I noticed two things during my recent trip to Content Marketing World, besides the wonderful Kevin Spacey: First, the strong interest in creating video. Digital marketers at mid-to-large brands would say, “We need to be doing more video.” AND “I don’t need to know the stats about video anymore. I know it works, it’s just getting it done.” AND “Video just seems expensive.”
Whenever video was brought up by a content marketer at a brand, the person just seemed overwhelmed. I’d see beautiful case studies with rocking blog posts and gorgeous still photos, but, in general, video was by the wayside.
Second, I noticed many of the speakers who really seemed to resonate knew how to tell stories using video such as:
Jeff Charney, the CMO at Progressive Insurance who spoke about how to organize your content marketing so it’s like a Hollywood studio. Think of the fabulous Flo campaign and its many iterations.
Andrew Davis, a keynote speaker, talked about the “4 Secrets for Creating Moments of Inspiration” that was heavy on video examples. Davis said, “Stop creating campaigns, start creating commitments … commitments to telling a story that’s bigger than you.”
And, of course, Kevin Spacey. He sees himself as a content creator whose job it is to give the audience what it wants. Viewers want to binge watch so why not release all of the “House of Cards” at once?
Now, to bridge this divide with the goal of creating video that’s interesting and measurable, you may want to use this checklist:
Video Creation Checklist
- Before you create any video, know the goal. It could be increasing conversions on your site, boosting engagement in your social media, getting more people to call. Whatever it is, write down a goal.
- Be very specific about your audience. It’s not Women 25-54, but Millennial mothers who like to spend time outside. Like a blog post, a video can’t be everything to everyone.
- Find your audiences’ interests. People are only going to watch a video that interests them. In addition to client research, we mine a client’s social media presence to look for clues.
- Realize that video isn’t a one-shot deal. To engage your audience over time, a series of videos will need to be part of your content marketing strategy. No worries, there are cost-effective ways to create multiple pieces that are deployed over time.
- Brainstorm ideas that put your audience’s interests first and your brand second so the storytelling rings true. What are the stories that you can tell that will stick with your audience and include your brand?
- Work with a producer that uses classic storytelling techniques. From the Greeks to George Lucas, there are time-honored storytelling techniques that work. Does your video have a hero that’s on a journey? Addresses a conflict? Are there unusual circumstances? Is the scenery interesting? Do you build suspense? What’s inspiring about this story?
- Centralize your locations so your production team can shoot a number of videos in one day. With proper pre-production planning, this is certainly doable. This is one idea to help bring down the cost.
- Use real people when possible. They are more authentic than actors and the voice-of-God voiceover.
- Make sure your pieces have a visual style, good audio, and good lighting. People are used to watching a lot of video. They can sniff out bad video in a heartbeat.
- Relax and only edit pieces only as you need them. Why stress to get them all done? They’re going to be deployed over time anyway.
- Create your social media plan around the key words for your video. Use those key words that exemplify your piece and use those over and over.
- Track metrics against your goal. It’s not only how many people watched the piece, but the number of conversions that you initially set out as important. Here are some of the key metrics that we track:
- Engagement rate based on number of followers divided by clicks
- Length of average watch
- Number of people who clicked through
- Conversions to goal (such as sign-up)
- Last action before conversion
Does this process work for you?