Creating videos is easier when you keep to a process.
Attention and engagement is harder to achieve than ever before. For marketers, this is a big challenge.
We recently ranked the 3 must-have content types in 2017, and videos came in first for effectiveness. This is because visual content is more important than ever.
Every day, over 3 billion images are shared on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp. On Facebook, 9 billion videos are shared every day; on Snapchat, 10 billion daily and on Instagram, video content continues to increase at impressive rates.
In order to create great videos, we need to keep to a process.
So, what is the video creation process?
The Big Idea:
A great video needs a great idea. And great ideas need inspiration...
There are a number of ways to gain inspiration about about creating a new video. A good way to start is by asking yourself: what is the purpose of the video? And who is the video for?
Are you creating the video to teach your customers how to use a product, promote a new service or answer common questions? Choose one topic and keep the idea simple.
If you are still in a creative slump, ask yourself these questions:
What’s one problem you solve almost every day?
What’s one question your customers keep asking you?
What’s one thing your customer’s don’t understand about your business?
Once you have a clear purpose for the video - set at least one goal. Your goal could be about increasing brand awareness, increasing traffic to your site, improving sales etc. Be specific and set an end date. This will help keep you and your team motivated, on task and make monitoring progress easier.
Now that you have your purpose, decide who you are making the video for? Just like with all your content, your personas should drive the video creation process. They are the people that are going to be watching your video so keep them in mind throughout the creation process.
You now know why you are creating the video and who it is for. Now you must come up with an initial concept. This is where you bring your idea to life. Start scribbling and get your fuzzy ideas out of your head and onto paper. Doodling has actually been proven to increase creativity, so have fun with it!
Now you have an initial concept, we move onto the next stage of the process.
Planning is arguably the most important part of the whole shebang... Things to consider:
How will you communicate your message and why? Remember, your message is for your chosen personas. Why will they watch and engage with your video? Your creative strategy and personas should drive the entire process.
Strategy Tip: Ask yourself throughout the creation process: how will this video achieve my marketing goals?
Outline your budget. Big or small it’s not the be-all, end-all. Quality content and relevant messagingcan overcome the barriers of a tight budget.
Will you need a script? Most videos do. Your script must be able to resonate with your audience. No one likes to be talked to. Talk with your audience – about them, like them; what they like, what they don’t. Think about your video like a two-way conversation. How will you get your personas to respond?
No matter the type of video, we highly recommend that you create a storyboard. This doesn’t have to be a formal document with pretty diagrams and perfectly worded annotations... It could be as simple as an A3 booklet with stick figures and basic outlines of each shot.
What equipment assets will you need? In an ideal world, you would have a large budget and the best of equipment to play with. However, this is not always the case. The good news is that you don’t need the top-of-the-line equipment to make a great video.
At an absolute minimum, your personas need to be able to hear what you are saying and not be bothered by a shadowy picture. If you need to keep track of a lot of equipment assets, we recommend you use an equipment checklist.
Who do you need to make it happen? Do you need a script writer? Videographer? Director? Animator? Editor? Or will you do it all yourself?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the whole thing: this is quite natural - it may be worthwhile to outsource the video to a specialist video agency.
Location, location, location
Do you need different locations for filming? If you are filming in a public place, you may need to seek out approval from a local governing council. It’s also worth noting, if you use members of the general public in your video, you may need their written consent beforehand.
Planning over, now the really fun stuff begins. By now, you will have an idea, an audience and a creative strategy. The question is: how do you translate all of this into a great video? Content vs contextis the key to great content, and videos are no different. Your videos need to be created with your persona’s buyer stage in mind. This is to ensure that your videos are watched by the right people at the right time.
Get out your storyboard and let’s get started.
Prepare and tick off your equipment and let’s head to the filming location. If you are using a professional videographer, they will hopefully have their own tripod, lighting and sound equipment. If not, consider hiring equipment for the day.
Lighting Tip: always keep the light in front of you, not behind.
Lights, camera, action.
Make sure you record every sequence more than once, even if you were really happy with the first take. This will avoid any potential retakes.
Even if you are creating an interview-like video, it is a great idea to break up the video with other footage. Think up some interesting footage that you could take on the day and film it. Not only can it make your video more engaging but it can also replace any faulty footage.
Naturally, animated video has very different requirements. There is no reason why you can’t use both animation and real footage in the same video. Do whatever makes the most sense for conveying your message to your audience.
There are a number of animation software options available. Some of these tools are more sophisticated than others. If this is your first time, consider outsourcing or using tools with ready-made animations.
You may also need to use stock footage or graphics. There are a number of databases available; some of which are free. Always check the licensing before you use any material that you didn’t produce yourself.
If you have talented writers or jokesters' amongst your team, humour is a great way to engage with any audience. It is highly recommended that you test the use of humour before you release the finished product. What your team finds hilarious isn’t necessary what your personas will enjoy...
Your video may require narration. Find someone who reflects your brand, speaks clearly and with volume. The next step is to find a room without an echo. This might be common sense but don’t attempt sound recording outside. You may not realise it at the time, but cameras can pick up the slightest sounds of the wind, or leaves rustling.
The 6 Commandments of Filming:
1) Thou shall use good lighting!
2) Thou shalt not film at bad locations!
3) Thou shall film using correct camera angles!
4) Thou shalt not have a shaky camera!
5) Thou shall zoom only when absolutely necessary!
6) Thou shalt not have poor audio!
If you don’t have someone who is confident behind a camera, we highly recommend that you hire someone that is!
Editing your creation:
Considered by many as the cream of the crop of the editing world, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier are considered to be the best editing software going around. However, there are plenty of other options that can still do the job to a good standard.
Music is a powerful way to set the mood, energy and emotion in any video. So be very deliberate about what music you decide to include. You might also choose to add sound effects to your video in order to add emphasis to certain points, but don’t go overboard with it. Using too many effects or annoying sounds could detract from your overall message.
Another great way to evoke emotion from your audience is by the use of storytelling. We’ve all seen this in action; here are some great examples of commercial videos that pull on the heart strings. Content that evokes the human emotions will make your video more memorable and it is also a powerful way to make your personas feel favourably towards your brand.
There is no right or wrong answer with your video’s length. Having said that, attention spans have decreased so keep your video succinct and always include your best content in the first 30 seconds. Unless you are bursting with enthralling content, keep your video between 1 and 5 minutes long.
Don’t worry so much about creating an overly polished video. There are advantages to producing less ‘refined’ videos. People prefer relatable, authentic and trustworthy messages rather than overly corporate videos. However, that doesn’t excuse sloppy execution...
Publishing your creation:
Great work, you created a video! Now you need to decide how best to deliver your video to your personas. Which channels are you going to use? When are you going to publish your video? What is your strategy going forward? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once you’ve created a great video, it will go viral and all your business objectives will come true... You are dreaming.
What you need is a clear video distribution strategy. Firstly, optimise your video for SEO. Secondly, include a relevant CTA together with your video. No matter your marketing goal; a video without a CTA is a waste. Lastly, create a plan for how you will promote your video, when you promote it and to whom.
Publishing Tip: Don’t just create your video, publish it once and forget about it. Consider releasing your video in shorter snippets and re-purposing it for different platforms and audiences. In this way, you can reuse the same content in new and novel ways.
Key Points: How to make a great marketing video.
1) Important Question: How will this video help me achieve my marketing objectives?
2) Include humour if possible
3) Evoke emotion
4) Keep the video succinct
5) Include a relevant CTA
Want to learn how video combined with marketing automation can help you generate, nurture and convert leads into customers? Download our free guide to find out how: