Visual content is a crucial part of content marketing; in fact, video is already a vital aspect of digital marketing today. As internet users continue to shift from desktop computers to mobile and tablet devices, the need for easily digestible but impactful content is growing.
That’s why agile agencies must truly understand what it means to make an impact with video. Not only can you capitalize on the business opportunities now, but you will identify your agency as progressive and forward-thinking to future clients.
Not all video content is made equal, of course; with video growing as a medium, it’s getting harder to truly make an impression. It’s also difficult to stand out due to how much poorly-made content is being released on a daily basis. Yet, more businesses are trending towards visual advertising in response to the growing use of portable visual devices like phones, tablets, and even virtual reality.
Smart agencies need to find a way to take advantage of this content medium, but should also recognize the challenges that are involved. In an era where smartphones make shooting HD video simple for anyone, your agency needs to communicate the unique value and professional skills it offers clients as a visual content producer.
In many ways this should come naturally to an agile agency, as the principles of good storytelling remain the same across all mediums. Nonetheless, creating quality video content requires a unique skillset. Your team will need to understand how to speak to a particular audience through a visual format.
With a little effort, your agency should soon find itself able to put together all kinds of useful videos, for a variety of uses such as team introductions, thank you messages, and even short but professional greetings that client can send through their networks. While the ideal types of video will vary from agency to agency, quality content usually shares some common elements.
Across the media landscape, the focus is increasingly on short, compelling videos with high production values. Agencies need to be responsive to the Instagram era, which has seen buzzwords like “Snap stories” and “Vines” enter the common lingo and the market. So, let’s talk about how to make video content that is truly unforgettable.
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
Every piece of marketing content begins with a need to first define your audience. Video may be a different medium from writing or audio, but many of the same rules apply. For instance, doing some research before hitting the record button is essential. This research will tell you what your audience is interested in, and what style of content they’re likely to respond to.
For example, avoiding serious and dry content if you’re a fun business like a bakery is wise. You’ll likely use a very different style if your clients are of a more conservative variety, such as accountants or lawyers. Of course, even if you’re going for serious and informative, it’s still necessary to ensure that the video is engaging. Just make sure your content is targeted directly at the audience you want to reach.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that, while audiences differ from one agency to another, each video should still have a defined structure, with a clear message and an overall theme. If you can’t convey all you need to in one entry, or you need to appeal to multiple audiences, you may want to be open to shooting a series of videos instead.
Step 2: Be Different
The rapid growth of video means that many of your competitors may not be using it yet. Some of them will already be on board, however, and it’s smart to assess their content before creating your own. In particular, look to identify what competitors do well, and then ask yourself: “What do they do wrong?” Even if their content is very strong overall, there is always a way to do something newer and better.
As you use video to engage with new markets and audiences, look to take advantage of the chance for creativity and innovation. Try to actively avoid ‘sameness’ in regards to your competition, and create something unique and different in your videos. Even if it’s necessary that your own content is quite similar from one video to the next, using new presenters or color schemes can really freshen up the content.
Step 3: Maintain Quality Principles
Video provides some strong advantages over other formats, but requires a clear structure to succeed. Even if you are shooting a casual and informal video, creating a script beforehand is always a smart idea. At the minimum, ensure that your videos have a clear introduction, key message, and call to action at the end.
A quality video also requires you to recognize the extra challenges that come with the medium. If a video is too busy and has a lot of visual distractions, people may tune out and disengage. Take time to pre-shoot so you can spot distracting elements, and to quickly review takes (most cameras offer a quick playback mode) to confirm that the scenes look right.
It’s also important to carefully consider the equipment you use. What tools are suitable depends on your audience. A small startup, for example, can often get away with using an entry-level DSLR. A Fortune 500 company likely can’t, at least not without looking amateurish.
Step 4: Go the Extra Mile
While there are some videos that may come together in just one shot, the majority will require time after the camera switches off to put the finishing touches on your content. When going through this stage, keep in mind the core golden rules of editing video.
Make sure your editing work complements your structure and script. After all, it’s a waste of time to shoot a strong introduction if you just end up cutting it. Once you have your structure in place, be decisive when editing. Recognize that a longer video can easily bore your audience, but it’s easier for a short clip to hold their attention.
Also take care that your transitions are clear and strong, to help your audience understand the video’s structure. At the same time, try to minimize jarring transitions like jump cuts. While they can have their place in certain circumstances, when used too much they can ruin the presentation of your content.
Careful editing is necessary, as content that is otherwise strong can be ruined by poor presentation. Of course, remember that the reverse is also possible, and the editing process can make up for some lackluster scenes. Finally, don’t forget that editing sometimes reveals that new content is required. Therefore, you’ll want to plan for re-shoots when devising your content schedule, to ensure that you can do certain scenes over if required.
Video as a medium is growing fast, and it can be harder than ever to cut through the competition. That’s why creating impactful content is essential. A video created via the above four steps can help you identify a unique audience, outpace your competitors, and build a vibrant and versatile identity for your brand.
What other techniques do you use to make an impression with video content? Let us know on Twitter!