82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021.
— Cisco

Video is the medium your audience most craves

Video.png

There's a reason that Cisco makes this prediction. Humans love film, and for good reason. It uses images, motion, sound, and music—engaging more of the senses than any other medium.

Not only is the human brain designed to detect motion, but it delights in the richness of music and imagery. Because of this, video can at times surpass reality in engaging the senses. And, it can bring to life places, people, and situations that we might never be able to engage with in reality—expanding our vistas and experiences.

 
 
 
 

Demand for video is skyrocketing

Savvy businesses are using video as a driver of sales because they know this is the medium their customers are engaged with.

 
105 Minutes.jpg

The average US adult spends 105 minutes per day with digital video—up from 39 minutes in 2011.

 
One Third of Online Activity.jpg

In fact, watching video accounts for one-third of all online activity—and 55% of people watch videos online each day.

 
 
 

Video helps companies be seen, heard, and remembered

Businesses that discover the power of video find:

watched and remembered.png

Their content is more likely to be watched and remembered

converts leads.png

Video converts leads into prospects better than other types of content

SEO.png

Search engine optimization is improved (SEO is the practice of optimizing your web page to have higher rankings in search results)

email response rates.png

It increases email response rates

 
 
easy to share.png

It’s easy to share, thus putting your audience to work as distribution agents

embedding video.png

Embedding video in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%

buy a product.png

Customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a product video

spend more time.png

Visitors will spend more time on the company’s website if it has video

 
 
 

Nothing Tells a Story Like Video

 

THE POWER OF VIDEO HAS TAKEN STORYTELLING TO NEW LEVELS, ENGAGING THE HUMAN BRAIN LIKE NO OTHER MEDIUM
Stories connect emotionally with people in ways that facts do not.

Generally speaking, a well-told story is far more persuasive than an argument, in part because people make decisions first with emotions, then look for facts to support their decisions.

Storytelling.jpg
 

Video can be more authentic than text

Authenticity.jpg

EVEN THOUGH VIDEO IS EDITED, IT IS SEEN AS MORE TRUE
In video, we might see the person who experienced the story actually telling it, which appears more authentic than it would in other mediums.

 

Video conveys emotion and body language

VIDEO CONVEYS NOT JUST WORDS, BUT BODY LANGUAGE AND TONE OF VOICE
This all gives the viewer more information and context than if they were to read the same message in print.

This is true for any message reliant on a particular individual—from the customer who shares their experience with the company or product to the donor who has become an advocate.

Emotion.jpg
 

Video is more efficient than text

Efficiency.jpg

ATTENTION SPANS ARE SHRINKING
The amount of energy humans have to curate their content is limited.

If you don’t believe that video can deliver a message more efficiently than text, try describing a scenic photo with words and see how long it takes.

 

Video is an exceptional internal communication tool

VIDEO IS NOT JUST FOR YOUR PUBLIC AUDIENCE
It can build internal culture—making your workforce more productive, more informed, more engaged, and more aligned with your vision and values.

It is the ideal communication tool for spreading your biggest ideas and for winning the hearts and minds of your own team, and it is an essential tool for reaching large workforces in distributed geographic locations.

Internal Communcation.jpg
 
 

Video marketing uses video to create brand awareness, drive sales, and promote your product or service.

Because it is the most effective communication tool, it is now playing a central role in marketing and communication campaigns in most industries. It involves several steps:

 
developing the video strategy.png

1. Developing the video strategy

producing the videos.png

2. Producing the videos

distributing videos.png

3. Distributing the videos

Many companies are leaving sales on the table by not taking full advantage of distribution options.

tracking results.png

4. Tracking results (and modifying distribution strategies as needed)

 
 

Although video is a must-have tool for marketing, it only works well if it deploys the right creative strategy and reaches the right audience with a message they care about. Creating a video in itself is not a sure win—it must be effectively produced and distributed.

 
 
1.jpg

Set goals

  • How do you want your audience to feel at the end of the video?
  • What do you want them to know after watching the video?
  • What action do you want them to take?
  • Will the video be part of a larger campaign or strategy?
2.jpg

Create your audience personas

  • Define your demographic.
  • Describe their buying patterns.
  • Define the kind of content and messages they want to see.
  • Describe the desires or fears that would prompt them to engage with your service or product.
3.jpg

See what your competitors are doing

  • Find out what videos are getting the highest engagement by looking at your competitor’s website and YouTube or Vimeo channels and by searching for topics that will be similar to yours. 
  • Identify where the opportunities are for video content that reaches your target market.
4.jpg

Identify your video team

  • Decide if the video will be produced in-house or by an outside resource.
  • If outside, see section below on how to select a video production team.
  • See below for guidelines on how to allocate resources for your video.
5.jpg

Determine a distribution plan

  • Based on your target audience and goals, outline the ways in which you will distribute the video. See section on video distribution below for a list of your options and the pros and cons of each method and channel.
  • Caution: Very often, this step is skipped because it is assumed that people will watch your video if you post it on some of your social media channels. This approach can be the death of your video campaign—even if the creative work is outstanding. 
6.jpg

Set a budget and establish a schedule

  • Determine your due date and work backwards with your producer to schedule each step leading to completion. 
  • Do thorough work up front, and you'll save both time and money.
  • Work with your producer to set a budget, if you don't have one in mind.
7.jpg

Define how you’ll measure success

  • Use viewer data, industry data, and your own intuition to evaluate your video. (See the section below on measuring success.)
  • When measuring success, remember to consider all variables: concept, execution, audience, distribution method. 
 
 

Videos come in all price points and many styles to achieve different business goals.

 
Interview

Interview

Testimonial

Testimonial

Micro-Documentary

Micro-Documentary

Stories

Stories

Explainer

Explainer

Company Overview

Company Overview

Brand Video

Brand Video

Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Animations

Animations

Whiteboards

Whiteboards

Training

Training

Employee Orientation

Employee Orientation

Product Videos

Product Videos

Culture-Building

Culture-Building

Vision-Casting

Vision-Casting

Values and Mission

Values and Mission

FAQs

FAQs

News Updates

News Updates

Strategy-Building

Strategy-Building

Social Media "Shorts"

Social Media "Shorts"

Live Video

Live Video

Live video is the next best thing to being there. It fills a different role than a produced video by taking the viewer into a situation in real-time—which gives them a sense that they are in the inner circle and part of your business.

