Types of Video Production
At InnerAction Media, we help companies tell compelling stories through video. We believe your customers care much more about how you can enhance their lives than the number of awards you have collecting dust on your shelf. We believe they are more concerned about how you can help them achieve success than how you have become successful yourself. We believe they want to be the hero of their own story and they are looking for you to guide them. Every video we produce for our clients is based upon those principles, and the result has been more engagement, better leads and higher brand equity. Here are some of the ways we use video to help tell our client’s story:
The 30-second Television commercial can be a great option for businesses looking to increase brand equity in a local setting. While TV is becoming increasingly more affordable, the amount of competing content displayed is growing exponentially as well. That is why, now more than ever, it is important to strive for high-quality production and specific, targeted messaging in your television commercial. When used appropriately, TV commercials can be extremely effective.
- Anthem Film
Most companies know they need at least one video that explains what they do and why they do it. They know this film needs to be displayed on their website and social media and should be available to play at events. We call this video the Anthem film, and it has evolved over the years with marketing trends and consumers habits. When our clients are looking for a video like this, we center our messaging around their empathy and authority, while positioning their potential customers as the focus of the film. How long should an anthem film be? As long as it takes to communicate your key message in a clear and concise manner, and not a second longer. For us, these videos tend to be under two minutes.
Because our goal is to communicate (on behalf of our clients) to potential customers in a manner that is engaging and positions them as the hero of the story, testimonials are one of the most frequent and effective types of video we create. Customer testimonials are important to your marketing strategy because they speak so clearly to your audience. According to WebDAM, customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing, with a rating of 89 percent.
The InnerAction Media Process
The internet is crawling with statistics that prove the value of video marketing, and all three of the options listed above are a perfect place to start, but how do you go about producing a professional quality video that portrays the right message for your company? At InnerAction Media, we have spent years developing our proven video process that we implement every day for the clients we serve. We understand that video production can be intimidating and even frightening. That is why we walk with our clients through each step of our process, helping them create marketing videos that they are proud of and that drive customers to action. Here’s how we do it.
How to Plan Out a Video Project
How to Plan Out a Video Project (Pre-Production)
“Hope is not a strategy.” This is one of the first things we explain to clients we are onboarding. An effective marketing plan starts with lots of brainstorming and intentionality. What are the goals? How can we accomplish them? How do we know the plan will work? Our video team doesn’t turn a single camera on until we have thoroughly developed a course of action. In the world of video, we call it pre-production.
- Meet With InnerAction Media
We start every project off by meeting with you and your key team members to discuss the upcoming video project. This is where we will ask questions like:
- What are your goals for this video?
- Who are we speaking to?
- What are some of the problems you solve for them?
- Why should they trust your company?
- What is the key theme or message
The answers to these questions are essential to the success of your video. Without effective messaging, your video will get lost in the ocean of visual content consumers face each day. We understand that messaging is one of the most difficult things for business owners to nail down. We have spent years helping companies clarify their messaging so that their customers respond by taking action. In this meeting, we will spend far more time talking about messaging and target audiences than nifty camera tricks or plot lines because we believe a marketing video without a purpose is a waste of money.
- Internal Brainstorm Session
After the initial meeting, our team will begin to brainstorm internally. We will compare notes, talk about potential script ideas and story concepts. Several potential routes will be explored, but ultimately, we will decide on the best course of action for the video project. Although we may develop half a dozen artistically intriguing ideas, the question we are seeking to answer is: will this concept resonate with a consumer and cause them to take the action we desire?
In the brainstorm session we will determine things like:
- Video format
- Video length
- Filming logistics
- Suggested promotion options
Once we have a concept we believe will get our clients the results they want, we start to produce a script.
- Develop a Video Concept/Script
The script is basically a written version of the video. The three main things we will outline in the script are audio, video and graphics. The goal of the script is to make sure that everyone is on the same page before we begin shooting. The script writer, director, videographer, client and any actors know exactly what we are expecting to produce. We do this because we value our clients’ time and money, and it is important to us that they receive the video asset that they expected, with no surprises.
- Prepare for Video Production
At InnerAction Media, our team produces every video we use in marketing campaigns for our customers. One of the benefits of having an in-house video production team is the ability to produce cost-efficient, high quality, video content on demand. We use the latest video technology to ensure that our video production is professional, effective and timely. Anyone can produce a video, but we understand that our client’s image is on the line, and we are determined to create video content as professional and compelling as their brand. That is why we make sure to have every detail of an upcoming shoot ironed out well in advance. Look to answer the following questions when preparing for a shoot:
- What do I need my on-camera talent to wear?
- What questions do I need to be ready to ask?
- What is the weather going to be like?
- Will there be ambient noise on our set?
- What will the lighting be like?
Preparing for a video shoot requires organizational skills and experience. By reviewing the script, creating a shot list and inspecting all equipment that will be used during production, you can avoid common mistakes.
Filming a Corporate Video
In years past, filming a corporate video would have only been possible with a large crew and an even larger budget. With the new technology that is now more readily available to the average consumer and the ability to post and promote video content at no cost online, video production is a viable option for almost every business. DIY video production is a great option for many small businesses without a marketing budget, but the average business owner has very little time to spend creating video content and even less time creating strategic content with a purpose. When we take on a new video project, we may require some time from the business owner or an employee during the filming process, but by-in-large, we will do the heavy lifting.
