Too often video production is done on a whim. You know you’ve heard everyone talk about how important it is to have video on your website or adding it to your marketing mix so you decide to do a video.
The problem then is that it is done on the run, with inadequate thought and equipment. “Quality” is the key word here, not necessarily expense. Surely we all know that quality and cost have an strange relationship. Cost does not guarantee quality and quality does not always cost the earth.
So here are five key signposts on the road to a good production.
What is it you are trying to say and who are you trying to reach? Don’t settle for having it all in your head. Write down your ideas. Refine them. Hone them. Know what it is you are looking to achieve and how you think you can achieve it. Doesn’t mean it is set in stone or that it cannot evolve but a brief, a structure from which to work is vital.
How are we going to communicate our message? Is going to be serious, funny, instructional? Do not be tempted into thinking we’ll just use what we already have written. A video is not a moving brochure it is a different medium and the script should reflect this.
Make the most of experienced and talented people. Having all the gear is not an indicator of talent, having Word on your computer does not make you a best selling author. Look for a good portfolio of work. Trust a producer who can get you the right voiceover and on camera talent. What’s his name from accounts probably isn’t the right choice. (If you are what’s his name from accounts and you are truly talented then leave accounts)
More videos are ruined by bad sound than anything else. Get someone who knows how to get good sound and how to enhance it in post production.
5. Remember, it’s a visual medium
Cameras are great. They do enable you to just point and shoot but please don’t choose someone who just points and shoots. Choose an artisan who wants to create great production for you.
Once again my eyes have been assaulted by claims that this, that and the other has become a viral hit on the internet.
On closer investigation I discovered they didn’t really go viral. At best they were shared a good number of times but not really viral. Viral suggests reaching an audience way beyond your intended one. Let’s face it having millions of people viewing your video, post or photograph must be brilliant but in reality what does it achieve? A million YouTube views. All that means is one million people clicked play. They may have clicked off after 3 seconds, got distracted and just not paid any real attention to the content anyway.
I am not saying numbers are unimportant but that they might not be as important as we think they are.
Maybe we need to examine them a bit more. If you make a video of a friends birthday party and post it to FB and everyone of your 600 friends on the platform viewed it, then you can say your video was a success. It reached everyone of your intended audience. Beyond your Facebook friends your video has no audience.Maybe we need to re-examine what we deem success in the social media world. Huge audiences does not necessarily imply huge engagement.We need to define our audience better and assess the success of the video or campaign, not by how many random people have watched it, but by the engagement it generated with our intended audience. At a recent Charity Comms event Joe Hall, online campaigns and communications manager, The Climate Coalition/ founder, Woo Hoo Yeah Yeah! shared this slide.
It shows an event was trending, surely a success, but the sharing was only amongst activists. As the next slide showed everyone else was unaware.
Numbers only tell a part of the story. It seems to me having plenty of committed activists engaged with your message is much better than a large mildly interested one.
How you define your audience is up to you but define it and reach it you must. Viral isn’t everything engagement on the other hand.
There are people who believe that uploading a video to YouTube is all they have to do. It’s there, soon millions will be flocking to view my creation. Well no. In fact if you want to hide a video I think simply uploading it to YouTube is probably the best thing you can do. It will easily crouch down behind all the other videos and hide from any potential viewers. Here are the Top Ten mistakes people make with YoutTube.
Optimisation: Not optimising your YouTube title
The title tag of a YouTube video is one of the main ranking factors on the site. Give it some thought. I have seen videos with the title Final Edit number three. It tells me whoever has uploaded the video has been lazy but it also tells me nothing about the production’s content. Work hard on that title.
Description: Not adding a description
YouTube provides a Description field so that you can give your potential viewers an idea of what they are about to watch, and provide further information if needed.
Links: No links to your site or landing page
Link to a landing page or a page on your site to take people on in the sales/promotion journey.
Tags: Fail to tag your video or select the correct category
Tagging helps users find your video. It gives YouTube the right information to categorise your video so getting this right is really important. Research similar videos to see what tags are being used.
Thumbnail: Use the worst thumbnail you can pick
A colourful, relevant thumbnail acts as an advertisement for your video, so make sure you pick the one that reflects the content. YouTube will pick one for you if you don’t so use the custom thumbnail option and pick your own.
Subtitles: Fail to use subtitles (closed captions)
There are millions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing and rely on subtitles to engage with your content.
Comments: Turning off comments and not engaging with anyone
Why create content and not engage with the viewers? Yes you might get the odd spammer or troll but you can deal with that.
Playlists: Don’t add your video to a playlist
Playlists help YouTube determine the relevancy of your content. A long term video strategy will have playlists, tags and optimisation at its heart.
Social Media: Fail to use social media
Just uploading to YouTube will not get your video seen or improve it’s visibility. You need to use the full breadth of social media to promote your video and bring it to the attention of your prospective viewers.
Embracing video as part of a marketing strategy is the next big thing for brands who hold an online presence, according to industry experts. Companies are now rushing to become video-savvy and offer an online video strategy that will help to drive traffic, engage customers and ultimately lead to sales. The key is not to make a video but to make an investment. A financial investment but a strategic, purpose driven emotional investment.
Here a five compelling facts why you should.
Video’s widespread use. Check out these stats.
The average YouTube viewer watches 261 minute per month
500 tweets every minute contain web video
More than 50% of social media videos are commented on
68% of online video viewers share video links
53% more likely to get a first page Google result with web video on your homepage
A video improves your chance of a first page Google ranking by 53% (Forrester)
Mobile Video use is exploding. According to some reports a ten fold increase in the last year. YouTube mobile is now available on over 350 million devices and growing.
According to a recent Forbes Insight study, 59% of C-Level decision makers prefer watching online video to reading text because it helps them make deeper connections and better understand a company’s product or service
Including a video in an online press release increases views by 77% according to PR Newswire.
If that’s not enough to persuade watch this video by Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist. He discusses how pictures, videos and images help us understand the universe. The power of video IS the power of the mind! He touched upon the human brain and power it holds.