If you’ve been hearing more and more about how important video is in your marketing mix, you’re not alone. The smartphone revolution combined with massive reach of social media means that online video now makes up more than 80% of all consumer traffic! You Tube is now the second most trafficked site after Google and brands are focusing their online efforts more and more on video thanks to numerous studies that highlight video’s superior performance in a number of metrics.
The seeming accessibility of video production means that brands are “in housing” their content more and more and content teams are being asked to produce video much more often. But, just because you can make 4K video with your phone doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It’s important to note that more than 60% of people are likely to have a poor perception of your brand and almost 25% said they would be unlikely to buy from your brand if you publish low quality video.
How can you make sure the video you’re producing for your brands social channels and other online platforms is made in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible and still be effective? Here’s some tips you should keep in mind the next time you’re tasking your in-house team with producing video content or looking to outside suppliers.
In this first of an ongoing series about creating and producing video, I’ll go over the basic considerations you need to be aware of make the most of your video content dollar.
Before anything else, we first need to consider the basics of our video content in terms of practicalities and approach, some considerations include;
Where will the video live (television, Facebook, Instagram, own website etc.), who will it target, what will it say or accomplish? These are important considerations to explore upfront. Each social platform has different requirements for video uploads and if your preferred audience is most likely to view your content primarily on a phone, it pays to optimize the content vertically which brings up a number of creative and practical considerations. My experience has been that clients typically “want it all” when it comes to final deliverables. In other words, they want the content to be adaptable to phones, computer screens, television screens, all social platforms and everything in between. This is all possible but, must be addressed up front in order to ensure optimal planning.
What will it look like? Is it a product demo, a creative ad, an interview, a presentation by a speaker etc. Some issues that need to be considered here will affect cost. Interview and speaker presentation formats are less costly to create but, don’t do much in terms of brand building or contributing to your story. On the other hand, if your audience is the internal sales department and your goal is to educate them about a new product (a new pharmaceutical to a group of doctors would be another example) then a producer demo or presentation style video would be more relevant.
How long should it be? Assuming we’re not talking about a broadcast television commercial where there’s a standard 30 or 60 second limitation, you should be aware of some metrics around engagement. Studies show that a 90 second video will hold viewers attention as much as a 30 second video will. In other words, there’s no perceptible fall off in engagement between 30 and 90 seconds however, beyond about 2 minutes, that curve changes non linearly and you lose more of your audience. Of course, you’ll also have to consider where your video falls in the sales funnel, near the top and you need to be high impact and quick to the point while farther down the funnel means your audience is more receptive to more detail in your message.
What is the budget? Set something reasonable and be prepared to be flexible as you develop the idea, some ideas cost a lot more than others and if your budget is $10,000 you can rule out ideas like recreating the moon landing with your logo plastered on the lunar capsule! Contrary to popular belief, there’s no rule of thumb for “cost per minute” and it’s wise to be wary of anyone quoting such figures because the cost of the final film depends on so many different variables including talent, locations, special effects, editing, format, props etc. etc. Making a film that includes recreating a 17th century fishing village with a cast of 100 people in period costume costs a lot more than making a film about someone on a white background talking to the camera.
Who’s writing the script and what does it say? This gets tricky when you try to please too many people or if too many stakeholders have input, revisions go round and round forever while everyone tries to come up with a script that appeals to all and ends up appealing to no one. One recent study indicated that the number one complaint that brand managers have when creating content is too many rounds of revisions and too much input which dramatically slows the entire process. Another key point to remember is that humans now have an attention span of about 8 seconds so, you need to make sure you grab people in the first few seconds of your film, keep it short and make sure its attention grabbing.
Who’s actually directing it? This is important to think about, who’s going to bring your script to life. Experience is key here and the value that an experienced director brings to the production is immeasurable. The more experience they have the more they know how to stretch a budget and all the shortcuts to the best final film. Recognizing what will and won’t look good on screen is a rare and valuable talent so, don’t underestimate the value of getting someone with experience to bring your idea to life.
Who’s actually handling the production? Traditionally, options for creating video content include in-house, video companies, production companies and ad agencies. Each of these choices come with pros and cons and there will be certain times when one solution is better suited than the other. Much of this comes down to how much you are able handle and absorb internally, the key takeaway here is that there is a lot more that goes into producing good content than you may have thought.
Next time, I’ll talk more about the pros and cons and related considerations when choosing between different film production sources and some key things to know before commissioning a video or film.
Executive Producer and Head of the Direct to Client Division
For the past 15 years Dan has been involved in the creation and production of stills and film content for a long list of recognizable brands in North America. Adhoc Content are some of the most in demand directors and producers in commercial film production and have made recognizable commercial content for brands like Budweiser, Coca Cola and Tim Horton’s and Mercedes.