With digital video cameras now so easily accessible and usable, just about anyone can create video content for their business — but, clearly, not everyone is considering video content strategy or video production best practices.
So, I caught up with Bekah Christie, Producer at Emota, a brand film agency in San Diego, to talk about what people should be doing to create the very best branded video content. Video strategy is very similar to Web content strategy in general, with a few twists. From our discussion, I wrote How to Plan for Exceptional, Engaging Video Content, published today at the Content Marketing Institute.
Here’s the interview behind the recommendations in the CMI article — a unique perspective on content strategy as it applies to video.
Bowen: Once you know your client’s business goals and video content objectives, how do you get started with the creative?
Christie: First, we look at the brand landscape:
- How do people feel about the brand?
- How do they feel about themselves?
- What are their competitors doing?
- Who do they aspire to be?
B: So you find examples of brands that your client wants to be like.
C: Right. One of our clients admired Tom’s Shoes and wanted to be amazing like them. This was a great place to start.
B: What do you do to help accomplish that goal?
C: We need to craft the story. We find out what is fun and amazing and supports [our client’s] brand. We look at all their assets — their content, their people, their product and mission — and find parts of the story that will leave an impressed, positive reaction.
[callout title=”Context is extremely important when creating your video content strategy.”][/callout] B: What happens next? I expect it’s quite a leap for people to go from discovering their story — the story that will have the most impact and desired outcome — and shooting video footage.
C: Right. Context is extremely important when creating your video content strategy. As a team, we think about:
- Who will interact with this video?
- Where will it live? What’s around it?
- What video did they [the audience] see before this one? Is this a series?
- What’s their first impression? Can we build on that through a video story?
- Can we shoot more than one video in one sitting to save time and money?
- How can we be unexpected or out of the ordinary?
A video should not be created in isolation. It’s not viewed in isolation.
B: That makes sense. As with Web content, context will influence voice, tone, length …
[callout title=”I think of a single video as potentially having many legs.”][/callout]
C: Exactly. People don’t spend enough time planning. A well-thought out video content strategy can save a company thousands of dollars. For example, if you interview the CEO, your strategy should indicate other ways you might use his or her answers — and build the questions right in. You can always edit down. But if you don’t get enough and have to reshoot, you’ve wasted many people’s time and potentially thousands of dollars re-shooting.
I think of a single video as potentially having many legs: these legs are different ways the video is used, such as at an event, within a campaign, on a brand site, on a partner site, or as part of a series. If you think about usage ahead of time, you’ve greatly improved your efficiency and impact.
B: So now that you’ve considered the objective, the story, the context …
C: It’s time to create a structure for the video and put together a calendar [for shooting and production]. We determine the roles and responsibilities at the start — who’s going to do what? For example, we do all the creative and editing, but partner with an ad agency to do the deployment.
B: What’s the most important thing to remember when creating video?
C: [Laughs] Well … I like to quote Ansel Adams: “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”
B: Right. Think before you shoot.
C: It’s so true. Ads essentially waste people’s time. You should reward them [with great video content] for losing that time.