Category Archives: B2B

Marketing to millennials.

As the digital landscape changes and consumers become more media and tech savvy, brands are having to adapt quickly in the way that they find customers and market to their audiences. Recent research has shown that display advertising is rapidly losing its effectiveness due to the widespread use of ad blocking software and viewers’ increasing tendency to distrust and ignore explicit marketing techniques. After sixty years of overt disruptive advertising, it seems audiences are getting wise to it. Technology is putting the power firmly back in their hands. Digitally competent consumers can now decide when and how they interact with brands and demand uninterrupted digital experiences with value-adding, entertaining content to keep them engaged.

But with more global competition and marketing noise than ever, this increasing rejection of hard-sell advertising means that brands now need alternative ways of reaching their audiences. Branded video content has therefore become the newest and most effective tool for brands to engage with their customers.

So what exactly is branded content?

It’s complicated! There is much disagreement about what actually differentiates ‘branded content’ from other forms of marketing. At its very basic level, branded content is customer focused and puts the brand’s ‘audience’ first. Rather than traditional advertising which informs and persuades customers of brand benefits, branded content takes a different approach. Treating its audience as real individuals instead of merely ‘customers’, branded content attempts to foster relationships socially and emotionally with consumers through tailored storytelling and engaging creative content rather than explicit advertising. The aim is to build customer loyalty and an authentic brand-consumer relationship rather than strong-arming people into buying your products.

The evolution of advertising into branded content.

Traditionally, brands have sought to reach new or larger audiences through paid advertising with the big content publishers and broadcasters. In the past they might have taken thirty second TV commercial spots and/or bought up display or banner advertising with print or online publishers. Of course this still happens, but brands are having to become less formulaic in order to connect with and engage their customers. Traditional advertising still has a place – but is increasingly being used as part of integrated campaigns with diverse types of branded content across multiple channels. Taking a more holistic approach to content and distribution in this way enables brands to achieve the sort of in-depth creative storytelling that viewers might actively choose to consume.

Types of branded content.

The point of branded content is that it should seem less like disruptive advertising and should integrate well into the surrounding online content and TV programming. Because of this, it can take many different forms – from sponsorship of brand-aligned existing programming to full length ad break ‘programmes’, documentary film collaborations, music videos and even feature films. It is this diversity of style and content collaboration with the big publishers and broadcasters that has led to a blurring of the lines between traditional advertising and programming and between brands and traditional content publishers. As long as this doesn’t advance brands’ agendas in a biased or dishonest way – the rise of branded content can be seen as a welcome injection of creativity and funding for traditional content publishing and programme making.

Here are some of our favourite types of branded content campaigns:

 The programme sponsor:

Wickes advertising sponsors Homes programming on Channel 4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu6w7FZmDik

The full-length ad space takeover:

Waitrose ran full-length ad break ‘recipe shows’ with Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith between food programming and have also launched their own YouTube channel to showcase their content.

 Moving into the online space – the brand ‘hosted’ live, cross-media TV show:

Carling partnered with the Premier League and Sky Sports to host a Friday night football show,  Carling in off the Bar – a half hour live pre-match broadcast from a pub, simulcast on Facebook Live, YouTube and Sky Sports with half-time match analysis streamed live on social media and post-match analysis. An ideal cross-media vehicle for Carling to reconnect with its target audience of 18-35 year old men.

The online value-adding content collaboration:

The Performers – Gucci with GQ

Featuring 5 of the world’s ‘coolest’ guys (according to GQ), this series of films followed 5 performers as they travelled to places of personal pilgrimage to share stories of their inspirations. The characters and stories take centre stage, but Gucci accessories are ever present.

The branded content commercial break replacement:

The US Comedy Central Channel is now running a 2 ½ minute branded content series once a month instead of a traditional ad break in an effort to blend advertising with quality comedy content and keep viewers watching.

http://handytheseries.com

The documentary film content partnership:

Volvo  + Sky Atlantic – Human Made Stories

Volvo partnered with Sky Atlantic to produce a series of inspiring short documentary films centring on the emotional impact of human innovation, raising brand perception of Volvo as a progressive, innovative manufacturer and taking advantage of the increasing popularity of socially-aware content.

The Lego Movie

The best example of a brand commissioning a feature film and probably the finest and most successful piece of branded content ever created.

 

Whatever the moral ins and outs of the rise of branded content and its impact on the big content publishers and broadcasters – one thing is clear, and that is that brand influence on the digital content we consume is growing – whether audiences perceive it to be ‘advertising’ content or not. TV – be it broadcast, playback or video on demand still accounts for 76% of UK video consumption and it’s where brands want to be (Thinkbox). With other vehicles like Facebook Watch up and coming, brand-funded programming and programming agendas are definitely here to stay. The less direct approach to marketing is working – and both brands and publishers are fast cottoning on to that fact. The big brands have started the ball rolling, but surely – the smaller ones won’t be far behind?

If you would like help with creating branded video content for your business – contact us here

Small Films are video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.

 

Regardless of the type of client, industry or budget, we see the same pattern of mistakes emerging when brands decide to commission a video.

 

  1. Going with the cheapest quote.

 

When it comes to commissioning branded video content for your business, the landscape for finding a video production specialist is a minefield, littered with all kinds of video production providers; from marketing agencies to video production companies and freelance videographers.

When navigating your path to the right video producer, there is often a temptation to go for the cheapest solution.  In fact, your mate Dave is pretty handy with his Canon DSLR and filmed your sister’s wedding last year. And Sam from Accounts has a brother who’s graduated from film school and set himself up as a videographer. He’s willing to create your video for free. But before you go down the tempting route of finding someone cheap, consider this; what is the true cost of working with an inexperienced video producer?

 

Before we answer that question, let me ask another one… If you’d bought a plot of land and were about to build your family’s dream home who would you hire? Would it be a professional architect with a solid reputation, proven track record, references and access to the best builders, carpenters and plumbers? Or would you hire your next door neighbour’s son who’s pretty handy with a hammer and did their loft conversion last year?

 

When you hire an inexperienced videographer with no track record, you might save yourself some money on paper, but you’ll end up paying the price 10 fold in the long run. There is the chance that you’ll get lucky as there are some amazingly talented freelancers out there, but it’s a gamble you should be willing to risk losing. Inexperience can result in a whole host of problems from being given a poor quality video that can cause brand damage to a lack of professionalism, leading to unreliable service and unexpected costs.

