By David Maciolek | Contributor | Breaking Brands, Inc.
Sights, sounds, movement = Persuasion. Product or service to sell? Marketing with video is the arrow in your quiver you should consider reaching for first.
A 2021 Wyzowl Research Study unearthed these conclusive stats:
- Businesses using video as a marketing tool — 86%
- Video is an important part of a marketer’s strategy — 92%
- Video gives marketers positive ROI — 87%
- Video marketing generates leads — 86%
But to hit the bull’s eye, you should never produce a video just for the sake of having a video. A compromised video can sink your message.
Professionally-produced, smartly-branded, high quality video raises you up.
Remember this video production credo, which applies to nearly any field: “Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two.” If you want it good and fast, it won’t be cheap. If you want it fast and cheap, it won’t be good. You get the idea.
How do you develop video marketing that’s good, comes together quickly, doesn’t cost a fortune, and effectively represents your brand? Here are some tips to help give you the right “look.” Let’s begin before you shoot or animate one frame of content…
It’s all about WHAT YOU KNOW. Know your target audience. Know what motivates them. What their business goals are. Most of all, know what keeps them up at night. Because you’re the one who’s going to help them sleep like well-fed babies.
Know your subject. Know what you’re marketing as well as the people who created it. Don’t fake it or wing it. Get all the facts. If you don’t know—ask. After you get your facts, double-check them. Put them through the Legal meat-grinder.
You are now ready to craft your message, write your script. It’s story-telling. Make it clear, get to the point efficiently (BREVITY!), tell your story in a compelling way that’s easily shared, eminently repeatable. Write as a colleague, not as a boss.
Above all, don’t “say it” when you can “be it.” You take a credibility hit when you tell your audience you’re the greatest thing since the smartphone. The creativity, tone, style and professional level of your video communication will clearly convey who you are.
Now it’s all about WHO YOU KNOW. Meet your Director of Photography (for live shoots) and your Designer/Animator (for graphics-driven video). This is where you spend your money, because good ones are worth their weight in gold or, these days, gasoline.
Frame interview subjects elegantly with pro lighting and plenty of shot depth. Use clip-on “Lav” (Lavalier) microphones, not booms or God forbid, camera mikes. You’re creating eye and ear candy here, and an indelible message.
Go multi-camera. Might cost a bit more, but now you have edit points in case there’s a stumble in speech. That will save you beaucoup bucks in post-production. Consider “tying” two cameras in your main shot—one in medium composition, the other more close up. Now you’ve got a tighter shot when you need emphasis.
Shoot plenty of B-roll. Start shooting even before your interview subject begins speaking. Always good to have copious cutaway footage, and shot changes to keep the energy percolating.
My favorite DP of all time was a guy who shot for me in the “pit” as construction workers were building the new World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, post-9/11. It was over 100 degrees and oppressively humid below street level. I had to drag my camera-toting DP out of there before he got heat exhaustion, after hours and hours of chasing intriguing visuals. This is what you want!
In giving direction to your graphics designers, be meticulously detailed in how your message should be delivered, from text to sequential order. Designers are artists, not CMOs. Your expertise will guide them to the promised land.
Get a graphics animator who puts substance before style. If it’s pretty, but doesn’t communicate clearly, your message is lost.
Remember when 3D and 4-D animation couldn’t be splashy enough? Design animation trends change like fashion, make sure you’re in the here and now, not in years gone by.
Often used to present facts or portray processes, run all graphic artwork through your fact-checking and Legal filters. Once approved, exhale!
Your hand-picked team has given you rich visual assets. Now here’s where you make them sing.
Set the mood, create pace changes, build crescendo moments with editing style, music, and visual movement.
Medium shots are default, close-ups are emphasis—use editing to frequently change the look, but not so much that the production looks frenetic, or too “cutty.”
Rich sound vastly improves the viewing experience. A good editor or audio mixer will be able to balance spoken word, music and sound effects to work in perfect harmony.
Footage from each camera should look like it comes from the same place. Want it to look dramatic, like film? Prefer a tech-y sheen? Your editor can color-correct your footage, and establish the look you want.
Reinforce your brand. You’re working in a visual medium; the screen is your real estate. Use some of it—subtly, in the corner of the screen, to place your business logo. Not big. Small, tasteful, classy. The viewer is never far from your brand ID. Slam dunk!
The last word: Expectations
This visually stunning communication tool is ready for prime time! Eye-catching, compelling, convincing. When done right, it’s not a sales pitch—you have a fully capable staff for that. But it has planted the seed in your customers’ minds, in very fertile soil.
Now go close the deal!
David Maciolek is an award-winning writer, video producer/director and creative director. He has taken marketing projects from ideation to completion for a Who’s Who of entertainment industry clients, as well as a number of corporate businesses. Dave is also the CEO and Founder of his own creative services operation, Breaking Brand Inc.