People are often concerned about the cost of producing video but they shouldn't be. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your video content to the next level, there are several things you can do to make sure that you get the most video content for your budget.
Just to note: these suggestions are best suited for promotional or factual videos such as:
They can also be used for short dramas but, in our experience, they’re particularly effective for the types of video above.
I've broken the process down into three stages: before, during and after filming. Following each of these actions will ensure you get more video for your money.
The most obvious point is to be organised. Make sure that everyone knows what they're doing and when. This will ensure you make the most of the time with the production crew. Here is a checklist of what you should have locked in with your video production partner before filming:
We usually only have one or two days with a client to finish a shoot. Instead of filming one video in that time, plan to shoot two or three (or maybe more). This will reduce the spend on days with the crew, which is often the biggest production expense.
As any film nerd will tell you, all three Lord of the Rings films were filmed simultaneously over eighteen months. There's no reason why that approach to production can't work on a smaller scale for organisations.
When you're planning your production, think about future video content that can be filmed and then edited later on. If your video has interviews with industry experts, are there extra questions you could ask? Could these answers be repurposed for shorter clips to use on Twitter and Facebook? If it's a product video, how about planning FAQs or a special features series? Having a content plan will make this task much easier.
We used this approach with Apteco. We produced their homepage video and planned for a future partners video and a recruitment piece. We simply added a few more shots to the shot list, asked extra questions and allowed extra time in the schedule. Three high-quality videos from one day of filming - that's good value.
Events such as trade shows or roadshows are a great opportunity to film industry experts and/or client testimonials. If you've already invested in a stand, speakers or hospitality, hire a film crew too. Interviews with experts and event highlights packages make ideal bite-size videos for social media.
IRESS work in this way with their road shows. From one day of filming at the IRESS Live 2016 show at Stamford Bridge, we produced six videos.
Each video was highly topical in their target sectors. They were shared regularly following the event on their YouTube channel, on LinkedIn, their Twitter wall, and in blog posts. Not only did they follow up with the attendees, they seized the opportunity for the event to reach a much bigger audience. It reinforced their position as industry leaders in fintech. The cost of production was reduced significantly by having all their experts and clients in one place.
An efficient way of working is to use a setup that can be replicated quickly and easily. Again, this comes back to planning and making the most of the time you have. For example, keep filming locations to a minimum. This can help as any travelling is lost time in a schedule (unless you’re Louis Theroux).
Think about the style as well. Using two cameras to capture interviews looks great but will lengthen the interview setup time. A green screen is a sensible option if you're producing a large volume of videos in one session, such as video blogs. It can be easily manipulated in post-production for a range of looks, which is also useful for repurposing for future video content.
When you're choosing a video production company to work with, make sure they have a robust and secure media server. Anything you get filmed should be accessible going forward. It should also be backed up regularly in case the worst happens to that company.
We recently had a case where a client wanted to update a video from a few years ago. The previous company they originally used had gone bust. When we investigated it further, the company hadn't organised their rushes and could only provide a small amount of the footage that was actually needed. We had to reshoot everything; an expense the client could have avoided if they'd chosen a reliable video partner in the first place.
So, ask them how they will store your rushes and if they can't give a satisfactory answer, move on. Remember, a single hard drive is not a secure solution.
Finally, consider how your video content can be repurposed for international audiences. Translations and captions are a relatively straight-forward way of taking an existing video and making it accessible to a larger audience. International organisations with marketing teams in different regions can particularly benefit from doing this.
We've produced a series of educational resources that have been translated into Dutch, German and French. They've also been customised for South Africa, Canada, America, Australia, and New Zealand. The content and messaging have broadly stayed the same but we've been able to go back and edit the original English version in post-production.
An example of our video content repurposed for international audiences.
You may have noticed that planning is a recurring theme throughout this post. If there's one thing you can do to get the most of your video marketing budget, it's be organised. Abraham Lincoln once said, "give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." Decide from the outset what you want to achieve and once you're well-prepared, you'll be free to reap the rewards.
Wise words from Abraham Lincoln.