Video seems to be everywhere these days, but not all of it is great quality. Look out for these five myths that can sabatoge your next video before you succumb to the pressure to "just add some video" to your content marketing mix.
1. Video production is only about shooting video
When you hear the term video production what do you envision? Does a cameraperson appear in your mind? Maybe you imagine a studio set with lights and on-camera talent? Well, you are almost correct. A common misconception is that video production is only about the “production” step of the process.Professionals know that it takes a lot more time to produce content no matter the type of equipment being used. In fact, production is usually the shortest step in the complete production process which also includes pre-production(planning, strategy, scripting, coordination, etc.) and post-production(editing, graphics, music, color correction, distribution, etc.).
2. Video is easy
Smart phones have come a long way. Easy Point and shoot right? Everyone now has a video camera. It is so easy we can have the intern do it, right? Anyone can shoot casual ephemeral “snacks” of video content for your Instagram account, but is that the right choice for your brand. Is the medium being used correctly so that you are getting your message out and adding pieces to your puzzle? The key is having a video marketing plan.
Are quick casual Instagram videos part of your strategy? Are they consistent with your messaging? Or should you have a more polished and produced piece of content for your audience. It all depends on your brand and your communities expectations of you. For some those snackable short snapchats or Instagram video are used in conjunction with a more robust informational video series. For some organizations, short quick micro video content like Instagram or snapchat drive marketing.
There are rules and best practice standards that all video should abide by. As a business owner or manager of an non profit organization you have to decide what would be the best choice for your content production.
I was once hired to produce cocktail recipe videos for a restaurant's Instagram account. These videos were well thought out planned and shot with professional quality equipment, and edited to include branding, informational graphics and an original music track. These were of a much higher quality than the quick iphone shots I've grabbed at events. Going in to those we knew that these short videos would be loose and rough. They were used to get the feel of an event and not to build a brand.
3. It is all about the shot
For some brands, it really is all about the image. Getting the perfect video shot with a rocking music track in the background is style certain brands use to engage their community quite effectively. But if your next video needs to literally say more make sure your audio is high quality. There are reasons pros use microphones. Audio can make or break your video. Ironically, you can sometimes get away with low quality video but low quality audio is a deal breaker. Random clicks and background noise can make it difficult for a viewer to truly enagage and connect with what you are trying to say. And if it is annoying enough, they will stop watching.
4. Your video needs to be 2-3 minutes
In video, quantity does not not equal quality. Deciding on the total running time of a video really depends on the Golidlock’s principle. Yes, there are certain distribution outlets and networks where a specific total running time matters. A thirty second commercial for broadcast needs to be thirty seconds. A video for Instagram can be from three to sixty seconds. But, there is no such limit for an event video or a Youtube video. In fact, the longest video on Youtube will take you 23 days to watch. The length of an online video should be just right for your audience. A story can be told in 36 seconds or three minutes or 3 minutes and 10 seconds. It just needs to be effective. I’ve seen three minute videos that really should be one minute and two minute videos that include so much information that an extra minute or two would have helped the content breath making it easier for the viewer to take in the information. So how do you know the right length to produce? What is the message or story that you want to tell and decide where are you going to tell it. When you finally produce it, make sure your team watches it with the viewer in mind.
5. Editing is the end
Ok, so you have a completed video. You’re all finished right? Sorry, now it is all about distribution and promotion. Where will your video live and how will people find it. When producing any kind of content, you should start at the end. What is your overall goal for having a video?
Are you producing this piece of content just to have a video or is their a specific need for using it as a communication tool? If you plan to add it to your Youtube page make sure you have a plan and schedule for promotion. If you plan to embed it on your website, make sure it has a place to go. Help your new video work for your organization. I’ve seen so many great videos buried deep in a website or forced into a video player the size of a postage stamp. If you plan on using the video projected at an event, that doesn’t’ mean you also shouldn’t have it embedded on your website and shared on your Facebook page or on Twitter. If you properly plan and engage your community, your new video can be used for years to come.