The proliferation of ‘user generated’ video is astounding. 60 hours of video is uploaded every minute to YouTube, with over 4 billion videos viewed daily. With those kinds of statistics, what chance do you possibly have of creating a video that captures anyone’s attention?
Don’t focus on going viral
We hear stories of video’s that go ‘viral’ but what does ‘viral’ actually mean. A viral video is a video that has had over 1 million views. The types of videos that go viral usually have an element of ‘surprise’ or ‘delight’ about them. They are also occasionally shocking. Some organisations become obsessed with the prospect of a video going live, in the same way a lotto ticket holder becomes obsessed with winning the jackpot. The reality is, in both cases the odds are stacked against you. Also, in both cases, there is no ‘winning formula’.
Instead of going viral, think about producing a video that is engaging, persuasive and most importantly entertaining to your select target audience.
Lessons to be learned from Tropfest about video production
Tropfest is Australia’s most loved film festival. It works on the principle of producing short films on modest budgets but with great storylines. For most organisations, most of what they need to say in a video can be conveyed in under 3 minutes. That sweet spot of 3 minutes is also about the ideal viewing time for a video on YouTube.
Why should I incorporate corporate video production into my marketing strategy?
The reality is that video is not for every organisation but if well written and well executed, video is for most organisations. Corporate video is the ideal medium to introduce potential clients or customers to your product or service. It also happens to be an essential tool in building a profile for investors, distributors, licensees, franchisees and countless other stakeholders in your businesses success. Video production is even playing a role in recruitment and induction programs. We all love the ease and convenience of video and (signs are) we are watching more and more video all the time. This is in part to improved access through better broadband and the ubiquitous nature of tablets and smart phones. If you are not using video already, you soon will be.
What is the difference between a ‘good’ corporate video and a ‘bad’ video?
Someone once said ‘ I don’t know art but I know what I like’. The same can be true about video. Most people can’t tell you about what makes a good corporate video but they can tell you when they’ve seen one. If this is the case, then why is it most people feel they are qualified to put a video together? There has been enough ‘in-house’, cheap and poorly produced video by companies to put Australia into a coma.
The reality is producing good video is hard work. You must know the techniques and mechanisms that drive good video and you must spend the time to ‘craft’ the final product.
What are the consequences of ‘bad’ corporate video production?
There are worse things that can happen to your company than producing video that nobody views. The worst thing that can happen is they view your videos and it damages your brands integrity. Poor video can be dull, condescending, uncomfortable to watch and even embarrassing. The wrong video can even create consumer, client and investor social media backlash. In a world where everyone has the chance to be a critic, you can’t afford to produce video that makes your organisation a laughing stock.
What makes ‘good’ corporate video?
Good corporate video begins with a good script. Could you imagine shooting ‘Gone with the wind’ without a script? The scripting process is the time to develop and refine the story. The rule of thumb is that ‘if it doesn’t look good on paper, it won’t look good on film’.
What is the role of production quality in ‘good’ corporate video?
Today, the average smart phone shoots in higher definition to a $150,000 video camera from 10 years ago, but high definition doesn’t necessarily mean ‘high quality’. Even though the cost of high quality video production equipment has plummeted, the cameras and other equipment is only as good as the people operating them.
A masterful cameraman can create an entirely different shot to a gifted amateur, even if they are using the same equipment. It comes down to having ‘an eye’ and seeing the world differently than those around them. The same is true of editors.
There is a reason they offer an Academy award for editing. Editing is the very glue that holds a story together. It creates the rhythm and tone for a film or video. How many times have you seen a feature film and thought ‘that would be a great film, if it was a half hour shorter’. That’s poor editing. An editor also has the role of colour grading shots. You may wonder why the video you shot at a location is different to what your saw in a film. It probably has to do with a technique where each individual frame in a film is ‘colour graded’ to make something stand out or to create a mood or feel. Colour grading is also used to bring different shots together, so they have a similar colour pallet and are less visually jarring.
What about sound? Sound editing is as much of an art as shooting and video editing. Sound editors create a ‘soundscape’, which helps bring the video to life.
And we have forgotten one of the most important characters in the mix; the director. We hold directors like Spielberg and James Cameron a loft because they are great storytellers. They know how to make a script live. They oversee the craftsman as an architect oversees his builders. Without their singular vision, films would make no sense.
‘But I only have a small budget. How can I afford all of this?’
Organisations such as Digital Storytelling Collective have taken advantage of the accessibility of the latest digital production equipment and have been able to bring video production in-house. These new technologies also allow us to multi-task and streamline the video production process, reducing costs without reducing quality.
That doesn’t mean we are a group of ‘enthusiastic amateurs’, experimenting on our clients. To the contrary, the team at Digital Storytelling Collective have almost 3 decades of experienced writing and producing television commercials and other video productions. Why is this important? When you learn that many of the world’s best directors, cameramen end editors cut their teeth on TV commercials, you will understand why we are capable of achieving what we do.