Consume Media recently attended a career fair at the University of Georgia and spoke with dozens of students and professionals about the state of video marketing and the future of the industry. Everyone knows what video is and everyone knows what marketing is, but most people aren't familiar with the marriage of the two. Video marketing was born from the typical cycle of planning and producing videos, handing the video content off to the client and watching as they failed to use them efficiently and effectively. This is where video campaign strategies come into play. For video marketing, there is a crucial fifth stage that gets added into the normal mix of concept/strategy, pre-production, production, and post production - campaign management.
Concept and Strategy
Diagnosing the Solution to Your Problem
The concept stage is when clients express their business goals in order to determine which types of videos and strategies will be needed. This is the stage where value is created because your business problem is diagnosed and your video solutions are prescribed. Most videos fall under one of these four categories: brand video, product/service video, testimonial video, and how-to/champion videos. For more information about why these specific types of videos accelerate a customer's journey in the sales funnel, check out our downloadable guide or previous blogs on the topic.
This is the discovery phase of the 5-step process. Some questions we seek to answer during this phase are:
- Who are you targeting?
- Where are you using the video?
- How are we optimizing it?
- Which channels does your audience live on?
- What's our key performance indicator?
- What will success look like?
- What type of video needs to be created? Brand video? Product/service video?Testimonial video? How-to video?
- Are there timeline or resource considerations?
Let's Pour the Foundation
This is where the fun begins. Now that your goals are defined and the types of videos are established, we can begin to craft video concepts. This is the stage involving scripts, audio/visual timelines, location scouting, production schedules, and if necessary, casting and story boarding. This is the last stop to make sure client and company expectations are aligned before the video is shot. This ensures you don't reach the end of the road and end up with a video you don'tt like or that doesn't achieve your goals. If you complete pre-production well and your client signs off on everything, the video itself will have an infinitely better chance to succeed. A thorough pre-production process is vital to a smooth transition into post-production. Revisions in post-production take time, and no one wants to wait longer for their video to be finished. Think of this phase as pouring the foundation of the house - you gotta get it right before you start building.
Lights! Camera! Action!
This is where having a professional and experienced team is key. To be honest with you, to create a Hollywood-esque production, there's a lot of sh*t involved. Microphones, multiple types of lights, light stands, cameras, rigs, a boatload of batteries, drones, and enough charging capability to power a small village. Yes iPhones have incredible cameras, which is great for filming your kid's baseball game or dance recital. When it comes to professional video, cell phones still don't come close in comparison with the high-end gear of a real production team. Every production is different, but you shouldn't have to worry about that. A qualified and experienced production team will have it covered. That's the biggest difference between a production team and a kid with a camera. Trust professionals with your brand, not amateurs. Think of this phase as the actual construction of the house. If there was proper planning, execution should be smooth (given you hire people that have built numerous houses).
Where the Magic Happens
Post-production is where raw footage is turned into the cohesive product that serves your purpose and matches the outline laid out during pre-production. If the pre-production is on point, and your production team was involved during the pre-production phase, and then the post-production team follows the pre-production which was executed well by the production team, then you've got a solid video. Confused? This basically means as long as pre-production and production were properly executed, post-production should be straight forward. Not only is your raw footage turned into a story portraying your message, but this is also the stage where things like color corrections happen. As you can see in this GIF, color correction is a crucial step to making your video content look professional. This is when the newly constructed house gets the paint, hardwood floors, stainless steel hardware, and any other final touches.
"Wow, I feel inspired. That is one hell of an amazing cut! Holy smokes. It's cinema quality. There's drama, laughter, suspense... the whole deal. Amazing. All of you are great."
-Peter Herbert, VP of Marketing, Terminus
Video Marketing Platform
Campaign management is where having a video marketing platform, such as Wistia or Vidyard, comes into play. A video marketing platform allows you to see advanced analytics. Instead of just seeing a number of views, you'll be able to find out who is watching your videos and for how long. This information is critical to figure out which viewers are qualified leads. Check out this screenshot from our own Wistia account. You can see the video history and heat maps from a person we sent an email containing a video to. We can see that the visitor started by watching three different videos within a span of minutes in November, before coming back a few weeks later to re-watch our reel. The different slices of color show which parts of the video they went back to and re-watched. We can see a third visit pop up in January. A few weeks after that, we had a project underway with this company.
Now What?Now that you have a video, what do you do with it? How do you push it on all of your channels? How do you know if it's working as the solution to your problem? This stage is all about measuring your results against your goal. It's about looking at the decided performance indicator and determining if you're reaching it. Perhaps you'll perform really well in some areas you didn't anticipate; this stage is about capitalizing on those. This is where problems are solved. If you see people are clicking off your video after 15 seconds, the video isn't capturing their attention. That doesn't mean the content itself isn't good, so a new video with the same footage can be created, just telling a story with a more compelling intro. Having these analytics is a serious game changer, which is why you need a video marketing platform. Just like a house takes longer to sell without proper marketing, a video won't perform as well without proper distribution, optimization, and marketing.
The Whole Shebang
Video marketing is more than just lights, camera, action. It's strategy, pre-production, production, post-production, and campaign management. It encompasses everything from before video conception all the way to video implementation success. This is an emerging industry that has grown exponentially over the last several years. This is why a full video marketing agency is more useful than hiring the guy who made TV commercials 20 years ago, or the kid with a camera who says he'll make you a video for a couple hundred bucks (no offense to these guys). Don't leave your brand in the hands of amateurs. The video itself is only a small slice of the pie. Strategy and campaign management are key in order to get the absolute most out of your video.