It's the ideal medium to make an authentic, real-time connection with your audience, whether it's customers, employees, stakeholders, or media.

Here are some ways live video is being used in businesses:

  • An inside view. Show your viewer a behind-the-scenes look into your company that they couldn't normally see.
     
  • Live events. Think grand openings, celebrations, brand launches, product launches, or any other event that's of interest to people who can't get there in person.
     
  • Training. Save money on travel by having employees in diverse locations obtain training remotely. 
     
  • Q&A sessions. This can be internal or with your customers. Google live streams video to answer questions and produce more experts on their products. 
     
  • Internal communication. Run an ask-me-anything session with employees—especially in large organizations where face-to-face communication can be difficult—and interact with your employees in real-time. Live video can also show your team at work or play, which can build or reveal culture. 
     
  • Interviews. Capture customers reviewing your product, stream employees talking about why they work for your organization, or bring in an expert who interests your audience.
     
  • News. Live video is good for delivering time-sensitive content, like revealing a new product at a trade show or announcing a merger. It allows release to everyone at the same time and makes your loyal customers feel like they are a valued member of your team and in the know. SpaceX used live video to broadcast their rocket launches, celebrate achievements, and build trust.
     
  • Get customer feedback. Invite customers to respond to your product or service and address concerns live.

Live video isn't just for big companies. Restaurants can stream video of trips to the farm to get customers excited about the menu, even asking customers who tune in what food they should buy. A small company can offer a glimpse into their community and brand without having to worry about higher-cost campaigns—as most live video can be streamed from business accounts on Instagram, Periscope, YouTube, Facebook, and Google Hangouts, to name a few.

A good video strategy will likely include some live and some produced videos, simply because they achieve different things.

 
 

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating useful, relevant content on topics that people are searching for, in order to bring traffic to your website.

 
Attract Prospective Customers.jpg

IT HELPS YOUR BUSINESS GET FOUND
Instead of pushing information out to someone who might be interested in a message, content marketing helps your business get found by someone who most definitely is interested in what you offer.

So it attracts prospective customers to your site who are in search of content you have to offer—and as such, brings more qualified leads.

 
Delivers Information People Want.jpg

IT DELIVERS INFORMATION THAT PEOPLE WANT WITHOUT A HARD SELL
This is effective because consumers don't always want to be sold to.

 
Build Connections.jpg

IT BUILDS CONNECTION
Businesses that consistently produce content their audiences like find it builds a connection between their brand and their potential customer.

 
Improved SEO.jpg

IT IMPROVES RESULTS
It improves results for search engine optimization, inbound marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.

 

B2C shows three excellent examples of how Volvo, Saddleback Leather, and Zendesk are using video in their content marketing.

Because video is such a powerful way to connect with your audience, it is an ideal tool for delivering results within a content marketing strategy.

Internal Communication.png
 
 

Companies on the cutting edge of communication are using video in internal communications.

Why? Simple. Video:

Internal Communication-2.png
  • Is an efficient and effective way to reach employees in different locations
  • Can personalize leaders and make them easier to relate to
  • Gives voice to employees
  • Provides customer perspectives that could never be delivered in person
  • Inspires more effectively than one-on-one communication, simply because it adds arresting images, motion, and music to the message
  • Makes messages more memorable
  • Can simplify complex messages
 
 
 

13 internal communication video ideas you can use now to build culture and increase employee engagement

Businesses are creating videos to build culture, create a more informed workplace, inspire employees, and provide important information that helps employees align with their most pressing strategies.

 
Re-engage Employees.png

1. Stories that reveal the "why" behind the work

Re-engage employees to their purpose through the power of story.

Customer Testimonials.png

2. Customer testimonials

Though testimonials are often done poorly, the right kind can be an effective tool for business.

Explainers.png

3. Explainers

A great way to address change, introduce new processes, roll out new benefits, or deliver a "how to."

 
Mission and Values.png

4. Mission/values

Reinforcing both is crucial to preserving or building the culture of an organization.

Health Tips.png

5. Health or productivity tips

Inspiring whole living is good for everyone.

Leadership Updates.png

6. Leadership updates

Set the tone, focus, and direction of the company.

 
Vision-casting.png

7. Vision-casting

Lay out a road map that engages employees.

News Briefs.png

8. News briefs

Ideal for packing lots of mini-messages into one video.

Daily Inspiration.png

9. Daily inspiration

A quick, affordable way to uplift your employees.

 
Employee Recognition.png

10. Employee recognition

Remind your employees that good work does not go unnoticed.

Success Stories.png

11. Success stories

Wins inspire.

Just-in-time Training.png

12. Just-in-time training

Help employees learn at a time that works for their schedule.

 
How We Did It.png

13. "How we did it" videos

Accelerate learning across the organization (how we won this award, how we improved our productivity, how we reduced errors).

 
 

5 things video can do for internal communications that other media cannot

Video is uncommonly successful at evoking emotional response, so it is an ideal medium for:

 
 
Understanding the Why.png

1. Helping employees understand the why behind their work

Compelling Vision.png

2. Helping leaders create a compelling vision for where the company is going

Mission and Values.png

3. Igniting passion for mission and values

Inspiring Employees.png

4. Inspiring employees

Celebrating a Success.png

5. Celebrating a success

 
 

Internal communication should provide food for the soul, and yet, most employees are starved for this kind of content.

The daily fare can be an overwhelming onslaught of information that depletes energy (think email requests, notifications, assignments, complaints, problems to solve). Video can help leaders inspire their ranks and more effectively win the hearts and minds of their team.

 
 

How to distribute your video to employees

In this infographic, you can see 17 different channels for distributing messages internally—and many of them are suitable for video. It's best to use more than one, to increase the reach of your video.

 
Distribute Your Video.png
 
 

YOU've FINISHED YOUR VIDEO. Now PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WATCH IT, RIGHT?

Not so! Knowing how to distribute your video is essential to making it work hard for you—and this is a step that is perilous to ignore.

Since no one distribution strategy fits every video, you will need to tailor your plan to the type of video, its goals, and its audience. You’ll want to look at both options that improve organic reach (making it easy to get found, viewed, and shared) and paid advertising.

Your first step is to decide where you will host your video, since this decision will impact how easy it will be to get found by your audience. After that, you’ll want to identify multiple channels for distributing your video.

Let’s start with deciding where you will host your video.

