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Quantum Video Tips from a TV News Pro

Quantum computing solutions will be able to fix incredibly difficult-to-solve problems. If only a quantum computer could explain, plainly and painlessly, what it is and what it will do.

Maybe it’s better that an algorithm doesn’t do that (yet), because explaining simply is what we do.

It’s just that not everybody wants to read that sort of content – many want to see and hear it. People watch an average of 17 hours of online videos per week, and 91% of businesses use video in marketing.

But how do you do video right?

Plan to Shoot

Quantum computer company Alice & Bob developed a plan around their new hardware. On the surface, this could be perceived as a boring topic, not to mention complex.

To avoid both boredom and complexity, the company’s marketing team scheduled a series of video shoots:

  1. Unloading heavy hardware – cryostats – outside
  2. Delicately connecting cooling mechanisms inside
  3. Recording slo-mo beauty shots of the machinery
  4. Setting up a two-camera interview about the tech

In an interview, a subject-matter expert is asked to explain the subject to someone who may not understand quantum tech. The dynamic is different; it becomes a conversation, not a lecture. Here the engineer speaks simply about what cryostats do and why they are important. He might have written a much more technical explanation.

Alice & Bob turned the results into an impressive unboxing video that a wider audience could appreciate, and on a relatively small, startup-company budget.

This all came about because a few executives and marketers looked at the calendar, decided to hit record and developed a video marketing plan in time for the twin machines’ arrival.

Make It Make Sense

Video can work well, whether from a modest budget carved out from a startup’s marketing spend, or a massive budget from a giant like Intel

Similarly, Intel succinctly introduces the global crises that quantum computing may address and the limitations of current computing.

Note their use of the classic coin analogy. They’d done it before and redeployed it because people get it.

As with Alice & Bob’s video, Intel’s is devoid of complex terminology and easy to understand.

Importantly, both videos were served on a bed of engaging music and topped with eye-catching imagery.

Show and Tell

I taught visual storytelling for 15 years. Here’s an oversimplified way to tell a good video-based story:

  • Concise, conversational writing
  • Creative, compelling shooting
  • Cohesive, character-driven editing

A YouTube search of “quantum computing” reveals beginner’s guides, explainers and speeches that employ animation to illustrate superposition, entanglement, amplitudes… things our eyes can’t see.

While the stuff that makes quantum quantum – so many intangibles laced with sub-atomic particles – remains very hard to visualize, quantum tech is maturing, becoming easier to see, and thus easier to show and tell what goes on in the lab or field.

Visuals help viewers wrap their heads around things. The greatest thing about video is taking what you can see and making it more interesting.

Why Video Marketing Matters

Short-form videos that show off cool new things best serve companies and consumers alike.

More people are using social platforms as search engines, too, looking for short videos so often that the search king itself, Google, is planning to add more short videos and social media posts in search results.

A well-produced, quickly consumable clip is a social-media-ready ELI5“Explain it like I’m 5.”

So, if something unique is happening, dedicate a few cameras to it, and a few hours to editing.

Considering the cone of experience – that we remember 10% of what we read and 50% of what we see and hear – viewers are 5X more likely to retain your message.

And when your video is memorable and understandable, that number will surely climb higher and be of extraordinary value to your audience – especially in the always-complex quantum world.

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