How to craft smartphone video content that attracts viewers

Her water broke, she was all alone, 200 kilometres from the nearest hospital, her husband of two years had gone to work, correctly put, cattle restocking. Cattle was an important status symbol in this part of the world. She wasn’t sure he would come back alive.

They had lost all their cattle to the neighbouring community during the last raid, her husband was lucky to be alive. cattle rustling wasn’t about spears and arrows anymore, it had gone ballistic.

She knew that her baby was due at any time, – that is what the village midwife had said during her last visit – . Still her husband had to go, men were few, high caliber sub machine guns had decimated their numbers. 

Women were left to fend for themselves,- she was no exception, Longaruon’s house – the village midwife –  was 2 Kilometres away, she had no option, but to endure the hot searing noon day desert sun and seek help.

Three hours later, tired, exhausted, dehydrated and in pain; she limped into Longaruon’s homestead. Three  manyattas built like a triangle facing each other made up the homestead. One of the manyattas had been converted into a  ‘labour’ ward complete with cowhides as ‘hospital beds’.

Hashina, a community worker documenting the lives of marginalized nomadic women living in Northern Kenya,was in Longaruon’s homestead shooting a smartphone video. 

Childbirth, and especially giving birth at home had claimed the lives of countless innocent women. Hashina’s burning passion was to tell the story of these women to the world.

What is your Strategy?

A topic that is close to your heart coupled with passion will tell a compelling story, you must however have a strategy. What do you intend to accomplish, is it to pass on information, educate your audience, or to share important skills  with your viewers?.

Your smartphone video strategy, need not be complicated, identify  a topic, it should inspire your passions and trigger your creative juices. Set out to tell your story about this topic.

Secondly, get to know your audience who is interested in your topic, define their demography – what are their ages? are they male or female?. Where do they hang out? How will you deliver your  content to them? are they net consumers of your content, or do they consume in order that they may create their own content?

What format do you want to share your content? will it be Vlogs, a series of video, or long documentary style videos? Will you speak in the videos? or will you hold interviews?

What will be the frequency of sharing your content? Will you shoot independent videos, or shoot a series of related videos uploaded in segments? 

A video series helps create emotional attachment with your viewers, and that is what every content creator seeks.

Plan your video shoots

It is easy to simply hold up your smartphone and shoot a video, however, an unplanned video will appear hurried, disjointed and at worst confusing. Plan your video shoots. This will take the guesswork out of your video strategy.

Planning your smartphone video story doesn’t need to be too complicated,  write a simple script, identify the right location, assemble equipment, materials and props, choose your team cameraperson, audio/light person,etc. know the cast,- in this case it might just be you. 

Know which elements you want to add to the video. Knowing the type of shots you want to incorporate in your video will spice up the story. 

Create a simple storyboard that has the beginning, the middle and the end. A story board acts as a road map for your video, it directs the flow and direction of your video.

Set your goals 

Goals act as your beacons telling you how far you have come and how far you need to go. What is the purpose of shooting your smartphone video.

 Is it to engage a viewership, to entertain, or to sell a product, is your video targeted for new viewers, or do you intend to get up close and candid with existing viewership

Having planned and knowing the end goal, from the beginning will help you to write a storyboard that will engage, entertain and move viewers from one interesting shot to another, 

What will be the tone and feel of your video Your goals should encompass your audience, create a video that speaks to this target audience, write rewrite, delete and incorporate new sections until that flows and is interesting.

Sneak previews help keep your viewers tantalized, a sneak peak of a new product, new announcement, hyping your new video release will keep your viewers expectant and tuned in to your content. 

Tell your Story

Let’s conclude our story above; Hashina saw Nyongolorapuon from a distance her face was contorted in pain, she immediately recognized signs of labour pain; -the heavy gait, extended tummy, the right hand supporting her lower back were all telltale signs that the baby was due. 

Nyongolorapuon,s slow laboured gait finally brought into the ‘labour ward’. Hashina was furiously recording, – this was a well deserved scoop, the reward of her patience.

It wasn’t long before the cry of a new born baby girl pierced the air. Despite the harrowing pain, the torturous heat,  and a punishing 3 Kilometer trek, she had brought forth a new life.

Thanks to Hashina’s smartphone video that captured the entire story, Nyongolorapuon’s baby may never have to suffer the troubles of her mother.

Wrapping it up: 

Videos that tell a story will always stand out, product videos can also tell a story,  shoot a video that shows your product in action, while speaking to your viewers.

Consider taking your viewers behind the scenes,  show them the human side of your production, this will endear them to you. – Take them on tour, introduce them to members of your team, show what goes on while preparing your video. 

The focus is to tell a story that will capture, entrance and entertain your viewers, a story that will relate to them.

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