Just like that time when you needed an attorney because you got into some heat over that thing. When it came to finding an attorney with the right skills to put your mind at ease it took some time didn’t it? The first several attorneys you talked to were pretty expensive, had relevant experience, but just were out of what you could afford. Some others were more interested in backing you into a contract and get a deposit immediately, but didn’t necessarily show they had the exact experience. Finally you landed the right one, it wasn’t too expensive, they worked with you on payment, but it took time. Here is the lesson of the day.
This isn’t new NEWS or anything, but more of a reminder for people looking to get a video produced. You can’t get all three and let me explain. Some companies will ask for a cheap youtube video done without all the bells and whistles and have it up by tomorrow. Well this video will not be any good, but maybe that didn’t matter them. Other companies know that they are on a deadline, but have a client or boss to impress, but they are willing to pay, so in this case they have a realistic expectation that it won’t be cheap. Then there is the client that has no budget worth mentioning, they want it good, but in the end it will not be able to be done fast AT ALL. These projects fit in between actual paying gigs and require a bit of time to complete.
Why video in the first place?
Videos Increase a Viewer’s Understanding Of Your Product Or Service by 74%
An Introductory Company Email That Includes A Video Receives An Increased Click-Through Rate of 96%
50% Of Users Watch Business-Related Videos On YouTube Once A Week
80% Of Your Online Visitors Will Watch A Video, While Only 20% Will Actually Read Content In Its Entirety
45% Of Viewers Will Stop Watching A Video After 1 Minute & 60% Will Have Stopped By the 2 Minute Mark
This again isn’t new to most people, but learning this before you contact a video producer about your project will improve the communication immediately and get your project to cross the finish line without near as many bumps in the road. Remember: You get what you pay for. Let your competition shoot their videos on their iPhone. It’s time to make better content. It’s worth the investment.
Let’s get one thing straight… if you are new or not to marketing getting down to the basics makes for a strong case to the people you report to. Let me help you hit 5 key points to consider.
1. What are the Business Goals
Keep the corporate business goals close at hand when being delegated a content marketing strategy is important. Too often I hear people say “I want to go viral” or “I need to make a video” but I too need to make sure I understand your business goals. Once I have a grasp of this our collaboration becomes more on point. Content can serve different purposes within a company, and the best content marketing programs define the role of content beforehand, not after the fact.
2. Considering Strategy
Let’s talk focus. Why is this content to be created? Who is this content for? What call to action are we shooting for? Are we doing this for hard or soft ROI? These are the next meeting we will have as we consider the next steps. Ultimately when we go to create this visually we want to make sure this is all laid out. The architecture of your story telling eco-system is another key element here and we want to make sure your content is wrapped appropriately so your audience is engaged and make them want to share your content.
3. Time for Production
While this is the fun part for people like me, there are a lot of logistics involved. How many days do we have at any one location. Don’t forget to allocate time for b-roll. I repeat… don’t forget to allocate time for b-roll. If you want people to get tired of talking heads then schedule back to back interviews without b-roll. Nothing kills a video faster than not being able to cement the talking points with visual representation.
4. Amplification & Exposure
You must market your marketing. Let’s get serious just because you create amazing content doesn’t mean people will find you. More than likely your company isn’t able to go out on a limb and create content that shocks, so let’s get back to the basics… what is the amplification strategy. This is a multi-pronged approach including internal employee distribution to reaching out to influential bloggers to press releases. Know where your audience is online and focus on driving conversation with your content, as a matter of fact in the strategy part of the design it is great to know what pain points your customers have and address them in some way with the content without sounding like a propaganda piece of course.
Content isn’t inexpensive. It’s just different expensive. I always get asked about cost or “I have a budget of this” but let’s be honest good content is well thought out, well produced and measured. Measurement is the key to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice, hone your content to address the shortcomings and keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. ROI comes in a lot of flavors, so be sure you know exactly what you are being measured on and get those analytics. Anything above and beyond that is the cream that might just surprise your supervisors on how well your content is performing.
“I know I want to do a video, but I don’t need a huge production out of it, just something I can throw on youtube. How much will it cost?”
This is one of the most common question I hear from people when they first approach me about doing a video, “How much will this video cost?”. As much as I hate to talk money it always comes up in the beginning of the conversation even before knowing what the heck we are about to produce. So you ask for a budget and I have to ask “What’s the idea?”. This conversation while important should come after you have a sense of what style and type of video you want. If you are new to video this is a good starting point to give me a call so I can walk through the process and help with an understanding of time, costs and the process.
