Look, everyone’s doing it. Your competitors, your partners—heck, even your customers are doing it. You’ve been avoiding it, but the time has come for you to jump on the most effective communications platform for your business – video.
So what are you waiting for?
Maybe you’re not sure where to begin. Should your initial toe-dip in the proverbial video pool be a product demo? A training video? A company story film? What should your budget be? You likely have more questions than answers at this point, but follow these steps to start on your way to your first video.
1. DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
Before you do anything, ask yourself: “What goal am I trying to achieve with this video?” Are you trying to find new prospects or generate more sales? Is there a call to action? Does the video need to increase conversion rates for a free offer or joining a mailing list? All the decisions you will make in creating the video are based on this purpose.
2. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE
Is this a team building video for internal employees? An introduction to your product or service intended for potential customers? A financial update for your Board of Directors? These different audiences warrant different approaches both in messaging and production values.
3. HONE YOUR MESSAGE
Define what it is you want your audience to know, feel, or do after watching your video. Focus on that message, and don’t try to fit too many ideas into one video. If you can’t sum up your core message in three or fewer key points, you should whittle away at your core idea until you can.
4. PLAN YOUR SCRIPT
Even if your message is one of fun and informality, you should at the very least have a rough script or shot list in place. Without a general plan, shooting and post-production could run long, which could overrun your budget and leave you with a cutting room floor’s worth of unusable footage. You should also consider who will star in your video: actors, employees, customers? Will you require on-screen graphics, a voice actor, or 3D animations?
5. DEFINE YOUR PRODUCTION VALUE
How much will you need to invest to get the results you are looking for? For instance, is this a casual Facebook video that can be shot on an iPhone or is it a company story that should feel more like a mini-documentary? Consider your audience and what they are worth to you, then come up with realistic budget to make the video. Remember, you don’t have to go this alone. This may be the best time to bring in an expert to help with the nuts and bolts of the shoot so you can concentrate on your message and performance.
6. LIGHTS, CAMERA…
Now comes the fun part. Time to shoot. If you’ve spent enough time and energy in the first five steps, this step really should be fun. You know who you’re speaking to (your audience), what you’re going to say (your message), and how you’re going to say it (your script). Now it comes down to execution. Don’t be nervous, and try to stick to your plan as much as you can. Sure, you can leave some room for improvisation, but if this is your first stab at this, do your best to stay focused.
7. MEASURE THE RESULTS
Remember Step 1 where you defined your purpose? Well, now we put that to the test. Did you accomplish your goal? With a wealth of analytics tools available to you, you should be able to quickly start seeing the fruits of your labor. Are your viewers dropping off after the first 15 seconds of your video? Do they watch the full video? Are they engaged enough that they go so far as to leave a comment? Remember: any feedback is good feedback!
THAT’S A WRAP!
OK, you’ve made it through your first video. Take a deep breath. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now it’s time to evaluate. Review the analytics and feedback. What worked? What didn’t? Would you do anything differently next time?
Once you’ve taken the video plunge, realize that this is an ongoing commitment. With your audience now engaged, you need to keep producing content for their consumption. Internal or external, video will become your most effective and impactful communications channel.