Video is like a lot of things that might be unfamiliar to you. Taking the first step is always the hardest, so if you’re a marketing video newbie… don’t worry. I have some tips to get you started on your first project.
What’s Your Budget?
The BIG question you might have going in… how much does a video cost?
I wish I had an easy answer for you. In many cases, it’s a “you get what you pay for situation.”
A quality video probably starts at $1000 and goes up to… well… how much are you willing to spend?! 😉
Corporate videos can run well into the tens of thousands of dollars, but you can get a really good one for $5000-$8000.
Our blog post, How-to Figure Out Video Production Cost will give you a sense of how production houses think about cost.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Now that the budget question has been answered, the answer to the next question might be more evident.
Will this be a do-it-yourself or professional project? I do have some basic guidelines for DIY vs. Pro video production.Basically, if you’re a new or micro business with zero marketing budget, feel free to DIY.
If you are planning a video with the intent of it looking unprofessional or kitschy, feel free to DIY.
However, if you are producing a video for a respected company where reputation matters, you should definitely hire a professional video producer.
Please consider the many benefits to hiring a pro.
You should also check out the video posted here, Video Production Buyers Guide. It will help you with how to vet video production companies.
New Project Preps
The next thing… you need a plan. Your video needs to be a part of a greater marketing strategy. Which is why you need to start asking some questions.
You might even want to write them down along with the answers. Here are the pre-project questions I ask when speaking with clients:
- Who’s the audience?
- Where will they see the video? Website? Social media? Email campaign? At a live event? Et cetera.
- What’s your goal for the video? Education? Brand awareness? Enhance reputation? Help sales? Et cetera.
- What’s the story you’d like to tell?
- How are you planning to promote the video?
Let’s expand a bit on each of those things.
This is the most critical question you’re going to ask. It influences everything that goes into the video because this is who you are making the video for. You have to put the audience first. Make sure the story and information are focused on what’s important to them.
This will help you with timing… think push versus pull. If the video is bound for a social media email campaign, you’re pushing it at your audience so keep it short. I typically recommend 1-minute or less.
On the other hand, if the video is mainly for a company’s website, your audience has sought you out so you can let it run a bit longer. Pull them in with a 2-3 minute video.
Showing the video at a live event? That’s a captive audience, so you have some more leeway. Just make sure it’s good, don’t put your viewers to sleep.
Video is a terrific marketing tactic, but don’t just produce a video because it’s cool or fun. Think seriously about the reason behind creating your videos. What is it you hope they’ll help you achieve?
Keep in mind the immortal words of Zig Ziglar, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
What’s your story?
Okay… now on to the fun part! Decide on a story that’s going to take into account the answers to all of those questions. Remember, video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is all about emotion. Pick a story that’s going to connect with viewers.
You might have produced the best video ever, but if you don’t have a plan to get it in front of viewers… what’s the point? Video should just be a tactic in a greater digital marketing strategy. Looking for ideas? Check out our 7 Ways To Promote A New Video.
Feeling a little better now? Start each video project with that Q & A and you’ll be on your way to a successful campaign.