So from the top lets be straight. If youre on the videomarketing highway, you could be writing this article. I wasa virgin until recently and this article is written for those about to take their first plunge. These are basic pointersbut they are lessons learnt from mistakes experienced on our first stab at video marketing.
Some quick context for you. We love our website. We have built content, strong SERPS, etc, etc. Video is somethingwe see as having potential for our business in many ways. So we have taken the plunge and are ready for new frontiers!
So what next? Well we had to make our first video. You learn so much from experience so we decided to simply, just do it, as Nike would say. To up the interestfactor, trending keywords would be the basis of the test.Essentially wait for something newsworthy to break that we could make some sort of comment on, mash up avideo, get it onto You Tube, sprinkle in some social media shouts and watch.
At the time of writing over 2,500 views in 4 days. Notamazing but for first attempt pretty pleasing. We had thefortune of the news piece being quite divisive in reaction. If youre smart enough you can find the video and seewhat we did. Anyway the number of views is not what this is about. Its the insights into process thats being shared here. These will help you deliver a better first attemptwhen you give it a go. [It was a lot of fun by the way, so go do it sooner rather than later!]
We had the idea after reading the news at noon. The video was shot, edited and ready to upload by 8pm. As a result, we missed a few things. Before you shoot any video, no matter how reactionary, sit down and think it through, preferably with others. Key points to think through are:• your aims behind the video• the audience• the message• the look and the bestlocation• keywords you need to use on camera and in descriptions/titles• a script [even if loose] thatcaptures key phrases/messages• the length• on- screen information (job titles, logos, URLs, etc)
A lack of planning could mean you miss some of theessential structure a video needs. Weve now put this into place as a formal process for all future reactionary type videos.
Location, location, location. Avoid the white office wallbackground if you can. Try and tie in the background withthe context of the video. If you cant do that, then at least get outside in some natural light.
We jumped straight into shooting; completely off-the-cuffwhich wasnt great. As a result we have now introduced a rehearsal shoot followed by the real thing.
Whichever one produces the best shot, we use it. Havingthe practice run really helps you hone in on the keywords and message.
Key points for shooting are:• the location(s) and background• a rehearsal or practice run to fine tune your message• to take your time• dont beafraid to stop and start again (it can always be edited out!)
Once we had our footage, it was edit time. We had to quickly think through the video, the aston, on screen messages, etc. all of which we had not taken into consideration. Within the review is your chance to also assess key messages and areas planned at initial stages. Use a tick sheet to make sure youve completed everything you should have. Once edited make sure youget others opinions as they will be looking with fresh eyes and will spot mistakes much more easily.
Key points for review stage are:• Have you captured all the points you wanted to make?• How long is thevideo? Remember people get bored easy.• Make sure you leave web address, email, Twitter names, etc.• Get others to give critical feedback and make sure you take it.• A clear CTA
A Call to Action (CTA) is 100% crucial. Why are you putting out a video? For the love of it? No! You want reactions, comments, debate, website visitors, conversions, etc. You wont do this thoughwithout a CTA of some sort. We missed this but luckily our video naturally got people talking. A CTA could be as simple as a question or a link; think through what you would ideally want that viewer to do once they have finished watching. It may be as simple as encouraging them to "like" the video.
Once your video is out, dont just sit back and relax. Nowthe hard part starts - marketing it! Use whatever channels you can. Got clients emails? Then send them a nice personalised email explaining why they will find it useful. Got your social media platforms? Rinse them for what they have. Check out people and tweets who are connected with your topic. Send them a message. A cooltrick I worked out was to jump onto the Facebook pages of large newspapers and join in with conversations dropping a link to the video. Push it to the max anywhere you can.
Key points at follow-up stage are:• Market the video online inc. a short press release• Email clients orcontacts who would be interested• Follow-up on anytweets, emails, Facebook comments, etc• Make sure you check You Tube comments regularly (people like to swear a lot for some reason on You Tube) • Track your success; hits, views, comments, re- tweets, mentions, etc.
So you now have 4 virgin steps for success - Plan, Shoot, Review, CT and Follow-up. Put these intopractice and your first time will be as good as you hope.