Now that every cellphone has a video camera and social media platforms have the option to go “live,” creating video is easier than ever. You can create a video in minutes, but is it going to be effective? The most effective marketing videos take a good amount of planning. At Fluent IMC, we work with clients to plan, create and launch videos. That means we invest time in plotting out the goals and strategies for the project. Read on for a few tips on how to avoid a video production failure.
WHO do you want to watch your video and WHAT do you want them to do? It’s likely not specific enough to deem your audience as “our clients and future clients.” Break it down. Who are your clients? Who are your prospects? Are there segments of each audience, by industry or other demographics? An attorney practicing estate law might identify one target audience as newlyweds without a will, or an accounting firm may target self-employed professionals who are doing their own accounting. By targeting a specific audience you are able to focus the type and message of your video. Will you be making a how-to video, a why us? video, or a product/service explainer? All of these factors play into the process of identifying your audience.
Be realistic about your budget.
Whether you’re making your video in-house or partnering with a vendor, there will be a cost. Video is a very physical type of content production: cameras, lights, people, props and the setting of the video are typically factors. Think about what can you spend – including your time commitment – and then identify specific expenses. Your overall budget may dictate the type of video you need to convey your message. A good creative firm can work within your budget and suggest alternatives.
If you’re creating a video in-house, will you need to rent equipment, hire actors, or buy editing software? Are you budgeting in the cost of promoting the video on Facebook? Always leave wiggle room for unexpected expenses. You might need to do more shoots than initially thought, or spend more time on editing, driving up your overall cost.
Don’t underestimate the value of storyboarding and scripting.
When your audience and budget are defined, you’ll have a good idea of your video’s focus and how elaborate (or not) you can be. You’ll also know your message. Now it’s time for storyboarding and scripting. Allow time for multiple drafts, making sure you include a call to action and that your message is clear and concise. People have short attention spans, and unless you are producing a particularly detailed how-to video, get to the point in under five minutes. Under three minutes is even better. A good script grabs people in the first few seconds. Nobody will hear your message if your video is turned off after ten seconds.
When your script is strong, have your actors and actresses practice the script off-camera, and don’t be afraid to tweak the script if something doesn’t sound right during the read-throughs.
Take your roll-out strategy seriously.
Before your video is ever created, you should have a roll-out strategy in mind. The actual launch should be executed with your larger marketing or sales objectives in mind. Consider options like e-mailing it out to a select group of clients before making a public push, and decide which social media sites you’re going to push it on. Will you have it on YouTube and your website, or just your website? Your roll-out strategy should also include methods for measuring success. Views? Clicks? Actual sales? Do you have an earlier video marketing effort you can compare results with?
Videos are an increasingly important part of digital marketing. Putting time into planning your video will not only save you headaches during production, it will increase the likelihood of your video’s success.