Let's face it, producing video takes both time and money from all parties. Even producing seemingly simple content takes effort. From crafting the message to how it's going to reach your audience, there can be many pain points along the way. If you're tasked with producing video for your organization, here are some easy ways you can invest your time wisely. After all, ROI is the name of the game.
Does it need to be video?
Simple question. You might be tempted to answer "duh", but you should ask yourself why you are looking to make this video. Is it because someone told you "We need a video!" or "You know, a video would be fun!" Sometimes video is not the answer to all types of content. For example, let's say your boss is asking you to make a video. The content is dense, the amount of it keeps getting longer and longer, and you keep scratching your head and thinking "No one is going to watch this."
My answer: listen to your instincts! You know your brand the best. You might need to reframe expectations on what the video should be. Maybe it needs to be a different type of video. Or, should it be something else entirely, like a slide deck or an article that can be posted on your website? Video is not always the solution.
Take that long, dense video you were asked to produce and suggest other options to your boss. Think of a creative way to introduce your audience to that content, get them excited for it, and help sell that product or communicate the message. Suggest that video might not be the right tool. Come up with alternatives. Maybe video is still in the equation, but as part of a different approach. Using video strategically nets more return in the end.
Who's my audience?
I see this a lot: a client wants to make a video, but cannot clearly identify who the audience is or how they plan to reach them. That's like wanting to buy a house, but not having any idea what kind of house it should be, where it should be, or how many bedrooms it needs to have.
Knowing your audience will allow you to tailor your message appropriately. If you can't identify who your audience is, it's going to be extremely difficult to speak to them effectively. What are their habits? What do they know or not know about your brand? What preconceptions do they have?
For example, a video for young professionals should be different from one for seasoned professionals. Age is simply one demographic. There are many others. Understand how they affect engagement with your brand.
How will my audience see this?
When you set out to create content, the goal is for as many people to see it as possible, right? There's no "go viral" button or magic formula. It's an organic process that happens because people find your content engaging and want to share it. The best thing you can do is create the conditions to make your video successful.
Tailor your content to your distribution platforms. Is your video destined for your website? How about social media platforms? Is it going to be shown at a conference or board meeting and then posted to the web or social media? Is it going every possible place you can post it? I'll stress this...you should know WHY and HOW your video is getting distributed. Your content can't be successful if both your audience and your distribution platforms are not in sync. Help them get there by:
- VERSIONING: Consider different versions or companion videos for the various platforms, or breaking up your messages into smaller pieces for outlets like social media.
- BUY-IN: If you aren't the one who controls how videos are distributed at your organization, talk with the gatekeepers and explain what you are trying to accomplish. Get their buy-in so they can help you push your video to all of the appropriate outlets.
- TIMING: Consider notifying your audience, especially via social media, multiple times once the video has been released. Whether your audience is membership, employees, or customers, people want to consume content on their own time. Have a plan to reach them.
Know how and when people engage with your organization. Seek out that space. Target those times. If you don't need to make a video, don't make one! Create content that serves your message. However, when you choose to create video that engages your audience when they want it and how they want it, you'll see that video is money well spent.