Shawn Arora – founder of LaunchSpark Video – notices that with the explosion of explainer videos, startups and other businesses are starting to feel like they’re getting left in the dust without one. They just want to scratch “video” off their to-do list and move on. This phenomenon goes far beyond explainer video: Nielsen claims 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future. You will think that is great news for video content producers (like us at CROP THE BLOCK)? Well, maybe it’s not…
Most marketers now have a good understanding that online video can bring a lot to their business, which is a good thing: video actually is an extremely powerful storytelling medium.
But exploring the field without actual messages to share and goals to reach can lead to a big waste of resources, namely time and money, for everyone.
And this potential nightmare scenario can often be predicted. If you as a marketer happen to think
- “It’s time to go and shoot video content now!”
- “All our competitors are doing it, we need to start tomorrow!”
- “Our video will go viral, we will hit a million views, it will increase brand awareness, online transformation rate and sales at the same time!”
- “This guy owns a nice camera: he will do the job.”
Then you should perhaps think twice and NOT go for it now.
Probably it’s just too early.
The craze for online video content indeed shouldn’t make you think of it as some kind of magic wand. From our experience a “let’s-do-it-and-see-what-happens” approach leads to vague message, poor creative concept, long post-production processes, etc and is thus most of the time counterproductive.
Don’t misunderstand us: video is great but not for the sake of it. We might be stating the obvious but in the end it’s just a medium. Don’t give in to the hype about it.
Instead ask how it gets your audience interested and what it really accomplishes for your brand. Shawn Arora suggests that marketers should shift their perspective and regard video as investment rather than as commodity. This appears indeed as a much more constructive approach.
So what are the first required steps then?
- TALK WITH YOUR TEAM Bring together people who are somehow involved in the topic or – why not – simply interested in it. At this step, it’s very important to remain open to new ideas and suggestions. Marketers are very busy people who need to deliver results fast but this is actually crucial for any video project. If everyone in your team feels involved from the very beginning then magic happens and everything is much smoother later on.
- MAKE SOME (REAL) CHOICES Once you have gathered ideas, next step is to properly define your message and goals and to make sure everyone in house agrees on them. This is not the easiest part as choices mean sacrifices. But again it is highly necessary. For instance if you decide to go for inspirational content to drive brand awareness do not expect it to increase conversion rates on your website, etc.
- WRITE DOWN YOUR BRIEF Writing down stuff helps to make them crystal clear. In case you haven’t been deeply enough into selection step you will realize it before it is too late.
- GET SOME HELP Obviously agencies as well as integrated production companies are here to help. Before creation starts, strategic advice is part of their job and, well, at least the good ones are doing great at it. Best thing if you can is to meet people in person, to judge whether they are actually listening to you and understanding your business. Be careful in particular when directly picking up a filmmaker: he or she might do awesome videos but if he or she doesn’t understand your marketing goals, even the nicest-looking video ever will have very little impact.
Well, that’s pretty much it. Hope this helps. And of course if you have any comment, feedback from your own experience or additional tip to share, please do.
Adrien Degouve | co-founder @ CROP THE BLOCK
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