But beyond those issues, the biggest problem our clients have reported from hiring inexperienced videographers is the time strain and stress caused by them having to micromanage the project. As soon as the cracks start to appear in a video production, you will be sucked into trying to problem solve and sort out the mistakes.  

 

 

  1. Thinking of the video company as “technicians” and driving the creative from in-house.

 

There’s often a perception that videography is like photography – you need a photographer for a shoot, you just hire them to take photos. So surely a videographer is the same? But in reality the two are very, very different.

When you need product photos, portraits, fashion images or pictures of an event, you hire a photographer for the day on a flat rate with a potential cost for processing. But the minute you decide to create video of the same things, it becomes more complicated. And here’s why…

 

A photographer can rely on a simple moment in time, captured in a single image that tells a story. But for a videographer, that story has to be told through a series of video clips. And for a proper story to be told through video, the videographer needs to plan the shoot before hand and build a narrative. Unlike a photographer, the videographer also has to record sound from the environment they are filming in and then potentially add more sound to their video in terms of music or sound effects.

All this means that the video they create needs to be edited and that takes far longer than it takes to film. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For any production that’s more complicated, the videographer cannot work alone. Other players will need to be enlisted from producers, directors and script-writers to sound operators, lighting technicians, editors and motion graphics specialists.

 

Sometimes, brands and agencies believe that they can cook up an idea for a video in the same way they might plan a photo shoot, then hire a videographer to come and film the concept they’ve created. They are then surprised when at best it doesn’t turn out the way they expected and at worst is a complete shambles. Video production is more than just the videographer shooting the footage, it’s a team effort from the producers in pre-production using their expertise to create the best concepts and storyboards through to the specialist post-production team who add the bells and whistles to the finished product.

 

 

  1. Not having a clear budget.

 

The most common experience we have when speaking to prospects is that they won’t be transparent about budget. Sometimes they say they don’t know what their budget is, other times they are just evasive and want to find out how we charge and what our “rates” are. Unfortunately, whilst this may seem like a chicken and egg exercise, it actually isn’t. Without a basic steer on budget, any production company worth their salt cannot provide a realistic quote.

 

Think of the person offering the quote as the project manager of a house build. If you put that individual on a patch of land and say “I want to build a house here and I want it to have 5 rooms – how much will it cost?”, there is absolutely no conceivable way that the project manager can offer you a realistic quote. If they do offer you a “competitive” quote then you can bet anything that the final price will be far higher than the quote. Without knowing the scale of the project, the materials you want to build in and the finish on the inside, how can that Project Manager accurately quote?

 

It’s the same in video production, we need to know how long the video needs to be, what level of expertise the camera operator and equipment should be, whether you need a soundman, lighting, added equipment, how long the edit will take and whether you want added elements like graphics. It’s a complex build that is tailored to the available budget.

 

  1. Not having a clear objective for the video.

 

We see time and time again where companies decide they want to create video but they don’t think about their objectives or what outcome they want it. Without a clear strategy going in to creating video content, you may as well flush your money down the toilet.

The first thing we always do when talking to our clients about creating video content is to identify the overall objective and who they want this video to be seen by. It’s the most important factor and informs everything we do. Is this video targeting B2B or B2C? What demographics are we targeting? How will the video be shared? What is the objective of this video? Sales? Brand image? Production explanation? All these questions need to be answered before we can come up with creative concepts for the video. For example, if the video has ad spend behind it and is destined for Facebook pay-per-click then it needs to be very short and punchy but if we are relying on organic shares then we’ve got to create a strong hook so people engage with it. Conversely, if this video is B2B and will be sent out via email, then perhaps we can assume a pre-existing level of knowledge and familiarity with the subject matter in your audience, so we can have a longer video with more depth to it. By having clear KPIs and understanding of the core objective for the video you will get far more out of it than just creating video for video’s sake.

 

  1. Not aligning video to your brand purpose.

 

Video Content should always be seen as an extension of your brand identity. When done correctly, it will feel like a seamless transition from your print materials, web site and brand image through to video. This is done through the style, tone, fonts, imagery and colour. Too often, companies will use video inconsistently, putting up a series of videos that have nothing connecting them. Or worse, they will post videos to their social feed that is amateur or homemade. A third of the people who watched a poor quality video had a negative perception of that brand. Video Content should always be integrated into a company’s marketing strategy from the outset and even if it’s only used sparingly, it should reflect the quality of the brand. Lack of budget should not be used as an excuse for putting poor quality video out into the public domain. With careful planning and a reliable video production company, most budgets can be stretched to create video content that will have a high impact in the right way. For example, a single day’s filming could be done in a way that generates large volumes of material that can be recycled into a series of short videos for your social media feed. By setting a style for the look of the videos from filming techniques to motion graphics, larger volumes of content can be generated for a fraction of the cost.

 

  1. Not getting on the front foot with a good video partner.

 

All companies with a marketing strategy can benefit from using video and most of them know that. But we often see that unless there is an immediate need for video, most people don’t bother to find themselves a video production partner. The result is that when they finally realise they need to commission some video work, they are already on the back foot. The deadline looms faster than they thought and they are forced to hire the first company they find even though they may not be the best. This can lead to paying above the odds for an inferior product.

There are a lot of benefits to partnering with a video production company for future opportunities. We have a few companies we work with on a rolling basis and it brings huge benefits to them. Firstly, we’re always on the phone to discuss any video ideas they have and to brainstorm concepts with them as well as budgets. This can help with internal marketing briefs they are putting together or in the case of agencies, with pitches to clients. Because a relationship is in place, there is a transparency to pricing and budgets that instils a sense of trust in all the players. Everyone values the relationship and wants it to continue so no one is going to take advantage of the other. And finally, it’s in the vested interests of the video production company to keep the relationship going so they will always try to deliver above expectations. In this way, we’ve helped some of our clients to win big contracts with some major brands and we’ve helped others to put a lasting content strategy in place that maximised their yearly marketing budget.

George Hughes set up Small Films with a simple ambition – to create brilliant films for brilliant people. Over the past 14 years he’s learnt his craft in the television industry working in the UK and USA as a Producer / Director and camera operator making hundreds of hours of high profile series for major broadcasters including the BBC and Discovery Channel. From hard-hitting documentaries about the mafia to light-hearted cooking shows with high-profile chefs, he has worked with a wide range of budgets, briefs and subject matters and is excited at transferring this experience into the production of branded content. George and his team are passionate about partnering with like-minded people and organisations to create amazing films.

For more information or a chat about commissioning video content for your brand, contact us here.

