Video of scenery

[Big Cheese Expertise Guest Post] Hi, my name is Steven Mayatt and I’m the Creative Director at Pocket Creatives. If you’re thinking about adding video into your marketing mix, here are my top tips on getting started.

Why should you create videos for your business?

Video has been comfortably on the rise over the past decade, and is now thriving as brands are looking at more effective and engaging ways of communicating with their customers, as well as using it for marketing to find new ones. We’re seeing more how-to, recipes, talking heads and crowdfunding videos every day in our feeds, and often as the first introduction on company websites. 

But video is still more expensive than a lot of other media formats to produce to a professional quality, so how do you go about it for the first time?

1. Why are you making a video?

The most important thing that I explain to all of our clients is to consider the end goal of the video: what message are you trying to deliver to a viewer and what action do you want them to take once they’ve seen it?

It’s really easy to hire a video team, shoot for hours, chop it all up in the edit and put together some lovely shots, but if the goal isn’t considered then it can just be an expensive ‘nice to have’ that doesn’t end up actually doing very much.

Consider whether you’re looking to demonstrate the features or benefits of a product. Are you: 

  • Trying to educate and show someone how to use it?
  • Looking to generate some excitement?
  • Asking for funding?

There can be lots of different goals, and the fewer goals you have for a video, the more specifically it can be tailored to achieving that desired effect.

Video filming

2. Who are you making the video for?

The next step is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes and consider what’s important to them?

The best example I have is when we produce crowdfunding videos. We’ll make videos for those looking for investment and those giving away perks – the video might hold a lot of the same content for either application, but it needs to be tailored differently.

With yourself in the place of the audience, if you’re looking to invest then you want different information than if you’re a potential buyer and consumer.

The investor will need to know as much about the business, the numbers and the people behind it, as much as they do about the products themselves. A potential customer will care more about the products and isn’t going to be as interested in profit margins and equity.

Do your research into what others in similar fields to yours are doing, and judge for yourself what kinds of content are working well, and look like they’re having the desired effect. When approaching a video company, it’s incredibly helpful to have examples from YouTube on what you like and what you don’t, so that they can consider this when putting ideas on approaches together for you.

3. Where is the video being used?

Lastly, think about where the video is going to be used.

This will have implications for the duration and the format.

  • Website

If the video is hosted on your website, people will watch it and expect it to add personality, while fitting naturally within the rest of the content on your site. It should be full frame and succinct enough to keep a viewer interested until the end.

Try not to duplicate too much information that can be found elsewhere on your website in this video.

  • Social media

Using videos on social media is a slightly different prospect, as here you are competing for peoples’ interest amongst the mass of other interesting posts.

For this reason, make sure the start of your video is visually engaging, so don’t start on your company logo if you can help it.

When it comes to videos on social media, always think shorter is better – you’ll need to really refine the message.

One piece of advice that’s been a staple of social content for a while now is to ‘give viewers what they want’ – so use the thinking above and you’ll get much closer to understanding how to apply that to your video.

Look at how videos are sized as well – your video will most likely be shot in 16:9 (widescreen) format, and for website use this is best, but Instagram and Facebook also utilise 1:1 and 9:16 crops when viewing on smartphones. A good producer will keep this in mind when framing the video if they know its end use.

Making a video is more complicated than it first seems, but if any message is worth taking away from this, it’s that the more time spent on planning the shoot, the more effective your end results can be.

Special Smoothie PR Offer!

We’ll offer a 10% discount on our rate card prices for your first booking with us if you mention Smoothie PR.

I’ve been producing video content for over 15 years, and my team and I at Pocket Creatives are always available for general advice by phone on 07763 982 489email, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

More food for thought…

Hey, Charlotte here, thanks for reading through to the end!

Hang out with us for a bit longer and try out my 10-day free trial in The Smoothie Bar – I’ll teach you how to do your own responsive PR in only 10 mins a day!

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