 
 

Step 1: Choosing Your Video Platform

Not all video platforms are created equal. But it is possible to get value from each platform—depending on project needs.

 

YouTube is not always the best choice for online video hosting. Depending on the type of video and goals, it may be better to go with Vimeo or even Facebook.

Deciding whether your video is uploaded or embedded and on which platform(s) depends entirely on the project content, subject, and goals. With two major hosting platforms to choose from, you'll want to examine some of the costs and benefits of both to determine which platform is better for your needs.

Your Platform.png
 
 
Youtube.png

YOUTUBE
YouTube is the second largest search engine, so while it is often seen as the default platform, hosting on YouTube should be a strategic decision. While it boasts 1.5 billion viewers per month and eight out of 10 US millennials use YouTube, only 9% of US small businesses use YouTube. If you host on YouTube, worry less about traffic and people finding your video and more about who is finding your video and why. YouTube is a search engine, but its users behave differently than on regular search engines, which often represents lower-quality views.

 

What you should know about hosting with YouTube:

  1. HIGH TRAFFIC VOLUMES
    The number of hours watched on YouTube is increasing by 50% each year. It works in tandem with Google Search since both are Google products. Currently, the majority of video search results are from YouTube. If you’re looking to gain organic search traffic using a specific keyword based on your video content, YouTube is the best way to get there.
     
  2. POTENTIAL FOR VIRAL SHARING
    YouTube’s algorithms prefer videos that are getting watched, and as such, they will boost such videos to be seen by people who didn’t directly search for them.
     
  3. SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS
    Because YouTube is owned by Google, their videos are more easily ranked on Google’s search pages. SEO and content rankings are built-in features of the platform. If you’ve created good content that many users are watching, you will more than likely find steady traffic from suggested videos, Google Search, and many other locations since Google tends to behave as an 800-pound gorilla in the ring of search—seeming to knock out competitors.
     
  4. MOBILE-FRIENDLY
    While Vimeo's mobile app has limitations, YouTube's mobile app is easier to use. About 70% of YouTube traffic is from mobile.
     
  5. USE RIGHTS FILTERS CAN YIELD UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
    YouTube will promptly ban videos for lack of use rights—mistake or not. This is a scary although uncommon downside of YouTube: your work, efforts, and ranking credibility are at the hands of imperfect automation.
     
  6. COST
    Although hosting on YouTube is free, it offers no options for upgrades.
     
  7. VIDEO QUALITY
    YouTube has low- to high-quality playing abilities. Videos play in best-streamable quality which the user can manually override, but this is not ideal for those wanting to preserve the quality of their video.
     
  8. VIDEO ADS
    Pesky ads play before content. This can interrupt the content flow and deter viewers; it can also mean that ads for products with which you don't wish to affiliate can appear on your content, with no options to remove them.
     
  9. LENGTH
    Longer content will likely rank higher in YouTube search results than shorter content.
     
  10. AUDIENCE SIZE
    YouTube has a huge audience, which means your content is more likely to be found and seen by more people.
     
  11. COMMENT VALUE
    Feedback is likely to feature significant amounts of spam.
 
 
Vimeo.png

 

 

 

VIMEO
Vimeo has 280 million viewers per month and is a good choice for those concerned about quality.

 

What you should know about hosting with Vimeo:

  1. BETTER ENCODING AND VIDEO QUALITY
    Over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. To handle that workload, YouTube has to find a compression balance between speed and quality. Vimeo, on the other hand, values quality over quantity and has a much higher bitrate. It focuses on using better encoding techniques with stricter criteria for acceptable videos and preserves the quality of the original production.
     
  2. BETTER REPUTATION
    YouTube houses vlogs, tutorials, temporary content, and millions of random uploads. It’s a content dump, whereas Vimeo houses indie documentaries, short films, and festival submissions. There’s a bit of prestige to being on Vimeo. The platform is biased toward creators who produce high-quality content.
     
  3. MORE USEFUL COMMENTS
    Compare the comment sections of a Vimeo video and a YouTube video and you can see the evidence that Vimeo’s comments have a more constructive nature to them, in stark contrast to YouTube’s plethora of haters, trolls, and spammers.
     
  4. UNIQUE CUSTOMIZATIONS AND FEATURES
    Vimeo has many practical advantages over YouTube, such as the ability to replace a video but keep the URL; to add passwords; to custom embed settings; to offer advanced analytics; and to make money with Vimeo On Demand.
     
  5. COST
    While you can get a free Vimeo account, Vimeo also offers paid account options for adding improved features that add value to the platform.
     
  6. VIDEO QUALITY
    Vimeo offers the controlled quality that is necessary for high-quality projects. Video content automatically plays at the highest quality.
     
  7. VIDEO ADS
    Vimeo's ad-free platform is made possible by revenue from paid accounts. This puts the focus on the content and away from sales.
     
  8. TYPE OF CONTENT
    Higher-quality content of any length will likely rank higher in search. More artistic and higher-quality content is a hallmark of Vimeo due to its refined audience and the platform’s focus on film.
     
  9. AUDIENCE
    Vimeo has a smaller community that is focused on seeing artistic films and quality content. Feedback is often uplifting and constructive.
     
  10. LESS REACH
    Despite Vimeo’s biggest perks, without the heavy audience and SEO YouTube offers, Vimeo can be a hard sell as an upload platform for many business needs. If a company can get more views on YouTube and is more likely to show up in search, they will take the lower-quality player and disregard the marketing features that come with Vimeo.
 
 
Facebook.png



FACEBOOK
If you're not already, it's past time to consider Facebook as a marketing platform—for some types of video marketing. Facebook isn’t the best place to host videos if you’re concerned about the quality and viewing experience, but if your intention is to reach your audience through social media, Facebook, which will give preference to videos it hosts over videos that are hosted on a different platform, is a solid choice.

 

What you should know about hosting with Facebook:

  1. NATIVE VIDEOS ON FACEBOOK HAVE 10 TIMES HIGHER REACH THAN YOUTUBE LINKS
    This may be because videos play automatically and can draw viewers in without having to click.
     
  2. ABOUT 85% of FACEBOOK VIDEOS ARE WATCHED WITHOUT SOUND
    An important note to keep in mind, so be sure to include subtitles or text so your content can still be effective if muted.
     
  3. FACEBOOK'S ALGORITHMS POSITION VIDEO ABOVE MOST OTHER POSTS
    There’s a good chance your video is going to appear in your audience’s feed if you host with Facebook.
     
  4. FACEBOOK POSTS HAVE A SHORTER LIFESPAN
    Once a video stops getting likes and shares, it quickly sinks to the bottom. Direct links are problematic, and it can be difficult to search for old Facebook videos. But if your content is time-sensitive, and only temporarily relevant, hosting with Facebook for your social audience may be your best option.
 
 

Vimeo vs. YouTube vs. Facebook—Which is Best for You?

 

Set your goals

Ultimately, the decision rests on where your audience resides and the amount of customizations and control you wish to have. When choosing platforms, you must decide what direction you want your content to take.

Goals.jpg
 

Don't upload one video to both YouTube and Vimeo—at least not initially

In order to rank for search and to connect viewers to what you want them to see, push the majority of traffic toward few locations. If you upload the video to both YouTube and Vimeo at the same time, it's likely that either one or the other will get the majority of traffic, but neither will get the full potential of viewers—causing the content to rank lower on both platforms.

In some cases, it may make sense to launch your video on one platform, and when it has maximized its reach, you can launch on a second platform.

Choose One.jpg
 

Choose YouTube if searching is most important

Although we use Vimeo as our primary platform, we occasionally upload in-house work to YouTube to capture scattered traffic.

Despite the majority of our Vimeo videos content having significantly higher view counts and overall better metrics than their YouTube counterparts, the YouTube versions far outrank the Vimeo versions in search.

Choose YouTube.jpg
 

Choose Vimeo if quality is most important

The potential for a video to be seen by masses or potentially go “viral” is conceivable on YouTube and a rarity on Vimeo. But it shouldn’t matter.

If you’ve fit your distribution plan to your audience, then the quality of your content will drive results.

It is more important for the right people to view your video than the masses if they aren’t your target audience.

Choose Vimeo.jpg
 
 

Step 2: Distributing Your Video

Once you've chosen a platform for hosting your video, it's time to build a linking system that simultaneously pushes the content out while bringing viewers back to the video at its desired destination.

Distribution.png

You can do this by embedding the video to other distribution platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, your website, and landing pages.

Pushing out content through social media channels is essential for good distribution, because it puts the networks of others to work for you at no cost.

Additionally, video marketing often benefits from a paid digital advertising strategy. In the section below, we’ll talk about both organic and paid options for distributing your video.

 
 

Here are venues for distributing your video:

 
1.jpg

VIMEO

2.jpg

YOUTUBE

3.jpg

Using SOCIAL MEDIA to push out your content for free or through paid advertising:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram (requires short versions under 60 seconds)
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
4.jpg

EMAIL CAMPAIGNS

5.jpg

Your WEBSITE

6.jpg

CAMPAIGN LANDING PAGE. (See our section in this guide about this “best practice” option.)

7.jpg

An internal communication APP, if your company has one targeting employees.

8.jpg

PAID ONLINE ADVERTISING. Don’t forget Google AdWords in your paid advertising strategy.

9.jpg

EVENTS. Don’t forget to consider in-person venues like special events, where you can reach a larger group with a live showing.

 

Now let’s do a deeper dive into each of these.

 
 

Vimeo

Vimeo.png

COMMUNITY OF CREATORS
In addition to being a hosting platform, Vimeo holds a community of talented creators who can discover your video when it is shared. People can find the video more easily when it is linked to the credited creators and categories. If viewers like your content, it can be added to channels and collections of similar content—further enlarging its reach. For example, a narrator we worked with added the video to his Voiceover Sample channel, which increased its ability to get found. The more ways your video can be found, the better.

VIMEO ON DEMAND
Creators can even sell or rent content directly to fans through higher-tier Vimeo accounts and take home 90% of revenue after transaction costs.

 
 

YouTube

Youtube.png

SUBSCRIPTION
YouTube is home to a diverse array of video creators and consumers. While the platform tends to be a less-polished space with lower filmmaking guidelines, the community of subscribers is strong. If you can establish a following on YouTube, releasing relevant content on a consistent basis can be a good way to grow your audience. YouTuber PewDiePie boasts the highest number of subscribers, with over 57 million who actively engage in his regular content. Great video content + many videos = more subscribers + higher SEO rankings.

 
 

Facebook

Facebook.png

MANY APPLICATIONS
Facebook remains one of the widest-reaching social media channels. With applications such as day-to-day social life, business profiles, events, and many others, this platform is one of the most effective ways to reach a specific audience through both organic and paid advertising methods. Facebook is set up to take an extensive amount of data on each user, and their content distribution builds on this information.

FOCUS ON THE FEED
Facebook focuses largely on their users’ feeds. Many users have more followers and friends on this account than on other social profiles, meaning any social engagement here should inherently increase reach better than on sister platforms. This “focus on the feed” approach attempts to bring users what they will really want to see.

USER DATA
Facebook provides data on who likes and shares more often, who clicks links more, what types of things are in the photos you view, who passes by, who reads articles, and so much more. Facebook processes all this data and attempts to give each user content that will keep them coming back to their platform. Facebook does the work for you of keeping its users happy, so take advantage of their efforts.

 
 

Instagram

Instagram.png

VIDEOS ON INSTAGRAM
Instagram reaches a more visually based crowd and currently allows videos under 60 seconds to be uploaded to the platform. These videos auto-play on scroll, begin muted, have a lower-quality resolution, and don’t allow posts to link out to outside sources; even with these parameters, however, Instagram remains a powerful content marketing tool for businesses that have a compelling visual brand.

HASHTAGS AND LOCATIONS
The hashtag and geolocation tagging systems are heavily built-out to connect users to content they want, both through search and organic feeds. We use our profile to post content related to a video in the weeks coming up to release, and then take advantage of our bio link to push traffic through to the video's location.

CONTENT
Because of the length limitations, we post "mini videos" from our shoots as well as full 10- to 30-second trailers for upcoming videos that will eventually be used as sponsored content. Instagram allows links from sponsored content posts, so we occasionally take advantage of this to send traffic to other social media platforms or notify viewers of the full video.

 
 

LinkedIn

Linkedin.png

LinkedIn offers the best way to target a specific professional audience, as it allows you to target based on job title, company, industry, location, and a myriad of other important options.

PROFESSIONAL NETWORK
LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network” with over 400 million members. As popularity of professional social networks increases, better data will be available to find potential clients who find your content valuable. On LinkedIn, you can focus paid and organic campaigns toward clients and businesses that you believe would want to see your video.

