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Finding Purpose for Your Video

Michelle Blanton
May 9th, 2012

When it comes to web video, there are gobs of reasons for you to pick up a camera and produce something cool. You can use video to sell products, to share your wisdom, or even show off your cat’s excellent dance moves. It might come as a surprise, then, that one of the most difficult things for some aspiring video producers to grasp when coming up with a solid video strategy is, well, purpose.

So before you push the little red button to start recording, you might want to ask yourself a seemingly silly question: “Why am I making this video?” The clarity that your answer can bring your production is anything but silly. In fact, that answer could mean the difference between a compelling message and a confusing mess.

Why Define Purpose

When we work with our Producers, we often try to drive home the idea that everything about a video should be carried out with intentionality. When you set out to shoot a quick how-to video, you don’t want to find yourself making constant mistakes and remarking, “Oh, that’s okay. We’ll just edit it out later.” Truly awesome videos don’t leave much to chance. When you can quickly and clearly state a purpose for the video you are producing, you know that you have a sort of outline to follow. You have a singular message that you can use to measure what you are doing or saying. Ironically, having a solid plan can also help you relax, stay more conversational, and relate your information in a more personal way.

How to Define Purpose

Okay, so you know you need a plan, but how do you come up with a good one? Here’s the way we recommend thinking about your purpose:

My audience will ________________ after viewing my video because ____________________.

To define your purpose, you should consider how you want to move your audience. Do you want them to buy a product? Do you want them to trust you more? To sign up? To click? To laugh? Once you can answer that question, you can begin thinking about the best, most compelling message you can deliver to move someone to taking that desired action. If you’re selling a product, for example, you can compare yours to the competition and tell the viewer why they simply can’t live without your widgets.

Time to Record

That’s about all there is to it. Once you've determined the purpose for your video, get out there and push the little red button!

Remember, your video is more of a signpost than a destination. You don’t just want your audience to watch your video, but you want to move your audience to the next step!


Michelle Blanton

As Director of Content & Community, Michelle not only manages social media, but she can also wrangle creative content into a fully formed online marketing strategy.

When she isn’t molding social media into shape or shooting and editing behind the scenes videos for 12 Stars Media , she’s often bending the space-time continuum. Her research of time travel consists primarily of analyzing Doctor Who episodes and studying the proper way to fend off Daleks. She plans to revisit time travel last Wednesday (pun absolutely intended because she’s a sucker for a good pun).

When she isn’t trying to hurtle through time, she’s fond of passing the time by writing, baking delicious things, or by capturing a moment with her camera.

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