Over the last few years, the rise of new technologies has dramatically transformed the way audiences consume and perceive video advertising – and change continues at a staggering pace. Millennials and Generation Z aren’t interested in watching live television. Instead they turn to Netflix to binge-watch their favourite drama series or surf Youtube and other platforms for content relating to their particular interests or passions. As traditional broadcast audiences grow older and conventional TV viewing figures decline, focus for advertisers has shifted to the online space. In 2017 brands and advertisers spent twice as much on online advertising as they did on TV (Magisto), and this is set to grow.

Adapting to rapidly changing online technologies has had a massive impact on the nature of the advertising format itself. Without the luxury of a captive static TV audience, and with an increasing consumer distrust of disruptive and overt advertising, advertisers are having to get both creative and technical in the way they approach marketing to their ever fragmenting and mobile audiences. Today’s tech savvy consumer demands a choice of uninterrupted entertaining online experiences – and they are ready to skip, switch channels or switch devices if they don’t like what they see. Audiences have always had the opportunity to ‘go and put the kettle on’ during traditional broadcast ad breaks if the content was unengaging of course – but the potential of an ‘ad rejection’ moment is now multiplied 100 fold online.

 

The ongoing challenge for brands and advertisers then, is ‘how do we stop consumers reaching for that virtual kettle?’

 

These are the questions brands need to consider:

 

 

WHAT types of content will engage consumers?

The internet has changed the way people can and choose to view content. It’s no longer simply a case of marketing to a static audience who are sitting down for a few dedicated hours of TV watching. There are now many more ways for people to consume content via multiple devices (TV, desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and wearable tech – often simultaneously), and many more opportunities for consuming content away from the traditional home leisure space and time. Marketers now have the opportunity to reach people as they move around during the day, travel from place to place, at work, at school – and as they’re spending their leisure time. This poses a challenge for the types of content brands should be producing:

 

  • On-The-Go – Snackable, scrollable content

There’s no point putting out 30 second videos for people to view when they’re on-the-go, waiting in a queue, checking messages or walking down the road. This audience is using mobile phones and needs bitesize, 6 second chunks of mobile optimised content that will briefly grab their attention as they scroll through their feeds, moving from task to task. The average adult scrolls through 70+ feet of social media feed every single day, so content has have an instant hook for the viewer to notice. A recent report revealed a 26% increase in brand awareness through brands using scroller ad formats. (IAB)

 

This ad by jobs website Reed has it all incuding kittens, humour and a 6 second in-your-face spot at the beginning.

 

 

  • Lean forward content

People with a bit more time on their hands, will spend a little longer choosing to view and more importantly, engage with, content in a bit more depth. They might be travelling to work on the bus, waiting in a doctor’s office or be on a break. They are still using mobile devices, though can also be at their desks viewing on desktop computers and laptops. This content should encourage ‘lean-forward’ user interaction in the content experience in the form of prompting users to like, comment on, share, or embed videos. It should resonate with the desired audience in a way that encourages them to engage with it.

 

These Volvo Trucks short brand videos are highly entertaining action adventure stunts designed to pull the viewer in and elicit engagement.

 

 

  • Lean back content

The traditional type of leisure-time content consumption. Audiences who are static and relaxing will consume long-form, long-term content formats. For marketing content to compete with other content in this space it needs to be highly creative and emotionally engaging, employ great storytelling and in fact integrate with the surrounding content so as not to disrupt the consumer experience. Interesting branded content  like documentaries  or brand-made programmes can work well in this space. Although they may be static – the majority of people will still be browsing on mobile devices so content needs to be mobile optimised. This is the optimal time for simultaneous platform usage. 87% of consumers now watch TV together with a second screen (Deloitte Digital Consumer Survey.)

 

Stella Artois partnered with National Geographic to commission an award wining film director to make a documentary highlighting the impact of the global water crisis on communities around the world – a compelling piece of quality long-form ‘lean back’ branded content.

 

 

HOW will brands engage consumers with content?

The increasing rejection of overt advertising means brands are having to be more creative and consumer-focused in their marketing content strategies. Along with producing different types of video content for different devices and types of consumers as we have seen, brands now need to think about HOW best to reach these fragmented audiences.

 

  • Personalisation

With the increase in digital marketing noise and content choices available to them, consumers are becoming less responsive to content they perceive as less relevant to them. Brands will have to produce tailored content accurately targeted to specific audience member interests and browsing habits. They will also need to harness technology to make use of location-based marketing so that they can target consumers according to where they are at any given moment.

 

Tesco Clubcard produced a personalised awareness and retention campaign.

 

 

  • ‘Audience First’

Rather than placing expensive paid advertising with the big, general reach global publishers and broadcasters, brands will have to find different ways of marketing to their targeted audience segments. As consumers watch more self-selected video content and less broadcast TV, brands are creating their own video content channels and collaborating on ‘audience first’ content shared via video influencers. Macro influencers with more than 100,000 subscribers or followers on their social channels have been in the ascendancy up to now but with growing audience segmentation and targeting, brands are increasingly partnering with micro-influencers on content production.

 

Have a look at these examples of top brands successfully collaborating with micro-influencers, particularly in the Instagram video space.

 

 

  • Quality

Social media algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, and as has already happened on Facebook, overt hard-sell advertising will be penalised and brands will have to work much harder to get their messages in front of their audiences. Brands will need to create more thoughtful, entertaining, and value-adding videos that consumers will actively choose to watch and share in order to beat the algorithms. Quality over quantity will be key in the video content of the future.

 

Coors Light revamped its frivolous image with a series of high-quality, value-adding short docufilms, presenting their products in real-life situations and places, while telling compelling real-life stories.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbj10JszdZs

 

 

  • Cross-channel content

With audiences using multiple devices and consuming content via multiple channels, sometimes simultaneously, brands will have to adopt a user-centric integrated approach to content in order to get a better ROI.

 

Heineken’s Departure Roulette is a great example of a cross-channel integrated, interactive video campaign.

 

 

 

So the future of video marketing content is full of opportunity and the potential for brands to accurately reach their target audiences will be better than ever before. The biggest challenge for brands will be getting noticed online and cutting through the increasing digital marketing noise. Only the brands that think creatively, embrace technology and adopt a user-centred approach to their content will get results. Surely this can only be a good thing for the digital advertising industry – and consumers in general?

 

 

If your business would like help creating quality video content for multiple platforms, contact us at info@smallfilms.com.

 

 

Small Films are video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.