SPONSORED CONTENT
Using LinkedIn sponsored content, content distribution can focus on personal, user data that we don’t often find on other ad platforms. Locations, businesses, careers, industries, and more can be accurately targeted through sponsored content. Their sponsored content tends to be more expensive than that of other platforms, but the targeting can be so well focused, that it's often worth the added cost.

AUDIENCE UPLOAD
You can use LinkedIn’s audience upload capabilities to build out lists of businesses in specific areas that you want to target.

 
 

Twitter

Twitter.png

PROMOTED VIDEO
Twitter is a massive community that could engage with your video content similarly to other social media platforms. However, it is more for temporary or time-sensitive media. They also have a promoted video feature that can put your video at the forefront of the feed. You can upload directly to Twitter versus linking from Vimeo or YouTube. This can be used similarly to the way one would use teasers on YouTube.

 
 

Pinterest

Pinterest.png

DESIGN-FOCUSED
Pinterest is a community seeking inspiration among content curated by its members. As more businesses use Pinterest as part of their social media strategy, this is becoming another good channel to reach people interested in your product or service. If you have successful Pinterest boards in place, your video will likely receive many organic views from a new audience.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Pinterest has a promoted video feature that auto-plays your content and allows people to discover your brand as they scroll through their feed. This feature currently only works for mobile, however.

 
 

Email

Email.png

Targeted email campaigns can be very successful ways to distribute your video content, and using platforms like Campaign Monitor, you can obtain excellent viewer data that will help you refine your distribution strategies.

DIRECT MARKETING TOOL
Approximately half of the marketers who included video in email campaigns saw increased click-through rates, more time spent reading the email, and more forwarding and sharing of the content.

ADDED INTEREST
Sharing video in your email campaigns not only brings life and vibrancy to the newsletter, but can save time by providing information more quickly than text. It also distinguishes your email from the scores of visually bereft emails that cross your viewers' desks each day.

 
 

Company Website

Company Website.png

BRING THEM HOME
Of course, your company's website is generally an important place to embed your videos. It will be more difficult to keep a community on your website, but you can drive traffic here from busier places where your video can be found and placed in the context of a larger message or campaign. Some videos can make excellent hero images, while others can reside on landing pages designed to showcase expanded content.

 
 

Landing Pages

Landing Page.png

A video landing page is a web page/site that is designed exclusively for the purpose of driving traffic to a call to action. It is an essential "best practice" strategy for videos that are designed to generate sales or invite action.

A landing page can be a page within your own website with a simple, distinctive URL. Or, it can be a free-standing microsite (mini website). We often find the latter to be ideal for companies with large corporate websites, which don't have the same design and functional capabilities as a microsite—or would take too long to change. We’ve built landing pages in a matter of days, allowing our clients to quickly erect a digital destination for their video content or ad campaign.

Not familiar with a landing page? Here's an example of a landing page designed to help promote a video production.

WHAT A LANDING PAGE CAN DO FOR YOUR VIDEO
Landing pages are a powerful tool for collecting data and bringing SEO value—especially if you host on Vimeo and miss out on some of the perks of YouTube.

THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A LANDING PAGE OVER SENDING CUSTOMERS TO A NON-OPTIMIZED PAGE ARE MANY:

  • It controls the viewer experience and draws them strategically, through intentional design, through the points that lead to sales—removing all distractions and obstacles for the viewer. In other words, it moves them through the sales process more effectively.
  • It places your video in the context of easy-to-navigate information and context that inspires a desired action.
  • It boosts conversion (viewers to leads).
  • It lowers abandonment rates (people who come to your page and leave because it's too hard to find what they're looking for). This is a common occurrence that is often unmeasured but results in lost revenue for a business.
  • It makes the expected action so unmistakably obvious that the viewer can expend minimal energy to decide on next steps. Viewer fatigue is an issue all communicators must face, and landing pages are an excellent remedy. Examples of actions include subscribing to a newsletter, downloading content, purchasing a product, or talking with a sales person.

Good landing pages are benefit-oriented, simple, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. They focus on the essentials. Everything that doesn't help drive the viewer to the desired action is cleared away, making it easy for the viewer to respond to the call to action. They act as a perfect way to both display your video and market your product/service.

Since CMBell's website and Vimeo channel are so closely paired, using a landing page works well for many of our in-house project needs. The landing page helps us make up for some of the SEO positives that YouTube brings which can be lost when hosting on Vimeo. We also use Vimeo Pro to add a link to each of our embedded videos, helping us steer traffic toward the web pages we want visitors to see.

COMPARE DATA FROM YOUR LANDING PAGE WITH OTHER DATA TO GET A FULLER PICTURE
By looking at analytics from multiple vantage points, you'll be better able to draw conclusions about the impact of your project. Here are just a few ideas you can use:

  • Compare the data from the embed platform (e.g., Vimeo stats) with page and engagement metrics on a website.
  • Compare unique visitors to a web page with overall plays on a collection platform.
  • Compare overall website traffic with the number of video plays a video receives, to correlate a growth increase.
  • Compare demographic reports of the upload platform and landing page.
  • A/B test thumbnails with Google Optimize prior to launch when deciding which thumbnail will capture the higher click-through rate.

Ensuring that each location links back to a page meant for your viewers can be of great value. With full control over the aesthetic and linking of the page, you are more likely to steer visitors toward the desired goal of the campaign and to convert visitors into leads.

 
Above the Fold.png

SETTING UP A SUCCESSFUL LANDING PAGE

  1. Set up trackers that accurately track the right campaign metrics.
    When you host on your own site, you take back control of the data that is collected. For example: use Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to find out how users are interacting with your page, and to analyze what your key performance metrics are saying about the content.
  2. Keep main content above the fold.
    All the important content goes in the visitor’s immediate line of sight. Make your video the first piece of content people see on the page, followed by the value proposition and call to action.
  3. Use supporting text and graphics in the spaces below to capture interest and give more information.
    Create a few more supporting sections that back up your campaign goals. Make each point a unique selling point for your targeted audience(s)—and make it easy to browse (subheads, captions, bulleted lists).
  4. Keep supporting content concise and benefit-oriented.
    You have little time to capture interest on this page. While hosting an enticing thumbnail will help your users watch the video, you need to provide the other information clearly and concisely if you hope to move the viewer further into the sales funnel.
 
