12 Tips for Making Video a Reality in 2019
By Holly Paige, Wave One Group
If 2019 is the year you’re finally going to start producing video content to promote your business or organization, here is a handful of tips to help you plan a flawless video campaign in the New Year.
1. Know why you’re producing a video.
This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many otherwise smart professionals decide they want to produce a video about their company without thinking through their goals and outcomes. Don’t be that person! Get clear about the pain you want your video to relieve before you start imagining what you want your video to look like.
2. Decide who this video is for.
Every video you produce needs to appeal to a specific audience. Take the time to identify the audience you want to reach and the messages you want to communicate before you start production. Doing your homework will help you decide the type of video you want to produce, as well as the creative tone and style you want your video to convey.
3. Get clear about your outcomes.
What do you want your target audience to do after they’ve watched your video? Visit your website for more information? Donate money online? Fill out an online job application? Whatever your outcomes, make sure your video has a strong call to action, directing viewers to take the next step.
4. Be honest about the investment you’re willing/able to make.
Successful video projects are an investment in time, money, and talent. The average video project takes an average of 12 weeks, from concept to completion. On the low end, a typical budget for a two-to-three-minute video starts at around $5,000. Expect budgets to vary widely, depending on the complexity of the video you want to produce.
5. In-house or outsource?
If you’re producing a video in-house, your main investment will be staff time. If you outsource your project, your investment will be in dollars, to hire outside video experts who can assist you in everything from story planning, project management and creative development, to filming, story production and editing. The deciding factor typically comes down to the amount of extra staff time an organization has (or doesn’t have) to devote to the amount of time needed to produce a video.
6. Plan, baby, plan.
Leave winging it to the birds. Without a solid plan, your video project is DOA.
7. Short, long, or in-between?
There’s a lot of buzz around the “perfect” length of a video. The truth is, there is no perfect video length. However, there are guidelines, based on how a video will be used. For example: 60-90 second video testimonials of company executives or customers work well as email attachments, on a website, or on a social media platform. Ditto for a two-to-three-minute product demo. Videos in the three-to-five-minute range (company culture videos; award videos; fundraising appeal videos; video case studies) work well in live presentations, or on a website. My rule of thumb around video length is: make sure your video is long enough to cover your most important messages, but not too long that people lose interest.
8. There’s no “I” in team.
Keep your internal team small and focused. Make sure everyone on your team shares the same goals and outcomes and is motivated to keep the process moving forward.
9. Find video partners that work and play well with others.
Every video company has a great demo reel. But look beyond the pretty images when evaluating a potential video partner for your next project. Find a team whose work ethic and values mirror yours. Seek out video pros who “get” your vision, are focused yet flexible, communicate well, enjoy the collaborative process, are easy to work with, and deliver projects as scheduled.
10. Expect the unexpected.
Scheduling snafus. Production bumps. Last minute script changes. Re-edits at the 11th hour. Something unexpected will happen during the life of a project. Having a solid game plan will help you overcome these bumps in the road. When the unexpected appears (and it will), stay calm and carry on.
11. Think Vimeo for video hosting.
Most people immediately think of YouTube for video hosting, because it’s a free service. But Vimeo is a better bet, especially for business and corporate work. Vimeo is a paid service, but the investment is worth it for a couple of important reasons: First, Vimeo allows users to keep their original online video links, so you can make revisions to an existing video without having to create a new video link, as you have to do with YouTube. Second, Vimeo doesn’t paste unwanted ads over your video like YouTube does. These are small, but important distinctions, and worth paying attention to, if maintaining a professional visual presence is important to you, and your audience.
12. Enjoy the ride.
The video medium is such a powerful communication tool, and there are so many applications for it that you owe it to yourself to at least consider producing a video sometime in 2019. And if you are already on the video bandwagon, here’s to another great year of creating video content that engages, educates, and inspires.
Who Am I? I am Principal and Chief Storyteller at the Wave One Group in Portland, Oregon. We produce videos for small to medium sized businesses and organizations that want to reach more people and need professional storytellers to help them tell the right story. Our clients include employers struggling to recruit quality employees; business owners seeking a better way to connect with their customers; and nonprofit organizations that need to raise money or raise awareness. Our sweet spot is working people who are new to video and are excited about using the medium to grow their businesses.