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Video Messaging

Persuade Your Audience

Persuade Your Audience in 5 Minutes or Less

Leveraging a well-crafted video message in your advocacy efforts can do wonders for advancing your campaign. The dynamic aspects of video can bring your issue to life and enable you to not just tell your story, to visualize your story in a way that educates, persuades and mobilizes audiences.

Although video can be leveraged very effectively in advocacy campaigns, if your message isn’t packaged appropriately, you will not only fail to persuade your target audience, you will also risk alienating them. Here are a few tips to help you craft a persuasive video message:

Remember the 3-Second Rule

The first, and perhaps the most important, step in persuading an audience is to draw them in early in your message delivery. In video messaging, there’s typically a 3-second window in which you can accomplish this. Consequently, opening your video with an attention grabber is highly effective. However, be mindful that attention-grabbing doesn’t mean gimmicky. Coming across as being gimmicky will only discredit your organization and water down your message. Instead, open with an enlightening statistic, an emotional testimony, a captivating image, or riveting footage to draw in your audience and make them want to learn more.

Know Your Audience and Speak to It

In any message campaign, the key to persuasion is relating to your audience. To do this, you must understand your target audience by asking the following questions. Will this video message speak to my constituents or decision makers or influencers who can help me bring about change? What are the interests, concerns or challenges of my target audience? Why should this audience care about this issue? How does this issue impact them?

You should also pay close attention to the demographics of your target audience. Your ability to persuade your target audience depends on your ability to speak their language. For instance, the message you craft for millennials will differ greatly from the message you craft for baby boomers. Knowing your target audience’s demographics will enable you to deliver a message that will resonate them, and help you connect with them emotionally.

Putting it All Together

Regardless of the medium that you choose, your ability to persuade an audience depends greatly on your ability to tell a convincing story with gripping production to match. To accomplish this through video messaging, you should:

  • Include constituent testimonials. These will give your audience a sense of trust in your message.
  • Use graphics creatively. Charts and graphs that package sobering statistics can be very impactful. Also serves the needs of visual learners.
  • Master the art of narration:
    • Employ the skills of a seasoned script writer.
    • Choose your voice-over talent wisely.
    • Narrate strategically. Don’t include too much or too little narration—gauge it just right.
  • Dress up your video message with music. Background music can be instrumental in packaging your video message. It sets the tempo for delivering storytelling, keeps your audience engaged, and helps build an emotional connection. The challenge is to choose the right sound. A background tune that is too fast, too slow, too loud, too low can ruin your message.

Be Respectful of Your Audience’s Time

In the world of public relations, your messaging goal is to be clear and concise. Most video messages should be 5 minutes or less. If you need more time, consider breaking the topic into separate segments. Your strategy for persuading your audience is to be enlightening and impactful—not long-winded. A lengthy video can deliver too much information, making it difficult for your audience digest. It may also come across as being unfocused. As a result, the message that you will have labored so hard to package could end up working against you, and causing you to lose your audience’s attention.