As our plugged-in business world is becoming far more receptive to video messages, and online video is entering marketing’s mainstream, it’s natural to feel a little daunted about using video for the first time.
As the owner of a marketing agency with a full service video production company, and over 13 international video awards, I receive a daily deluge of questions from my clients who are thinking about using video in their marketing, but have concerns about jumping into this medium.
From low-cost do-it-yourself video blogs, to polished corporate overviews, there are certainly more options available today, but beware: The notion “you get what you pay for” still applies. Businesses today would benefit from understanding more about what they are paying for, and the value it brings to their business.
Below, I’ve provided you with answers to the questions that many of my clients are asking, in the hopes that they will allay your trepidations about using video in your marketing plans.
How can a video help my company?
Video is a powerful tool for reaching your audience, whether you’re selling a product, a service or a new concept. With a combined visual and verbal message, your message is 70% more memorable on video than it is in print alone.
Can I produce the video myself, or do I need professional help?
You could certainly apply the do-it-yourself approach, using basic consumer video equipment and self-taught talent. (Think YouTube.) The benefits are speed and low costs, but the risks could be huge, as the results often look amateurish. This may erode credibility and brand messaging.
When it comes to video, particularly online video, I strongly recommend hiring a video production company, ideally one attached to a marketing agency. No, this is not shameless self-promotion; it is the truth. Video is a marketing tool and so you’ll need to consult with a marketing agency. Most video production companies are focused on producing videos, but not on helping you set the video’s objectives, position its message, and ultimately achieve your marketing ROI.
If your video production company simply shoots video without understanding the broader context, your video message may miss the point, and your video will not give meet your marketing objectives and ROI. See next question for more details on the process.
When hiring a professional marketing agency with a video production arm, look at their past work to make sure it is compatible with what you want. Ask them to give you details of their involvement in the video. Make sure they know your industry, and understand marketing. Ask them to share with you how your video will help you accomplish your specific marketing goals and objectives. Note: You are looking for a concrete answer here, not a broad stroke “it will increase brand awareness” type of answer.
What is the process for creating a video?
First, be sure you know what you are trying to accomplish. One of the biggest reasons a project falls short of expectations is that the client can’t decide what they want, and keeps moving the target during production. This adds cost, and erodes quality.
Before you can produce the video, you’ll need to clarify what you want to accomplish, and determine what resources you have available to you. You’ll also need to know your unique selling proposition, your target audience, your marketing goals and objectives, how and where your audience will view this video, and how you will measure the ROI.
Some questions to consider might include: do you want to increase credibility, build your brand, attract new clients or recruit new staff? What marker decides success? Who should be profiled in the video? Do they need media training?
Once the marketing purpose has been established, and you have a general direction, there are three basic stages to completing your video:
- Pre-production: Deciding on the locations and on camera talent, writing scripts, creating a shot list, arranging for the appropriate equipment, camera, and site logistics and clearances
- Production: This is actually shooting the video.
- Post-production: This involves the editing of the video, including motion graphics, special FX, onscreen text, adding in other visuals images or footage and a soundtrack.
How long does it take to produce a video?
In general, the process can take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the complexity of your production.
Should you use video as a method to support your marketing? Absolutely, but make sure you consult with a marketing professional who actually produces video. You only have one chance to make a lasting, first impression. This has never been as true as it is today, with online video.
So… how much will a video cost? And how are these costs determined? I have dedicated next week’s blog to answering those questions regarding budget-related costs associated with video production.
Do you have any questions about using video in your marketing? Have you used, or are you considering using video in your online marketing campaigns? Please share your questions and stories about producing video in the comments below.