If you’re a marketing or public relations professional, you know the value of video. You know how it can help a business communicate. You know how storytelling can help a company sell. It’s a fun and creative process that can deliver big time for a business… but there’s definitely some things to know in advance of starting. This blog post should serve a handy guide to video for both you and your clients.
First thing you need to do is to plan how much you’re going to spend on the project. That is… unless you have unlimited funds! Yeah… right.
Budget is important for one big reason. It will dictate the type of video you can produce.
A big budget means being able to hire professional storytellers, bringing in all sorts of fancy equipment, and the personnel needed to run everything. The more your budget drops, more decisions you’ll need to make about what to prioritize.
Don’t get me wrong, more money doesn’t always equal better results. Not all dollars are equal. Sometimes the difference between a $6,000 video and a $20,000 video can be minor. However, the difference between a $500 video and a $6,000 video can be huge. The trick for you will be finding the right balance within your budget.
I recommend that you contact a few video companies early in the decision making process. Ask for a ballpark quote. They should be able to help guide you and let you know how to figure out production costs.
Picking a producer
There are all sorts of business leaders out there who are attempting to produce DIY corporate videos. Ugg. Here’s the deal. I love video. I love when a company wants to produce videos. I am not a fan of amateur productions for businesses. Here’s why.
The company’s video is potentially going to be seen by a lot of people. Hundreds? Thousands? In some cases, millions? It all comes down to reputation.
Business leaders won’t bat an eyelash at spending thousands of dollars on business cards for employees. An item that more times than not, will end up in the trash. Why? Reputation. A good quality business cards project something about a company. So why would they then choose to produce a video that could look unprofessional and potentially damage that reputation?
If you’re a start-up with no money, by all means produce your own video. If you’re a mom and pop shop with no marketing budget, grab your iPhone and shoot away. But if you work for a quality small, medium, or big business… hire a video professional.[tweetthis]Work for a quality company? Don’t DIY a company video. Hire a video pro. Your reputation is on the line.[/tweetthis]
Need some help on what to look for in a good producer? These are some thoughts on how to pick a video company.
You might have an idea of what type of video you’d like to produce, but when it comes to brainstorming I suggest that you wait on the heavy-lifting until you start the process of hiring your video pro.
Tell them what you’re hoping for. Maybe give them some rough thoughts, and then let them run wild with their own ideas. It’s a smart thing to do for a few reasons.
- Video pros will have a realistic idea of what they can accomplish and how much it will cost you.
- They’re producing videos all the time so they know what types of videos have been successful in connecting with audiences in the past.
- It gets their creative juices flowing and makes them excited about the project. Executing an existing plan is fine, but it’s a lot more fun for them if they get to work on an idea they helped develop and are passionate about. An engaged producer means you’re going to get their best effort and a better video.
Once you’ve decided who you’d like to hire, continue to talk with them about the project. Be sure to duscuss how this video is going to work with your overall marketing plan.
I’m not a fan of scripting things in advance, but if that’s your thing… this is when you’ll start working on it.
There are all sorts of variables before you start to shoot any video. Here are some things you’ll want to make sure you have squared-away… whether it’s your video producer who’s handling it or whether you’ve decided to help.
- Make sure you schedule when and where the video will be shot. Make sure the appropriate people at the location know you’re going to be shooting video on that date.
- Contact anyone who needs to be at the shoot. Make sure they’re aware of when and where they’ll be needed.
- Coordinate with the video crew. Give them all the scheduling details, contact names, and addresses for where they’ll be shooting.
Remember, communication is a wonderful thing. The more everyone is on the same page, the easier the production will run.
Believe it or not, this is the easy part and when the real fun begins. If you’ve done a good job with the concept planning and the pre-production, you should be able to sit back and simply let your video pros do their job.
By all means, keep a close eye to make sure everything is being done properly, but there shouldn’t be any reason to micromanage. Chances are your video team is cranking on all cylinders.
Also, keep in mind this is a creative venture you’re now on, and sometimes things might not go as planned. Lean on your producer to comes up with creative solutions. Sometimes some of the best production elements come from improvisation on the day of the shoot. It’s part of the fun.
This is when the project really starts to come together. Your video pros are likely combing over all of the raw material. They’ll probably provide you with a more detailed script. Then the video editing begins.
Take a look at the finished product. Try not to watch it as an insider. Watch it through your audience’s eyes. Talk with your producers about anything that needs to be tweaked.
Alright, the editing is complete. You have the digital file. But honestly, your work has just begun.
That video isn’t going to do the company any good until you get it out into the world and let people know about it. Make sure your client understands that people will not miraculously find their video. If you or they need some specific ideas for how to do it, check out these seven ways to promote your video.