Video has the power to inform, entertain, persuade, engage, and – most impressively – resonate far more than text does. This makes it a potentially powerful tool for companies, even (perhaps especially) for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Although videos can be powerful, it’s by no means a certainty that they will be. I’ve created some 30 videos for my clients at TribalVision. Here are 5 business video best practices I’ve picked up on getting the most out of video for your business.
1. Videos have more uses than you think
Don’t underestimate the sheer number of ways in which your business can effectively use video. Here are just a few of the many possibilities:
- A company video that explains who your business is and what it does
- A product video that showcases the features, price, benefits, etc. of one of your products or services
- A testimonial video that features one of your customers talking about your company, product, or service
- A careers video that shows off the benefits of working at your company and your company’s workplace culture
- An on-boarding video for new employees
It’s not a good idea to create videos indiscriminately, with the sole purpose of having video and without regard for what purpose they serve. It is, however, good to realize that there are quite a few potential needs where a video may be appropriate for your company.
2. Know what influences budget
Videos can be expensive – potentially $10,000 or even more for a single 3-minute video from a one-day shoot. However, they do not always need to be nearly as pricey. Depending on the video complexity and topic, you very well may be able to get a high-quality video for a quarter of the price (or less).
Although this is still a sizeable sum of money, it’s important to view videos (like much of marketing generally) as an investment, not an expense. Although they may not be for everyone, they can pay for themselves if done right.
Video budgets depend much less on the length of the video as on factors like:
- The camera: A top-of-the-line camera can add an extra 30%+ to the video budget. This doesn’t mean you need to settle for a terrible camera – it’s usually not too difficult to get a good camera at an affordable budget.
- The video location: Shoots at a videographer studio are generally cheaper than shoots on site, like at your company.
- Personnel hours: The size of the shooting crew makes a sizeable difference in the total budget, as does the length of the shoot (typically, shoots are either a half day or a full day). In terms of spend, there is a big difference between having a 4-person crew for 8 hours and a 3-person crew for 4 hours.
- Editing time: The number of editing hours also makes a big difference in the budget. If your videographer is quoting a budget that varies depending on the number of editing hours (which isn’t always the case – many budgets are quoted as flat fee with a set number of editing revisions), then make sure to have a very clear picture of what you want the video to look like. This will eliminate editing hours in the back-and-forth process.
If you feel that a video would be great for your business but don’t want to pay the money for a videographer-quality video, two options are 1) using an Animoto video and 2) shooting a simple video on your smartphone. Neither will give you the same level of final product polish as a professional video, but they can both be effective in their own right.
Animoto is a video service that allows you to create a video using your company’s images and video snippets. If you already have some solid photography, it’s a good way to get some extra value out of your photos. It’s also user friendly and can produce decent videos without too much time or effort.
Smartphone videos are also a potential option, but their overall quality is not as nice, especially when editing is involved, so be careful of them.
In general, if you think you can afford a quality video involving a videographer, I’d recommend considering using a camera that isn’t the absolute best (but is still nice) and shooting at the videographer’s location. This may help cut the budget substantially.
3. Less is more
Although it depends quite a bit on the industry and the video, shorter videos generally tend to perform better than longer videos. I would advise that, for videos longer than 2 minutes, you thematically group segments and make each segment its own video.
For instance, say a 3-minute testimonial video is made of 10 clips, 3 of which are related to your company’s value for money, 4 of which are related to customer service, and 3 of which are related to professionalism. I would advise grouping the 3 value for money clips together, the 4 customer service clips together, and the 3 professionalism clips together. From there, each of these 3 topics can be made into its own video.
People are more likely to watch the entire video when the video is shorter. You can use a video hosting service like Wistia to see what percentage of a video people watch.
4. Have a plan
This one’s quick and simple. Before you start filming, you should know what the final deliverable you want is. Video partners vary in how flexible they are with changing scopes of work. For example, you should know whether you want 1 long video, 3 short videos, or both.
5. Know your b-roll
Also before you walk into the video shoot, you should know what b-roll footage (the shots that are used while someone is talking but not on camera) you want to capture during the shooting day. This is a 3 step process:
- Make a bulleted list of b-roll shots you want captured on camera during the shoot.
- Map out where each shot will be used in the video – maybe they fit with a particular line or section within the video. This will also help the videographer put the video together and minimize editing, since he/she knows exactly where you want each shot to go.
- On shoot day, physically cross off each b-roll shot (to make sure you captured everything you wanted and didn’t leave anything out).
Videos can be a powerful tool for your business. But they also involve constant decision making, from determining what videos to create to which camera to use to budgeting to video length, to name a few. I hope these 5 video tips help with making these decisions.This is Part 1 of a 2-part blog on video tips. In the upcoming part 2, I will discuss 5 more tips. For now, happy video making!