For what feels like an age now, video has been regarded as the jewel in the crown of any marketer’s collateral. Google loves video, social media platforms love video, and with Tik Tok hot on the heels of Instagram as the next big thing, video isn’t going to become any less important in the 2020s.
A well thought out video can work wonders for your brand and the marketing mileage you can get from one good minute of footage is well worth the effort.
In my day to day job, I work with Marketing Managers and Directors of companies of varying sizes, in various stages of their marketing strategy evolution and I experience several different attitudes towards video.
What I see and hear is that video for the experienced marketing department is an exciting project to get their teeth into and they have a very healthy budget to produce something quite spectacular. And that’s brilliant...if there’s still budget left to promote the video once it’s ready to go.
These are the brands that put weeks or months into creating 60 seconds of footage.
These are the brands that can afford the full videographer team and can share those candid behind-the-scenes phone snaps on their social pages while the filming takes place.
These are the brands that can build a relationship with an experienced, talented and polished production company and keep everything in-house.
Add in some stunning aerial drone shots and some very stylish overlays and the masterpiece is complete.
But, what about when you don’t have a Hollywood budget?
We also work with companies that are competing with or aspiring to be like these big budget brands, but don't have the budget to match. They are often fairly new to the world of marketing strategy, outsourcing and project management.
Often teams at this stage in their journey, in their excitement, tell us that they’ve great ideas to make a video like brand X, because they’ve seen it appear online and it looks brilliant and they’re confident they can easily pull together a minute of promotion.
It’s at this stage I tentatively agree – video is a great tool and I’d love to support them through this journey and I'll happily put some quotes together with some of our Production Team Partners to bring those ideas to life.
But the reality of the situation can be that once things start getting costed up – editing time, travel costs, day rates – producing a video suddenly becomes eye-wateringly unaffordable and the disappointment of this either puts the idea to bed completely or leads to a secret and desperate scrape around some questionable freelance sites to pull together an off-brand cartoon explainer video that is, in my humble opinion, the modern day marketing faux pas that replaces the cringe inducing clip art and Comic Sans of the 1990s.
Or worse still, undefeated and unstoppable, who needs the marketing agency anyway? The fearless Sales Director who had the original vision for the video jumps in front of the iPhone camera of a cajoled colleague and says his bit to camera, unaware the lighting in the room is giving off a portacabin-kind-of-vibe and that he still has a little bit of lunch on his lapel…
Within the hour, this video is in pride of place on the website and storming through Instagram stories and email inboxes, leaving the marketing team the task of diplomatically explaining next week why there aren’t any conversions and the list numbers have dropped.
There is more to video marketing than the very good and the very bad. There is also a very comfortable and achievable middle ground there for the taking that most brands are ignoring or shying away from because they think it’s too hard, too expensive or just don’t have the time to learn about it.
Our staged price quotes make things a lot clearer for our clients. When we’re presented with the previously mentioned inspiring big ideas for the glossy film, we don’t ignore what’s being asked for and will give a realistic price for creating the video of their dreams, knowing almost for sure it’s out of budget.
But it’s a benchmark for the future and a transparent explanation of the work it takes to produce such a thing. At the same time, we’ll offer the alternatives which are quicker, easier and much more affordable, and most importantly will produce a video format that works across a range of media for a range of purposes.
We’re not a video production company in the sense that we’ve no cameras, big fluffy mics or editing suites, but video creation is very much within our skillset since it’s been an essential marketing tool for many years. What we can and do create for our clients is video footage from their existing collateral, perhaps complimented with a little bit of good-looking stock creative and some good design work from our team to create cross-platform assets for social, paid search, websites and more.
An example for this might include incorporating punchy text with some (classy) animation to highlight the key points of the message, some smooth transitions, and some good quality stills combined in smart brand colours.
A recent 50-second video we created for a client cost less than 5% of the cost of a bells and whistles production, yet yielded a healthy dose of new traffic at a smugly low acquisition cost and has the potential to quite possibly convert into over £1million in sales revenue as it travels through the sales process.
Our skill as an agency is in recommending what’s right for your budget right now and helping to protect your brand from poor quality collateral as you explore new ways to reach your audience.
So, which description fits your team’s thirst for video right now?
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