In the fast-evolving world of digital marketing, the way we consume content is changing. With less reliance on desktop and laptop computers and rapidly expanding mobile technology, consumers can choose exactly when, how and where they access the internet and interact with online content. To grab the attention of this busy on-the-go audience with a short attention span, only the most engaging, flexible and value-adding content formats will continue to make the grade. With recent research showing that 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words (Forrester Research), now is the time to say goodbye to text – and welcome to a golden age of video marketing.

 

This is all very well for the large global brands, but what if your brand is small, or new? Smaller businesses can be put off by the perceived expense and technical issues involved in creating regular quality video content, so is it really worth the effort? The stats would seem to suggest that it very definitely is.

 

A Cisco report predicted that by 2018, a staggering 78% of global consumer internet traffic will be video. Adding video to your website landing page has been shown to increase conversions by 80% (Invisia), and to engage audiences to reduce your bounce rate. The average user spends 80% more time on a website with video (Mist Media). What’s more – looking at the the ultimate metric, 76% of businesses report that video has been good for their ROI (Wyzowl).

 

The numbers speak for themselves, but if you still need convincing have a look at our top reasons why video content is king in brand marketing:

 

  • It can provide useful information on your products

Consumers want enhanced information on products and services – particularly new ones. Explainer videos are a brilliant way of adding value to the customer experience whilst at the same time positioning your brand as helpful and knowledgeable. Your brand becomes not just a service or product provider, but also an expert information resource. And that’s good for sales. 74% of viewers who watched an explainer video went on to purchase the product or service (Wyzowl).

 

  •  It can shape and reinforce your brand identity

As part of an integrated branding strategy, video content is the most effective way of getting across your your brand identity and story. Video appeals to all of the senses – you can use sound, music, attractive visuals, narrative, emotion, humour and mood to convey what you want people to ‘feel’ about your brand. And how they feel has a huge impact on their consumer behaviour. If they feel connected to your brand through your authentic use of video, they will develop trust and form a relationship with your business.

 

  •  It’s the most engaging of all content formats

Research at Diode Digital showed that 60% of online viewers will watch a video before reading any text. Video advertising also has the highest CTR of all digital format advertising and consumers are much more likely to click on video than static banner ads (Sizmek). Social media platforms are increasingly being optimised for video content, and video is shared a huge 1200% more than links and text combined on Social Media. (Simply Measured). It’s also beneficial for brand recall. 80% of consumers can remember a brand video they’ve watched in the last month (Hubspot).

 

  •  It’s great for brand SEO

Google owns YouTube so it’s not surprising that video content often comes high up in searches.  In fact, your brand is 53x more likely to be at the top of Google search results if you have video embedded on your website (Moovly). Make sure your videos are SEO optimised to aid this, using keywords, SEO titles, and back-links to your products and other pages.

 

  •  It can revolutionise your emarketing

Embedding video content in your enewsletters can transform their impact. Hubspot reports that click-through rates can be boosted by 200% – 300% by the addition of video content.

 

  •  It’s flexible and works well on all devices

Video content works equally well on everything from PCs and laptops to tablets and smartphones and is particularly suited to a dynamic, out-and-about audience. With increasing mobile device usage and the growth of m-commerce, video is the perfect medium for reaching the mobile generation.

 

Small Films are video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign. Contact us here.

How brands can use documentary-style video in content marketing

                                                                                                                                          

But what is documentary-style video content exactly?

Imagine a documentary you see on television about a subject you are passionate about… it could be anything from rock climbing or emerging music artists to disaster relief or homelessness. Now imagine a brand has taken the initiative to create that documentary content and distribute in online for free without a strong advertising agenda. It’s the newest form of video content that is emerging and there’s a very good reason why it is so successful. Rather than creating a commercial that relies on a big advertising spend to distribute it successfully, by creating free, short-form documentaries, the brand will not only have the potential for massive organic sharing on social media but also to lift its image in the eyes of its customers.

But why is this style of video content suddenly becoming so prevalent?

Video is King

It’s old news that video is the undisputed King of content marketing. Research shows that 60% of online consumers will watch a video before reading any text and video has the highest click through rate of any form of digital advertising (Sismek). Video content is also highly engaging – it is shared across social channels a whopping 1200% more than just links and text combined (Simply Measured). The stats say it all. Any business that is serious about marketing will be taking advantage of video’s many benefits, particularly when it comes to communicating their brand identities and stories.

Cut through the clutter

But in an online world where the moving image increasingly dominates, how can brands cut through the visual clutter and stand out from the crowd? This year, almost 80% of internet traffic is predicted to be video (Cisco). As the quantity of video increases, consumers are becoming more discerning and selective about what they choose to watch, and social media algorithms are changing to weed out the more spammy branded content and click bait from our news feeds. The average modern consumer is advertising savvy and likes to consume media proactively. Consumers are now deciding how and when to interact with their brands of choice and are increasingly rejecting traditional overt marketing and advertising methods.

Quality over quantity

Brands then, need to keep on their toes to reflect the changing online consumer environment when it comes to creating content that their audience will want to engage with. Video is great – but just producing lots of standard video content is no longer enough. The challenge now for brands is to achieve quality over quantity. Video content creation is moving into a more strategic and thoughtful phase. As the emphasis shifts towards longer form, more meaningful and memorable content that consumers actively want to watch, and that social channels reward, documentary-style branded video is coming into its own.

The rise of the documentary-style branded video

‘Storytelling’ is the marketing buzzword du jour, and video content naturally lends itself to this method of communicating brand identity. The documentary-style branded video takes this idea a step further. If stories are universally appealing to audiences, a short film or documentary style video offers a bigger and better vehicle for delivering them than a traditional short-form video. Reflecting the move away from overt marketing, documentary-style video provides a way for brands to use other people’s stories to indirectly communicate something about themselves. By using the longer-form story-centric format, they can make the most of dramatic and emotional elements thereby attracting and retaining viewers. It gives brands a chance to be creative, to target particular audiences with specifically tailored content, and above all, it helps them stand out from the crowd.

 

The brands leading the way in documentary-style video

These forward-thinking brands are showing how the investment can really pay off in terms of profile and engagement:

 

Volvo – Human Made Stories

Documentary-style content is an effective way of aligning your brand with certain values. Last year Volvo partnered with Sky Atlantic to produce a series of inspiring short films centring on the emotional impact of human innovation. ‘Nemo’s Garden’, the first in the series, tells the story of an Italian father and son who come up with a system to grow crops in the ocean in response to the problems caused by climate change and the declining viability of existing farmland. The stories have compelling emotional and dramatic impact – and effectively communicate Volvo’s commitment to innovation, along with its human and progressive values.

