Hope Horner is CEO and founder of Lemonlight Video Production, a company that produces branded video content at scale. Hope is a three-time entrepreneur who has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other publications highlighting her successes in the Silicon Beach community of Los Angeles over the past decade.
4 Tips to Craft Powerful and Strategic Silent Event Marketing Videos
The following adage holds true: Everything old becomes new again—now including silent films.
According to Hootsuite, about 85% of all Facebook videos are seen and not heard. It’s not hard to imagine why. Many times, it’s not doable (or socially acceptable) to turn up the volume on a phone or laptop to listen to the audio on video content. Viewers often settle for watching video content on mute and relying on silent cues ranging from context to captions.
For marketers who create video content that only makes sense with the sound on, this presents a problem and a need for change. One way to make that change is to harness the power of silent videos.
Maybe your event business already publishes classic video content as part of your marketing efforts. Why not fold some silent ones into the mix? You won’t just be making it easier for people in public spaces, like on trains and buses or in stores, to engage with your brand, you’ll also be doing a huge service by making your content more accessible for people who don’t hear well.
Here are a few silent video best practices to keep in mind.
1. Treat the storyboard for your video like a storybook.
What makes children’s books like Mercer Mayer’s wordless “A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog” so compelling? They use vibrant, compelling visuals that capture the imagination.
Even though you won’t be crafting your silent videos for a preschool audience, you can still leverage the same concepts. Pepper your audio-free videos with bright scenery, quick shots and interesting transitions. To get some inspiration, look at the most pivotal silent scenes in movies like the entrance of Omar Sharif’s character in “Lawrence of Arabia.” Doing so will elevate the authenticity of your content and keep consumers watching until the end.
2. Feature your silent videos across all your marketing platforms.
It’s also important not to assume that a video without music or spoken words can’t succeed on certain sites. Even TikTok, which relies heavily on audio clips and music, has viewers who only engage with the app muted on their devices. Event marketers can leverage the benefits of silent videos as well to garner attention and pique interest.
In other words, you’ll want to silence not only your video, but also the voices in your head saying, “Silent video will never work here.” Distribute your silent video across platforms and then use technology to collect data about how it performs on each. You may be surprised to find that a silent production gets a loud response where you least expect it.
3. Include on-screen text in your video.
Not quite sure your audience will understand exactly what you’re trying to say in your video? No problem. Just add captions, supplemental text and a call to action. Hootsuite suggests that captioned video ads enjoy 12% longer viewership than those that don’t include captioning.
What type of captions should you include? Consider anything from descriptions of sounds to a full script. You can give different parts of your video “subtitles” or “chapter” headings, too. Just make sure to keep your captioning straightforward and use a highly readable font like Arial or Verdana. As a side benefit, you may get an SEO boost if you add a written transcript in addition to your in-video captions when possible, such as on YouTube or your company blog.
4. Experiment with creating both silent and audio versions of the same video.
Getting more mileage out of event marketing content makes sense financially and strategically. Therefore, when you’re creating your next video, consider breaking it into two versions. One version can include audio, such as a music track or voiceover, and the other version can be completely silent.
The value of taking this step is that you’ll be able to double down on a single concept. Additionally, you can see which video ends up bringing more qualified leads into your sales pipeline. Be sure to work with your video marketing partners to come up with the shots you need for each version in advance of filming. That way, you won’t have to re-shoot anything because you’ll have a wealth of frames to choose from.
As trends continue to point toward increased silent video consumption, marketers who embrace silent videos are primed to reap results from their consumers. Implementing captions and spreading silent video advertising across multiple platforms ensures that your marketing efforts are accessible, understandable and far-reaching. After all, what goes around, comes around. It’s time to focus once again on the capability of silent videos.