If you’re new to commissioning video, or if you’re already using video but not achieving the results you’d hoped for, the following list may well be useful. None of this is rocket science, but giving attention to each of these when generating your video campaigns will help you deliver better results, and help you demonstrate return on investment.
1. Value, not cost
Video production is a service with wildly differing costs attached, depending on who you’re talking to. Whilst there are specialist agencies out there with experience in the strategic development of brands using video, it’s also true that equipment prices have plummeted over the years, and this has led to a whole generation of ‘bedroom operators’ – people with some video skills who operate from home using their nifty and inexpensive camera and editing kit. The difficulty, especially if you’re commissioning video for the first time, is making sense of these differing costs and what they truly represent.
It is no longer enough to have ‘a good looking film’; almost every business has one of those. You need to be sure that your chosen partner for video understands your overall strategy and how it fits into the wider business, has the necessary creative skills to really engage your audience, and the necessary experience to deliver your objectives. A good question to ask a potential supplier is: “What measurable results have you achieved for your other clients?”. If the answer is “an uplift in sales of x%”, or “an x% increase in brand awareness” then you are probably going to get good value. If the response is “they seemed very pleased with the film”, then you are probably going to get your video very cheaply. And at the same time, at great cost.
Or to be more precise, ‘strategy, strategy, strategy’. It’s so important I’m saying it three times. There may be a number of reasons why you think you need a video, but rather than ‘our competitor has one’, it should be more about ‘we have a focused need to reach a specific audience in a specific way at a specific time’. Analyse your requirement in detail. What do your audience want to hear from you? How do you know? How is the video going to reach them? How – and why – will they share it? There are now so many tools available to really measure the effectiveness of video, so it’s essential to have clear objectives and a well-defined strategy. And that comes from …
There’s no point hiring a team of professionals, and then ignoring them because somebody in your organisation ‘feels’ that their idea is better. The ‘gut feeling’ days are over. Successful celebrity entrepreneurs who say they ‘just followed their nose’ are the same as heavy smokers who reach the age of 95. Yes, they exist – but you hear their stories because they are unusual. As with any marketing activity, your video strategy must involve audience research and defined objectives. It is impossible to guarantee success, but appropriate research can really de–risk a project and give it the best start.
You eat fruit and veg, right? You understand the importance of being regular? But you made one video, and two years later wondered why it hadn’t been a success. You wouldn’t do this with print advertising, or social media, or email campaigns; you understand with those approaches that building awareness of your brand takes time, and real success builds exponentially. Video is the same; it is no longer the luxury item that you tack on to your marketing plan as an afterthought. Smart brands are already putting video front and centre in their campaigns. Repeatedly.
5. Be creative
While it is hugely important to listen to audience research and deliver something appropriate for your brand, within that there is still a ton of room for creativity. Videos which generate strong emotions and resonate with the audience are much more likely to make the necessary impact and encourage viewers to share the video, speak favourably about your brand, or take a related action such as making a purchase. But remember that creativity does not exist in a vacuum; in choosing a partner for video you must feel comfortable that the creative will be geared towards your audience, rather than just ‘eye candy’ that doesn’t deliver the agreed outcomes.