What are inspirational videos?
An inspirational video lights a fire under you. It makes you, the viewer, want to go out and do something, whether it’s buying a plane ticket to see the world or taking a big first step to improve your life. The mark of truly uplifting videos is their ability to spur the viewer to action, to stand up and make a change now, even if their couch is really, really comfortable.
Why inspirational videos are so effective
Whatever the ultimate goal of an inspirational video may be, its success lies in its ability to appeal to the viewer’s emotions. The best inspirational videos get at a universal sensibility: the hard road to success, overcoming adversity, or the power of a big dream. That’s why viral motivational videos are so common. They express something that speaks to you whether you live in Minneapolis or on Mars. The key to success is learning to harness that kind of broad appeal.
5 Examples of inspirational video
With the right editing tools, you can make an inspirational video about pretty much anything. That said, here are some applications for inspirational videos that are likely to be worthwhile to you and your viewers.
- To motivate employees and colleagues. The daily grind can get anyone down, which is why inspirational videos are so useful in the workplace. One example is this well-watched speech from motivational speaker Brendon Burchard about having a success mindset. His message about how a small change in the way you think can help you achieve success, no matter your background, is a lesson that can appeal to anyone.
- To sell something. In this Nike ad voiced by Serena Williams, we are inspired to live our dreams and ignore what others might say about us. There’s no getting around the fact that Nike hopes those inspiring emotions will motivate you to buy their products — but at least they advertised to you in a way that makes you feel better about yourself. As an advertiser, as long as you keep your message tasteful and self-aware, the sky’s the limit.
- Raise awareness. Short motivational videos can draw attention to important work, highlight a serious issue, or convince people to donate to a cause. While the issues themselves are not always happy ones, the video you use to accomplish those goals can be uplifting, humorous, or even fun, like this inspirational promotional video for nonprofit Mama Hope. Using levity to get a serious message across can lead to a meaningful video that people will actually enjoy.
- Share valuable information. As any teachers will tell you, the task of making people pay attention long enough to learn something new is difficult — especially if those people perceive it as uninteresting or unimportant. If you can turn a lesson or factual presentation into an inspirational video, you can make people latch onto the topic’s importance and care a bit more, such as in this video about lesser-known civil rights activist Claudette Colvin.
- Improve someone’s day. Of course, creating videos to inspire people doesn’t have to be part of some master plan. You could do it just to lift your audience’s mood — which we all could probably use at the moment. For example, can you watch this video of a cat comforting a dog and honestly say your day isn’t a little better?
Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of inspirational videos, their effectiveness as a motivational tool should make you reconsider their value for you as a creator. As an added bonus, they can be inexpensive and easy to make — they can often come together with just stock footage and voiceover. With the right approach to your next inspirational video, you might just change someone’s day.