Video Marketing

5 Things to Consider Before Investing in Video Marketing

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Words by Lori Ann Reese
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There is nothing like a great book, when you are home, and ready to relax. But for most people, consuming content on the go, means viewing it mobily and on a smartphone. And today, the preferred type of content for mobile viewing is video. So what does that mean for businesses? Well, if you’re not investing in video marketing, you may get left behind.

The distinctive shift toward video marketing is evident, across all industries and in both B2B and B2C content strategies for customer outreach. Hubspot Research reported in a recent survey, that 54% of consumers want to see more video content, versus other types of long-form paragraph resources, like newsletters, white papers, and ebooks. YouTube is the second largest social media network in the world, and strategists agree that brands who are not engaged in video marketing, are missing both customer recruitment, and retention opportunities.

Video production rates vary, from $250 an hour. Organizations can however, make the most out of their budget, by designing a lean production model with these five cost saving steps from our team.

1. Spend Ample Time on The Marketing Outline and Production Proposal

The least exciting part of the video content process, is in fact the most crucial, and strategic planning will help you control production costs, and refine your promotional message.

The outline and the production proposal are an opportunity to invite creative suggestions and input from all team members. It also establishes a solid theme and framework, that reduces delays and creative bunny-trailing, once production begins.

a) Identify your business goals

What purpose(s) will the video serve? What response do you want from viewers after watching your content? Businesses can educate customers, drive sales, build brand awareness, recruit subscribers to promotional email campaigns and more, through video marketing.

b) Choose your style

Will your video be based on an informative, or testimonial style, or something more memorable or entertaining, that encapsulates your unique brand culture? Product focused videography is perfect for the launch of a new division or sub-brand, while narrative styles are effective at sharing a compelling and relatable story, that your customers will remember.

c) Plan for segmentation

Decide how you will segment the video and syndicate the content. If you plan to use the video for a television commercial, average lengths are 30 to 60 seconds. Businesses that intend to splice the video for previews or sponsored content pieces, should plan concise and stand-alone content sections that can be used separately, before the footage is shot.  Allow for structural space in the timeline, to edit accordingly.

d) Don’t bypass the storyboard

Good video projects and content plans get sidetracked, when businesses try to bypass, or rush through the storyboard process. Each scene should be planned, with production notes, actor cues, scene design animations and effects, as well as scripted dialogue. Not only should the storyboard be developed and edited carefully before production begins, but everyone on the project should receive and understand each scene. Editing, suggestions and creative input on the storyboard must have a start and a finish date, with little to no improvisation once production has begun.

Don’t fall into a cost trap, by rushing into the creative script and production (the fun stuff) without putting in the time to develop a clear purpose, and structural plan for your video. Remember to incorporate the shot sequences into your storyboard, and provide the production crew with a film schedule, to keep everyone organized.

2.  Use Staff Resources to Help Produce and Organize Creative Content

Some of the best corporate videos offer an unbeatable warm, and authentic appeal, because the organization decided to use real customers, or real employees as part of the campaign footage. Anyone can hire professional actors, but have you ever noticed how, like stock art, the end-result can seem staged or contrived when you use a model for your video?

Make the video more meaningful by utilizing your camera-eager coworkers in your video. Remember, some of your strongest and most loyal brand ambassadors are your team. Plus, if they’re in the video, the’ll might even share it on their social platforms increasing your exposure.

Video production crews can recommend a team of experience actors. However, the cost of actors can range from $50 to more than $500 per hour, and may have scheduling conflicts that can set back production. Another reason to consider recruiting actors for your video, from within your organization to save time and money.

3. Use Evergreen Themes in Creative Content for Relevancy and Longevity

Would you invest significant time, resources and capital to produce a video project, that would appear quickly outdated to viewers, in a short period of time? Something as innocuous as the mention of a trending celebrity, a viral video or other content, can make a video seem redundant and outdated, in as little as one year.

As a business, view investment in professional video production as a long term approach.  The final product should have a timeless appeal that can easily be repurposed.

There are some basic rules to creating evergreen content, that also apply to video production and script writing. The average corporate video retains content value and relevance for 2-3 years. Evergreen video content can avoid early redundancy, by avoiding:

  • Wardrobe choices that are trendy.  Stick with classic attire, accessories, makeup and hairstyles to prevent premature dating of the video.
  • The use of specific years or dates, unless speaking in the historical context, i.e., the year the organization was founded.
  • The mention of political leadership, popular songs or other cultural content that is timestamped to current trends that may not be relevant in two or more years.

Technology changes quickly. Have you ever searched for stock video or licensed graphics, and found an image with a smartphone that views like some kind of alien, or prehistoric technology. Or what about office backgrounds with large outdated computer monitors?  Make sure while staging your film environment, that dated tech won’t ruin the picture in the future.

4.  Use Your Own Facility for Production and Staging

When you see how unimpressive most video production studios are, versus the cost (up to $500 per hour) to rent the space, you’ll see why many corporate videos are shot on location, at the place of business. If your company has a large and beautiful office-space, consider shooting in-house. This will significantly cut down on production costs.

Should you pay a location scout to find the ideal place to shoot segments for your video? Location scouts can match the vision of the storyboard to a real-world site. But they can be expensive and sometimes difficult to book in terms of availability. Businesses can utilize their own internal creative  teams to save time and money.

5. Creative Allocation: How Can You Repurpose Your Video to Optimize Your Investment?

Many businesses just upload of the video to YouTube and call it a day. However, in order for your video to gain traction, you need to successfully distribute and promote it.

Content distribution is as important, as the production of quality video content. Splice videos and provide previews of key points. Effectively use these for pay-per-click and sponsored advertising on social channels. Content syndication sites like Taboola and Outbrain, can place your video in a recommended viewing and sponsored content area, on high-traffic articles published on major media sites.

Businesses of all sizes can acquire a smart television display in the waiting room or lobby. Include promotional videos as part of streaming content, to visitors, customers and staff.  Another creative and classy way to crowdsource maximum exposure for your video.

Wordstream published a great resource article that we recommend reading, titled “37 Staggering Video Marketing Statistics for 2018”.  When you consider that more video content is uploaded globally, every thirty days, than content U.S. television networks have created in the past thirty years, it’s clear that video marketing is already a priority for American brands.

Thinking about investing in video marketing?

Research and pre-plan your video projects to keep costs down. Also, optimize your budget to incorporate more promotional videos as part of your 2018 digital strategy. Video works, and it’s more accessible today, for businesses of all sizes.

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