So you want to make a video, but what is your business objective?
This is where it all begins. This is the reason you’re doing the video and is what you want to achieve. Despite so often being overlooked, you simply CANNOT start building the overarching message of your video until you understand the business motivation behind it.
“Everyone else is doing it.”
“I saw this cool video and want to do one.”
“I need something that’ll go viral.”
These are not business goals.
- Are you driving engagement through a social channel?
- Reaching out to a new audience?
- Demonstrating a product?
- Articulating a new brand direction to an established audience?
These are business goals. They have a verifiable and measurable effect on a business.
If you haven’t figured out this step, save your money…don’t do a video.
I can hear my colleagues shouting at the screen now as some people might disagree with me on that. But if we can’t establish with a client the fundamental business goal of a piece of work, we’re all going to get it wrong and the client will not be happy and won’t come back.
Making sure the audience will get it.
Once you know what you want to achieve and you have that ‘business goal’ clarified the next and most important and indeed, challenging step is the time to craft a message for your target audience that will support and/or achieve that business goal.
Video production budgets will generally only put a very small amount of time and budget into this essential part of the process.
Working with a client is key to achieve parity of thought on this. Often companies don’t understand their audience or customer base as much as they’d really like to. It’s our job as creative agencies to come up with a message that will resonate with that audience and drive their behavior to meet your objective.
It’s about creating a message audiences will believe, that will get them to take that necessary next step in your sales process.
What do you show?
This stage is traditionally referred to as pre-production. This is where the value truly lies in great video production. The technical skills of production; lighting, composition, editing etc. are everywhere now because of the great resources available (cheap kit and online training). You cannot differentiate with these skills. You’ve got do it in the concept and creative direction.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to achieve and the messaging to get you there, the next step is working out what to show.
During this process, you’ll produce your storyboard and script. You’ll deliberate and refine the creative direction. You’ll establish whether it’s live action or animated? Do you need a voiceover? What music is appropriate? Do you need a presenter? And a whole bunch of other factors that need to be considered.
This step is all about applied creative. Crafting a creative direction with a business objective in mind is serious work. If you can get your audience to engage with that message emotionally, you’ve nailed it.
Make it happen.
This is where it all comes together. Whether you’re shooting a live action piece or producing an animation this is the point where you take the commercial direction, messaging and creative development, and craft something will connect with your audience and drive a reaction to your message.
This step in the process is generally referred to as editing, not only in the video industry but by many other creative and media industries. Simply put this is where you further hone your video into something lean and taut that conveys your message without anything sneaking in that could be considered unsupportive of the core narrative.
It was William Faulkner who first coined the phrase, “…you must kill your darlings.” In video production terms, this refers to the process of letting go, of something you may hold dear but which is ultimately superfluous. Maybe it was an idea you came up with; a line of dialogue or a shot in the video, but if this element doesn’t support the narrative in the strongest way, you should consider leaving it on the cutting room floor.
Publish and measure.
You have your crafted piece of content. Fresh out of the oven, ready for the world. Now you must watch it grow and learn from the process. Simply putting it on Youtube and watching what happens is not going to do anything for you apart from it getting lost amongst the cat videos, Carpool Karaoke and PewDiePie.
Targeting your audience by understanding how and where they will watch this video is key. There are so many ways of sharing and getting people to engage with it. Track the feedback you are getting and the amount of traffic that’s flowing into your website. Work out what’s working and what isn’t. As with anything, you need to constantly test to get the best results.
To that all important first step, what were you trying to achieve? Are you hitting that target? If not, then what can you do to review and refine?
Think about how you attributing your video content – is it reaching the right people? If so, but they are not engaging, is it the message?
Video marketing means planning, creating and reviewing. Understand this and you are taking the first step to ensure your video makes business sense, and delivers.
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