Video is now a key marketing tool for all channels, online and offline. But producing the right video content for the right platform is often an expensive up-front cost. So how can purchasers make their video commissions most cost effective?
1. Consider your video content strategy
First and perhaps most significant, is to have a marketing strategy that designs and tracks the brand’s video output. Don’t buy bespoke video without scheduling its distribution. This goes back to the old fashioned discipline of media planning. Yes, video content is important. But where you place the content, what order you place it in and over what period of time is as important.
The context has changed. But social media videos are nonetheless still the younger offspring of TV adverts. Both in the creation of the content, and in its distribution. These videos are valuable marketing assets and need appropriate budget and planning.
Distribution costs will determine and constrain some of the above (that is if you’re planning a paid campaign on social media). But oddly enough because the internet allows for so much distribution freedom, strategy can often unravel.
In the unrestricted channels there is endless choice as to where to output video. It is important to plan your campaign by focusing on the channel most likely to catch your target demographic. And to make sure to film and edit the videos with the platform in mind.
These ‘shorts’ – some no longer than 20 seconds – can be recycled over a timeline. But they also need proper consideration as to where and when they are scheduled. This will ensure their greatest chance of engagement from potential targets.
2. Reuse, recycle
Your primary focus may be to produce an offline video for presentation or a website homepage video. This is likely to be a longer film than would play in social media feeds. It might also have more elements in it to convey a greater depth of information.
This longer ‘hero’ video may be the goal. But there’s no harm building in 2-3 cutdowns or re-versions of the main video for your social media channels. Filming the footage for your main video might be a one-off event, so make it count. Make your video producer aware from the get-go that you need a couple of video cutdowns, along with your main video. Then they can be sure to get the right shots for the different edits.
Planning your video for extra outputs at the start of a project is a great way to make the newly filmed material go further. And to produce more for your budget.
3. From the archives…
As a brand develops into a content commissioner and publisher, all the video produced has a very important added value. A value often not perceived. It becomes archive footage.
Archive, as Pathé knows only too well, can be invaluable as a historical repository and valuable as a commodity. You can licence it for sale or use it to create new advertising from old footage. It not only charts the change and progress of a brand narrative. Archive footage also has special social purpose as a snapshot of ideas, culture and technology.
This may not be reason alone to commission video. But it is something to bear in mind when planning how to index and store your video footage.
4. Video is not photography
Don’t confuse the two. You can squeeze value from video footage without turning it into a medium it is not designed to replicate.
True – a digital screengrab of reasonable quality can be taken from a high-resolution video frame. But the composition and design of the still will not be fit for purpose, especially for marketing.
Photography is something altogether different from video. It requires its own methodology.
It is best to give both video and photography the time and expertise required to produce high-quality, stand-alone content. That is if you need both for the same project.
With proper planning and preparation, video footage can be made to work hard. It may well produce more content than the commissioning client might first envisage. This helps spread the cost, giving real value and longevity to video material.
And, of course, collaborating with experienced video producers is always a good starting point for those looking to maximise value.
By Nicky Robertson, Director