The Importance of Video in Delivering Research Insight

Posted by David Bauer Tuesday, November 13, 2012 15:57

As modern qualitative researchers, we need to push ourselves to be better story tellers and to utilize the power of audio, video, and pictures to convey our experiences in the field to our clients.

Ted Frank from Backstories Studio presented at the QRCA conference in Montreal on how to better share research insights through the use of videos and pictures. He showed an example from an ethnographic project (click here to see the video), but his techniques would also work for focus groups and in-depth interviews. As modern qualitative researchers, we need to push ourselves to be better story tellers and to utilize the power of audio, video, and pictures to convey our experiences in the field to our clients.

Here are some ideas that Ted and others in Montreal shared:

  • Make an emotional connection with your audience by turning consumers into heroes and characters with whom they can relate.
  • Use music to prime the audience for insights or match the mood.   Music can be used for opening, building tension prior to the big idea, and propelling the story forward.  Go to sites like greenbuttonmusic.com to purchase rights-free music.
  • B-roll (video to illustrate what someone is talking about) conveys a stronger impression than simply a long video of one person talking.  It also allows you to edit out “ums” and “ahs” between the relevant comments.
  • Use close-ups of the participants with good lighting and audio to ensure the power of their words and expressions are conveyed in a meaningful way.
  • When going to an ethnography or similar project, create a shot list of the types of elements to film for B-roll.  This will ensure you end the fieldwork with enough diverse footage.  It is also helpful to create a list of the types of subjects you want to photograph for use in your presentations.
  • Tim Billies from CreativePoint Productions shared advice on editing your own videos and mentioned that professional level editing software can make a major difference.  He recommends the Sony Vegas and Sony Movie Studio editing software if you work in the Windows environment.  Using programs such as these can save you time in the long run and help take your editing to the next level.

Most clients have numerous demands on their time and less ability to read lengthy reports.  Video, when done well, can serve to quickly convey insights from the field in a compelling and motivating way.  If a picture is worth 1000 words, what must video be worth?

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One Response to “The Importance of Video in Delivering Research Insight”

  1. Simon Dannatt says:

    November 14th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with this article. We’ve been using video since we were founded in 2007 and the value it delivers to clients is enormous. Thanks David.

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