Content marketing is a popular communications tactic, but it’s important to understand the right ways to present your message. What if your product or solution is something innovative or high tech? People may have a hard time wrapping their heads around what exactly you’re trying to describe. Like your teachers always told you, sometimes the best way to explain a concept is to actually show it. See how TechOhio, the voice of the Ohio Third Frontier’s technology initiatives, handles complex topics and learn how they don't just explain an entrepreneur's big idea — they show it.

 

Break down complex ideas

We’ve all experienced feeling overwhelmed when something was way over our heads — it might have been in physics or chemistry, or even a friend describing the basics of their IT job. With visual content being shared 40 times or more on social media, it’s no wonder that sometimes we need more than words when communicating.

 

Like the lyrics from the “Electric Slide,” it’s important to “break down” topics, especially when they are complex. At MediaSource, we often use this technique with our client, TechOhio. The TechOhio platform acts as the voice of tech innovation and startups across the state. In the tech space, topics can often become bogged down in fancy lingo or concepts like blockchain technology, so it’s a good idea to define words, phrases or concepts for people encountering your content for the first time.

 

 

In the video above, Oros CEO breaks down definitions for words like “aerogel,” and “liquid nitrogen,” and pairs them with images of the testing process. This step-by-step informative visual makes it easy for an audience to understand the company’s exact message. When you’re doing an interview that involves technical concepts like this, don’t be afraid to stop your interviewee and ask them to explain the idea again using easy-to-understand descriptions. I often find that it takes several tries for someone who works in technology to explain their world to the rest of us.

 

Demonstrate products or solutions being used

Another important part of visual storytelling is to make sure you’re demonstrating a product or solution being used. If you leave something up to your audience's imagination, you risk important details being lost in translation: think of the game of telephone — you can’t always trust what you hear (or read!).

 

 

Here, you can see a user interacting with the Modalist website. By combining a visual process with audio instructions to create a narrative, your audience can easily fill the shoes of the shopper. For cutting-edge or innovative solutions, demonstrating user-facing elements is an important part of telling your story and communicating your brand’s message.

 

Use text to reinforce

Don’t abandon your dictionary just yet! We know a picture can tell a thousand words, but sometimes we need text to reinforce what we’re seeing or hearing in a video. Think about how important it might be to see new terms or watch steps appear as a numbered list on screen, especially when learning something for the first time. Imagine if your philosophy teacher had done the same thing!

 

[EMBED VIDEO (FEMALE, IMMIGRANT FOUNDER OF SHOPPERATIONS IS CHANGING MARKETING) - https://youtu.be/Mb0FgxlVv8w]

 

In this video, using text is an important part of telling the Shopperations story. By pairing descriptions of the software with matching visual components, your audience is “seeing” your story twice — and that could make the difference between someone skimming vs. understanding and even sharing your content.

 

Use narrative to give product or solution context

The most important part of any good story? The narrative. Don’t forget that your video’s job is to bring your content to life. There’s no need for a narrative theory course here: following a basic structure like having a clearly defined beginning, middle and end will do wonders for making your content feel like a complete story. To do this, try following these steps: present background information, demonstrate the product or solution and then look to the future.

 

 

In some cases, your brand’s offering might be as complex as their backstory. For CoverMyMeds, it was important to showcase how they achieved their current success by explaining the history of the company’s solution. You can see that using a linear timeline as the base for crafting this narrative allows the content to be organized and follow a logical progression — all of which paints a clear picture for your audience.

 

Understanding a brand’s complex or cutting-edge solutions can sometimes feel like having to drink the company Kool-Aid. By strategically using video storytelling elements, you can better present these complex talking points and craft a brand message that anyone can understand.

 

You can learn about things like video storytelling and other tools and strategies at the PRSA Icon Session, October 7-9 in Austin, Texas. Click here for more details.