April 25

Video Production Values – Why Businesses Can’t Afford to “Do It On The Cheap”

I’ve read countless articles and blogs (and written a few) on video content marketing and the importance of videos as a critical part of the marketing mix. The fact is that content marketing, and in particular leveraging video as a part of your content marketing, is really changing the way we need to approach our marketing strategy. For the majority of best in class organizations, video is working best for them above all other marketing tactics, and marketers have rated video the single most important online marketing channel. Viewers are 4-7X more likely to respond to video than static text and graphics, and a Forrester Research study shows that with proper optimization, video increases the chance of a front page Google result by 53X. With all of this buzz and the data about the importance of video marketing, there’s also been much discussion about how videos can be produced “on the cheap”, do-it-yourself style to get them out at any cost, and I’ve seen various articles promoting the production of inexpensive videos using a basic digital camera or iPhone and no professional support. While there may be some rare instances where this may be true, I argue that this is not the case in general and that video production values are more important today than ever.

 

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There’s no doubt about the effectiveness of online video and how it can help positively market a brand, engage an audience and sell more product. Though this strategy is only as good as the quality of the videos produced to get there. With the vast amount content, videos and online channels to compete with, a video needs to be sticky, engaging and produced with the right quality to capture a viewer’s attention and keep them watching, or it will have little if any value or ROI. Audiences watching online videos have discriminating taste just like they do when watching television at home or movies at the theatre. Viewers expect entertaining, dynamic broadcast quality video from businesses that tell good stories, evoke emotional responses, and entice them to action.

The first bullet on the “Programming Checklist” in the YouTube Creator Playbook says, “Create content that is unique, compelling and entertaining or informative”. But, it’s no easy task, and how does a business go about such a venture?

First, a company must invest the time, effort and resources to develop an effective, well-planned video marketing strategy, and use creative storytelling techniques to write and plan videos that will inform, excite and engage audiences. The problem is, most businesses don’t have experienced, creative video writers and producers on staff to create such interesting and compelling stories and productions. They need experienced video marketing professionals to competently tackle this task, and in-housing this critical step of the process can lead to poorly produced videos that fall flat and don’t come close to meeting expectations.

Next, high quality video production values are key to the successful production of videos that will be watched, engage your audience and drive measurable results. The primary drivers of video production values include creative direction, writing, audio quality, video recording quality, lighting, location/set and, most importantly, a professional production crew – director, producer, camera operator(s), audio tech, lighting director, makeup, etc. While not every video a company produces can be supported with the budget of a national broadcast television commercial (nor should they), skimping too far on video production values will likely result in a final product that will not properly represent your brand, convey the right message or attract and engage viewers. It may even backfire to represent your brand negatively, not worth even a dollar of investment.

 

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Some of the reasons video production values are important – and should be a critical factor in the production of any vide project – include:

–       Rising Viewer Expectations: Viewers are now watching almost 250 videos/month online. With more TV viewers migrating to the web, they’re expecting broadcast quality online video from the businesses and brands they follow.

–       More sophisticated viewing devices: Mobile devices are being used more and more to watch videos, and the video quality is getting more advanced. People are watching online video on their HD TVs, and the iPad is even higher res than an HD TV. Video quality must keep up.

–       Better User Experience: A professionally written, shot, well lit and tightly produced video with good audio is more appealing than an unprofessional “do-it-yourself” video, and will keep people watching and engaged.

–       Your Competitors are Doing It: The majority of North American companies are now using video for their content marketing, and are spending more each year on it. Your brand’s videos must be better than, or at least comparable to, your competitors’ in terms of content and production values to covert prospects and attract customers.

–       More Compelling Content: Production values can significantly enhance, or detract from, the core content of a video. Professional video producers can craft the content of your video and produce the right quality production to make sure it is focused, creative, on-message and delivers the impact you’re looking for.

Is your company leveraging videos for content marketing? Are you concerned with producing videos with the right level of production values, and working with a professional video production company to reach your strategic goals?  (If not, or if you would like to discuss how to improve and optimize your online video marketing, feel free to talk with my agency, Blue Wave Marketing in Boston, more about it.)

This post was originally published on John Moran’s personal blog, johnmoranblog.

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