Answer this question: Find a video similar to what you are thinking about and ask video production companies ‘what would a video like this cost to make?’ You will find that one of two things will happen. They will either try and get to know who you are and help guide you through the process of the production or they are solely focused on making a buck and will guide you through the “send us a deposit” phase and there will be nothing other than a transactional relationship. What is your preference?
It is no secret that video plays such a huge part in today’s online strategy, but here is an average call I would get
me “Setla Films, this is Ted how may I help you?”
Potential client “I am looking to have a promotional video created that I can place on my website to drive people to my service”
me “Ok, how many videos have you done before?”
Potential client “None so far, this will be the one”
me “Ok, do you blog, or have other consistent pieces of content that your audience will see?”
Potential client “No, not at the moment”
me “Ok, well there are two pieces of content creation that I am a big proponent of, the content itself and the calendar. If you aren’t putting consistent content out there for your audience, then your competitor is and you may get some views and recognition, but unless you are able to get pretty crazy with this video you may just have a one hit wonder”
Ok, this is close to how it usually goes, but the point is that there are a lot of steps to making a video successful and it starts with your company’s soul. A good production checklist can be found here to guide you through this process a little easier, but don’t forget in the end you will be judged on ROI of your efforts, don’t forget to have a plan to measure and benchmark your campaign. This may be to drive discussion on a topic or as basic as number of views.
It is amazing to me that with all the information online about what works and what doesn’t in terms of marketing that companies continue to create videos that are ineffective and have little impact on the bottom line. I seriously could not have resonated with BRUCE MCDUFFEE any more when he wrote this article. (Content Marketing Institute)
The one mistake companies continue to make when they decide on the creation of content marketing videos is the fact that they focus solely on their company and their product or service. There is nothing wrong with having a few of those videos out there and in fact you should have a feature/benefit video created to give the information to people who are looking for it, but 60-70% of the content you create should include content about your customers, the success stories of others and the impact they have had for their communities. Be that brand ambassador for your customers and see just how much further your content reaches. Just in summary…
Stop pitching your products.
Stop trying to be clever by masquerading a product promotion as a helpful piece of content.
Start giving away your expertise in the form of free education or interesting information — without promoting your product.
Start making a clear distinction between content that is meant to clearly define your offering and content that is meant to engage your audience by providing them with useful education or entertainment
How many times has your company put together a marketing concept, email blast, industry conference or other variable effort in exchange for a few leads just to justify to your sales team that the decision makers weren’t there or better yet the response was dismal? While you may spend tens of thousands to obtain sales leads, nothing will replace the knowledge of how your customers work in their environment or the relationship you have with them, but how do you get to know them on such a personal level?
For marketers, this means investing quality time talking to customers about their day-to-day activities, goals, and challenges, either by phone or face-to-face. This is not a sales call, nor is it a cleverly masked opportunity to plant seeds of brand promotion. Talk to your customers like you would a friend. Listen and ask pointed questions to learn more about their daily challenges and goals. This will help you establish a clearer vision of the intricate details that compete for their attention and influence their decision making. These conversations will serve as igniter fluid as you brainstorm content ideas.
The next step is going beyond customer interviews get out of the office and spend time with customers on their turf, in their environment. Witnessing your audience manage challenges and solve problems firsthand is a immersive way to understand who your customer is and idea generating machine for relevant content planning.
For example, I traveled with a film crew to visit Wake County EMS in November 2013. My crew consisting of Matt Price (DP/ Editor), Tom Bouthillet (Capt. Paramedic & Cardiology Blogger) and myself and our goal was to learn what they were doing to improve cardiac arrest and heart attack survivals rates. After a few months of planning we knew the main people we wanted to talk to, but we wanted to experience the system from the boots on the ground all the way up to the key opinion leaders. We had unprecedented access to their system and in the end our customer Physio Control was the one that gained the valuable insight into their customer Wake County EMS. In an interview with the EMS Medical Director Dr. Brent Myers he made the comment “We just did this day after day and we have never had a chance to reflect on why it was effective medicine”. For those interested in seeing episodes of this ground breaking web series #CodeSTEMI you can view it here CodeSTEMI Documentary Web Series.
I realized for Physio Control multiple versions of content both short, medium and some long format content would be an effective way to share the content we were able to acquire would be a much wiser investment in terms of content marketing.