Scrolling on Facebook recently, this video appeared on my newsfeed and immediately caught my eye. It’s a simple yet quite compelling piece highlighting Rainbow Bagels in Brooklyn, New York. There were a lot of cool elements of this video I liked. So I thought I’d break it down into a few different elements in the hope of providing you a little insight into what I think about when creating my own videos or watching a video someone else has produced. My goal is to help get you in the habit of thinking like a video creator.
The first thing that’s important to any video is an interesting topic, and this one has definitely has it. Bagels… colorful bagels! What could be better? You can’t throw a rock out a window these days without hitting someone who likes bagels, so right away the creators of this video have a hook to attract a large population. Additionally, it’s a quaint, charming story akin to the human interest reports you might see on your local news.
Good for them, right? But what about corporate communicators? For internal communications, this can be a little tough because sometimes you’re assigned a topic, and that topic might be an interview with an executive, or a profile on how a department streamlined a process. Not sexy, but necessary. So when you can, sniff out those great stories about employees who are doing community work or have accomplished something unique in or outside of work. Those stories are there, it just takes a little snooping.
Marketers, in general, have an easier go at it when it comes to video. Even though the topics are also often assigned, they get to focus on new products or perhaps a community effort by employees. While they’re not guaranteed to have a broad appeal, they can often attract a niche audience with an interest on the specific subject.
The point of all this – capture the attention of your audience with unique topics. Even if you offer a steady supply of stuffy corporate employee communications, if you mix in those stories that appeal to basic human emotions, you will have an engaged audience that looks forward to your next video.
Not only an interesting topic, but… wow! Look at those colors. If you can get a topic that’s accompanied by unique visuals like this, you lucked out! But again, as corporate communicators, that can often be a challenge.
Be on the lookout for interesting visual elements when creating your videos. If it’s an interview, is there a window view or something in the room that could add an appealing aesthetic? If you’re highlighting a product, there are probably a lot of interesting aspects of the manufacturing process to highlight. The key is to develop your eye for things that will hold the interest of your audience.
B-Roll Tells the Story
I’ve written before about B-roll. For most videos, it’s used to support the main interview or concept footage. For this piece about Rainbow Bagels, however, the main content IS the B-roll. The bagel-making is the main attraction, and while there are a few snippets of interviews, clearly the prepping and baking processes are on what we want to focus.
Creative and Useful Text and Subtitles
In and of themselves, there’s nothing unique about what the title cards say in this video. They simply tell the story. But notice the visual elements added to them – in particular, the rainbow text that perfectly complements the subject. It’s a subtle but effective enhancement that a good video creator should emulate when producing and editing his/her piece.
In addition, subtitles used for the interview portions add a social-media-friendly aspect. As I’ve written in the past, the trend of adding text to video is something everyone who posts on social media should be doing. In particular, Facebook automatically plays videos without audio when we scroll down our newsfeeds. The reason is that someone somewhere figured out that we enjoy watching these videos at work, but don’t want everyone in the office to know. Adding text to videos allows us to understand the content without having to turn up the volume.
So that’s my perspective on the Rainbow Bagels video. I hope it gave you a little insight on how someone who creates videos regularly should think. What videos have you seen recently that you particularly enjoy or thought was interesting? What about them appealed to you? Let me know in the Comment section below.
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