video camera against blue sky

Video Tips for Your Marketing Campaigns

People have been saying “video is the Next Big Thing” for over a decade.

It’s here. Search engines love video. YouTube videos generally show up in the first few search results and a high proportion of people watch content (most professionals prefer video over text).

Video Planning

Creating good video is neither easy not cheap. It is a complicated task that requires great project management. Before you start shooting, you will need to have a campaign plan, shooting schedule, shot list. To create these will probably requiring meetings about scripts and storyboarding.

This article assumes that you will make full pre-production, production and then post-production plans. These are important for making good video content that can be used across various media to achieve your campaign results.

Pre-production will include things like locations, people, actors, staff, messages, scripts, storyboards, model release forms, location releases, council permissions, and other resources you’ll need.

During the shoot, it is worthwhile taking a good DSLR camera so you can take several stills photographs. That way you can take advantage of having the ‘talent’ on set, dressed, made-up, and under optimal lighting. Make sure you add a line into your model release form that gives you permission to use the images in all marketing communications for X company, including all print and digital forms. Also, let them know verbally before they sign what you might use it for. The shoot should be a great experience.

On a previous 2-day shoot I was able to take a handful of images that I later used on the company website, print brochures, interactive digital brochures, newspaper advertisements, and social media. I got two full years worth of free content and was able to modify the copy to support various products in the portfolio. (It was for a bank.)

From a purely online marketing perspective, there are loads of opportunities to make additional content from footage, images and quotes obtained during your shoot. Here are a few things to think about before you start your pre-production planning. We’ll start with the ned in mind.

Benefits of using video

    1. Communication, such as product demonstrations. This is especially useful if you have a new product or service in a category.
    2. Video is great at telling your story.
    3. Watch is passive. It gives your audience a break from working too hard to get your message. Reading is more active and requires concentration.
    4. The human dimension of video means it is more relatable. We get to see how you look, sound and how we can relate to you on a more personal level.

 

How to make a video campaign strategy

You may want to upload to your website but the reach could be greatly extended by using social media and a campaign strategy. Of course, it goes without saying to set your campaign goals first.

1. Who is your audience?

Break your market into groups. Tailor your message for each group in terms of the situation (at work, at home, on a phone on the street)Segment your audience into buckets and interests, needs, devices.

Let’s say you just have one niche audience. Use your client persona and your analytics to find out where are they (location/situation i.e. the suburb, at work/home)? What days and times are they active?

How much time do they have to consume your message? If they are highly involved, it could be for one hour. If they are busy and doing lots of tasks, it could be only a few seconds.

2. What are you trying to achieve?

Are you trying to drive traffic? Drive sales and conversions? Introduce a concept such as an ethical brand attribute for which you need measurable awareness.

3. Choose your platforms.

Consider Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vimeo, YouTube. Adobe has amazing software called Adobe Spark which allows non-professionals to make videos in minutes. It also generates a selection of social media assets. [This is an affiliate link so if you make a purchase of the Adobe Spark via Creative Cloud, I will receive a commission.)

4. Format your video correctly

Your agency will do this or you can request shoot some phone footage to use for your online media. They will likely use industry-standard Final Cut Pro and After Effects or other proprietary grading systems. Edit and compress using your in-house editing software, such as Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, iMovie, Windows MovieMaker, Quicktime, and so on.

5. Rename the File Name with your keywords

Often these file names are a long stream of numerals. Click in and rename.

6. Give the video title or headline the same keywords.

 

7. Description including your keywords. Gold.

The description can be conversational, especially for YouTube. There is plenty of space, so take the time to write articulately and be clear.

8. Tag it

Guess what you should tag it with?

9. Choose a good thumbnail image or upload one.

It’s your front door. Be inviting.

10. Use an end screen e.g. you can have a call to action and logo.

What should people do now? Buy? Visit? Subscribe?

11. Add any captions.

Apparently, 85% of people will watch without sound. They may be at work or lying next to a sleeping baby. (I will be.)

 

YouTube

The thing I love about YouTube is the enormous amount of space you get for a video description. It’s 5,000 characters. That’s a lot of keywords and messaging. You should be able to cover all your bases.

YouTube is owned by Google (you knew that) and is the website (after Google) that has the most traffic. That said, it is important to upload your footage natively to YouTube and use basic SEO principles as if it were a website landing page. Follow the steps above.

Upload or choose a good thumbnail as this is the front door to your video.

Get it optimised to be found. Remember the golden triangle:

  • Headline
  • Description
  • Tags

 

Facebook Video

The algorithm determines the success of the placement. Here is an article that explains Edgerank (Facebook algorithm) really well.

  • The full amount available to Facebook (the inventory)
  • When your audience is online and engaged (active signals)
  • Predictions of when Facebook predicts the audience will interact

Based on these, Facebook will create a score (Edgerank).

Remember,

  • don’t use a clickbait headline or text
  • don’t include ‘Share’ or ‘Like’ call to actions. Not cool anymore.
  • Cut your long intros and cut straight to the point. Edit out any pauses and gumphs.

 

The more loyal your audience is, the better your score based on Facebook’s prediction of their intention to watch.

The duration of your video and whether they will watch the whole length will impact the score.

Also, the originality of the video will make an impact on the placement in newsfeeds. If it is embedded natively (i.e. uploaded directly into Facebook or Instagram) rather than sharing it from a competing platform, that is much favoured. Sharing from other platforms will not perform as well as native video, as Facebook doesn’t want you to lead users away to another location.

Try to keep the video short (perhaps 10 or 15 seconds). Show your branding within the first few seconds.

Facebook Audience Targeting

Upload your email list and create a Custom Audience. From here, Facebook can target these users in a Facebook ad and this could include their Instagram accounts.

By also using Lookalike audiences, Facebook can create a similar group to your email list for targeting your ads. Awesome.

Instagram Video

IGTV is Instagram’s native video channel. It encourages vertical video as this is more intuitive for phone users to shoot and view. You may want to shoot this way for your campaign for an Instagram audience.

Determine optimal posting times from your audience.  This depends on your industry and the kind of behaviour you can expect from someone in it. Night owls? Morning corporates? Flagging after 3 pm in the office and need a coffee and a video to consume passively?

Does wine-o’clock start at 4.30pm on Fridays? Do people feel they’ve worked hard enough and are more likely to check social media accounts then? Or is that too late? Check the stats from your social profiles and website to pick a good time.

  • Clear CTA and captions.
  • Use hashtags

 

LinkedIn

Use square or landscape video. LinkedIn has a focus on engagement.

Like Facebook, post the video natively.

Most of your audience will likely be at work so use captions and subtitle for no audio.

Three Summary Points

To summarise, depending on your social channels of choice, there are many options and alternatives for spreading your reach across the Internet.

  1. Strive for simplicity by having a clear objective at the start.
  2. Think about all the other uses you can get out of the footage you shoot, including stills for brochures, social media, ads, website and so on.
  3. Spend the time planning carefully in pre-production.
  4. Get all your paperwork ready beforehand. Of course, that includes the necessary logistical and legal documents, but also things like model release forms and your trusty DSLR or hone camera.
  5. Enjoy your shoot! Shooting video is hard work. It’s a case of ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ requiring patience, problem-solving, and technical perfection. Stay positive and try to be helpful.
  6. Speak to the director and let them know your plans to take stills photos and interview the talent. Organise the time that best suits the Director to do these things at the beginning.

 

Need professional video makers?

Consider Ben and Clara at Main Course Films or the guys at Laundry Lane. 

These are both based in Sydney but will travel.

Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash