You are here

Smile, You’re on Camera

live stream

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what’s the value of online video?

According to Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey, 60 seconds of video is valued at 1.8 million words. Attendees at the 2015 NAA Capitol Conference—none of whom likely have the time or energy for such a demanding output (who does, really?)—were offered the lowdown on the impact of video, budget-friendly strategies for film production and how to effectively use social media to share the stories during the session, “Let’s Get Digital: How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

With 7.4 billion mobile devices being used globally—that’s more than one for every man, woman and child on the planet—combined with widespread adoption of mobile technologies, cloud computing and faster connections, creating and sharing video has never been easier.

According to the session’s presenters, NAA's Mary Scott and Frank Mauck, video is highly recommended for people hoping to get their message across the digital sphere without blowing their entire budget – and you don’t even have to be a produce a quality video.

Scott and Mauck gave the following pointers for using video as part of your advocacy campaign:

  • When using your smartphone or tablet to film, be sure to hold the device horizontally to avoid the sin of “vertical video.”
  • Clearly define your audience before filming the video, and keep them in mind during the course of production to ensure the message is appropriate for and understood by the intended viewers.
  • Seek to create the fabled “emotional response” from your viewers. Let the nature of the message be your guide to which emotion you are trying to elicit, from fear to empathy to laughter.
  • Find a video-editing program that fits your skill level and budget. Some come prepackaged with your desktop or laptop, others are available in app form. Use whichever you’re most comfortable with—you can always upgrade as your skill sets improve.
  • Identify an outlet for your video. The second-most popular search engine in the world, YouTube, also shows videos and should be an obvious choice.
  • Once your video is finished and uploaded, it’s time to share using social media. With so many social media channels available, it’s crucial to determine the channel that your audience is most likely using, and whether your strategy should include the use of multiple social media channels.
  • The most relevant channels to consider include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. Keep these tips in mind for a successful advocacy campaign regardless of the channel:
  • Experiment with different ways to share your message. Try experimenting with the time of day you post, the length of your message, the word choice of your message, link placement within your text and the use of hashtags.
  • Track the performance of your different content experiments to help determine what is best received by your audience. Suggested metrics to track include likes, comments, shares and minutes of video watched.
  • Because there’s so much competition for attention across all social media channels, don’t be afraid to reiterate and repeat yourself. Someone who missed your post on Monday might see it if you post again on Thursday.
  • When possible, find ways to remain relevant through current news headlines, pop culture and trending hashtags by finding the connection between your message and what’s trending. Just be sure to do your research, and know what the headlines and hashtags are about before jumping on the bandwagon!


Mary Scott is NAA’s Manager of Digital Content and Frank Mauck is NAA’s Manager of Communications