 

Google AdWords

Google AdWords.png

Paid advertising is an excellent way to drive traffic to your video content. We have already talked about sponsored content on social media—however, Google AdWords can also be an important addition to your paid advertising strategy. Google AdWords targets keywords that viewers are entering when searching for content they desire. These are the ads that appear at the top of page one of your search results.

While paid advertising could be the subject of an entire definitive guide of its own, we’ve touched on the most common options which you can research further to decide which ones are right for you.

Google AdWords pairs search queries with respectively targeted ads that appear at “position 0” of a search engine results page. You pay for the top spot in the search, but also have the opportunity to directly target people who may be shopping for your product or service.

 
 

Step 3: Getting Viewers to Find and Watch Your Video

Always upload videos in the highest quality available

Quality.jpg

The general standard is to upload videos in 1080p. However, 2k-4k+ quality videos are becoming much more common, as data transfer speeds are increasing daily. When you upload a lower-quality version, it will not look or sound its best. This is exacerbated when shown in larger venues and can reflect poorly on the company.

 

Titles matter

Titles Matter.jpg

A good title can make the difference between a viewer deciding to click or to leave, so don’t get lazy with this step. Titles can be descriptive or more emotive, depending on the project.

Generally, the more targeted the audience, the more targeted the title. Also, be sure to add descriptions that are interesting and concise, and invite the viewer to click. Here are some examples of titles and descriptions that speak to their audiences well:

Titles that work

Descriptions that work

  • Heart Work – Dr. Paula Dhanda  “What inspires a doctor to leave a comfortable job in Beverly Hills to work in the unhealthiest county in California as well as some of the most underserved countries in the world?”
  • Andrae’s Kitchen Walla Walla – The Story  “Sometimes you go against conventional wisdom and find it works—like this story of Andrae’s Kitchen. Chef Andrae Bopp creates some of Walla Walla’s most unexpected flavors in a most unexpected place: a gas station.”
 

Optimize settings

Optimize Settings.jpg

Besides having a good title and description, use the settings on your platform to add as much information as possible to each video. The more categories and associations your video has, the more likely it is to get found by people who might be interested in the content.

  • Language
  • Location
  • Tags
  • Keywords
  • Website
  • Closed captions (CC) or foreign language subtitles
  • Thumbnail
  • Audience type
  • Genre (ex: documentary, lifestyle, etc.)
  • Pictures
 

Always include closed captions and/or subtitles

Closed Captions.jpg

People frequently watch videos without sound, so we strongly encourage use of subtitles and/or closed captions. These can typically be added at negligible cost, but it’s always important to confirm that your producer will add these to be sure you can reach the maximum number of viewers.

 

 

Consider removing the download button for more control over the quality of your video

Remove the Download Button.jpg

We often find that companies download their videos in a low-quality format and then upload it to platforms from there—decreasing the quality of the final production. To avoid this, consider removing download capabilities in the video settings to minimize the probability of lower than “original” quality content being published.

 

Create thumbnails that sell

Thumbnails.jpg

Thumbnails should be designed and supplied with each video project, as they are vital to encouraging a healthy click rate. Check your thumbnail design to be sure it works well in the smallest application—like on a mobile phone—and make it visually appealing. An interesting thumbnail will lead users to click, watch, and possibly like or comment—but a poor thumbnail can prevent possible viewers from engaging.

  • If the original thumbnail is not easily available/accessible, use Daniel Ehniss’ tool to download one.
  • Paste the URL of the video into the search bar and download the thumbnail in the highest quality available (likely the default).
  • Upload the thumbnail to the video platform and ensure that the change has correctly taken place upon upload.
 

Optimize your videos for mobile traffic

Mobile.jpg

Optimize thumbnails for mobile. With most social media profiles being mobile-based, we’ve found about 50% of our shared video content is accessed by mobile devices—and this number is growing. If your thumbnails are difficult to read, or if the play button covers important information, take the time to go back and change these small problems before launch. It will pay off in the end.

Include viewing instructions. If your video is meant to be played loud and on the big screen, mention that in the description; implore users to save the video for later watching in a better setting.

 

Uploading vs. embedding

Uploading vs Embedding.jpg

Uploading is the practice of hosting video data on a service site. The video will be distributed from the platform it was uploaded to—causing any data and ranking value to flow back to that platform.

Embedding is the practice of adding an object from another website. While the video is still uploaded to a hosting site (for example: Vimeo) the video will appear on the website to which it has been embedded. All the technical values and data are still passed to the upload platform, but the visual occurrence belongs to the embed location.

 

You don’t have to be the expert, but you should call on one if you need to

Find an Expert.jpg

How a video is distributed is paramount to the success of your project—and does require some technical expertise. Discuss your goals at the start of the project and make sure your distribution plan is solid before you launch it, and don't be afraid to call on specialists in this area if needed. A good video that doesn't reach its intended audience won't deliver the results you should expect.

 
No One Data Point.png
 
 

No one data point can give you a complete analysis of your video’s success.

The best way to evaluate your video’s performance is to look at it through multiple types of data and interpretive lenses.

We recommend evaluating success in these three ways:
        1. By studying your video’s data
        2. By comparing to data from the broader industry
        3. By using intuition and common sense

 
 

Studying your video's data

Data Collection.png

Set up your data collection systems wisely

The first question to ask is “What will we track, and why?” In other words, success must be defined before success can be achieved.

Before you can measure anything helpful, you’ll need to ensure that the data collection systems you have in place are well conceived. Failing to initially think through the analytics framework is one of the most common problems businesses face in the future. For many healthy strategies, data collection can be 95% thinking about the problem and 5% executing the strategy. If the system is set up incorrectly, all your data will be skewed. If the system is set up thoughtfully, it’s possible you could collect years of good data and require minimal changes to the collection platform. You will thank yourself later for the time put in today.

 

Because the setup is so critical to understanding and collecting accurate data, it is often worth engaging an expert who specializes in this complex process—even if just initially.

Once the setup is complete, you can look at the analytics provided by your platform.

 
 

Here are some of the most common data measures to track:

Reach.jpg

REACH/IMPRESSIONS
Reach is a measure of your potential audience size; it indicates how many times your content has shown up in front of a user—but doesn't indicate any engagement (for example: views, shares, and likes).

Look at Vimeo’s “Source URL Report” or YouTube’s “Traffic Sources” to find the practical reach of your video and where it has been embedded or shared.

