A continuing trend in content marketing is the popularity of video as a form of content. Every day billions of views are generated on Youtube alone, with people watching millions of hours of content throughout their day.
That’s a huge opportunity for marketers, but many of us get caught up in deciding on what equipment to use to produce our videos.
Although you shouldn’t just grab an iPhone and call yourself Roger Deakins, as long as your video is stable and well lit and your audio sounds good, you’re pretty well set to film a marketing video.
High end equipment of course makes a difference to your final product, but it isn’t as important to the video production process as good communication.
If you don’t get the right amount of feedback from the right people at the right times, then it doesn’t matter how good the quality of the video is. To get the video out without wasting loads of time and effort, it’s truly key to have great communication from the get-go.
5 Tips For Successful Marketing Video Production
Success can be very subjective when it comes to adding video production to your process. Let’s start with what really worked well for us when we began incorporating video into our team.
These 5 tips are what made our addition of video production a success:
- Creating a backlog
- Have fun
- Not releasing until ready
- Pre-Production is key
- Take your time
- Create A Backlog
When putting out any type of new content it is always important to start with having plenty of content done before releasing any. I found this to be especially true with video.
We started by creating a backlog of scripts for our videos, then went through and shot/edited all of those scripts. This meant creating 15 videos before releasing the first video.
Although this created some stress at times along the way of creating these videos, the stress that it relieves for the releasing of videos and future production of more videos makes it well worthwhile.
Have Fun Making The Videos
Sure having fun doing anything will make the whole process better, but in the case of making videos, there are specific benefits to making it fun. The biggest benefit is that it will always show in the final product.
Having a fun shooting environment will lead to your talent being more relaxed and looking genuinely happy. The other major benefit is that making the process fun will help keep everyone from getting burnt out.
It’s amazing how fast people get burnt out on creating videos once they find out just how much time and work goes into making even the shortest videos.
Don’t Release Your Videos Until They’re Ready
This connects back to the idea of creating a backlog. Whether you are releasing one video or are starting a video series, do not release a single video until you are 100% (or as close to 100%) ready to actually release it.
This means that you have backup content ready for following weeks for video series, but most importantly, you have a release strategy figured out.
- What day or time will you be releasing the videos?
- Where will they be released?
- What is your goal for the videos?
- How will you track it?
These are all questions that should be asked up front.
Experienced video marketers might say that all these things are obvious, but they are easily overlooked for those new to creating video that are just excited to start getting their videos out to the world.
Pre-Production Is Key
Creating a good video takes a lot of different aspects coming together in a way that simply cannot be improvised. Ask anybody in the video production world about pre-production and they will tell you it is beyond important.
You have to create great lighting, great sound, know camera placement/movements, actors, scene locations, etc. Trying to figure out all of this on the day of production is a slippery slope to failure.
When writing scripts, create a spreadsheet so you can plan every shot, list every location, draw set diagrams, and possibly storyboard your shots.
Do whatever it takes to make sure that you are fully prepared for production.
Take Your Time
Rushing through anything will lead to lower quality.
Whether it’s pre-production, production, or postproduction, don’t rush through any aspect of the video production process.
When rushed it is really easy to miss important details, like a line of voiceover that you need to record, or a shot that was really important to making a cutaway funny.
5 Things To Avoid During Marketing Video Production
Okay now for the not so fun part: looking retrospectively and finding what we didn’t do so well at.
These 5 things are what I found didn’t work quite as well for creating a successful process:
- Getting too little feedback
- Lack of hard deadlines
- Lack of communication
- Getting too involved at the wrong times
- Reinvent the wheel
- Getting Too Little Feedback
This was the biggest headache that I ran into during this whole process. When you don’t get enough feedback at the right times it leads to redoing a lot of work.
What I found was that everyone that was supposed to be involved with the videos was guilty of this, including myself. Make sure that when you are creating videos that you get feedback from the stakeholders on the project throughout the whole process.
They should approve scripts, view rough cuts, and approve final cuts. This means that you need to go to them and get this feedback, don’t expect them to come to you.
But this also means that stakeholders need to hold up their end and give this feedback when it is asked for. So this might mean that you will need to follow up with them until you get the feedback you need.
Don’t move forward without knowing that you have the approval needed so that you won’t have to go back to square one.
Lack Of Hard Deadlines
This can be true for any type of project. It is hard for things to get done if there isn’t a hard deadline put into place.
What I am referring to by a hard deadline is not only saying that something needs to be done by a specific date, but then following up to make sure it was done. When starting a video series that will have weekly videos posted, this means that you have to create one video per week.
If you say that you need a script done by a certain day, it needs to be done that day. If you say that a final cut needs to be ready to upload by a certain day, well you get my drift.
Putting hard deadlines into place for everyone involved with the process is essential to creating a good flow in your production process.
Lack Of Communication
Communication is key, say it once, say it a million times, and it will still get overlooked by the best of teams. I am guilty of this more often than I would like to admit.
I have a habit of telling people something once, like shooting schedules, then I don’t follow up with them to either remind them or give them the information on paper.
Having clear communication is essential to making sure that video production goes smoothly.
Make sure that everyone involved knows what they need to have done, when they need it done by, and where they will need to be when and for how long.
Getting Too Involved At The Wrong Time
This is one that I had run into many times before on video productions that I have been involved with, but we only ran into minimally while adding video production into our process.
This one generally happens the same way every time.
Someone starts out minimally involved with the production process at the beginning.
Then, once a process has been established, jumps in and wants to be involved with everything and has all of these ideas for changes that they want done that will not fit in with the production that you are working on.
An example that I first learned this lesson from was actually back in college when my professor would approve my story, then once I had shot everything and began editing he would want the story completely changed.
This is not a good way to make any production work.
Make sure from the beginning that everyone involved understands the process and what their role is in the process. If they want to be super involved in the process, they need to be from the beginning not in the middle or at the end.
Reinvent The Wheel
This is simple but important. Video production as a process may be new to your team, but the process for successfully creating videos is nothing new. It is tried and true and readily available to be learned from infinite resources.
You start with pre-production, move into production, then take the video into postproduction.
The steps within these stages in production also remain generally the same, with minor changes depending on preferences of the Producers, Director, Director of Photography (or Cinematographer) and the Editor.
In many cases, such as ours, all of those positions are held by a single person when doing videos internally for one’s company. This makes it actually relatively easy to establish a process as only one person has to agree on the process that works best for them.
Following the standard video production process is fine, your team doesn’t need to create their own version.
Getting Your Video Marketing Off on the Right Foot
Adding video production into our team’s repertoire was an exciting, stressful, but still fun endeavor overall. Many lessons were learned, new skills were taught and it has overall been a very beneficial move for our team.
The biggest takeaway that I got from the entire experience has been that communication overall was the most important tool in the entire process.
Whether we were missing communication, or “over-communicating” to make sure something went right, all of our successes or failures seemed to come back to communication.