 

 

Coors Light

The beer giant recently moved into documentary-style film to differentiate itself from other similar popular beer brands and to shift away from its light and jokey image. In a series of real-life stories celebrating diversity and focusing on overcoming adversity, Coors have been trying to assert their authenticity and market their product ‘in real-life settings and scenarios’. The first spot, ‘My Climb. My Story’, features Shezi, An LA Based fashion designer who is battling a tumour. The film documents his fight back to fitness and the re-launch of his business. The Coors branding is subtle and the product only appears in the final launch party scene reflecting the move towards more indirect forms of marketing content.

 

 

 

Stella Artois – Our Dream of Water

Documentary-style film making allows brands to tackle serious issues and communicate ‘socially-conscious’ values. Having been collaborating with water charity water.org on the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign, Stella Artois then partnered with National Geographic to commission an award winning film director to make a documentary highlighting the impact of the global water crisis on communities around the world, particularly focusing on women.

They further invested in documentary by then sponsoring the Women in Film organisation to provide four $25,000 grants to women film-makers making socially conscious documentaries, especially those focusing on water. This socially conscious branding is great news for charities of course, but is obviously primarily a shrewd marketing move by Stella Artois. Female beer drinkers are occupying an increasing share of the market and research shows that women are more ‘socially minded’ than men. Stella has clearly adopted a female targeted marketing strategy and is using documentary film successfully to achieve its goals.

 

 

 

Patagonia – Worn Wear

Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia uses documentary film brilliantly to express passion and authenticity through compelling storytelling. One notable film they produced is ‘Worn Wear’ – a documentary with a simple premise – the ‘stories we wear’. Starting with the founder explaining how his love for mountaineering led him to turn his passion into a business, the film goes on to feature Patagonia customers talking about the clothing they have bought, and how it has served them over the years and through different adventures. The whole film is beautifully shot, and emphasises the company’s integrity. They are not giving the hard sell – just illustrating the quality and durability of their products through honest human stories, whilst also communicating their brand values of wholesome outdoor activity and environmental awareness. A perfect piece of inspirational documentary marketing.

 

 

 

Documentary-style content without the price tag

There’s a common misconception that only the biggest brands have the budget and resources to create documentary -style content. That couldn’t be further from the truth. With advances in affordable camera technology and the growing talent pool, video is cheaper to create today than it has ever been in history. It means video production companies can create documentary-style content for any small to medium size business. For now, its mainly the big brands who have cottoned on to its value as a marketing tool.. watch this space as the smaller brands start to catch up.

 

 

Small Films’ founder George Hughes spent 15 years producing and directing content for TV broadcast including serious documentary. For more information about how Small Films can help you with engaging documentary marketing content, contact us here.

Small Films are video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with the creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brand storytelling through video (yes, it works and this is why.)

 

Through my career as a television Producer / Director, I learnt the value of strong storytelling. Whether we were looking for Chicago gang members for a documentary about drugs or a local tomato grower in Norfolk for a cookery series – if they didn’t have a good story to tell, it didn’t matter how well we filmed it, the film would fall flat.

 

Storytelling is the most powerful tool for human learning and understanding. From our very first days as infants, we begin to make sense of our world through compelling narratives. There are characters, plot, themes, structure and consequences in everything we do and observe. Stories are more easily remembered than unrelated facts and incidents – they make strong connections in our brains and are more easily stored in our memories. They give our world context and meaning.

 

Stories have also formed the bedrock of human communication from the cave art of our ancestors to the great works of literature today. The act of constructing and listening to stories produces an emotional response which ultimately facilitates connections, empathy and trust (or indeed, the opposite) between people. The way we identify with different stories is the way we find our ‘tribes’.

 

In this way – stories are an extraordinarily powerful medium for brands to engage with and inspire loyalty in their specific ‘tribes’ of customers. Because of this, ‘storytelling’ has become a marketing buzzword in recent years – but what does this actually mean for your business?

 

For brands, it’s not really about fiction or fantasy as in the traditional storytelling sense. It is actually about revealing the essence of your business and adding depth and character to encourage people to identify with your brand and values. The story does not need to be wholly ‘true’ per se – after all, all marketing enhances and embellishes to make it more compelling, but it needs to feel real to your audience. It needs to show what you want your business to be about – its origins, goals, values, employees, customers and products. Brand storytelling means communicating these mini narratives authentically to your audience, in a unique and entertaining way that makes your story all about them rather than all about you. If you do this consistently and well, your tribe will find you, will build a community – and will remain fiercely loyal.

 

So why use video?

In a world dominated by digital technology and social media, video is proving to be the most effective medium for grabbing the attention and communicating emotion.

Research at Diode Digital showed that 60% of online viewers will watch a video before reading any text. Video advertising also has the highest CTR of all digital format advertising and consumers are much more likely to click on video than static banner ads (Sizmek). Social media platforms are increasingly being optimised for video content, and video is shared a huge 1200% more than links and text combined on Social Media. (Simply Measured). It’s also beneficial for brand recall. 80% of consumers can remember a brand video they’ve watched in the last month (Hubspot).

 

The stats say it all. We may occasionally yearn for the slower, quieter days of print and static marketing – but those days are long gone. If you want to compete in the dynamic brand storytelling game – get a video.

 

How video can be used for brand storytelling.

The great news is that video is a hugely versatile medium for brand storytelling across the board.

 

To create a ‘good’ brand story – you need an interesting plot, not a fairy-tale good versus evil scenario – but perhaps a problem versus a solution narrative. You need engaging characters in the form of your founders, employees and customers, and like all the best stories, you need to emote, entertain, include – and, above all, stand out.

 

Video can do all these things, effectively – and more importantly, quickly. A 30 second video can communicate the look and vibe of your company, your values, product information, emotion, messaging and call to action, all in one short, compelling package.

 

These are some of the different ways you can use video storytelling in your brand marketing (with some cracking examples of jobs well done).

 

 

‘About us’.

A well-made corporate video can communicate your brand  heritage, purpose or mission. Have a look at this animated video for brand giant Lego, which explores its origins and history while remaining true to its playful brand identity.

Lego – A Corporate History

 

‘People like us’.

It’s important that your brand video accurately reflects your values so that your target customers will identify with you. This series of ‘Human Made Stories’, mini real-life documentaries from Volvo in collaboration with Sky, are inspiring, emotive, and establish Volvo as having a caring and motivational ethos.

Volvo – Human Made Stories

 

Product video/explainers.

