler? How many times do you use unnecessary words when you’re just throwing things out of your head as you go along? Write it down, edit it, and practice it. Caution: Speaking words from a script sounds stilted. Practice the script so you’re rehearsed and you still sound like a human. • Scripts can be passed around for input from other departments or sent to managers for approval before filming is even started. Since scripts and storyboards take less time to create than filming, time and money are saved. • If you are translating to other languages, scripts allow your translation departments to 4
  8. 8. get a head start and work parallel with filming. Time and money, again, are saved. • Not everyone likes to watch videos. Sometimes I use videos exclusively, but I can skim read a document faster than I can watch a video. Users really appreciate having something they can read. Two quick examples: TED and Lynda. Even though their videos are the most compelling part of their content, they still make transcripts available. • Transcripts also make your videos accessible, both for people with disabilities and also for people who aren’t able or willing to use sound. The user might be in an office with no headset and doesn’t want to use computer speakers, in a noisy environment, watching on a phone late at night with a partner or child sleeping nearby, or even scrolling through Facebook (autoplay is soundless). Paste it in to the description area of YouTube. Add a link to a PDF on your website. Maybe even do subtitles or captioning. Even a focus word here or there (rather than complete sentences) helps. Photo credits: Script by Allie Proff Storyboard by Allie Proff on Also try 4
  9. 9. I’ve often looked on YouTube for help with SharePoint or some other software tool. Your audience may be searching for help from your company. Want to know what makes me click? Knowing I’m not going to waste my time. That means knowing what the video is about, and having it be short enough to cover what I think I need to learn. Maybe that’s 30 seconds, maybe that’s 12 minutes. It depends on the task. Words on a thumbnail increase clickthrough rate. And because you wrote a script, you know your video is concise, or how it fits into a larger suite of videos. Here are some fun cheesy videos I created for LavaCon 2015, both with and without a thumbnail title. Which would you prefer to click on? Photo credits: 5
  10. 10. Most every video (build empathy and connection, explainer video, instructional video, advertisement, etc.) can benefit from having a few words here and there. It gives the mind something to latch on to while sounds are flowing across our ears. You also reach the visual learners in addition to the auditory learners. In my video, I’ve laid out the bullets on the screen. But it can be just one word, and sometimes one word is more powerful. Simple is often better. Photo credits: 6
  11. 11. Let’s say you want to embed a video in an email or an electronic document but you want to stay away from large file sizes. Or maybe your video doesn’t play well in the medium you’re trying to share it in. Just like you’d link a simple image like this orange rectangle to a video, you can also use the thumbnail you created earlier as a static image with a play button on top of it and link that image to your video. It’s amazing how powerful the suggestion of the play button is. One caution is that you have to make sure the video is accessible to your user, since the image and the video are in separate locations. At Boeing, we have a problem where video doesn’t play nicely with SharePoint. I help support our communities of practice, places for people to compare notes and best practices across programs. Over 150 of our communities use SharePoint-based sites. Many of my community leaders get frustrated because they record a demonstration and then can’t post it in the SharePoint site. This work-around has been super useful because we have an internal social media-type service we call inSite. Community leaders upload their videos to inSite, put the thumbnail on their SharePoint page, then link the image to inVideo. It works really well. 7
  12. 12. Photo credits: 7
  13. 13. At STC Summit earlier this year, I attended a quick presentation on how animated GIFs are making a comeback. No, not the cheesy under construction signs from the early 90’s but really quick ways for simple demonstration. GIFs are nice because they are relatively small in size and shouldn’t require any specialized player. They can make a nice addition to your written instructions (as long as your user isn’t going to print out hard copies). Photo credits: Allie Proff Resources: 8
  14. 14. Does anyone remember the original Transformers combiners, where individual transformers would come together to form one large super robot. Or maybe you’ve watched Voltron, where five lion robot spaceships come together to form Voltron, Defender of the Universe. Your next project doesn’t have to be just words or just video, and it shouldn’t be. Like Voltron or Transformer combiners, I hope you feel some inspiration on ways to use this super-powered pairing. Photo credits: Word cloud generated at 9
  15. 15. Summary: Words and video are each awesome in their own right. They are more powerful together than apart. Make a script or storyboard!!! Use words in your video: thumbnail, focus words, script or closed captioning Use videos in your words: “embed” the video, use an animated GIF Thank you so much for your time and have an excellent lunch! I would love to chat anytime about tech comm, videos, storytelling, and artificial intelligence. You can connect with me via LinkedIn or Twitter. I’m currently relaunching my blog, Technically Eclectic from free Wordpress to its own domain before 2016 ends! 10