- Select Professional Video Gear
It is our belief that messaging will make or break a video, but the next most important variable is equipment. Without proper equipment, you may be unable to execute the shots you desire and could end up with an inferior product. Our team produces all of our video production in-house, and it is important to us to stay at the forefront of new video technology. From video-equipped drones, to motion stabilizers, to professional-grade cameras and lenses, we use the gear that will best achieve the results our clients expect.
- Determine Locations for Filming
Everything that is captured through the lens and placed into the project timeline will end up in the video. That is why selecting appropriate locations or sets is so important. We scout locations for our clients because we hope to ensure we are communicating the right message in every detail, down to the scenery. Indoor locations provide a more controlled environment but can cause issues with dark lighting, ambient noise and foot traffic if there are people in the building. Outdoor locations can make for beautiful footage but can cause issues with harsh lighting and natural sound. Great shots can be achieved in any environment if you plan accordingly!
- Interview Employees or Customers for Testimonials
Part of our mission at InnerAction Media is helping clients express their stories through the perspective of their customers. We use words like hero and guide. The hero of the story ought to be the customer, and the guide ought to be the business. One of the most compelling ways to put this theory into practice is by telling the stories of your customers in your video. Whether we interview a customer and talk about their story or we interview an employee and talk about ways they have helped customers, the customer must be the center of discussion. Often, we will refer to the interviews we use in videos as the “storyline” or the “spine” of the video. These interviews produce the soundbites you hear in pretty much any video you watch. In many industries, potential customers love hearing from and seeing the faces of the employees they will be engaging with.
- Capture Compelling Action Footage (B-roll)
Whether you call it action footage or b-roll, the shots that cover the interview and add visuals to the story are an essential part of any film. Action footage is sometimes explained as the difference between a book - void of supplemental imagery - and a movie - busting at the seams with such imagery. Think about how helpful the visuals are in a movie as compared to a book (Depending on the book, this might not necessarily be a good thing!). Action footage exponentially increase the emotional effect of a story when added to interview footage; especially when a well-crafted script pairs a compelling soundbite with an equally compelling and related shot.
Editing Videos for Your Business
After all footage has been captured for your project, you are ready to begin the final leg of the race: post-production. This is the stage of the journey where all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and hard work begins to pay off. Story lines are being woven together, settings are being fine-tuned to perfection, and final drafts are being exported in this phase. Continued diligence in post-production can take a video project from good to great. Nobody likes a video that looks like it was thrown together at the last minute. So, take your time, and remember to focus on these last few steps.
- Put Together the Story
As we have discussed previously, telling an effective, customer-centered story is paramount. A beautiful, professionally-produced film that fails to tell a compelling story is a waste of your hard earned cash. There is a definite art to storytelling. This is a brief outline of the narrative we follow:
- Life was great until _________
- Then I found __________
- They helped me __________
- Now I am back to __________
Don't focus too heavily on scripted lines or buzzwords. Instead allow your interviewee to share their story in an authentic way. This will create a far deeper connection with potential customers and compel them to take action.
- Professional Audio and Video
One of the most distracting things about a poorly produced video is defective audio or video. Even if you are able to tell an emotional, moving story focused on the customer, bad audio/video can cause your audience to disengage, or worse, view your brand negatively. Obviously, not every small business will have access to professional-grade equipment, but everyone can do their due diligence to improve quality in video production. Many mistakes are made in production, but there are several things you can do to improve audio and video quality in post-production. Here are a few tactics we employ to ensure our clients’ videos stand head and shoulders above their competitors:
- Audio mixing/mastering
- Video color grading
- Motion graphics
After implementing these final adjustments, your video is ready for review and export!
- Publish and Promote Video Content
Having a high quality video sitting on your desktop won't do you much good. At InnerAction Media, we refuse to stop once the video has been approved and delivered; the job has just begun. To use a video properly within a digital marketing campaign, it must be published on the internet and promoted. We use video hosting platforms like Vimeo and YouTube to house videos for our clients. These online players will generate a sharable link for your video, allow you to customize settings on the player and create an embed code for the video so that you can place it on your website for all to see.
Promoting your video is the next logical step. Promotion allows you to place your video in front of viewers who might not subscribe to your social media channels or visit your website. Promotion can be earned or paid based on the campaign strategy you employ. At the end of the day, promotion should be used to target your buyer personas with your video content and a clear call-to-action.
- Evaluate Video Analytics
Remember back to the very beginning of this process when we determined that each video must have a specific purpose. Now that we have reached the final step, was the purpose met? Was the goal realized? Whether the intention was to increase engagement, leads or brand equity, videos used on a digital platform come with all kinds of insightful analytics. For our clients, we track things like:
- Video views
- Peak viewing time
- Click throughs
The bottom line is, an effective video is one that achieves the task it was created to accomplish. As often as once a week, we review video performance analytics with our clients to determine how successful each piece of content was and how we should tweak them moving forward. After we walk our clients through our process, they find video to be a great investment and a pillar of their marketing strategy for years to come.
Let's Get Started
Have we persuaded you? If not, maybe these statistics will. Maybe you are 100 percent in on developing video content for your business but aren't sure how you could possibly do it alone. We are here to help! Creating an effective video marketing campaign can be overwhelming. We help our customers focus and take advantage of real opportunities with video for their companies.