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A Guide to Making Public Health and Safety Videos

With the CoronaVirus dominating newsfeeds, both businesses and public service organizations are looking for ways to educate the public on health and safety issues. Some have chosen to spread the word using video. But what makes public health and safety videos good? How can you make one that gets seen? This guide will help answer some of those questions. 

Video-based health and safety information is nothing new. We’ve all seen public service announcements on broadcast television. Online, videos spread quickly and are often shared via social media. Making a good one can help increase your reach and get your message in front of more people.

Examples of Health and Safety Videos

The broad goal of any health and safety campaign is to spread information. More specifically, you might use them to increase awareness of an issue, help people prepare for health and safety threats, or teach people how to use health and safety tools. Here are some examples of how organizations have used video to address public health and safety:

This video helps to spread information about the Santa Monica Fair Housing act. It uses a child’s drawing and simple voiceover to make the message feel accessible. The animated character transforms what might be considered a dry topic into something people want to watch. 

This video from Massachusetts General Hospital provides a series of simple actions people can take to avoid COVID19 and other health threats. Illustrating each point as it’s explained helps make them all more memorable. 

Although this video is designed to help sell a product, it also offers step-by-step directions for how to use this tool. Foundations and nonprofits can use a similar approach to walk people through health and safety procedures.

These videos are aimed at adult viewers, but video can also make your message accessible for kids. While children may not read blogs or pamphlets, most love watching videos. An animated or live-action video can help present your message in a way kids can understand. Add in interesting characters, catchy songs, and simple step-by-step directions to help kids remember and act on your message.

Marketing research has shown that 73% of all consumers are more likely to buy after watching a video. If your health and safety videos drive the same level of action, they can be a powerful force for good. While crafting your video consider whether you want people to do something, stop doing something, or just become more informed about an important topic. 

If awareness is your primary concern, make your video shareable by keeping it short and entertaining. Include quotable soundbites so people will tell others about your message even if they don’t share the video. 

Live-action or animation

Health and safety videos can be animated or live-action. Consider your audience, your message, and your timeline to decide which video type is right for you. 

A live-action video can feature real people, which makes your message feel relatable and relevant. When viewers watch your video and see someone like them, they’re more likely to feel like the message is relevant to their life. Live-action is perfect for interviewing real people, dramatizing events, and building empathy. 


On the other hand, animated videos are great at illustrating concepts that are difficult or impossible to shoot live. For example, animation can show how cholesterol builds up in the arteries or what the Earth might look like 100 years from now. 

Kids love animated videos, and so do adults. The animation style you choose can help set a mood for your video that enhances the overall message.  

Best practices for health and safety videos

You may not be an experienced marketer when you set out to make your first health and safety video. That’s okay. These simple best practices will help you make a video that impacts public opinion and encourages action. 

  • Stay focused. A single focused message is far more effective than a complex list of ideas. Your video should attempt to convey just one thought, something you can summarize in a single sentence. If you have more than one message to share, consider breaking it up into a video series.
  • Watch your language. As an expert in the field, you understand the jargon and scientific words related to your topic. The public likely will not. Remember, if they were already experts on the topic, they wouldn’t need your video. Keep your vocabulary simple. If you must use an unfamiliar word, make sure you define it.
  • Simplify concepts. If you have to explain something complex, find ways to relate it to something viewers already understand. Video, especially animation, is great at this. It uses images viewers can understand at a glance to explain concepts that would take hundreds of words to describe.
  • Include a call-to-action. We always advise marketers to ask viewers to act. They might encourage viewers to buy a product or sign up for a mailing list. You can do the same thing to help your message spread. Ask users to share your video or encourage them to visit your
  • website for more information. 

Sharing Your Health and Safety Message

Once your video is complete, you can run it as a commercial on television or share it online. Keep in mind that 60% of people would rather watch online videos than television, so online sharing is often more effective and less expensive. Take these steps to help your video spread.

  1. Host in an accessible place – Forcing people to sign-up or log-in before they can watch will create unnecessary barriers to spreading your message. 
  2. Include sharing tools. Most hosting platforms include built-in sharing tools for the most common social media platforms. If you’re self-hosting, include a short-link or other way that viewers can share your video.
  3. Post to social media. Publicize your video by sharing it on all of your active social media platforms. These platforms are designed to encourage sharing. You might even consider boosting your post or paying for a social media ad to get your message in front of more viewers. 
  4. Email your list. Some people aren’t on social media. Even your followers won’t necessarily see every single item you post. Reach the widest audience by emailing your list directly. 
  5. Include ways to learn more. Wherever you share your video, surround it with clear, relevant text. Include a link or other way to contact you in case viewers have questions about your message. 

Public health and safety is an important issue that video can help address. Create engaging and accessible videos, then share them widely for the greatest impact. For more information about creating videos, contact IdeaRocket. 


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