You're good on camera. You tell a great story. But none of that matters if your viewers can't hear you.
As a video producer, I often talk about the importance of visual storytelling. That's where visual elements are used to tell a story, not just talk.
Why just talk about a product when it would be much more effective to demonstrate that product on camera?
Or, why just talk about a business when you can actually show that business, take viewers on a factory tour, and introduce them to your employees?
In other words, “Don’t Say It, Show It.”
The importance of visual storytelling
There are a couple of specific instances where visual storytelling is more important than ever. Because sometimes, you can’t rely on audio to tell that story.
Those instances are:
- Facebook Videos
- Trade Show Videos
On Facebook, the default is NO audio
If you’re doing Facebook videos, there’s something you should know. 85% of Facebook videos are watched with NO SOUND.
The reason for this is pretty simple. The default setting on Facebook videos is no audio. In other words, videos start playing with audio turned off. To hear them, viewers have to click the audio icon in the corner. And most people just don't bother.
So what does that mean to you? It means if you're doing a Facebook video, you can't assume they'll be heard. And you need to include supers, title cards and other elements to communicate the story visually.
Here’s an example. Our recent campaign for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta relied heavily on sound—kids and moms talking about sickle cell disease.
But for Facebook, we created a separate video edit—it tells the same story, but with typography instead of dialogue.
At trade shows, you can’t predict the environment.
The other instance where audio isn't a given is trade show videos. At your typical trade show, no matter what size your booth, you can’t control what’s in the booth next to you.
It could be a guy with a microphone. Or a rock band. Or a big-screen TV with the volume cranked up. Or even worse, multiple big-screen TVs blaring different messages at the same time.
Bottom line, you can’t count on attendees being able to hear your video.
Here’s an example. After creating a product demonstration video for Oldcastle, they wanted to use that video at a trade show. And they were concerned—rightfully—about trade show attendees being able to hear the on-camera dialogue.
So we recut the entire video, telling the story through title cards instead of their on-screen spokesperson.
What does this mean for you?
The point here is that storytelling alone isn’t enough. An important part of production is optimizing each video for WHERE it’s going to play.
Sometimes that means producing more than one version of the same video. Or telling the same story in different ways.