Part 1 of 3: Five Planning Tips for Your Video
Undoubtedly, your website and marketing strategy would benefit from a compelling video that is targeted at your audience and highlights the benefits of your particular product or service.
If this is new territory for you, this task can be daunting. Here are some starter tips for non-marketing types, who are considering a business use of web video.
In this, the first of a three part series on developing video content for the web, I’ll highlight 5 tips on the planning process. (There is a lot of work to do before you whip out your Flip Ultra to start filming, or post your latest feature film on Youtube.)
In the next two posts, I'll cover:
- 5 Tips on Acquisition: filming your masterpiece, and editing it down.
- 5 Tips on Delivery: Output options, video hosts, and posting your clip.
Planning for Your Web Video
1. Focus on your potential viewing audience.
Every video should be planned according to who your audience is.
- Who is this video for?
- What does that person perceive as value?
- What does this video need to accomplish for that person?
From a technical perspective, if they are more likely to use cutting edge equipment when they are on your site, then you can deliver a higher resolution video- but if your site visitors are more likely to be using older equipment, you need to take that into consideration at this early stage.
Why do I recommend considering this in your planning stage? Does it seem like this is something more for the last stage of editing?
For example, let's assume you are creating a video for software demonstration.
If your audience has high-resolution monitors, you can show full-resolution screen captures scaled down to fit the screen, but on older monitors compression will destroy the resolution of your screen-capture and significantly diminish your demonstration’s effectiveness. So in this example, using on-screen customer testimonials or low-fi animations depicting major benefits of your software may be more effective than blurry screen shots.
To determine what type of monitors your audience is using, check your web analytics. (You are running at least Google Analytics on your site right?)
2. Set your marketing goals.
I cannot underscore enough the value of having a desired result of your video. You are not creating fluff; you want to add value. Your video is a great opportunity to summarize sales copy, accentuate key competitive advantages or highlight customer benefits or testimonials.
So before you go any further, look carefully at your site or your market and answer the following questions:
- How does this video fit within our marketing plan?
- Where will we use this video on our website as part of the content?
- How will we promote this video outside of our website to drive traffic and increase search engine ranking?
3. Visualize the Final Marketing Video and Create a Storyboard
By conceptualizing your final product, the better it’s quality will be at every stage. With the end in mind, you will be able to foresee needs and acquire the necessary assets to deliver an effective video.
Some questions to consider:
- Is your video a talking head affair or do you plan to dub audio over a screen-capture or footage?
- Have you thought about the proper elements required to tie your video into your site’s broader brand message?
Story-boarding doesn’t have to be complicated, give it a shot and even if it starts out like a cartoon in the funny papers- every ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.
4. Gather your Materials, and Prepare!
With your rough creative brief / script / storyboards / outline or napkin, look at each element that will be required to fulfill this plan. If you are going to shoot a testimonial you need to consider the classic studio elements- location? lighting? talent? (Your own burgeoning film-maker skills notwithstanding.)
Itemize these elements down to their tiniest details, and begin acquiring and arranging for your production. If you want to insert clips from reviews or other programs- reach out to their respective owners and ask for permission.
You will find that, while this process may be harrowing, the result is much improved by your planning. Timelines are also kept in check when you prepare early, and keep your eye on the smallest details.
5. Create Your Calls to Action
As you script your message, considering both your products features and benefits, put yourself in the shoes of the viewer. Having watched your moving picture- what would you have them do? Would you want to pick up the phone and call now? Would you be willing to complete a form to request a free trial or sign-up for your free newsletter?
Be sure to bring your call to action into the video- not just in the copy on the page itself. Drive home your value and tell the viewer what they should do to realize such amazing results. Seriously, don’t ASK. TELL.
Remember, most people are more willing to watch a 2 minute video rather than read a 2,000 word whitepaper. Plus, using video in your marketing campaigns gives you the ability to go mobile with your message. (You know, that device that never leaves most people's side...)
Looking for some help in integrating video into your marketing plan? Contact us for a free 30 minute consult and start your journey to video superstar.
What will your video success story be?