In the content world, video is king. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets means consumers can (and do!) watch video anytime, anywhere. The sheer volume of available video content creates some challenges and opportunities for marketers. Audiences are becoming more discerning. Sometimes they want to be informed, sometimes engaged, sometimes entertained. Regardless, they want to know which of those they’re getting right away.

At Accomplice Content Supply Co., we create video content. As the trends have shifted from traditional 30-second commercials to social videos that live and die in newsfeeds, so have we. We work with advertising agencies and directly with clients to execute on ideas within this new video ecosystem. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t when you want your work to inspire people to take action.

Tip one: Know your audience

Who are you talking to? This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how often this is overlooked. Knowing who your audience is incredibly important. Marketers typically want to create video that will speak to a wide audience, but if your goal is to inspire action, get specific. Tailor the content to a targeted demographic. You won’t win over everyone, but that’s okay.

Tip two: Be single minded

What do you want to say? Pick one thing. Seriously. If you have more than one thing to say, make more than one video

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. When you throw too many things at people, they can’t catch any of it.

Tip three: Surprise people

This is easier said than done. When something does well, we get sent that reference from a handful of people asking if we can create something like that for them. Sure, we can. But should we? Use music, point of view, humour and perspective to your advantage. Delightfully surprise people. They’ll remember.

Tip four: Don’t take yourself too seriously

Whether your objectives are to increase sales, generate awareness or inform a consumer, it’s important to step out of your own shoes and take a different perspective. Your audience wants to be entertained (and when they’re entertained, they’ll share!). It’s important to note this doesn’t mean you should be silly. It’s about getting out of your own head.

Tip five: Be clear about the action you want the viewer to take

If you’ve defined who you are talking to and the objectives you’re after, this part should be easy. Write a clear, concise call to action and, quite literally, ask your audience to take the action you want them to take. The adage, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” definitely applies here.


Walk through the development progress with those tips in mind and you’ll build a strong foundation for your video content. Work with a creative partner who can create content that looks professional (just because everyone has a camera doesn’t make them a photographer!) and use social targeting tools to get your content in front of the right people.

Video can be a place to experiment if you go about it the right way—have fun with it!


This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Direct Marketing.

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Kristen Allison

Kristen Allison is a founding partner and producer at Accomplice Content Supply Co. She works with marketers to create professional, entertaining and engaging video content for screens of all shapes and sizes.