4essential steps to making video. work for you!

ps e t s l a i t n eo d esse i v ing k a ! to m u o y or f k r wo 4 WHY? Why do you need a video? What’s your objective? What are you trying to a...
Author: Allyson McCoy
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ps e t s l a i t n eo d esse i v ing k a ! to m u o y or f k r wo

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WHY?

Why do you need a video? What’s your objective?

What are you trying to achieve? Generally speaking, a video is a great way to tell

your story;

to deliver up to three messages

in a very short timeframe. Plus, video allows us to convey emotion when simple words on a page fail us.

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Video can have a huge impact on your brand, enticing your audience to feel more engaged with you than ever before.

DO: make sure you are fully aware of why you

DON’T: assume that video in isolation will have

need a video. Without a mission and an end goal

the desired impact. Video should be part of your

you will generally fail.

overall communication strategy.

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WHO? are you making it for?

Your business will have many audiences. Internal, external and so on! One size doesn’t usually fit all! By trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. The secret is to fully understand who you are trying to reach. That could mean millions. It could mean just a handful.

DO: spend the time researching your audience so you fully understand who they are and what they want or need to see.

DON’T: create something irrelevant for your given audience.

WHAT? 3

What messages do you want to convey?

Less is more when it comes to video production. Hit me with too many messages and I’ll forget the lot! Hit me with two or three and I’ll more than likely remember them all. Before doing anything, work out what your messages are and then decide on the stories that best illustrate them.

DO: ensure that these messages are aligned with everything else your company is currently communicating.

DON’T: try to put all your messages in to one production. If you have too many, consider multiple shorter productions instead.

We’re all pretty good at spotting a fake. We’re tuned to recognise it instantly - do we believe you, do we like you, do we want to run? Natural human reactions! So, when we put a production together it’s

make sure it’s as real as possible.

always important to

One way to do this is to avoid scripts and to get a natural response from a posed question. In asking the right questions, you get the right content and a real answer.

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Make it real!

DO: avoid scripts if you can - people trying to

DON’T: think that by having no script you have

remember their lines will forget to be human!

no control on what’s created. What you will end up with will be far more natural, engaging and therefore effective.

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DON’T

TRY TO SELL YOUR SOUL

It’s funny. You ask people if they enjoy being sold to, and mostly you get the response, “Absolutely not!” So why do so many productions purely focus on the sell?

More subtlety required! Video is a wonderful way to build a stronger connection with your brand.

DO: imagine that you are the audience. Is this the kind of production that you’d be comfortable watching? Keep it subtle, entertaining and informative.

Make it personal and reflective of what you truly stand for and you’ll have people wanting to discover more. Once engaged, you are then in a position to see business benefits. The general rule today however is the more you are prepared to give and share, the more successful you will be

DON’T: immediately go in for the kill. Recognise that by building this relationship, you get long-term benefits.

Creating a cheap and nasty video could be just the job!

Enhancing or damaging your brand?

If, your brand is comfortable occupying that space! If, however, your business has a solid reputation and has spent years nurturing what it stands for, we’d argue that you could very easily damage your brand if the production isn’t reflective of the quality and assurance you’ve hitherto created. That said, there are certain occasions when it’s more important to simply get a production out as quickly as possible. It doesn’t have to be “super flash”, it just

But quick and cheap needn’t be tacky!

needs to convey information.

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DO: ask yourself every time, “How important is this production to me, what is my objective and if I get it right what are the benefits? If you do that you quickly recognise the value in what you’re creating and the production should reflect that.

DON’T: skimp on the investment if this is a production for the long term and in particular for an external audience. Every time you look at it, you’ll wish you’d gone that extra yard.

FEEL

7 What emotion are you trying to convey? Video is wonderful at making people FEEL something!

In as little as

60 seconds (and often less) you

are able to take your audience on a journey and by creating emotion you are far more likely to gain a connection. Put simply, people are ruled by their emotions! Building a brand based on one or more emotions is critical to brand success. What’s interesting is the pace in which major corporations are now trying to build their brands through emotional content. They are creating emotional stories that people want to share, thereby building a reputation and a relationship that goes way beyond the 30 second TV commercial.

DO: think about the emotion you are trying to convey. When finished, is that emotion obvious?

DON’T: try to fake it! Keep it real!

DIy

“Jim in accounts has a handycam, and Sally in marketing has a nice voice. Surely

we can do this in house”?