 
Views.jpg

VIEWS
A view indicates that someone has pressed play or watched some or all of your video. Most platforms calculate their view data differently, and not all views are created equal. Some platforms will count a view even if the video was watched for just a few seconds, while others have a longer threshold.

Make sure you understand how the metrics are gathered on your platform. Views are a commonly misunderstood metric, but are integral to measuring a project’s value.

 
Watch-time.jpg

WATCH-TIME
Watch-time is the duration that a viewer watches a video. This metric is one of the best indicators of how interesting and relevant your video content is. Playing close attention to the watch-time metric can help you decide which types of videos to produce, how long they should be, and which hosting platforms are working best for your audience.  

If you are finding that your audience is not staying with the video, think about why that might be. We recently observed that one of our videos had a notable drop-off rate in the last 10-15 seconds. After examining the engagement data, it was determined that the drop-off occurred during a part of the song that sounded like an ending. Viewers were interpreting the music to suggest the video's end, which was accounting for a 15% loss of viewership at that point.

 
Shares and Follows.jpg

SOCIAL SHARES AND FOLLOWS
Shares and follows are among the most important metrics for video content because they suggest a much higher level of engagement than a view or a like. This data is easy to collect in all the major platforms.

Shares signal to search engines that your content is high quality, which in turn prompts them to give the video more weight on social platforms—getting your video more chances to be seen by more people. More shares on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will organically grow the reach of your content. These platforms have cycles that reward virality based on social engagements. What starts as one or two shares can quickly snowball into hundreds or thousands.

 
Click-through Rate.jpg

CLICK-THROUGH RATE
Click-through rate (CTR) indicates the percentage of people who clicked a link on your content. Often this metric only applies to sponsored content (i.e., content that you’ve paid a platform like Facebook or Instagram to promote).

Make sure that your content has an obvious call to action that allows you to be intentional about directing traffic back to your home page or a landing page customized for your target market.

Sometimes a hosting platform will allow you to include a link on your content. For instance, if you have a Vimeo Pro subscription, Vimeo allows you to link from your logo on the video. This type of thing may not register in CTR metrics but is useful for driving traffic nonetheless.

 
 
 

Campaign videos

Campaign Videos.jpg

If your video is part of a broader marketing campaign, the campaign should be heavily evaluated based on how many leads are generated and sales are closed.

In the case of multi-channel marketing campaigns, it is difficult to isolate any one channel as a single determinant of success (did the bump in sales come from the videos or the Google AdWords campaign?). However, you can infer how the video has impacted overall engagement based on plays, engagement metrics, and shares.

 
 

Internal communication videos

With two out of three employees being unengaged at work, companies are looking for ways to improve their internal communication.

Within business, video stands out as the most persuasive and memorable tool for delivering certain types of messages.

Measuring the success of internal communication videos is similar to doing so for external videos, and many of the metrics you use for external videos still apply. However, when evaluating the success of communicating with employees, businesses have the option of conducting employee surveys—a form of data collection that is much easier when your target audience is in-house. Here’s an example of how we used this technique for measuring results.

Faced with an accelerating rate of change, a regional health system hired us to identify messages, strategies, and channels and to create content to help leaders navigate change, understand strategy, accelerate learning, connect to mission, and build culture.

Internal Communication Videos.jpg

As part of the package, we developed short video updates that delivered some of their key messages. The videos were delivered via email, shown at employee events, and distributed on their intranet. To evaluate the success of the year-long communication initiative, we helped them survey the target audience. Nine out of 10 said they better understood the why behind their work, they knew more about the region’s key strategies, they learned from the best practices of their sister organizations, and they had a better understanding of the value of working together as a region.

Video played a key role in delivering the signature messages to employees—and we could see not only that the email open rates outperformed their industry (which was in part due to the inclusion of video content), but that the client had achieved their communication goals.

 
 

What digital analytics doesn't tell you

Data provides a powerful tool to measure the success of a video, but not all data points are equally useful, and the lasting impact video can have on a brand can't be fully measured.

Here are some important things digital analytics can't tell you:

 
Qualified Leads.png

1. LOTS OF VIEWS AND A HIGH REACH ISN'T NECESSARILY AN INDICATION OF SUCCESS
For highly targeted campaigns. reaching 100 qualified leads can be far more valuable than reaching 10,000 people who never intend to buy your product.

Sales Metrics.png

2. SALES METRICS SHOULD BE PART OF THE ANALYSIS FOR ANY VIDEO CAMPAIGN DESIGNED TO BUILD BUSINESS
This is data you'll have to mine from your own company, rather than your digital platform analytics. And while advertising can generate leads, only you can convert them to sales—and that data won’t be reflected in your digital analytics. If you don't have a strong conversion process in place, you can waste a lot of money.

Audience Size.png

3. VIDEOS SHOWN IN GROUP SETTINGS DON'T SHOW THEIR TRUE REACH IN THE DATA
One of our healthcare videos was played for a large group of employees. The analytics registered only one play and just a single finish, yet hundreds of people watched the entire piece—which evoked a five-minute standing ovation. Digital data can’t tell you how many people watched a single play, if it’s shown to a group—or how inspired people are.

 
 

COMPARING TO BROADER INDUSTRY DATA

As we noted above, data shows that video outperforms other mediums in engagement.

Looking at how your outcomes compare to broader industry data on similar projects can give you additional insights about what’s considered successful.

For example, if you’ve delivered a video via email, you can research average email open rates in your industry when a video is included, and see how your project performed comparatively.

This provides you with one more data point to weave into your final evaluation.

Comparing to Broader Industry Data.png
 
 

THE INTUITIVE EVALUATION

We don't need data to tell us that communication is the only way ideas spread.

Or that the brain is designed to detect motion, and that it loves powerful visuals, music, and sounds. We have plenty of evidence that humans are drawn to video more than any other medium.

So when measuring results, let's expand the conversation and balance analytical savvy with what we know to be true about humans and how ideas are transmitted. This much is certain: businesses that embrace video are finding it a powerful way to differentiate their brands and build their own culture.

The Intuitive Evaluation.png

Not everything we believe to be true in business can be measured. For example, what is the ROI on a leader's well-delivered presentation? What is the ROI on a beautifully designed building? Many business decisions are made every day for which there is no ROI calculation, yet we would not suggest these are ineffective.

