It’s happened to everybody. You get a last-minute request to do some video marketing. Your social team needs content. Your account team secured a make-good video placement. Your media team got some pro bono airtime, and you need to fill it. They need 30 seconds, and they need it yesterday. What do you do?
Here are 6 tips for answering the call when you find yourself in the Director’s Chair:
1. Start digging through the crates
The best way to start any video initiative is to find out what video you already have. Chances are that some footage already exists that can be edited and crafted into a story. Layering custom voiceover, music, motion graphics, and slates can mold existing footage into a video tailored to meet your goals. If you are in the media business, and have an overwhelming amount of b-roll, let your agency have at it. The more content you have to work with, the better.
When we worked with the LA Times to make a direct response video, we knew we could deliver an actionable ad simply by using their news content to craft a branded story
2. Crash a shoot
Don’t be shy about talking to other teams or partners about sharing the footage they might be producing for other purposes. Piggyback on an existing video shoot or voiceover session to grab assets for your own marketing effort.
As the digital agency for Disney XD, we tagged along on the network’s green screen shoots so we could capture footage for rich media ads. We directed the talent to create original content for high-impact rich media takeovers, like the one below.
3. Love the lo-fi
Fortunately most of us walk around with an HD recording device in our pockets all day. Now more than ever, people are more familiar with cell phone/GoPro/drone footage. Don’t fret over slick, glossy, steadicam shots. Embrace the DIY aesthetic, and use it to your advantage. The result is often warmer, more intimate, and more authentic than high production.
Candid shelter footage was perfect for the Adopt Them All campaign, which let the shelter pets’ individuality shine, while motivating people to donate monthly.
4. Measure it
Are you trying to get Sales? Leads? Likes? Shares? Figure out what constitutes success for your video and make sure you can track it. Digital channels are an analyst’s dream because you can track how people are viewing your video and the path they take afterwards. The insights from this advanced analytics method can reveal how your video is introducing sales, or driving searches, site visits, or other desired actions. When you measure the true influence of your video, your finance department will open up the purse strings to make more spots in the future.
Our pre-roll fundraising campaign for Doctors Without Borders was holistically tracked, and our insights team revealed that the video introduced 816 donations and influenced 1,760 during its short run.
5. Beware of stock. But be sure to use it.
Stock gets a bad rap, and sometimes that’s for good reason. But there are a lot of new players in the stock asset industry, and it has led to 4K video, improved search for footage categories, and even custom-composed music. If you need to supplement footage, filling in the gaps with a quick establishing stock shot will work wonders. There’s really good stock out there now if you just wade through a sea of dregs to find it.
We created this proof-of-concept video for a publishing client using 100% stock footage. The stock experiment brought an energy and whimsy to the project and delivered fun surprises throughout.
6. Get the most mileage out of your movie
When you create a video, make sure you’re not keeping it in a silo. Let it guide a larger campaign strategy and connect all of your digital channels to your video effort. Tune your search campaign so it reflects the content of the video. Extend your video message into retargeting ads and social content. Bring the video campaign to your homepage to connect with video viewers who travel directly to your site. The key is to extend the lifespan of your video after someone watches it and connect those touchpoints to stay with the viewer.
When we had the opportunity to run a broadcast television spot for Make-A-Wish, we built a strategy that planned for the viewer’s path after seeing the commercial and supported the full digital experience thereafter. We created an umbrella campaign that is reflected in TV, social, website, display ads, retargeting, and even search.
Video is an important medium to tell your brand story. While it can feel daunting to accomplish it, especially with limited resources, a solid strategy and some creative cleverness can carry you over the finish line. Craft a campaign that weaves your video asset across channels, and let your video shine.