How better to show off and explain your products than through engaging video? This Inside Out video (1 of a series) for Audi, by We Are Social, shows the assembling of an Audi A6 Avant, speeded up – effectively demonstrating the quality of the product, as well as the ‘behind the scenes’ expertise that goes into its construction.

Audi – Inside Out – We Are Social

Video is not only brilliant for showcasing your products – but also for explaining how to use them. By employing great storytelling and audio-visual appeal, video can turn what could be a somewhat dry exercise into entertainment. This is a sweet animated example from Method CRM.

Method CRM – What is CRM Explainer

 

Behind the scenes and employee stories.

One way of adding depth and character to your brand is to reveal some of the behind the scenes ‘magic’. It’s intriguing for your audience to find out what and who goes into making your product or service and makes the viewer feel a little special – as if they’ve been let in on a special secret. It’s a brilliant tool for fostering a tribal identity – your fans are ‘in the know’.

GQ – Behind the Scenes of a Photo Shoot.

 

Customer stories and brand experiences.

A brand is nothing without its customers and some of the best brand stories can come from customers themselves. GoPro uses its community of customers and enthusiasts (and its product!) to brilliant advantage in showcasing daring and inspirational travel or sporting moments. Have a look at this epic example – free-diving with Tiger Sharks.

GoPro – Freediving with Tiger Sharks

 

A storytelling video can also show what experience you can expect to have with a brand or product. Our video ‘Josh’s Story’ for Eton School engagingly demonstrates what life is like for a pupil. It is full, vibrant – and uplifting. A dry old print prospectus could never convey the same emotion.

Small Films – Josh’s Journey for Eton College

 

Case-studies and testimonials.

Finally – one of the most effective video story formats, especially in B2B marketing, is the case-study. Of course, case–studies are ubiquitous in print. We all engage with, and trust, real-life testimonials, from real people. This effect is magnified in video when you can interview previous customers, and not only hear what they have to say, but see their body language and gauge their authenticity. A video case-study seems more compelling and reliable in this respect. Hubspot films case-studies of many of its success stories – here’s one about their work with client business Mimio.

HubSpot – Mimio Case-Study

And remember, all stories should have a narrative arc with a beginning, a middle and an end. Think about any book you’ve read or film you’ve watched. Its never one dimensional – there are peaks and troughs as the story romps along. You may not be creating a Hollywood blockbuster, but all your video stories should follow the same principle. Draw your viewers in with an interesting opening few seconds, set out the introduction to your video, create a sense of pace and style through the music and shot choices and develop the message you are trying to communicate as the video goes on. And finally make sure you finish in the right way with either a conclusion or punctuation in a style that signals the end of the video.

 

So there we have it. It you want to get ahead, tell a story. And if you want to tell a story well, use video. For more information on how we can help you with brand storytelling, contact info@smallfilms.com

 

Small Films are video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to creating video content for a brand or small business, a viral video is the holy grail. A piece of content that so connects with audiences and captures the imagination that it is voluntarily shared repeatedly across the internet – what could be better for a brand seeking maximum exposure?

The common misconception with viral video is that it is always homemade, amateur or that it spreads somehow accidentally. Though this was true in the early days (and can sometimes still be the case today), marketers quickly realised how powerful viral video can be and began to harness that power. In fact, today, 9 out of 10 of the top viral videos have been created professionally.  It’s a modern marketing fact that viral video can work brilliantly for raising brand awareness fast – but how can you deliberately ‘make’ a viral video?

Although there are no guarantees when it comes to making a video go viral, there are certain characteristics shared by all viral videos. If you want your video to be compellingly shareable, these are the top priorities in terms of content and style:

Harness the element of surprise. All viral videos have something unexpected about them that marks them out as different from their competitors. Don’t follow the rest, subvert an idea that immediately piques the viewer’s interest. Think of the ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ Australian public safety film that was an internet sensation a few years ago. Using cute animated characters and a funny, maddeningly catchy song, Dumb Ways To Die turned the idea of the serious, educational public information broadcast on its head, and heralded a new era of naïve style animation.  Catchy music can also help – although be aware that many viewers (especially mobile users) will watch videos with the sound off.

Include humour. Not all viral videos are funny – but many contain humour or irony. Humans are social animals and laughter is eminently shareable. If you can include humour – do. But only if this authentically reflects something about your brand identity. Have a look at this very amusing (yet highly informative) video for toilet training seat ‘Squatty Potty’.

Make your content value-adding. Although it sometimes seems like we are all just pointlessly sharing videos of cats falling off shelves and pandas sneezing, the brand films that go viral often contain an important element of useful information. Michael Dubin, former CEO of the Dollar Shave Club, sold his cheap razor subscription business for 1 billion dollars, five years after launching with a brilliant viral video. Combining charismatic humour with the unexpected, the video entertainingly demonstrated why no-one should spend more than a dollar a month on disposable razors. In this case, entertainment + value-adding content resulted in ultimate shareability.

Don’t be derivative. If you see a funny video that’s gone viral, don’t try to do your own version – unless you can make it genuinely quirky and captivating in its own right. There are many derivative versions of Dollar Shave club that don’t work, but also a very clever antidote version, ‘The Dollar Beard Club’ which promotes a subscription service for oil and products for men with beards.

Use the power of emotion. Humans take action based on how they feel. Successful viral videos generate strong emotions in people – be they joyful, empathetic, or sad. A moving charity video for example can prompt people to take direct action and donate or share (the Second a Day video for Save the Children is an amazingly affecting example of this).

Unless your brand requires an empathetic response from your audience however, research shows that it is best to concentrate on generating positive emotions. The feel-good factor can play a large part in making your video shareable. For best results, use your video to tell an emotionally uplifting story simply, quickly and arrestingly, using humour and surprise. The big-budget Nike football ‘The Switch’ ad brilliantly demonstrates this.

Piggyback a cultural trend. Make it easier for yourself by basing your video on something that is already being widely shared and searched. If people are currently responding to prank videos and it fits with your brand, have a think about incorporating that. If the gadget of the moment is a VR set or everyone is talking about Star Wars – can you somehow use one of those themes in your video? It may well not be appropriate for many brands, but it’s worth thinking about popular content themes as a way of leveraging more social shares. Social Media scheduling tool Hootsuite cleverly made a Social Media themed version of the Game of Thrones title sequence to piggyback on the popularity of that show.

