Videos are hot in the world of corporate communication and marketing. If you’ve seen videos from companies or organizations you follow on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that many of them contain text to accompany the story being told.
This is primarily done for two reasons: A great number of users check their Facebook feeds at work. Playing videos at full volume will give themselves away, which is why text is a great way to convey the message without sound. In addition, sometimes a video contains little to no narration or interviews. In these cases, copy is essential to explain the purpose of the communication. Take the Rainbow Bagels video, for example. Using little verbal communication, it relies mostly on text to tell the story.
So if you want to be more conscious about using text effectively in your videos, what should you consider beforehand? Here are a few things I’ve observed over the past few years. Hopefully it’ll provide value for you corporate video creators out there!
Avoid Serif Fonts
I once learned that serif fonts make copy more readable – mostly because the lines at the top and bottom create a guide on which to focus the eyes. However, serif fonts in video can make your text too busy and distracts from the video itself. Use san serif fonts, preferably capped. Of course, rules are made to be broken, so if you can create engaging, readable text in lowercase, go for it. Generally, however, capped text provides a pronounced look and give better visual balance.
Use Brand Colors if Appropriate
The most popular color in video text is white because it generally contrasts well against video footage. But if it makes sense, consider incorporating your organization’s brand colors – especially in highlighted words (see below). Consistency is key in branding, so the more you can use your company’s signature tones, the more your audience will identify from where the message is coming.
Highlight Important Words
If you’ve paid close attention to online videos, particularly on social media, you’ve probably noticed that some words are a different color than the primary text. For the most part, videos feature white text with yellow highlighted words (but again, use brand colors if it works). The yellow words are ones that the author wants to emphasize. Be strategic about which text to emphasize. Don’t highlight “the” or “it.” Look for adjectives or nouns – words that best summarize your main message.
Make it Pop Against the Video
Highlighting specific words is a good way to make your text pop in your video, but it’s essential to pay attention to the way the overall copy stands out (or doesn’t stand out) in your video. If the text gets lost in the video background, your audience won’t be able to read it, and your effort will be wasted. Add a slight drop shadow to ensure your text is sufficiently separated from your background.
Pay Attention to Duration
If your copy is on the screen for too short or too long in duration, you run the risk of annoying your audience. Stay aware of how long you’re showing text. Too long can make your video drag; too short can give your viewer insufficient time to understand your message. Be judicious. Have someone view your videos who you trust to be an honest judge. Adjust your text duration accordingly.
Have you relied heavily on text in your videos? What approaches have you taken to convey your messages and engage your viewers? Let us know in the Comment section below.
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