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Video Design

Adding Video to Your Marketing Mix? Take a Look at This Guide First

Let’s face it–people love video. According to the report “State of Video Marketing 2022” by Wyzowl, people are watching more video online than ever before. In fact, the amount of online video they watch has nearly doubled since 2018. Video helps to tell your story with the advantage of sight and sound, drives traffic to your website by improving your search rankings, and helps to strengthen your brand. But to many, video can be an overwhelming undertaking, that's why we've developed this guide to video.

Types of Video

Before we get into the video production process, let’s look at some popular types of video. Whether you're producing a video to market a new product or service, or to train new hires, your video production can vary greatly depending on the approach you take.

Here are just a few types of video:

  • Interview: Interview-style videos are a great way to capture client praise, share expertise and build your brand. These videos are typically in a Q&A format and can be shot with one camera or multi-camera. Often these interview clips are mixed with supporting footage in the post-production stage. Sample:

  • Animated: Animated videos help to break down complicated subjects into a fun and entertaining video that anybody can understand. Animated videos can take you places that a camera can’t such as inside the human body or an intricate mechanical part. It’s a great way to run your viewer though software applications, quickly highlighting the main features and screens. Animation comes in many forms, including 3-D, 2-D, typography, and whiteboard. Sample:

  • Live-action: Live-action videos include video shot on-location or in-studio, or the use of stock video. Unlike interview-style videos, live-action videos are generally shot to a pre-produced script, and footage is gathered to help tell the story. Certain videos lend themselves to live action. Plant tours, product demonstrations, or travel videos are all examples of live-action video. Sample:

  • Motion graphics: Motion-graphic videos may incorporate some live footage but are primarily produced in post-production using layered graphics to create dynamic, entertaining videos. Motion graphics often are included within a larger video that has live action and animation. They are a great way to help illustrate complex ideas visually. Sample:

  • Whiteboard: Whiteboard animation is a video style that shows static images being drawn on the screen. Usually narration accompanies the illustrations, educating the viewer about a subject or bringing a story to life. This type of video marketing has exploded in the past 10 years and is often part of a successful marketing plan.

  • How-To: Instruction or how-to videos are a popular way to teach viewers. They usually provide a clear set of steps one can take to accomplish a task or learn a new skill.  According to HubSpot, while about 92% of users are content to watch any type of video, 31% want how-to videos. These videos can help your sales and service teams present your business and solutions to customers in a clear, simple way. Sample:

  • Live Streaming: Live streaming enables you to create and share unedited, raw videos in real time to a target audience. With live streaming, you can engage your customers in immediate and authentic ways. According to bloggingwizard, this effective digital marketing tool grew by 13% in 2021. Vimeo reports that about 80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand than read a blog or a social media post. Sample:

The Process of Video Production

It’s critical that you follow a process when approaching your video production. As the quality of cell phone video has increased more and more, people are shooting video; however, few take the time and steps necessary to ensure success. You wouldn’t dream of starting construction on a home without a blueprint. 

Think of these process steps as your “video blueprint”: 

  • Identify your audience: Determining your target audience is critical when it comes to the messaging and approach you take with the production. A video targeted to incoming college freshmen will most likely have a totally different feel than a video targeting seniors promoting a new retirement community. The script, shots, talent, and editing will all need to speak to that target audience. In addition, you need to consider where the video will be distributed. Will it live on your website, social media, within a presentation, or be broadcast via an email newsletter? We’ll talk more about distribution in our section, “How to Put Your Video to Work for You.”

  • Know your purpose and approach: You probably already know the “purpose” of the video. Are you launching a new product or brand, providing a virtual tour of your plant or maybe it’s a “how-to” video showing your expertise in a certain field? Again, a clear purpose will help guide messaging and approach just as determining the audience does. You can get away with a longer, more detailed “how-to” video because that audience will put in the time to learn something new or important to them. On the other hand, introducing a new product or service needs a quick catch to keep the audience engaged.

  • Choose a video type: You’ll also need to finalize the “type” of video you’re going to create. This will impact the style and tone of your video and it will determine the steps you’ll take in producing the video. We’ve already talked about several different types of video earlier in this guide such as Interview, Animated, Live-Action, Motion Graphics, Whiteboard, How-To, and Live Streaming.

    The types of video can vary greatly in cost and, depending on the application, some of the types will be more suited to different applications and uses. For instance, a whiteboard or animated video would be a great application for a high-energy product launch or quick social media video.

  • Prepare the script: The next step is the creative process and scriptwriting. The script will essentially be the playbook for the video you’re producing. This may require research, interviews with subject matter experts, and lots of input from the team. If your video is going to be driven by interviews, you might have an outline as opposed to a word-for-word script. If the video includes various shots, motion graphics, or animation, you’ll most likely want a tighter script that would be read by a professional voice talent. Often scripts are formatted in two columns with the audio on one side and the corresponding video and graphics on the other. If you really want to get a better picture of the video you’ll be producing, you might storyboard, which visually lays out the scenes in the video.

  • Plan the shoot: For the sake of this article, we’ll assume that we’re producing a video that includes on-location shooting and post-production.

Here are the ways to proceed with a shoot:

  • Select your location: Locations for gathering the various shots for your video need to be planned. Lighting (both natural and artificial), audio and composition all need to be taken into consideration. For example, if you’re shooting the latest piece of equipment on your shop floor and the engineer is taking the viewer through the features, you’ll need to consider factors such as the following: When is the equipment not in production? Is the plant floor quiet enough to hear the speaker? Is there enough lighting in the room or is supplemental lighting needed? These are just some of the things to consider when it comes to on-location shooting.