Quite possibly yes! But let’s go back to point six, are you potentially going to damage your brand if this video isn’t quite what you imagined? For simple instructional productions or management updates, going DIY can make sense. However, when making an impact is important, getting something created externally could be a good idea. Not only might an outsider’s opinion bring something of value to the table, but you’ll probably end up with a far better production in

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a shorter time frame.

DO: consider DIY for simple video productions. A combination of some productions done in-house mixed with those made professionally could be the best way to go.

DON’T: try to do the more impactful projects in-house. Going down this route can be a false economy.

A few years ago, three or four minutes was considered OK!

Make it short and sweet!

Now, almost every production we make is around 90 seconds. Why? Because an audience’s attention span

is

shortening

all

the

time.

That means we have to be brutal with our content. To have the most impact, we’ve got to ask ourselves every time,

“So what?” Does this section add to the production? If not, then it has to go! Only by questioning every component of the production will you end up with something that is clear and concise.

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DO: think about everything from the audience’s perspective. If you were watching this would you sit through four minutes? If not, then do something about it!

DON’T: think that more is best! Generally, it takes longer to craft something shorter!

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From a marketing perspective, everything you create should align. That means, the look and feel of your website, any brochures, posters, print, television and radio ads must all be recognisable as communication from the same company. Your audience should be able to see a similar thread in everything you create. Get

it right and you unleash the power of your organisation.

A good video production will take on board everything that your company is currently showcasing. It should form part of your marketing suite. Powerful brand alignment informs and influences everything the organisation says and does.

u d c o t r i o p n e h brand t ? Is aligned

DO: look closely at everything the company is

DON’T: go out on a limb with the video production.

currently showcasing.

There must be brand alignment.

Long term impact is there a series in it?

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Ongoing stories that are good, work well for your audience. It gives them more reason to engage with you and gives you an opportunity to

nurture the

relationship. They enable you to create several shorter productions rather than one long production. And, as organisations recognise the need to create more and more quality

DO: look at scheduling for the release of each production. Your audience should know exactly when the next installment is coming.

content, having a series to work with allows you to develop a deeper

presence with the one idea. More short content provides you with flexibility. Perhaps you can use the content on line, or in an email newsletter or re-purposed within a corporate presentation. It will also allow you to develop themes within the one idea. For example you might want to demonstrate your company values. Taking the same idea and telling the story via several key people in the company allows your audience to

DON’T: try and drag a series on too

learn more, not only about what you stand for, but also about the people who

long! Like a good TV producer, know

make up the organisation.

when to kill it off!

e k a ? m t i u e o e y s o e d l p w o o e H p

e r u s

Firstly, who do you want to see it? Only when you’ve answered this, can you work out the best way to reach them. Is this a case of

‘the more the better’, or are you after a specific

audience? Reach them, and your business is moving in the right direction. Many assume that once again, more is better. But not necessarily. If success for your business means reaching another half dozen key customers per year,

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then your videos certainly don’t need to be watched by millions! Ten could be sufficient! You’re likely to use YouTube or another similar video hosting service. Make sure you get the description and details spot on!

DO: tell your friends, contacts, social media and also the media in general.

DON’T: expect millions of views straight away! This rarely happens. There are a lot of videos out there. The most important thing to remember is did my key audience watch it?

$ $ $ $

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$

$

What’s your budget?

It’s never easy knowing how much to invest in a production. But, knowing approximately what is in the budget will certainly help establish boundaries for the overall concept that’s developed.

So how much should you allocate?

DO: look at it along the lines of short shelf life, long shelf life. The longer the production is to be used for, the more money should be invested.

Well, what’s the potential value in what you are creating? If for example you are trying to raise $10m for a charity, would an outlay of only $3,000 be appropriate? The general rule is the more you spend, the more time and effort can be invested in the production. And in doing that, the greater the return should be. DON’T: assume that getting the video created by professionals is going to be more expensive in the long run. Doing it in house could be a false economy.

How to measure the return on investment? 1

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Firstly, what

was your original objective?

What was your audience and what message were you trying to deliver?

DO: ensure that you have a clear objective before

Only when you know this are you able to work out whether the video

you start. That will have an impact on the overall

played some part in achieving that goal!

production and ensure that you potentially nail it!

There are plenty of analytics available to measure who watched it, for how long and whether they shared it, for example. ROI doesn’t necessarily have to equal a dollar value. If your business community is talking about what you’re doing or if key influencers are spreading the word about your organisation, your videos are working! DON’T: get to the point where you produce nothing because those at the top of the organization want to see ROI potential before starting.

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