Let’s face it, making a video is easy. We’ve all done it. Inside everyone’s pockets are devices that have revolutionized the simplicity in which videos are to be shot, edited, and stylized with all sorts of effects. While all this has been great for the democratization of video, it’s upped the ante for what audiences and consumers come to expect from professional video campaigns. The experts stand out because of their video strategy.
Now that video marketing strategy is an integral part of the digital landscape—with 87% of marketers turning to video to reach their audiences—it’s more important than ever to formulate a fully-fleshed plan to creatively draft, produce, and distribute your video content effectively.
Declaring “let’s make a video” is a start. But the reality of a production relies heavily on the details. A lot of times, the planning which goes into a production ends up being as important, if not more, than the video itself. Video strategy relies on individual pieces coming together in unison to produce a video worthy of the effort that goes into it. This is why it’s critical to have a production partner along the way to help develop a cohesive video strategy: from creation to distribution.
From Conception to Creation of a Video Production
In creative industries, everybody wants to create something original. Video production, like any visual art, is driven by a desire to produce a concept that captures a message in a unique, unprecedented fashion. Unfortunately, under-experienced marketers will often make the mistake of formulating a concept that is unattainable for various reasons: be it budgetary, time-sensitive, or technical.
Ironically, the first step of an original video strategy is coming prepared with examples of videos that you want to replicate. We’re not talking shot-by-shot recreations here, but rather gathering appropriate sources of inspiration. Before pre-production even gets underway, it’s vital to come prepared with a video strategy that is realistic, original, and thematically appropriate. From there, it’s all a matter of planning out the specifics.
What’s Your Target?
When conceptualizing a video, it’s important to know what your target audience is and how you’ll be reaching them. Video strategy ultimately falls back on finding the most effective way to capture your audience’s attention. So whether it’s through a grassroots social media campaign, a theatrical commercial, or an informative testimonial series, you want to approach making a corporate video in a way that lends itself to practically reaching your target audience.
Budgeting a video production isn’t something that can be easily grasped after one or two goes around. As any producer or financier will tell you, budgeting a project is hardly a flawless process; however, it does become clearer with experience.
For professional productions, budgeting goes hand in hand with the concept phase of pre-production. Understanding what can be provided with a given budget can go a long way into getting the most out of what you’re paying for. Aside from the obvious fees for operators, gear rentals, and location fees, other charges for transportation, permits, and meals should be taken into account.
If you’re working with a large budget—great. But like the majority of productions, the odds are you’ll be managing within tight budgetary constraints. The key here is practicality. Having a thorough plan before shoot day that accounts for all the potential blips and unexpected costs of a production isn’t going to prevent the unexpected from occurring, but it may at least save you from a headache.
Editing During Production
Editing a project may be associated with the phase of post-production, though as those who’ve worked in production know, it’s never too early to start editing.
It all goes back to planning. While a good video strategy will include contingency plans drawn out during pre-production, a great production will be constantly thinking on its feet, accounting for all the moving parts and—if if you’ll excuse my football analogy—will known when to call an audible.
The same editing may need to be implemented on the content of the project. Scripts may need to change, talent may need to be replaced, props may need to be reconfigured, and shots may need tweaking all for the sake of making a better final video. You can call it having a strategy, but what editing during production really is, is a pragmatic ability to create on your toes throughout the the entire production process.
Shoot days can be chaotic. And while it’s not always possible to forecast how things will turn out, it is possible to come prepared with a set of priorities. Visual goals often rely on a key scene, shot, interview, or effect to make them work. Part of what makes a video strategy work is having a clear list of priorities through each phase of the production process. With priorities in mind, you’ll be able to know what you can push back on and keep, and what you can change if limitations arise.
Distribution of the Content
Distribution may the last step of your video strategy, but it’s one that should be kept in mind from the very beginning. It feels like every day that new platforms are sprouting up online. Knowing which ones are right for your content can go a long way in helping you reach your ideal audience.
Knowing Your Video Platform
Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and now TikTok have demonstrated the importance of the distribution process of production. With each unique feature and demographic boasted comes an opportunity for your video to find its rightful home. Needless to say, distribution shouldn’t be an afterthought, and with distribution channels being a part of your video strategy, you’ll be able to format your video for the platforms that you intend to distribute it on.
Repurposing Video Content
In the end, an effective video strategy gets the most of your video content. Repurposing videos for different platforms by producing various long/short/specialized edits, using screen grabs as photo assets, and creating GIFS and social media stories from your video can all maximize your video’s value and reach with the extra costs.
That’s a Wrap!
Wrapping up a project and getting your video out there for everyone to see really is worth all the hard work. What starts with simply announcing, “let’s make a video”, ultimately leads to a fast-paced, layered, and invigorating process called production. Around every corner is a new hurdle, and with each phase comes an opportunity to meet a new challenge. For any company looking to set foot in the realm of production, it seems beyond mentioning that a team of experienced producers are as vital to the process as the cameras themselves.