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Video killed the radio star…

Remember this tune from the 70s? Back then there were mixed feelings about the new medium of music video taking precedence. 40 years on we are experiencing a transformation in content marketing thanks to the growth of video into a global marketing phenomenon.

The number of video distribution options, from YouTube to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have helped fuel this growth. Many marketers are even looking to reduce their dependency on these social media channels by developing their own video channel within their websites.

Video production has become cheaper, making it a viable tool for companies of all sizes. Armed with a smartphone, even those on a seriously tight budget can create great content. There are some brilliant apps available. Twitter’s Vine is just one example and it’s easily usable by those with limited technological know-how.

Video set to dominate marketing strategies

Research company Nielsen claims that 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies. Why? Because online video has become the go-to choice for people to quickly satisfy their information and entertainment appetite. One in three Brits view at least one video online per week – generating a massive weekly audience of more than 20 billion.

Businesses are carefully considering the role video plays, not just in their promotional marketing campaigns but throughout the customer journey – to educate and inform buyers and ultimately build strong relationships.

Creating the perfect video – it’s all in the planning

Good planning will ensure:

  • filming and production costs don’t escalate. By having a plan you reduce likelihood of the scope of video changing during its production. And scripting will help avoid unnecessary filming and therefore editing and production.
  • the end result is cohesive and on-message.

Follow Oxygen’s 6-point guide to achieving the perfect video:

1. Planning

Always start with a plan. This will make you think seriously about what you want from the video. Include:

  • Objective/s – what exactly do you want the video to achieve? e.g. sales enquiries, publicity, information for customers. Be realistic. If you want it to achieve all of the above, decide on the primary objective otherwise you’ll lack focus.
  • Target audience – who is the video for primarily, and what are the characteristics of this audience? i.e. age, gender, interests, job role.
  • Budget – do you have a set budget? The amount you have to spend can have a major impact on the shape of the project, so best to decide this at the start.
  • Timeline – when do you want the video to be ready? Start with this date and then work back with your scheduling.

All video production projects at Oxygen start with a plan, no matter what the size or complexity. It doesn’t have to be a long plan, just a written declaration if you like, of what you’re planning. That way you can be sure nothing is wrongly assumed. With this as a base we can then get creative, developing ideas and turning those ideas into reality.

2. Story-boarding

To story-board your video is simply to have a plan for each ‘scene’ and to decide on the sequence for these scenes. Remember to include any holding slides or interstitals, animations, charts etc.

For simple video projects with few scenes you could just make a note of the sequence, but for more sizeable projects you need to create a document that can be reviewed by all decision makers.

At Oxygen we create either visual designed story-boards or written story-boards, often in PowerPoint with each slide being a ‘scene’.   Once the story-board is agreed we have a real view as to what the completed video will look like. We can now plan for production of additional ‘creative’, source and interview actors, and source locations and props if needed.

3. Script-writing

Whether your video is scripted depends on:

What you’re filming – if a person is being filmed speaking,purely for the purpose of the video you’ll want to think about what you want them to say so scripting is wise. If you’re filming a live event, this will probably not be possible or suitable.

Who you’re filming – if you’re using actors then scripting is essential. If you’re filming a company spokesperson then take a judgement depending on how they come across on camera. Some people speak well unscripted and sound wooden if told what to say, whereas others may struggle to find the right words and need that guidance.

The style of the video – if you’re after a warts and all style and are not worried about looking ‘corporate’ you may get away without scripting.

If you’re going unscripted, ensure that all participants have been well-briefed where possible so they are aware of the audience they’re talking to, the key messages and the style you want.

Oxygen’s copywriters work on every video project, scripting filmed parts and voiceovers where needed, being on hand on the day of filming to rescript if necessary, and writing speaker briefs and guidelines.

4. Filming

While you can do a great job producing your own social media videos with a smartphone, a professional videographer will take your project to a whole new level. Professional filming will consider location, lighting and sound and will ensure you get a polished finish.

In addition to live filming, animation, that is computer-generated video, is a great way to get a message across either as part of a ‘human’ video or on its own.

On the day/s of filming, Oxygen handles absolutely everything, directing, filming, lighting, sound and props. Even make-up for those who need it!

5. Production and editing

As important as the filming itself, post-filming production and editing will transform your footage. Following your story-board you piece together your footage, adding in voiceovers, music, animations and text as needed.

We love the production stage here at Oxygen as you see everything come to life. We manage all aspects of the production and video editing and provide you with the finished file in your chosen format.

6. Marketing and dissemination

When planning you’ll have thought about what you want to do with the video, what its purpose is and who it’s for. This will affect how or whether you want to market the video and therefore where it will be ‘stored’ or disseminated.

While we’re including this stage at the end, it’s vital that you think seriously about this when planning so you don’t trip up. A video produced for TV advertising, for example, will look very different to something produced for your website.

Oxygen can produce a marketing plan for your video, or your digital marketing as a whole. We look at what you want to achieve and then find the best way of achieving this considering your audience, objectives, overall strategy and budget.

From dissemination to a select audience, to mass viral marketing we’ll get your video in front of the right people.

 

So……. lights, camera, ONLINE ACTION!

 

Emma Fowle: Emma graduated with a degree in design and came to Oxygen straight from college in 2012. She is experienced in design for print and web.