More B2B companies are using video marketing than ever before. That makes sense considering the force with which a successful campaign can attract, qualify and convert new customers. But how can your business maximise on this creative venture?There are three stages to video production:
Pre-production - planning your video, writing the script and coordinating activities
Production - producing the raw material for your video. This could consist of filming, recording audio or creating graphical assets.
Post-production - assembling the footage, editing and reviewing.
Video marketing projects have many moving parts, and no shortage of areas to improve, yet each stage of the production process presents unique challenges.
Here’s how you can increase the quality of your video content at every stage of the video production process.
Video production requires meticulous planning. As with all content marketing, establishing specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your campaign is the first step towards success. This should happen before anybody touches a camera.
Getting everybody on the same page from day one streamlines the creative project and keeps cost to a minimum.
Define your target audience
One of the highest priorities for inbound marketers is ensuring that content is both helpful and relevant to consumers. To achieve, this, you need to develop buyer personas. According to marketing experts, three to four buyer personas often account for over 90 per cent of a company’s sales.
After you have established who your intended audience is, you will need to identify where they lie in the buyer’s journey. This will inform your strategy and help you to decide what kind of video to create.Outline key objectives
Next, you will need to find the right video agency to work with and begin compiling team directives (such as the video script, call sheet, look-book and storyboard).
Do you need permission to film on location? Is there special equipment that needs to be sourced? Who will you be asking to appear on screen? These are all questions you need to answer early on.
The planning stage also includes estimating a budget - without which it’s impossible to manage expectations.
Defining the keywords and topics for your campaign in pre-production will enable you to pepper your video script with targeted language. Having relevant keywords throughout your transcript will improve SEO and help your video get found online.
Writing up a shoot checklist will help you to anticipate issues that might put a strain on your resources.
You will need to consider:
- Camera placement/scenes/lighting
- People needed on set
- Contact information
- Date and time
Develop a sustainable video production workflow
After getting your video marketing campaign on the roll, your business will need to find ways to maintain momentum.
Return viewers and subscribers are the lifeblood of a healthy video marketing campaign. Regular video uploads build viewer loyalty, increase brand awareness and inflate traffic rates. Even Facebook has altered it’s newsfeed algorithms to reflect this.
One of the challenges you’ll face as a marketer is a constant need to generate fresh ideas. To improve your video production process in the long term, set up a go-to framework for video ideation. Commit to regular concept development and review sessions. Having something as simple as a shared spreadsheet covering campaign goals and clearly assigned tasks can help synchronise your video projects.
Furthermore, having a content calendar will help you to strategise your video campaign and make sure that viewers have a positive experience at every stage in the inbound sales funnel.
Content should address your buyer persona’s pain points, interests, and goals. This means that feedback from your sales, customer support teams, video marketing metrics and keyword research are all valuable resources for B2B web video topics.
Team communication is vital. Everybody involved should have a clear understanding of goals, expectations and limitations.
Make sure your video editor is aware of your distribution plans before you shoot - if you would like a square video, this will need to be taken into consideration before framing a shot.
Start off on a high
High performing corporate video opens with a hook. It's essential to quickly address the subject your viewer clicked play to hear about: online attention spans are famously short. Lengthy introductions at the beginning of a video can cause people to completely lose interest.
If your video follows the ‘how-to’ format, or features a project of any kind, show the end result at the beginning. Stunning, relevant visuals interest viewers and improve video completion rates.
Follow your storyboard closely on the day of the shoot to make sure you don’t miss out any important shots, be it dialogue or B-roll.
Demand the best
The camera doesn’t lie - and there’s only so much you can fix in post. Pay attention to small presentation details, such as uniform and the appearance of your set and props or product. You don’t want to end up reshooting footage because of careless oversight.
Within reason, it can be more cost-effective to ask for another take than to try and patch together flawed footage. This will give your editor the best material to work with.
Keep conversational tangents to a minimum and use the script to keep your video length on track. If you do veer off topic, make sure it’s short, sweet and worthwhile.
Overestimate the time you will need in post-production. The editing process can be surprisingly lengthy - from choosing audio to colour grading the footage - there are many small steps involved in polishing the final product.
If you have asked for the video to be delivered in different formats (special dimensions and shorter length for social, perhaps?) then be mindful that this will have an impact on delivery times.
Keep an eye on the little extras
The accompanying visuals for your video are produced in the post-production stage, and they are equally important to the project as your footage. To improve your video production process, provide your video marketing agency with the exact colours and chosen font for your brand, as well as any links that they may need.
Having a visually striking video thumbnail is vital. It increases both click and share rates, which means more eyes will fall on your video. Reiterate the importance of this to your editor, and keep an eye on that detail when you are reviewing the final piece. Thumbnails are too often overlooked.
A clear call to action helps move viewers along the buyer journey. Your CTA could link to another video, playlist, channel, or web page. Share examples of the call-to-actions you already use on your website, so that there is synchronicity of design across your site.
After the video production process has come to an end, you will, of course, have to tackle video distribution. Failing to include a promotion & distribution strategy in your video content plan will seriously hamper your results.
Use your buyer personas to predict the channels your audience frequent and determine how and when will your video content be shared.
Your tone of voice matters too. Be transparent and authentic in your promotion techniques. Reports suggest that 83 per cent of consumers trust their peers over companies and their advertisements. Your audience has a visible preference for non-sales content.
After you have shared your content, you can continue to improve your process by measuring video performance against original SMART goals. Allocate time to review whether your benchmarks have been met and you will gather personalised information on how to conduct future campaigns.
In summary: to improve your video production process you will need to anticipate problems, communicate with your team, be critical and adaptive and remember to remain firmly focused on your SMART goals.