Your business, your video

Part 2 of our series on video marketing

Last time we gave you a whistlestop tour of why video marketing is important for your business; hopefully demonstrating that video can do all sorts of useful things, from building trust to boosting SEO.

So far, so good. But unfortunately getting the concept isn’t always enough. To really make a success of video marketing you need to have some idea of what you’re hoping to achieve. And you need to see yourself as an integral part of the process (you or some other lucky soul who you’ve delegated the task to...). After all, it’s your video and your business.

Your producer isn’t a psychic

The greatest hurdle to the creative process is any business owner/marketing exec/development manager, who greets an attempt at vision with “I don’t know, that’s what I hired you for.” Wrong.

Videographers are talented on many levels, but none of them claim to be psychics (well, none that we’ve met anyway), so it’s vital that you talk to your producer about your business and what you’re looking for. Think about:

The purpose of the video – are you trying to inform or sell?

Your key messages – these could be your key business messages if you’re providing an overview of the business, or they could be messages relating to a particular product promotion.

Know who you expect your audience to be – if you’re targeting children the feel will be very different to a corporate video for a bunch of suits.

Your vision – yes yours, you’re a creative person too. When you think of your video, what do you see? That could be everything from who’s in it, to the kind of music or voiceovers you want to include. Watch some videos on youtube to see the kind of things that you like (and don’t like too).

Props – which materials and people do you have at your disposal? Can the video be shot at your offices? The more physical props you have for your video, the easier it will be to put something together that truly reflects your business.

Make time

Doubtless your new video is item number 250 on your priority list, behind chasing up invoices, returning client calls and well, let’s be frank, making the tea. Marketing tasks are sinfully easy to push to the bottom of the pile, so schedule some time to think about all of the above. Then schedule more time to talk to your producer.

There are various stages to the video production process, so discuss these in advance with your producer, to make sure you know what the expectations will be on your time.

Be realistic

This isn’t Hollywood and unless you’ve paid upwards of £50,000 for your video, Keira Knightley won’t be walking through the door.

We’re not saying this to be mean, in the same way that your gym teacher wasn’t trying to be mean when she explained that maybe you’re not the next Paula Radcliffe.

Sometimes it just helps to be realistic about what’s going to happen, so you can prepare appropriately and make the best of what you’ve got.

The good news is that great things can be done on a limited budget and video doesn’t have to be super fancy to be wonderfully effective. So when your producer tells you that flying angels won’t work within your budget, don’t be disheartened. There’ll be plenty of other, less budget-breaking shots that will still say fabulous things about your business. The best of which could be you (yes, really) standing up and talking for 20 seconds about your business.

There’s nothing more credible than that.

Question your producer

However talented your producer may be, he may well have some ideas that conflict with your brand, or for whatever reason don’t quite sit well with you. We already know that your producer isn’t a psychic, but nor is he god. Not everything he suggests will necessarily be right for your business, so it’s better to speak up now (before you show it to the rest of the business and everyone faints in shock at the content “But you know we don’t do naked Fridays...”) when you’ve still got a chance to make it right.

Leave things till post-production and you could be looking at escalating costs.

Less is more

Long business videos are criminally ineffective for video marketing. Lengthy showreels of 5 minutes or more are an indulgence, pure and simple. The web is the most competitive place to be, so give your viewers any reason to switch off and they will.

Most people won’t find your business interesting unless you give them a very condensed, impactful experience. Show them the highlights; give them the trailer version; and they’re more likely to contact you to see the whole film.*

Want to find out more about video?

Why not have a look at our video services page and see what video packages we have available for you?

*You got that metaphor right?

About the author - Rosie Heptonstall

Rosie is the marketing manager for Clever Business Websites and is very glad that her colleagues have never been successful in their campaign for naked Fridays.