Grow Your Brand: Part 1

Video Can Help You Reach Your Audience

Video is everywhere. It’s on your Facebook page. It’s on your website. It’s on Twitter and Instagram. It’s on one site after another. So, you know you want to use video as a tool to tell people who you are and what you’re about, whether you are a small business, a lone artist or a group with a cause or event.

But you also realize you want to do it smartly. You don’t want to bore people or turn them off with poor or unfocused execution. So where does one start? What are some of the things you need to prepare yourself for when you’re ready to take this step?

This is Part 1 of a three-part look at Growing Your Brand. In this intro, we’re going to start at the beginning. Some people just start throwing videos into the social media wind. We want to take a more deliberate, planned approach. This is the foundation where you organize your desk, ponder your video messaging and load the van for the trip ahead.

In Part 2, we’ll be partnering with a local branding expert for a more in-depth look at the dos and don’ts of branding, especially when it comes to adding video to your branding arsenal

This moves us closer to really zeroing in on video as a business tool in Part 3. Video, when done appropriately, can be a very successful business element when you look at its ROI (Return on Investment). But what kinds of videos, and where do I use them effectively? What are today’s trends? How can you buck the trend to offer something fresh, yet approachable?

Same Page

The first step in branding is to have your thoughts and your team on the same page at the get-go.

  • What is your No. 1 goal? If someone watches your video and only walks away with one thing, what is that one thing you want them to remember? It doesn’t matter if it’s 15 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute, or longer — what is the main point you want people to take away? 

  • If you have too many points, or if you take too long to make your point, your message will be lost, buried amongst the other things jostling for attention. Your main point is THE point. Don’t dillydally. We don’t have all day, you know.

  • You have already come up with a graphic logo to represent yourself, and you need to put that same concentration and decision-making into creating a version of your brand that can be well-communicated through video in a consistent manner. A framework.

  • One way to do this, of course, is to have a tagline. The king of beers. Finger lickin’ good. Got milk? What’s in your wallet? You get the idea. Simple, engaging, yet not trite. Each of those examples can be adapted to any mood, from bold statements to testimonials and narratives. They work no matter the length of your video. Just do it.


While this all sounds like general Good Advice, this IS the work. The frame is the work. The videos will follow. Remember this: the Message Dictates the Video. If your video is dictating the message, then you have it backwards, and every video will have to start from scratch. Be as creative as you like, but make sure your video fits the framework of the message.

Visual Elements

We love effective videos because they allow us to become involved in a mood or feeling. You know exactly how you feel after watching a nonprofit’s video about a child fighting cancer. You also know how you feel when you watch friends sharing in celebration with a cold, tasty-looking beer. Those moods are created predominantly by what your eye sees. Up to 80 percent of our impressions come from the sense of sight.

With that in mind, it is advisable to create a mood board of visual elements, colors, fonts, etc., to help focus your visual roadmap of video as tool. What visual images express your mission statement and the mood you wish to evoke?

Here’s an example. Watch any car commercial. Nearly everything says “comfort.” Whether it’s luxury, family or adventure, every visual exudes comfort. Also consider this example: did you ever watch a Super Bowl commercial and then wonder what the heck it was about or what they were selling. …Don’t do that.

Just remember, if you bore me — with your message, length of message, presentation or technical aspects — you have lost me.

Your video is your story. If you tell it well and tell it succinctly, I will listen.

Dan Parnell

‘Dusty’ Dan Parnell has worked in radio, television and newspaper in the Treasure Valley for more than 30 years. He’s been a deejay, a newspaper editor and a live sports cameraman, in addition to a few other inexplicable talents.