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Video Production 101 for Marketers

So many toys, so little time...
Video production seems easy, but really, it’s hard. Now that everyone has 17 different cameras nestled inside all their techy devices, it’s tempting to want actually use them maybe to shoot video for your business, maybe post it on your blog or through social media. Why not?! The tools are there for a reason and there’s absolutely a place for every level of quality. What many marketers sense is that camera-phones and handheld DV cameras are not usually high enough quality to represent their business and even themselves in a professional light. With enough video production experience, enough time and a good idea even a cat could shoot it’s own internet video, but in my experience, most marketers are a bit short on time, money and slam dunk cat-based viral video ideas.

“Thou thou hast a quill, it dost not make thou Shakespeare”

You’ve seen the data and heard the buzz…

Video is hot and can help you with sales, SEO, social media, content marketing, recruitment and website ‘stickiness’.  Maybe you’re doing video now, if so great, go you! Hope that’s working out for you! But if not, maybe there’s something in the way? Some process or technical issue that eludes you? Here’s a few of the common hurdles I hear about:

  • No way Jose, I’m camera shy!
  • Don’t know what to shoot
  • Don’t know what to say
  • Don’t know where to shoot it
  • Don’t know what should be in the background (my office isn’t so photogenic)
  • Don’t know what to do after I shoot it (how to edit, get the files online)
  • Don’t know how or where to post it (You Tube, my website, my blog)
  • Don’t know how to get people to watch it, share it, comment, etc.
  • Don’t know if it’s worth it: the time, the money, the ROI…

Wow, that’s a lot of obstacles. Maybe you need some help?! Video seems so easy, and it can be, but if you don’t have answers to these questions, just know that it doesn’t mean they aren’t easily and quickly solved, even cost-effectively solved! By working with a muli-talented and experienced producer, you can usually solve all of these issues very quickly…even being a bit camera shy. I’ve basically spent 20 years learning how to address all these issues and in an hour I could probably answer all of these questions and solve all of these issues.

Apple and the rest of the tech/mobile industry has really messed with people’s heads and given them more powerful/fun tool-toys than they have the time and experience to deal with.  Just because we all now have the tools, doesn’t mean we have the experience to wield them effectively. Sure, maybe you do, but if you get hung up, a muli-talented and experienced producer can get you in the video game on budget.

I’d like to walk you through a couple key considerations to help you find the right video production equipment and process for the scenarios you are likely to encounter.

Consider your Audience

Always start with the audience. In the online world, it’s not just about what you want to say, it’s about what your audience wants, or they’ll go somewhere else! Video can be used for many marketing purposes:

  • Awareness
  • Branding
  • Education
  • Sales Conversion
  • Recruitment
  • CRM
  • SEO

Every video needs at least one  purpose and determining what all of them are can help determine quality, distribution plan, length, content…everything really!

Consider the Content

Now that you know who your video is for you can really tailor the content to appeal to them. Of course you have the things you want to say, and that’s important, but your messaging needs to be served in a palatable format. Engage them, excite them, educate them in the way they want and need to be.*

Consider the Context

If your plan is to make a recruitment video and share it on social media and your website, maybe it needs to be a bit more polished that if it was just on Facebook. Where the video lives matters. The context of your business matters. If you have a tech start up, maybe  a blog video showing the world the first prototype of your product finally working* – *and then you all high five and toast your success with a beer-would be cool, a lawfirm, maybe not. *

*Consider the implications of quality *

I think a well crafted, high quality video explaining what your company is all about is a great tool for many purposes and I also think that every one likes ‘behind the scenes’ authentic blog videos too. If you are trying to represent your brand to the public and your brand essence is ‘buttoned up’ then a shaky iPhone video doesn’t seem like you tried very hard. You also can’t really use it later as part of a more polished video.  If you make tech gadgets and you want to show how sturdy it is, then an authentic video that shows a clearly impromptu ‘drop it til it breaks’ kind of experiment, the implication of authenticity and *not *trying hard is a benefit, so it doesn’t seem staged.

The Take-aways

My recommendation for anyone using video is to consider all these factors first, then develop a plan to plan, develop and capture the content at the quality level that makes sense. If a basic raw video is all that is needed, go ahead and try it, if you’re not happy, try again til you get it right. If you want to craft a more polished and presentable video that represents your company (and you) in the best light, then I’d recommend working with a video production company like Digital Accomplice that can help you achieve your goals and keep the process easy, fast and on budget.

No matter what your goal is, video is a powerful communication tool that is now available to marketers to reach and engage your audience.  It’s still a young industry and clever marketers are realizing that it’s still fairly easy to stand out online with video. All you need to do is create engaging content that people want to watch and help them find it…it’s easy if you know how.

Dane Frederiksen
Digital Accomplice

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