Image provided courtesy of Concept Group, Inc.
The reality is that while the power of the written word hasn’t necessarily diminished, the tools that we use to interact with the world on a daily basis are increasingly more digital. It stands to reason then that your target audience is probably interacting with your brand on digital platforms at a rate dramatically higher than even six months ago. With over four billion collective hours of YouTube content viewed every month (Digiday), perhaps it’s time to start making more room in your marketing budget for video.
Now, if your company hasn’t yet made video content a part of its marketing strategy yet, here are a few key considerations before you get started:
As with any marketing piece, you need to think about your audience first. This is going to dictate the tone and style of video you produce. While a Buzzfeed-esque countdown dramedy might serve the needs of a B2C company targeting the stereotypically short attention spans of the Millennial generation, many larger B2B organizations want to reach an older, more mature audience that generally appreciates the familiarity of a well-developed narrative structure.
2. Why are they going to watch it?
This critical question may be the most important consideration of all. Your video may be able to rely on the merits of the product or service you’re selling, but in many cases, you’ll need to create more interest by giving the video some creative flare—something to set it apart as truly unique. While an informative “How-To” video shows that you support your customers and doesn’t need to be a special effects masterpiece, a promotional or sales video should certainly leverage strong creativity to generate interest beyond what your product has to offer. After all, something like a spray-on protective coating isn’t going to make for a fascinating social hour conversation without a little help.
3. How are you going to produce it?
You’re not going to be able to do it alone—unless you’re planning on showing your boss that vertical iPhone video you narrated while awkwardly fumbling around with your products on the manufacturing floor. While some companies specialize in producing videos (and ONLY videos), this can put the quality of your product’s messaging at risk if the other marketing materials are in somebody else’s hands. From inconsistent tone in visuals and writing, to confusion surrounding the emphasis of your primary messages, there’s a compelling argument for keeping all of your product’s marketing materials in one place.
4. How much money do you have to produce it?
The term “production value” isn’t just limited to those indie films you occasionally stream on Netflix—it’s just as prominent an issue for marketing videos. Some video production companies charge feature-film budgets to produce 30-second commercial spots, so achieving a competitive level of quality on a limited budget isn’t a certainty. That’s why you need to make the most of every penny by partnering with someone who understands where you can afford to cut corners and where you can leverage resources that are already at your disposal.
5. How much time do you have to produce it?
Timelines are tighter than ever. And why shouldn’t they be? Business is being conducted at the speed of the internet and you don’t have time for to sit on a project while your competitors are already looking ahead to their next product launch. While a more relaxed project timeline can often only improve the quality of the video, most often you’re going to want it done yesterday. That means flexibility and an acute understanding of your product and business objectives is critical to success.
So, to quickly recap: know your audience, creative approach, brand, budget, and timeline. Remember these foundational components, and then allow your video strategy to evolve as you become more comfortable with what works and what doesn’t. Remember, once your video is on the air or online, it’s out in the wild and there’s very little you can do to control it. If you always have a plan in place beforehand, you can rest assured knowing you’re more likely to end up generating business than you are to end up on somebody’s “Epic Fail” blog.