Marketing Video 101

Before you embark on this must-have medium, Managing Director of 21st Street Creative Alastair Ramsden has 7 tips for creating your first marketing video. Read on to learn more about what questions to ask, the crew you should hire, and how to keep things on-brand.

1. The Five Ws
You may be familiar with Who What When Where Why (and How) from grade school. The Five Ws have long been a tenet of good writing, from literary analysis to prize-winning journalism. But they’re also a great place to start when embarking on a new marketing campaign -- especially when using a medium like video for the first time. Your message should have a clear intention and a precise way of measuring its success.

Questions like Who’s our audience? What are we trying to say? Where does this fit in our overall strategy? What do we hope to achieve? and How will we track results? are all questions you should ask yourself before hiring a crew and picking up a camera.

2. Get the Good Stuff
When it comes to production value, this is one area where you shouldn’t skimp. Get the best equipment you can afford, and hire professionals for the filming, editing and audio. Consider hiring freelancers or contract employees for short-term projects, and never leave the work to an intern. This is one area where expertise will shine.

3. Don’t Forget the Writer
It’s tempting to think that with a little lighting and a great crew, videos just make themselves. But even the best crew isn’t going to know what to do without a script. Hire a savvy writer from the very beginning, and make sure they’re looped in with the marketing team when they hash out The 5 Ws mentioned above.

4. Keep It Simple
The best videos are simple and speak straight to the audience. While you don’t specifically have to hire an actor to talk directly into the camera, you should make sure your message is direct and devoid of distraction. Don’t film in areas with a lot of background noise or in uncontrollable environments, and keep your intro short and the graphics minimal.

5. Keep It On-Brand
It may be tempting to create the next Office Linebacker, but your video should always reflect your brand and its audience. A random funny video can get a lot of views, but always keep your audience and your goal in mind.

6. But That Doesn’t Mean Be Boring
Hire a creative team who can think outside the outside of the box. Fresh ideas are hard to come by these days, but a strong creative team who takes the time to listen and keep track of the details will know just how to attract your audience in a natural, effective way.

7. Be Consistent and Convert
One good video may blow your audience away, but a consistent campaign can strengthen your brand. Consider your long-term marketing strategy and decide where your videos fit into that. Make sure your videos can be played easily across a variety of platforms, so you can capture your audience at home, in the office or on the go. Finally, make sure you have a clear call-to-action baked into your content. Whether you’re trying to increase traffic to your website, increase customers, or increase sales, your video should result in a treasure trove of trackable engagement to direct future campaigns.

Simon TatumComment