Look, everyone's doing it. Your competitors, your partners, heck, even your customers are doing it. You've been avoiding it, but the time has come for you to jump on the most effective communications platform for your business - video.
So what are you waiting for?
Maybe you're not sure where to begin. Should your initial toe dip in the proverbial video pool be a product demo, a training video, a corporate announcement? What should your budget be? You likely have more questions than answers at this point, but follow these steps to start on your way to your first video.
1. Define your purpose
Before you do anything, ask yourself: “What goal am I trying to achieve with this video?” Are you trying to find new prospects, generate more sales? Is there a call to action? Does the video need to increase conversion rates as it relates to visitors signing up for a free offer or joining a mailing list? All decisions in creating the video are based on this purpose.
2. Identify and engage your audience
Is this a team building video for internal consumption by your employees? Is it an introduction to your product or service intended for potential customers? Is it a financials update for your board of directors? These different audiences warrant different approaches both in messaging and production values.
3. Hone your message
Focus on the message that you are trying to deliver. Unless you're shooting an in-depth training video, don't worry about repeating yourself in order to drive the message home and don't try to fit too many ideas into one video. If you can't sum up your core message in a few short sentences, you should continue to whittle away at your core idea.
4. Plan your script
Even if your message is one of fun and informality, you should at the very least have a rough script in place. Without a general plan, shooting could run long, which could overrun your budget and you could lose sight of the message, leaving you with a cutting room floor's worth of unusable footage.
5. Lights, camera ...
Now comes the fun part. Time to shoot. If you've spent enough time and energy in the first three steps, this step really *should* be fun. You know who you're speaking to (your audience), what you're going to say (your message), and how you're going to say it (your script). Now it comes down to execution. Don't be nervous, and try to stick to your plan as much as you can. Sure, you can leave some room for improvisation, but if this is your first stab at this, do your best to stay focused. And don't forget, you don't have to go this alone. This may be the best time to bring in an expert to help with the nuts and bolts of the shoot so you can concentrate on your message and performance.
6. Measure the results
Remember step 1? Where you defined your purpose? Well, now we put that to the test. Did you accomplish your goal? With a wealth of analytics tools available to you, you should be able to quickly start seeing the fruits of your labor. Are your viewers dropping off after the first 15 seconds of your video? Do they watch the full video? Are they so engaged that they go so far as to leave a comment? Remember, even negative feedback is good feedback!
7. Rinse and repeat
OK, you've made it through your first video. Take a deep breath. That wasn't so bad, was it? Now it's time to evaluate. Review the analytics and feedback. What worked? What didn't? What would you do differently next time?
This last step may also be the most important step. Once you've taken the video plunge, realize that this is an ongoing commitment. With your audience now engaged, you need to keep producing content for their consumption. Internal or external, video will become your most effective and impactful communications channel.
Keep watching this space where we'll cover all of these topics and more in full detail.