Creating Epic Video Content
Over the past seven years, our company has created over 1,000 videos for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. The most important thing we’ve learned is that creating video content is an art and a science. Without some basic ingredients, your content will most likely fall flat.
While creating video content can be daunting, there are some smart strategies to guide you in the right direction. So whether this is the first or fiftieth piece of video content you have generated for your brand, start with these simple tips:
1. Start With A Solid Foundation
Know your strategy. Don’t start dreaming up grand ideas until you have determined the basic who, what, when, where and why/how of your marketing approach. If you create a great piece of content that flies way over your consumers’ heads, or worse yet is ignored altogether, then it wasn’t an effective use of your marketing dollars. Establish a solid base built on the content’s original purpose.
When we created a branded web series for a top real estate company, we focused on raising awareness of its luxury brand. Its agents represent some of the most prestigious properties in the world, and we developed the series by highlighting the amazing properties that viewers were looking for while achieving our client’s goal of being affiliated with these luxurious estates. Our basic strategy was to connect affluent viewers (who) with the brand’s one-of-a-kind estates (what) through an ongoing web series (how) that flew crews around the world (where) whenever a listing popped up (when). Millions of views and nine figures in home sales later, the series is still going strong.
2. Shoot For Success
Make the most of your production budget. By integrating dynamic camera angles and movements, you can boost the look and feel of your content without having to up the entire budget. These touches make it look more professional with only a small amount of extra effort. Filling gaps and transitions with stock footage can put a finishing touch on your video that your audience is sure to appreciate.
When we first started our agency, we didn’t like the way production companies shot corporate videos. They often didn’t feel creative and weren’t Hollywood-quality content, even at a corporate budget level. By utilizing camera movement, speed, focus and cuts to tell a story, we began to see that this style led to higher engagement (views, comments, shares) and completion rates. We hit the tipping point with this filming style while shooting a series of recruiting videos for one of our brands, integrating aerial footage of Malibu, time lapses, crane shots and supplemental footage, all for a corporate recruiting video. When we saw the finished product, we immediately understood how effective this type of content could be.
3. Take Advantage Of The Versatility Of Video
While video can be the most powerful, descriptive and motivating marketing tool out there, if you’re only using it for selling purposes, you aren’t unlocking its full potential. Video can arrange better introductions, expedite personnel training and communicate business practices and company culture.
Now entrenched in viral video playbook, The Dollar Shave Club introduced the concept and power behind their company with this witty and quick video that showcases their brand. It was inarguably a success, and they have continued to represent their culture through smart use of video. Recently, they launched a video series called “What the FAQ,” keeping the jocular tone that their audience has become accustomed to while answering their customers’ frequently asked questions. Entertaining enough to be commercials, these videos simultaneously drive home their core values of being the better, smarter, cheaper shave solution.
4. Feature Strong Main Characters
Video is visual, so use this opportunity to give your brand a face. How can you take an aspect of your company and use it to better connect with your consumer? Attaching a character, animal or object to your marketing can create a more personal experience for the viewer. If your key stakeholders can hold up well in front of a camera, featuring them can add a personal touch to your brand unlike any actor or spokesperson.
When we’re shooting content featuring a client, we reserve a large portion of our pre-production time to developing content that aligns with the executive’s personality. We learned early on that an outdoor beach setting is probably not ideal for the CEO of a financial company, but there are outgoing executives who live for creative content that puts them in precarious situations. One particularly memorable shoot took us deep into a swamp. The concept was to introduce the exciting New Orleans location of our client’s upcoming conference. Alligators, snakes, lightning storms and being strapped to the front of a fan boat didn’t phase our “talent,” the Chief Operating Officer, and it definitely captured the personal touch we were going for.
5. Look To Your Core Values For Inspiration
Video brings your core values to life. While the end goal is to promote your product or service, consumers have a deeper desire to buy into the lifestyle and principles that led you to create your company in the first place. We love what Dove has been able to do with the Real Beauty Campaign, exploring how their purpose is relevant for Joe Consumer.
As a video production agency, we’re frequently tasked with becoming experts at our clients’ core values. If the creators lose track of who they’re trying to speak with and why it’s important to them, it will lead to ineffective storytelling and video content that ultimately underwhelms its intended audience.
When building your video strategy, keep these core elements in mind. They have proven effective for our agency and our clients time and time again, and with a little practice, they can give you amazing results as well.