Ok so you’re fully convinced of the importance of video as a marketing tool and are keen to get started on a video project for your business. The question is, where do you start from in order to build towards a well-rounded, effective video?
Mirror, mirror on the wall
A good look in the mirror is where this journey starts. Any kind of marketing product, and video is certainly no exception, needs to be built on the foundations that your own company exists on: your brand identity.
Whether you already have existing Brand Guidelines or not, this is a good time to review what truly reflects your company’s identity and what accurately communicates this to others.
Imagine you are an outsider looking to understand your company. What would you need to read, see, experience to really ‘get’ what you are about? What are your values as a company? What is your ongoing vision, your mission or objectives going forward? What are the visual guidelines that would need to be observed in order to accurately portray your brand’s identity?
Study your character
Visualise your company as a person. What does the person look like? Are they young or old? How do they dress? How do they speak? Are they formal or casual in the way they communicate? What would they eat on their lunch break? Where do they spend most of their time?
Thinking through these questions will enable you to form and therefore be able to communicate an accurate visual representation of your company, probably one of the most crucial elements of any video production.
Talk to your colleagues, ask your clients what they think and include their feedback. Your brand is very much formed by the sum total of everyone’s input rather than the impression of just one person.
Watch your competitors
Take a look around at your main competitors and take time to view their video productions. What do you like? What do you hate? What moves you and what leaves you indifferent?
Do they use actors or animated characters? Do the productions feel like documentaries or movies? Who is acting, whose voice is being used?
Knowing what has already been done will help you differentiate your production and avoid the trap of creating something average, generic and therefore dismissible.
Dive around your fishbowl
Make sure you fully understand the market you operate in and where you fit within in. Look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT Analysis) compared to those you compete with and prepare to build on the strengths, minimize weaknesses, seize opportunities and counteract the threats.
Then use this information to map your position in the market. Where does your company fit in the whole picture? Finding your own unique place within the market means you have your own space to swim around in rather than having to displace others first.
Choose your target
As with anything else, a video cannot possibly target the whole world. Having a specific, defined target audience will help you be more effective in reaching them.
Is your audience young or old, what do they enjoy doing? Are they busy or do looking for ways to fill their time? Where do they spend time online? What is their income bracket?
The better you know your target audience, the better your chances of creating something that is relevant to their lives and needs.
Prepare to invest
We’re not going to lie to you. Good video productions usually necessitate good investment. Your budget will determine the type of equipment that can be used, the location, whether you use actors or illustrations, the time spent on storyboarding, editing and producing.
Good videos are around for years and will keep giving a return on investment long after they are released. Investing in something of quality means you have a better chance of not grimacing in embarrassment when you watch the video in 5 years’ time. Not to mention a better shot at fulfilling your purpose. But that’s a whole other chapter we will be talking about soon.