Authored by Raquel Guarino
The 2018 Texas Conference for Women is an annual event designed to empower, inspire, and advise women as they advance in their careers. Content Strategist Raquel Guarino attended the conference and came back with a wealth of new knowledge that anyone could apply to their career or business. In this series called "Women Share Wisdom," Raquel will divulge the tips, tricks, and advice she gained from the successful women she encountered at the event.
Nothing captures more attention than a video on social media. As a former executive director at Paramount Pictures and VP of Digital Marketing at MGM Studios, Sara Hirsh Bordo of Women Rising knows all about this. Hirsh Bordo, whose film "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story" debuted at SXSW and racked up a handful of awards, shared her expert insights with us.
Define Your Brand
Before you turn on a camera, you must define your brand. Hirsh Bordo says your brand must be understood and fleshed out down to the heartbeat. The first step is figuring out what makes your content worth watching. What is your purpose? What value do you want to bring to your audience? A lack of consistency in content will confuse your audience and will not garner a consistent viewership.
Short and Sweet
When it comes to overall trends for videos, people don’t have long attention spans. The CEO emphasizes how important it is to be mindful of other people’s time and to use it wisely. That’s why short videos beat long ones every time. She says videos of 90 seconds or less are generally the sweet spot and are the optimal length for public consumption.
Get Serious about Series Videos
Figure out if your videos are going to be part of a series or a one-off. In general, Hirsh Bordo suggests a heightened attention to detail and consistency if you choose to create a series. Because these videos are part of your brand, every aspect of the series needs to feel the same: from transitions, graphics, and music styles, to format and overall feeling of your videos.
Pro Tip: If you’re using a smartphone to film content for YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, always be sure to film horizontally (landscape mode).
Consider Hiring Someone
If you don’t feel equipped to do all the work yourself, then don't. If you want things done well and quickly, you’re probably better off hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. That doesn’t mean you have to pay thousands of dollars for every video, though. Hirsh Bordo says there are plenty of younger professionals, even high school and college students, who know what they’re doing but haven’t had the opportunity to display their talents yet. Hiring someone at this level is a great way to produce quality content at a lower price point.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid of Craigslist, says the filmmaker. When hiring professional creatives online, Craigslist is fine as long as you vet people properly. Make sure to ask for a reel, what software they edit with, and a resume.
Hirsh Bordo advises captioning all of your content. Not only does it make your videos accessible to those with hearing impairments, it’s also important for other reasons; for example, many people watch videos with the sound off at work. Captioning your videos makes it easier for them to enjoy your content incognito.
Once you get into the process of actually filming, it’s important to understand how equipment can enhance video quality. Because poor sound can ruin an otherwise great video, Hirsh Bordo suggests buying a Lav mic. Without good sound, viewers are less likely to give your video a chance.
Pro Tip: It’s always better to upload videos natively. For example, instead of sharing a YouTube link on Facebook, Hirsh Bordo suggests uploading the video directly to Facebook instead. According to her, algorithms generally play nicer with native content.
Create a Call to Action
You should always give your viewers a “next step” to take in your videos. This step, also known as a "call to action," is used to strengthen your connection to them. Hirsh Bordo suggests adding a call to action every 10-30 seconds in your video (a “Subscribe” button in a YouTube video is an example of this). Since not everyone will watch your videos all the way through, it's important to include them pretty early on--or even at the beginning--of your videos. That way you won’t risk losing viewers who close out before it's over.
Want to learn more about Sara Hirsh Bordo? Be sure to check out Women Rising.