Week ten of Ellen Friedland's series ‘Tips for Corporate Video Production' hosted by the New York video producer herself!
Back from last week, read on for relevant suggestions on to help you save time or increase production value on your next shoot!
Week 10: Importance of Defining Marketing Goals Before Video Production
By Ellen Friedland
The expensive bling on the streets of Hong Kong and Singapore attract consumers like magnets, similar to the stars on the sidewalks of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. People are often fascinated by glitz, fame and entertainment. Well-produced videos containing all these elements are therefore appealing devices for marketing by and to organizations of all types.
Yet video just for video’s sake is rarely a good idea.
Production is Important Enough Not to leave to Chance
The details required to create a movie – even a very short one — are time-consuming on the part of a number of folks and can be costly.
Further, a final video product that misses or inappropriately presents important points about the company could be counterproductive, not to mention translating into wasted energy and potentially unwelcome lethargy for the next attempt.
The first step in producing a successful video is to create a marketing foundation by defining key characteristics about the organization to be highlighted in messaging to target audiences.
Pre-Preproduction Questions to Ask Yourself
Examples of some important questions for self-reflection, preferably by a committee of folks with different roles in the entity, might be:
- What does your company do?
- What is your elevator pitch (100 words or less)?
- What is your value proposition?
- What products and/or services do you offer?
- Are there particular products and/or services you would like to showcase?
- How do you distinguish your company from others in the field?
- Who are your customers?
- What is your geographic footprint?
- What is your corporate culture?
- What are your corporate values?
- What are your company goals over the next year? 2 years? 5 years?
Once you have established some clarity regarding those questions, you will begin to develop a sense of content and the best ways to convey it.
Example Case Study of How To Strategize
For instance, for the purpose of this article, I am inventing a corporation called FTCW that sells Fair Trade clothing for women. FTCW offers apparel of all kinds, with scarves accounting for 80% of its sales. The company’s stock is produced by cooperatives in underdeveloped countries around the world, but its corporate headquarters is based in San Francisco where it maintains a warehouse, shipping to locations across North America. It prides itself in its partnerships with the coops of producers; its motto is “Growing American Business by Growing Global Communities.”
Imagine FTCW diving into a video project without exploring in depth the types of questions listed above. Video from a few coops of women sewing the most colorful fabrics in their shops, from which they produce blouses and skirts, might be shot. Or stock images from countries around the world, including western European capitals, might be researched and purchased to suggest the company’s international flavor. Or interviews might be conducted at the warehouse in San Francisco.
How does the Marketing Plan fit in?
Now suppose that a team of marketers at FTCW sits down to construct a marketing plan. One element might be a focus on scarves, since that item produces the most revenue for the company. So much for the video of the women sewing blouses and skirts, which might have been costly to shoot.
A second aspect of the plan might involve targeting customers in select US cities where sales are strongest because knowledge about Fair Trade is most widespread; the miscellaneous stock images purchased of cities elsewhere would be irrelevant, the time that went into research and their cost wasted. A third recommendation might be to emphasize a corporate image of family and warmth, making the interviews shot in a cold-looking warehouse undesirable.
In contrast, imagine that the marketing plan precedes the video production. Entirely different types of ideas for the end product and its elements would be envisioned, and when completed, the piece would reflect and confirm the company’s new messaging. Visuals to be captured might focus specifically on women sewing scarves of all fabrics and colors in various coops in different countries; imagery of other clothing items would be scarce.
Storyboarding: The Visual Story
To explain how the products get from the coops to consumers’ homes, the viewer might see a graphic of the world with arrows moving from the producers’ countries to San Francisco, then fading into arrows that stretch from San Francisco to target cities in the US with a high volume of sales. If the CEO is the key speaker, the interview with her or him might be set up in a warm location inside the corporate headquarters surrounded by posters and folk art that evoke imagery of hard working people lovingly making handcrafted products.
Of course, different conclusions reached about a marketing plan by the team charged with creating it might yield very different decisions about the visuals to be captured in a video as well as the storyline and its layout. The key is to ensure that the questions are asked and answered in advance, creating a base that will support the totality of marketing materials, including videos produced. This plan will result in a more successful campaign with resources well spent.
Result: A Video That has Legs and Can Stand on it's Own
Bling may attract, but it will be a short-lasting romance if the product with which it is associated falls apart soon after its purchase. Planning and creating a video strategy is the way to success!