How to Create A Really Effective Video for Your Campaign

Video can create change.

I’ve seen the impact that video has to create change ever since my first film about bullying in middle school aired on HBO. The film helped to create an anti-bullying campaign at the school which reduced bullying rates soon after.

On Change.org, video makes a big difference to the growth of signatures and ultimate success. Seventy percent of petitions that received a victory on Change.org used media in their campaigns.

And the importance of video — and the impact it will have — will only grow as more social networks support the format and the public views it as a main source of information.

Still, people are often intimidated by the process of creating video.

I’m firm believer that anyone can create an amazing video, you just need the right story. Telling a good story is one of the most important factors when making change.

Why do some petitions get more support than others? What moves people to take action and sign a petition? A good story.

A good petition story is ultimately about the journey of someone who wants something badly, but is having difficulty getting it. And there are three elements that help convey that journey: structure, character, and stakes.

Structure. All good stories must have a beginning, middle and end.

  • The beginning sets the stage, explains the problem and why we should care.
  • The middle articulates how a character will achieve that goal or problem, their journey towards their objective and blockers they face along the way.
  • The end explains the resolution and we see how it all turns out.

Characters. Characters must evoke empathy from an audience in order to get them to care enough about them to take action.

The most compelling stories on Change.org leverage personal stories to win. This is because personal stories are more likely to evoke empathy.

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It makes your characters relatable. When an audience can share in what your characters are going through, they are more likely to take action because they care. So instead of just explaining the issue, talk about why the issue personally matters to you and how you’ve been affected.

Stakes. This is how you get your audience to care about your characters and move them to action.

The “stakes” are what the audience believes will happen if the characters don’t get what they want. As the consequences of not succeeding get more and more dire through the obstacles they face, story tension rises and “the stakes” are raised.

The clearer you are around the hopes and dreams for your characters, the more easily you can raise the stakes.

But how does this translate into video?

  • Structure can be guided by a script. When you are getting ready to create your video, write a script that maps against a beginning, middle, and end. A popular form of social video puts script copy on screen to guide people through the story.
  • Characters can be shown in video or images. When you show the people who are impacted by the issue, audiences are more likely to relate to them.
  • Stakes can be communicated through visuals also. Show footage or photos of what the outcome might look like your characters they get what they want. Then show the obstacles getting in the way of achieving that.

Don’t have experience creating videos? You can use Adobe Spark to easily create videos that tell your story in minutes.


Ready to use video to make change? 

Written by
May 19, 2016 5:54 pm