I recently Googled “how to write a video question for market research.” I wanted to see if anyone had information about using mobile video for market research, or even some tips on how to form interview questions for this new research medium.
I found lots of video tutorials on market research, but there was nothing about writing an interview script when you intend the research subject to respond not with text but in the form of short selfie videos.
The Google search reinforced what I already knew—that the research business has not evolved with the times. Video-based digital communication is surging among consumers and businesses, yet market research hasn’t figured out how to harness that. We at Vidlet believe that mobile selfie videos—or “vidlets” as we call them on our platform—could offer a treasure trove of information for businesses trying to understand their customers. Since 90 percent of communication is non-verbal, a vidlet gives you the opportunity to truly see the “why” behind a person’s response.
Just as there are best practices for writing a text-based survey or conducting an in-person interview, there are some important things to keep in mind when writing your vidlet script:
1) Context is king:
Video is a show AND tell platform. You want the respondents to show you their environment, how they do things, who is with them, the pets they have, etc. This takes a different type of question. You need to prompt them to show you their space: “Show me how you open that box” or “Take me on a tour of healthy foods in your refrigerator.”
2) KISS never gets old:
Keep it simple, keep it short. There’s no time for long-winded or multiple-choice questions when the customer is reading the script on their mobile device and responding with a 30-second video. A good rule of thumb: Treat your questions like tweets and keep them to 140 characters or less.
3) Be specific:
Ask one question at a time and be crystal clear about what you are getting at. Avoid something open-ended like, “Did you ever get lonely as a long-haul trucker?”, which is likely to result in a Yes/No answer. Instead ask, “On average, how many days per year did you feel lonely on the road?”
4) Make it fun:
Strike an imaginative tone with some questions: “If your car was a superhero, which one would it be?” You’ll find that you will spark their imagination and receive more colorful and engaged responses.
5) Go deep:
Don’t be afraid to get personal: “Describe your emotions the first time you witnessed your child have a seizure.” You will be surprised how much people open up in a trusted environment, particularly about the most consequential events in their lives. People like to talk about themselves, even if it’s not always something positive.
When crafted correctly your vidlet scripts will elicit responses with true depth. You get to know the subjects, their decision process, why they do what they do. It is powerful to watch people show you how they open a product package, operate controls, or walk through their buying journey. You can see how they feel, you are experiencing their frustration and their delight. It is empowering for them to show you. It is enlightening for you to see them in action.
In research the new mantra will be “show don’t tell”—fewer words, more visuals from your respondents. The knowledge is richer and the insights more valuable.