Keep it short. We often look at Social Media in short bursts, during breaks, scrolling through quickly and stopping briefly on content that momentarily captures our interest. Video is naturally more captivating than other forms of content, but in order to go viral, your video needs to grab the viewer’s attention in those first few scrolling seconds. Dispense with rambling intros and product shots and get straight to the point. Sustain that attention by being fresh, pithy and quirky. 15 seconds to 1 minute is the optimum length for a viral video. Turkish chef ‘Saltbae’ produced a compelling 30-second video that achieved 7 million views and spawned thousands of copycat memes (not to mention football goal celebrations).

Use influencers and paid promotion. Give your video a head start by pushing it heavily on social channels in the initial stages. The best way to do this is by getting ‘influencers’ with a large number of followers to share your video with their audiences. Think about influencers who are relevant to your brand or product. Often ‘micro-influencers might better suit your promotion – they have smaller follower numbers than the top influencers but their followings are more focused and niche so you will have a better chance of reaching an audience who will be interested in and engaged by your video. You might even think about featuring or interviewing an influencer in your video. They will share it on their channels and you will have access to their followers. Some influencers will share your content for free and others will have a payment structure in place for various levels and types of promotion. Whisky distillery Lagavulin did this to great effect with Ron Swanson.

Likewise, think about paying to promote your story by advertising on Social Media when you launch it. Once it gains a certain number of followers and shares, then a snowball effect will lead to far greater (organic) engagement and you can cut back on the paid promotion.

Professional video production. As we learned earlier, the majority of viral videos are professionally made. Viral video is highly sought after for a reason – it’s incredibly valuable to a brand, and is pretty hard to achieve. If you want your brand video to go viral deliberately, it will usually need an exceptional creative concept, a great script and good production values – not to mention a strategic approach to promotion. Have a go by all means, but if you’d like to have a chat about professionally producing a viral video and have a look at our previous viral work, please do get in touch: info@smallfilms.com

Small Films are a video production company in London. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign

 

 

 

It depends…

Frustrating perhaps, but true. Promotional video costs can vary enormously. Like any product – there are low budget options, top-quality professional options with all the bells and whistles, and lots of levels in between. There are so many factors affecting the cost of corporate video that it would be disingenuous (and probably inaccurate) to pluck a figure out of the air to answer the question. It’s not a cost-hiding conspiracy created by the video production industry – it’s just a very complex issue.

The good news is that video recording technology has become a lot more accessible over the last few years and video production costs have decreased. That means that quality video content is no longer the preserve of big brands with a huge budget. It’s now a reality for any small business or SME looking to grow.

Video for your business can be as simple as filming it yourself on a smartphone, downloading an app to use a ready-made template, adding effects, editing it, and publishing it to a video-sharing channel. And that’s great if a lo-fi, personal feel is what you’re trying to achieve. For most businesses, however, the amateur approach doesn’t really work. 62% of consumers who watch a poor quality video say they are left with a negative perception of the brand, but embedding a high-quality video on a business website landing page has been shown to increase conversions by up to 80%.

>> Looking for video production services? From explainer videos to brand films, take a look at how we can help support you. 

It’s clear then, that video content can have a massive impact. It’s important for businesses thinking about video to ensure that this impact is always a positive one. One way of doing that is to use an established video production company that will have a team of experienced professionals, high-quality equipment and pre-production, production and post-production capabilities. When choosing a company, get recommendations, look at their past work and speak to previous clients about their experiences.

The best way to approach commissioning video content from a production company is to have a clear idea of what you want to spend. As with building a house where your architect wants to know the house you envisage from the size, style and building materials, to the features, fixtures and fittings, a professional video production company needs to have an idea of your budget in order to accurately advise what services they can offer you. A corporate video could cost anything from £1,500 to £30,000 depending on a large number of variables from the complexity of the script to the cameras being used. Any reputable video production company will offer you the best creative options for your budget – it’s in their interests that the video looks as good as possible after all. And beware, there’s no such thing as a steal in video production – if something is cheap there’s usually a good reason for it. For example, a camera operator can cost anything from £150 to well over £1000 a day – but the quality of work and level of experience will be reflected in the price. Of course, you can still get a good deal on your corporate video – but the best way to get high quality and value for money is to establish a good relationship and trust with your video production company.

So what are the variables that affect video production costs? This will give you an idea of the processes that can be involved in corporate video production. Not all the elements will be necessary in any one video – it obviously depends on the type, scope and length of your video – as well as the budget. The costs will differ for an animated explainer video and a talking head corporate video shot in the workplace for example.

Read our blog: Local vs. London video production company. Which is best?

Planning and Pre-production

Strategy, creative idea, visualisation and design

Scriptwriting/storyboarding

Location finding

Casting of actors or voiceover

Wardrobe/props

Production planning and logistics

Direction and client communication

 

Shoot day/s

Director

Camera Operator

Cast

Wardrobe/make-up

Sound/lighting technician

Runner

Catering

Studio/location fee

Equipment hire

Travel

 

Post Production

Editor

Edit Producer and client liaison

Executive producer approvals

Client feedback and approvals

Animation

Motion graphics

Special effects

Stock footage

Music

Voiceover

Licensing

Subtitling/translation

Colour balancing and grading

Export and optimisation for web streaming.

So there you have it. A corporate video can involve many different processes and be many different things, but one thing it should always be is good quality. The best way to cut through the confusion is to speak to a reputable video production company and be clear about what you want and roughly how much you want to spend. Show them examples of videos you like for comparison – be open to new ideas, and most of all, enjoy the creative process!

Small Films is a leading video production company in London. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.

What is it that puts some companies off investing in a business video?

With recent research revealing that 1 minute of video content is worth 1.8 million words (Forrester Research) and that now 80% of global consumer internet traffic is in video form (Cisco), it’s a very brave company indeed that decides to leave video out of the content marketing mix completely. But it’s also no secret that producing good quality business video content can be more time consuming and costly than other forms of content. The key, then, to getting more bang for your buck (and more content for your cash) is to be clever and resourceful with the video content you commission.

Don’t think of your corporate video as one entity to be embedded on your website, or posted on YouTube and then linked to repeatedly on your social media channels for the next year. You may (rightly) be proud of it, but in an age of rapidly updating information, even your most dedicated customers can get bored of seeing the same content repeatedly, whatever the quality. Instead, think of your video as a rich source of multiple types of content that can be distributed across multiple marketing channels.

Take it to the max and repurpose your business videos. There are many effective apps and tools you can use to help you edit and repurpose your video content or to save time and money, ask your video production company to produce different edits while they are making the main video content piece. Think outside the box and plan your repurposing beforehand.

