Messaging Video

When I was more involved in community organizing, one of the things I did were short message videos. This one the ABCs of Healthcare was in response to something that happened at a weekly demonstration I did the promoting and messaging for. One of the counter-protestors had a sign up that clearly showed a misunderstanding of the healthcare legislation. He conflated the ACA with the AHCA and dropped the A off of the AHCA — leaving the AHC. Confused yet? Well, I couldn’t blame him for being confused. The government seems to have an almost fetish for acronyms. This was my tongue-in-cheek explainer video. I used Spark Adobe Video to make the video. (This is not a sponsored post).

I did the voice over. I used my elementary school teacher voice. The video was like a blackboard to invoke an elementary school lesson. And the background music was cheerful. All of these were artistic choices. Why did I do the video this way? One, I was using humor to draw people into watching the video. I was also using imagery and audio that would evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort, like your favorite kindergarten teacher. This was to counteract the heated rhetoric. The purpose of the video was to draw in the viewer.

At the time that I produced this video, the political discourse surrounding these acts was very … heated. There was a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding of what the acts were and what they did. I used this quick video in messaging to put forth something that would engage people on social media with further information on the posts and calls to action. Calls to action included asking people to write to their representatives or to find out more information about these acts.

The purpose of the video was to gain the attention of people on social media and to drive them to our website and to ask them to do something — the call to action. The other purpose of the video was to increase the content and name recognition of the organization that I was representing at the time. Having this also increased the content on the group’s social media and increasing the group’s online presence. By producing an explanatory video, the organization looked like it had a large media team, thus adding to the brand. The aura. The gravitas.

In reality, this video didn’t take a media team. I did this on my phone in less than 15 minutes, including research.

Engaging, entertaining content is important for gaining attention on social media. But you have to do something with that attention. Some sort of call to action. On this blog post (and every blog post), I have a couple of calls to action. Subscribe to my email list and read other posts. And on nearly every post, I have a call to action to support indie writers, even if the post has nothing to do with indie writing. Why? Repetition of brand awareness (indie writers are worth supporting) and that these very likable wonderful people need your help. I’m relying on a couple of different psychological mechanisms or tendencies. But that’s for another post.

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