When it comes to things that consumers consume, video is #1. YouTube is the #2 search site behind Google and racks up more searches in a month than all the other search engines combined (except Google). If you want to position your brand as an authority, connect with your customers, and show your company in its best light, video is the tool for you.
Meet Your Competition: Every other Video
There’s one problem with video. Yes, people love to watch it. But do you know what people don’t want to watch? Bad videos. Sure, people consume mindless content on social media when they’re bored at work. But that’s not a good bar to aim for.
If you want to put effective video content in front of your audience, your first step is to take a look at what else is out there in your industry or market. For example, if a band wants to attract more bookings, it won’t do much good to put out a string of videos with poor sound, lighting, and editing. Promoters will simply skip over the video in seconds and move on to content that looks and sounds more professional. Guess who gets the gig?
So before you start planning your video needs, take a look at what else is out there in your space. What if all the other video content produced by your competition is crappy? Well, then you have a tremendous opportunity in front of you.
What Makes a ‘Good’ Video?
A ‘good’ video is one that shows your brand in its best light. To do this, a video needs to accomplish several goals:
- Keeps the audience engaged.
- Encourages customers to act.
- Enhances your relationship with customers.
- Positions your brand as an authority.
How Can You Use Video to Increase Leads and Sales?
Video is a diverse medium and can accomplish just about any goal you set out to chase.
- Show off products. It doesn’t matter if you make industrial machines or if you sell houses. Nothing can show off your offering like a video. Professional photography is a close second, but still second.
- Bring personality to your company. Want customers to feel like your sales staff are old friends? Want to tell your company’s story? Video can put these initiatives to life.
- Explain a product. Video is the how-to king. Video can take a complex subject and break it down into easily digestible bites. You can show and explain at the same time.
- Provide a powerful SEO boost. Whether used as a blog component or general brand awareness, video content can lend credibility to your site and dramatically increase customer engagement.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a “sales” video to sell your product or service. There are unlimited creative ways to showcase your brand. In fact, it’s important to get creative to avoid becoming lost in the sea of other content out there.
The True Cost of Video
Keep in mind that your videos will have to compete with every other video available to your customers—especially if you’re going to post them to public platforms like YouTube. And even if you’re just creating in-house training videos, you’ll still have to compete against other distractions for your audience’s attention.
This is why professional videography is an essential tool. Sure—it takes money to hire a professional videographer. But the cost of going it alone and churning out forgettable or cringeworthy content is much higher.
In the long run, professional videography can pay for itself because you’ll actually see results.
How to Keep Video Costs in Check
So you want to invest in professional videography? Great. Here’s what you need to do to make sure your costs don’t soar too high.
Work with the Right Videographer
In our experience, it’s the work that happens before shooting day that makes the biggest difference in the quality of your video. Yes, you need the technical and creative capabilities to do the actual filming, but a video’s success or failure often hinges on the initial planning work. When we work with a client to produce a video (or series of videos) there’s a lot of back-and-forth that goes on before we even start thinking about scheduling a shoot. When discussing plans for a video project, we like to cover these basics early on in the process:
- Video purpose. What does your video have to accomplish?
- Video scope. What are we covering? If we’re filming for a training program, for example, we’ll need to know how the video fits into the overall curriculum to be sure we’re covering the bases.
- Brand identity. If we haven’t worked with your company before, we need to have a clear picture of your brand in order to make the right creative calls.
- Budget. Yes, money matters. And yes, a video project needs to stay in budget just like everything else. Clarity here helps us communicate clearly with clients about what is possible—and not possible—within a certain budget.
- Talent. Who’s featured on camera? We’re used to not working with stage and Hollywood veterans. We have experience coaching folks to look mostly comfortable on camera and we can also provide a teleprompter. Multiple takes and professional editing can save the day here.
Tap the Right Talent
Who will your video feature? We’re used to not working with stage and Hollywood veterans. We have experience coaching folks to look mostly comfortable in front of the camera. And we usually come prepared with a teleprompted script unless someone has proven that he or she can wing the content without help. Multiple takes and professional editing can also save the day in post production. However, if someone is simply not comfortable being your spokesperson, we can rack up a significant amount of extra time on a shoot. Don’t volunteer someone to be your company’s talking head when that person would rather stay behind the scenes. In these cases, it’s almost always better to hire talent.
Limit Special Effects
Giant CGI monsters. Text running across the screen. Cartoons. We’re not big on special effects and excessive post production. Generally, we prefer to plan videos so that the video is the best part of the video. However, on occasion, animations and other effects can help drive your point home. So use them wisely.
Understand Major Cost Influencers
Other than talent and special effects, there are several other factors that influence the final cost of a video.
- Number of trips/days to shoot.
- Number of videos needed.
- Length of finished video(s).
- Standard horizontal format or multiple crops.
- Equipment involved. Are we setting up a whole set?
- Drone use.
- Planning. The more planning up front, the less time we’ll spend on set. No investment in planning? Then plan on chaos and higher expenses!
During the planning process, as we work to understand your goals and brand, we’ll come up with a plan to shoot your content as efficiently as possible and stay within your budget.
Remember That Engagement is #1
One way to reduce the cost of video is to create videos that produce results. And to get results, you have to deliver engaging content to your audience. If a video drives sales, you’ll see ROI that can far surpass your initial investment. If your video (or video series) is forgettable, rough, and unorganized, you won’t see a good return on your investment, even if your initial spend was lower.
How many views do you need for your video to be a success?
There’s no hard or fast rule here. One of our clients was able to acquire several new clients after only a few hundred views. Other videos we’ve produced have garnered hundreds of thousands of views and generated brand awareness (and sales) across the United States. The question is: What actions are viewers taking? This is why it’s critical to have a clear picture of your video’s purpose and scope before the actual shooting begins. A good video can’t be just about racking up views: It has to inspire people to take action.
Discover What Professional Videography Has in Store for Your Brand
Embarking on a video project? Contact Lead Marketing & Design if you want to leverage this powerful tool for your brand.