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4 Tips On How to Avoid Information Overload In Your Videos

We live in an age of endless information. Whichever way we turn, there’s a tsunami of marketing messages coming our way. We read email, browse social media, follow the news, and drive past billboards. And all this time, every waking hour of our days, companies are competing for our attention.

Our everyday lives are awash with unprecedented volumes of data. 

And at the same time, our brains have developed little (if at all), since the days when we spent our time hunting for lions on the savannah. 

In other words, our brains are not wired to process these humongous amounts of information. At all. 

So as you craft your marketing messages and plan your video production, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid information overload.

Stick to One Main Message In Each Video

Let’s say you have three unique selling points that you want to convey. Then the ideal approach is usually to create three different videos, each of which focuses on one USP in depth. 

Focusing on one message at a time will create the best possible conditions for conveying your message.

In general, if you’re pondering whether to create one long piece of content or several shorter pieces, the latter is often the best strategy. A series of videos that gives full attention to one part of your message at the time will, in most cases, be the most efficient. 

Let’s say, for example, that you’re creating an onboarding sequence to help new users learn how to navigate your product. Then a series of shorter clips will be much easier to digest than one long video explaining everything from A-Z. 

An example of this are the educational videos we made for Rosetta Stone, that successfully conveys their message in a series of shorter, easy-to-digest, clips. 


Related reading: Producing Inspirational Educational Video


Simplify, simplify, simplify

Sometimes, you’re on a tight budget and will only be able to produce one piece of video content. 

Naturally, you’ll be tempted to include everything that’s great about your offering in that video. From how it all started, via how it works technically, to how happy it makes your customers.  

But trust us when we say that doing so would be a huge mistake.

For your message to come across compellingly and memorably, it has to be succinct. So what you need to do, if you are making one video covering a lot of ground, is to simplify. 

Simplify, simplify, and then simplify some more. 

Boil it down to the actual value you’re bringing to your customers, and tie it to the pains they’re experiencing. Don’t overwhelm your viewer with detailed information about how your product does what it does. Because what really matters to your prospects is not the how – but the what and the why. 

Focus on getting their interest by speaking to the needs they’re experiencing. Then, and only then, will they be interested in and ready to learn more about the details of your offering. 

Help Your Audience By Doing the Filtering For Them

One thing is certain: there’s a limit to how much information a person can digest in a meaningful way in a given amount of time. 

As soon as this limit is crossed, they will start filtering things out. This happens automatically because this is how human beings function. 

On a subconscious level, we’re constantly choosing to ignore huge amounts of information to be able to focus on the things that matter to us. 

Filtering information is a survival mechanism that prevents us from drowning in the flood of data. 

This means that the more information you try to cram into one video, the more will get filtered out by your viewer. And consequently, the risk is substantial that the viewer misses out on your main points.

If you resist the urge to go into detail but instead focus on the bigger picture, you have a much better chance of conveying what really matters.


Related reading: Corporate Video Dos and Don’ts


Always Start With The End In Mind

The best way to plan your video is to start by defining the desired takeaways. 

What is the main message you want people to understand and remember when they’ve watched your video? 

Once you know that, you can reverse engineer the storyline and decide what content will help you achieve that. This way it also becomes easier to kill your darlings and remove any “noise” in your production. 

And as always, it’s essential to anchor your message in a larger narrative and use compelling storytelling to get your audience interested and engaged. 


Related reading: Creating a Story Arch For Corporate Storytelling


Key Takeaways

One of the most common mistakes our customers make is wanting to include too much detail, and too many messages, in one video. By doing so, not only do you risk overwhelming your audience with information they don’t need. But, even more importantly, you risk having them missing your core message.

The remedy for information overload can be summarised in the following four tips: 

  • Stick to One Main Message In Each Video
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify
  • Help Your Audience By Doing the Filtering For Them
  • Always Start With The End In Mind

If you do this, you’ll be able to deliver succinct and compelling messages in your videos. And if you succeed in that, you’ve succeeded in creating the most efficient format for communication that exists today. 

Video can help your audience understand your value proposition, learn about your company, and fall in love with your brand in a way no other medium can achieve.

Get in touch to talk about how we can help your brand come alive with great videos!


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