The team here at Small Films have compiled what you can do to repurpose your business videos:

1. Use all available channels

For maximum exposure consider publishing your video on your website, on YouTube and other video sharing channels such as Vimeo, Wistia, and Vidyard. (If you are after one big hit count, concentrate your efforts on one channel).

2. Optimise for social media platforms.

Break your video into shorter clips and themes. You’ll be able to use these in lots of ways (embedded in marketing emails for example) but primarily for distribution across social media. Customise edits to fit the optimal length for each social media platform.

Optimal lengths for the big platforms are as follows:
YouTube 2 minutes
Facebook 1.3 minutes
Twitter 30-45 seconds
Instagram 30 seconds (and must be less than 60 seconds.)

3. Use the video clips sequentially in social media story features.

Use 10 or 15-second segments to post in a story format on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook. Posting stories puts you straight at the top of your followers’ feeds and is a great way of increasing visibility and engagement.

4. Transcribe the video.

Turn your video into an informative blog post by transcribing or summarising it (or both). Embed the video from YouTube and add a direct text link to your YouTube video page which will help the video page rank higher in Google searches.

5. Convert the video to slides.

This works well for educational and informative video content and can sometimes generate much more engagement than the original video. Share on platforms like SlideShare and SlideSnack.

6. Create a podcast. 

When you plan the audio or voiceover for your video, think about how you might be able to convert it for a podcast. It might pay off therefore if you can get the audio to make sense without the visuals. Podcasts are rapidly increasing in popularity (1/4 of UK people over the age of 15 have listened to one) and video-editing software and other tools can be used to export the audio. You can publish it on iTunes and other podcasting sites and share it across your social media platforms.

7. Add a version with subtitles.

Many people, particularly those who are out and about and viewing on mobile devices, watch videos with the sound off. Make a version of your video with subtitles that can be viewed in this way, or for showing in the background at industry events etc where it might be difficult for viewers to hear the audio.

8. Get behind the scenes footage during the video shoot.

Show some depth and character to your brand by getting behind the scenes footage of your video shoot (the set, the crew working, hair and make-up) – little teaser clips can drum up interest before your main video launch.

9. Keep stills of your video.

Use the images across your website, social media and in other marketing collateral.

10. Make an outtake blooper video.

If it’s at all appropriate for your brand, (it may well not be) consider making a video of outtakes or funny moments from your video shoot. It shows a human side to your business and can help you connect emotionally with your audience.

11. Turn your video into GIFs.

Use those in email content, banner ads etc.

So – is it worth investing in video for your business? With the multiple ways you can now reuse and repurpose your business videos into new quality pieces of visual, audio and written content, the answer would have to be yes. If you want content that is great value for money, improves your SEO rankings, increases engagement and provides more ways to target your customers, commissioning video is a brilliant starting point.

Small Films are a leading video production company based in Hackney, East London. If you’d like some more inspiration for breathing new life into your video content, contact us here for a chat.

Video is now the undisputed king of content marketing formats. By 2022, video internet traffic will account for a staggering 82% of all consumer internet traffic, and with its increase in popularity and advances in digital technology, video is becoming more and more accessible and affordable to small and medium-sized businesses as an effective marketing tool. Of course, it’s not rocket science, but commissioning a business video for the first time can be a little confusing. Should it be short or long, animated or live-action, optimised for mobile or desktop devices? Will you be needing music, voiceover, a professional cast – or even perhaps a filming permit? And what on earth does bandwidth have to do with it?

The starting point with any marketing campaign is the strategy – so if you’re having problems understanding your POVs from your OVPs  – here is Small Films layman’s guide to creating an effective marketing strategy and concept for your business video.

Define your business

Who are you? Start by taking an overview of your business. What is your ‘brand’ – your business character, your values, your mission? How does your audience currently perceive you and what do they need to know about you to make better purchasing decisions?

Who are they? To target your video correctly you need to know detailed information about your audience. What is your customer base? Do some market research in the form of surveys, questionnaires, interviews or social media polls. Develop insights into your customers base’s demographic, character and purchasing behaviour. It might help to create some user personas of typical customers to focus your efforts (you can find some tips on how to develop these here.)

Define your goals

The stats say that video is the most effective content marketing tool for businesses – but a video for video’s sake will not bring the desired results. Create some measurable objectives. What exactly are you trying to achieve – what’s your key message? Do you want to educate about your product, raise awareness of your brand, foster emotional connections with your audience, drive web traffic or generate sales? Be specific, set KPIs and make sure the outcomes from your business video campaign are measurable and fit in with your wider business goals.

Define the market

Who are your competitors and what are other people in your industry space doing with business video and content marketing? What are they doing well and what elements are they missing? What styles are they using and how are they using them? There’s no point doing exactly the same as the competition, even if they are doing it brilliantly. Find your niche. How can you be different or better? What can you do with business video to stand out in your industry space?

Define your platforms

Decide how you want to distribute your business video – will you be using it in email, embedding it on your website, advertising on Facebook, setting up a YouTube channel –  or do you need your video to be optimised or repurposed for several platforms?

Define your budget

Make sure you have a ballpark figure of how much your business is willing to spend on video. If you are considering using a video production company or freelancer, any reputable professional will need a rough estimate of the budget to give you an accurate idea of what sort of video you might expect to get. A business video could cost anything from £1500 to £30k depending on the length, effects, location etc, so being transparent at the beginning of the process is the best way of managing everyone’s expectations.

Define your creative concept

And finally the fun bit! You know you need a business video. You’ve defined your marketing objectives and target audience, reviewed the competition, set the budget and you’re ready to go. Your final challenge is to come up with THE IDEA. That creative nugget that will strike a chord and prompt a (positive) reaction with the people that matter most – your potential customers.

Depending on which type of video you have decided to go for in line with your business objectives (case study, explainer video, brand film, interview, special event etc), decide what specific problem you are aiming to address. Then get brainstorming! Look at lots of examples of business videos across industries and make a note of styles, themes or approaches that you like. Come together in a team to review your ideas and make sure you are all on the same page. Do you want quirky, funny, professional, informative or inspiring? Pick one concept and then brainstorm specific ideas for how these might be executed. Think also about whether you would like extras such as voice over, music, special effects or animation. Again – don’t be afraid to use real examples  – any extra information you can provide will ultimately help your video production company come up with the best solution for your business.

Now you have everything you need to get started with video for your small business. If you’d like to chat about how Small Films could help you take your business video strategy and concept further, contact us here.

Small Films is a video production company. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with videos that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.