  • Determine the size of your crew: The complexity of the video will determine the crew size. This may include a production coordinator, videographer, director, lighting/gaffer, audio, grips, and talent. (Note that for smaller or lower-budget shoots, fewer people are taking on more of these duties.) It’s critical to be realistic about how much you can shoot in a day, what it takes to set up and break down equipment for a shot, and how long the travel time is between locations. All this needs to be scheduled beforehand. It can feel like a three-ring circus at times, but it’s critical the right people are in place at the right time to get the most out of your shoot.

  • Use the best lighting: If you’re shooting outdoors, it’s critical to be aware of where the sun is located and if it will be full sun, full clouds, or in-and-out sun. This can change the look of the shot and shadows dramatically. Shooting mid-morning or late day–or during a cloudy day–will help to lessen harsh shadows on your subject. For indoors, you’ll need supplemental lighting. Lighting for video comes in many forms, and how much natural lighting is in the scene, as well as the effect you’re going for, will help determine the types of lights you’ll use.

  • Make sure your audio is clean: One thing that can make a video feel amateurish is poor audio quality. Oftentimes, audio will be recorded from the microphone on the camera, which is designed to pick up all the audio in the room–not just the speaker. This can produce an echo or make the audio seem “cavernous.” When possible, use a lavalier microphone or boom microphone positioned right over the subject you’re shooting. (Don’t make the mistake of getting that boom mic in your shot!) Always consider outside audio sources such as road noise, people talking in the next room, phones ringing, or other noises that can overtake the audio you’re trying to capture. Also, when possible, try to find a carpeted location that will absorb sound and reduce echo better than hard flooring surfaces.

  • Find a good background: Make sure that your background is relevant to the subject of the video and not overly busy or distracting. Don’t shoot into a window or reflective surface as you may see the camera and crew in the shot or the subject will be too dark. When shooting interviews, try to make sure there’s enough room to pull the camera back and take the background out of focus so the viewer is concentrating only on the subject.

  • Use a tripod: While professional video often includes motion, video shot without a tripod often comes across as shaky and distracting. Shooting with a tripod will give your video the stability needed to enable your audience to concentrate on what’s going on in the shot as opposed to the shot itself. If you do want to add motion to your shots, there’s production gear such as dollies, jibs, and sliders, which will add that interest.

  • Prepare the talent: Maybe the talent is your customer, new employee, or you! It’s important to make sure the talent is comfortable with the scene and subject matter. Make sure they also know that there will be several takes, and they can make mistakes–they don’t need to get it right on the first one. If possible, get the script or interview questions to the talent ahead of the shoot so they get comfortable with their responses or statements. If a lot of content is needed to be captured, it might make sense to use a teleprompter, which scrolls the script in front of the camera and can be adjusted for things such as speed and font size to provide a comfortable pace for the talent.

  • Editing/post-production: Once you have all the footage shot, it’s time to head into the editing or post-production stage. This is where you’ll start to see the video coming together as it was scripted or storyboarded earlier in the process. If the video requires a professional voice over, several will be auditioned and one chosen to read the script. Also, in this step, all the footage will be “off-lined” to choose the best clips that will make the cut and be included in the final video. Trimming hours of footage down to what will be minutes of footage in the end can be a lengthy process. In the “on-line” process, footage may be edited with motion graphics, effects, or animation to the voice over to form the first draft, which may go through several rounds of revisions before becoming a final product.  

How to Put Your Video to Work for You

You don’t want to wait until your video is produced to figure out how you’re going to use it or market it. These conversations need to happen at the beginning of the process so you can produce a video that works for the outlet you’re using it on. Are you thinking of using video for a YouTube pre-roll campaign? These videos need to be a certain length–typically 15 or 30 seconds–to work within the platform. If you’re creating a how-to or training video, you can get away with a longer video since your audience is looking for this content and they’re highly interested in getting their questions answered. 

Here are various ways you can get your video to your target audience. 

  • On your website: Incorporating video within your website has many incredible benefits, including the following:

    Engagement: Videos keep users on your site longer, and the longer they’re there, the more likely they are to find something they like and act upon.

    Meet the team: People do business with people they know and like. Video allows you to pull back the curtain and provide personality and likeability to your business.

    Great for SEO: With YouTube owned by Google, you have endless opportunities to optimize your videos to increase your chances of being found within search engines.

    Meet your customers where they are
    : If your website visitor can get the information they’re looking for in a one-hour video instead of scouring your site to find the same information, they are more likely to inquire, buy, or share their information.

  • YouTube/Facebook Ads: Get your video message in front of a highly targeted audience that is looking for your products or services. These campaigns are trackable, and adjustments can be made instantly so that you can learn from what is working or not working and fine tune a campaign for the ultimate ROI.

  • Social Media: Make sure that your videos make it to your social media channels, and if you feel that you have a winner, it might make sense to put some money behind it and boost it to get it in front of a larger audience. Social media is all about grabbing the viewers’ attention quickly, and video is the perfect medium to accomplish this.

  • Email Marketing: While it’s not recommended to send video directly via email since it will probably be caught in email filters, video is a critical component of successful marketing campaigns. Embed video links (as images) throughout your newsletter or e-blast that can drive traffic to your website or landing page, which ideally can lead to a purchase or a request for more information on your product or service.

  • Event Support: As we’re getting back to more and more live events, video plays a part in everything from being an integral feature of trade show booths and included within presentations for live speaking events, as well as entertainment and information signage at the event.

Are You Ready? We Can Help!

Video is only increasing in popularity, and the time to incorporate video into your marketing mix is now. Using this process, you’ll be assured of an end product that resonates with your audience and provides benefits that keep paying dividends for years to come! 

At Vendilli Digital Group, we’re here to help. Whether you need advice for doing it yourself or you would like to take advantage of our professional video production services, feel free to reach out to us today.

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