Video marketing: “It’s just a couple of hours of filming, right?”

It’s clear that video marketing is on the rise. More and more businesses start to realise that they need video as a part of their content strategy. As such, let’s take another look at what it takes to produce video marketing content. In this blog, we’ll revisit the three main phases of video production to explain how and why we produce content in the way we do. Hopefully, at the end of this blog you’ll understand that video marketing is more than just a couple of hours of filming and an a few days of editing.

Collaborative Video Marketing - Film Division and Creative Tweed

Pre-Production

The first step to produce video marketing content is pre-production. We’ve written about pre-production quite extensively in earlier blogs, but let’s recap for a moment. Pre-production, to us, defines all activities before the actual filming process starts. As such, it again can be divided into three stages: Research, Idea Generation and Concept Development.

  • Research – Let’s be honest about video marketing for a moment. In contrast to the creative film making industry, video marketing is all about sales. To produce video marketing content means your trying to sell your product or service through the medium of video. As such, market research is key. With a proper foundation in audience research, you’ll have a better chance to produce video marketing content that resonates well with your target audience.
  • Idea Generation – This is the most exciting part of the pre-production phase. This is where we get all creative and think of the perfect solution for your video marketing. Based on the initial market research, we get creative and think of the perfect hook for your audience. How can we get them to commit to your product or service, that’s the challenge.
  • Concept Development – Here we get serious. Once we’ve got a good idea, plot or hook to reach your audience, we’ll formalise it into a working concept. That concept includes scripts, storyboards and shot lists. It also involves a whole lot of project management and logistics. It can, at some points, feel a bit tedious, but it is a vital step to produce video marketing content. The entire video is planned out before we’ve even setup the camera, that way know one has to do any thinking when it comes to the shoot day, the crew just follows the plan. Without planning and management, your entire video could be left to chance and that could really harm your ROI.

Production

Production is where the fun begins. Finally we’re ready to film. On an average shoot, you will probably encounter three different types of crew. Each of them have their own role and responsibility on set. These are the different roles you can see: Producer, Camera Operator and Assistant.

  • Producer – The producer is your point of contact on set. This person manages our shoots and keeps a keen eye on the on the schedule. Our producers will make sure you as a client are happy with the shots and the rest of the crew is sticking to the script.
  • Camera Operator – To produce video marketing content, you’ll need a camera. And operating a camera is much more than just pressing the little red record button. In a small crew, your camera operator acts as DoP (Director of Photography) or even director.
  • Assistant – As the name states, the assistant role is to help the Producer and/or Camera Operator on set. They could be assisting with lens changes or even focus pulling. On bigger shoots, every lead crew member could have his own assistants. Their main goal is to free up the other crew members from tedious tasks such as battery changes so that they can focus on creating the video. Production Assistants save a lot of time.

On set, the crew will follow the shot list as set out during pre-production. However, It’s again not that straight forward. In order to start filming, you need camera and lenses. But don’t forget about the lighting or reference monitors. It takes time to build up a complete set. Especially if you’re using specialised equipment such as a crane, gimbal or glide rail.  These bits of kit help to create a more dynamic image, but it could take an hour or two to get everything ready. Our motto on set is “Don’t compromise quality over convenience”, so if it takes two hours to set up, it will take two hours. Rushing it is not an option if you’re looking for quality. If you want quality but can’t invest the time, then a large portion of your budget will be spent on getting in more crew members.

On smaller sets, you might just have a tripod and a couple of lights. Other sets might have multiple cameras and extensive lighting. Getting it perfect is a challenge. Combine this with a long shot list to go through and you’ll quickly realise that the phrase “it’s just a couple of hours filming” doesn’t hold any truth.

Post-Production

After filming, the post production starts. Again, there are three recognisable phase in the editing process: Narrative, Colour and Sound.

  • Narrative – In the narrative edit, we create the story as set out in Pre-Production. We go through all the footage and select the best clips to bring the story to live. Our layered pre-production approach allows us to efficiently and get results quickly. This first edit will be sent to our clients for review. At this point, it’s easy to make changes to ensure your audience engages with your video marketing content.
  • Colour – Just like the original film of the old days, modern digital film has to be developed as well. With colour correction and colour grading, we change the mood, look and feel of a clip to match it with the goals of the video. If you are selling a vibrant new sports drink, we want the colours to be as vibrant!
  • Sound – People often forget how important sound is in video. When you are looking to produce video marketing content, don’t skimp on the quality of the audio. It can make or break your content. No matter how flashy and perfect your imagery is, it is worthless without good audio. Whether it’s the perfect background track or an interview, your audience must be able to understand it all.

When these three elements are mixed to perfection, only then will you have a good piece of video marketing. As you can see, there are many steps in the edit. And naturally, some projects are quicker than others. Some project might not require extensive colour grading or sound mixing. However, when you’re ready to produce video marketing content, schedule time and budget to go through these phases without rushing; you don’t want to compromise quality over convenience.

In summary

All in all, I hope you understand that video marketing is serious business. It’s not something you’ll do on the side. Even if you are looking to produce video marketing content yourself, never compromise quality over convenience. Think of video as your shop window. It might be the first thing your prospective client will see. What do you want that experience to be for your client? A good video teases your audience and leaves them wanting more. Wanting to buy your product or service. And that’s what video marketing is all about.

 

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