For every person who watches your video, you have given them one more piece of information, or evoked one more feeling, about your company. Over time, these add up to create your brand—yet that’s the part that’s hard to measure.

 
 

Selecting a creative production team

Selecting a team will present a wide range of options—from individual freelancers to an experienced production firm.

While different projects require different skill sets, look for a video team that:

HAS A SOLID TRACK RECORD Review samples of their work to see if their work is compelling and professional.

HAS A SOLID TRACK RECORD
Review samples of their work to see if their work is compelling and professional.

UNDERSTANDS YOUR GOALS Communicate your goals clearly and be sure they demonstrate an understanding of what you want to achieve with the project.

UNDERSTANDS YOUR GOALS
Communicate your goals clearly and be sure they demonstrate an understanding of what you want to achieve with the project.

VALUES YOUR EXPERTISE The best creative work is the result of a true partnership, where the client brings expertise about their brand and the crew brings expertise about video production.

VALUES YOUR EXPERTISE
The best creative work is the result of a true partnership, where the client brings expertise about their brand and the crew brings expertise about video production.

IS PROFESSIONAL Expect timely response to inquiries, met deadlines, and met budgets. Talk to their customers to obtain this information.

IS PROFESSIONAL
Expect timely response to inquiries, met deadlines, and met budgets. Talk to their customers to obtain this information.

ASKS GOOD QUESTIONS You'll get a sense for what they know by the kind of questions they ask.

ASKS GOOD QUESTIONS
You'll get a sense for what they know by the kind of questions they ask.

IS VERSATILE Look for variety in their work. They don't necessarily need to have worked in your specific industry; in some cases a fresh eye can be good. But make sure they don't have a one-size-fits-all approach.

IS VERSATILE
Look for variety in their work. They don't necessarily need to have worked in your specific industry; in some cases a fresh eye can be good. But make sure they don't have a one-size-fits-all approach.

IS CLEAR ABOUT COSTS AND WHAT YOU'LL GET FOR YOUR INVESTMENT Before you ink a deal, have it in writing—and read the fine print.

IS CLEAR ABOUT COSTS AND WHAT YOU'LL GET FOR YOUR INVESTMENT
Before you ink a deal, have it in writing—and read the fine print.

HAS HAPPY CLIENTS Ask for references and check them. It's possible to get a team that does great work, but can't stay on budget or is difficult to work with. The product and the experience should both be good for you.

HAS HAPPY CLIENTS
Ask for references and check them. It's possible to get a team that does great work, but can't stay on budget or is difficult to work with. The product and the experience should both be good for you.

HAS MULTIPLE SKILLS A great video requires talent in multiple areas.

HAS MULTIPLE SKILLS
A great video requires talent in multiple areas.

 

A video team with talent in multiple areas can include:

Videography: Everything starts with good images. No editor can create great work without good footage, so a good videographer is vital.
Video editing: Being a good storyteller is as important as technical prowess. This is a different skill than shooting footage.
Art direction: Establishing the overall look of the piece requires someone who can imagine a visual approach that delivers on the project goals.
Graphic design: Typography, illustration, and design can often make the difference between an amateur and a professional outcome.
Animation: Many projects require an animator who can work with text and graphics to amp up a video's impact.
Project management: Client communication, scheduling, budgeting, and logistics are all impacted by the skill of the project manager.
 

No one person is likely to be great at doing all of these things.

Producing fresh, creative, and quality videos is made possible by a team of experts who are accomplished in their distinct fields.

 
 
Client Control.png

A client has a great deal of control over costs.

Here are some of the common ways costs can get out of hand—and what you can do to avoid that.

 
 

Making the right changes at the right time

Videos are produced in layers with each layer building on the previous one.

Think of it like building a house, where framing follows the foundation, and sheetrock follows insulation, wiring, and plumbing. Once the walls are painted, it's very costly to move them because it impacts multiple layers of the project that have already been completed. Here are the basic layers of video production:

Creative Brief.png



CREATIVE BRIEF
This is the time to weigh in on your goals, time frame, resources, schedule, length, and the concept for the video. Think of it as the foundation of your video, and remember that changes to this down the road become very costly.

Narration.png

 

NARRATION/INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
This is the time to verify every detail in the narration, or if the video is interview-driven, that all of the topics you want covered are listed in order of priority. Once approved, voice talent will be secured and recorded for narrated videos; rereads of even a single line will add costs once it is recorded.

Storyboard.png


 

STORYBOARD
Not all videos require a storyboard, but if yours does, this is the time to approve the images, spelling of titles, names, and anything else you see.

Rough Cut.png

 

ROUGH CUT
Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may see a rough cut without any b-roll or graphics. This is the time to provide feedback on the arc of the piece and to ensure that the message you agreed on in the creative brief has been delivered. Graphics, on-screen text, and visuals are often added once approved.

Final Review.png

 


FINAL REVIEW CUT
At this stage, approve visuals, music, pacing, and animation effects.

 
 

MINIMIZING CHANGES

Although changes are a natural result of the creative process, which is exploratory in nature, they do add time and cost. Sometimes an estimate allows for a certain number of hours for changes, or, if the project is being charged hourly, changes will just accrue as you make them. 

Not Making More Changes.jpg

Either way, managing the scope of changes is possible. Getting the right people involved at the right phase of the project can minimize these. Also, you can save money by collecting all changes from all reviewers (and adjudicating them if there are conflicts) before sending them on to your production team. 

There’s no end to changes that could be made to a video, but all creative projects do reach a point of diminishing returns. Ask yourself if the payoff of the change is worth the investment, or if it is just a matter of varied tastes that don't have significant impact.

 
 

Having a clear agreement 

Some companies and individuals provide ranges and some provide fixed bids, while others work by the hour. Working by the hour is more risk for the client, but it can also cost less. If you trust your production team, this can be a good option but you should require regular budget updates and good communication during the process. 

Agreement.png

Fixed bids can be higher than hourly because they must include contingency funds to cover any unexpected event, which you can't really anticipate accurately. These kinds of projects will be managed more tightly and will provide you with specific parameters, like total hours shot, length of video, or total number of graphics allowed. Because your project is unlike any other, it is impossible for you or the producers to know exactly what will arise during the process that might need to be added. In a fixed bid situation, you will need to obtain and approve change orders to manage this—which some find slows the creative process. 

Obtaining a price range, with an upper not-to-exceed point, allows some flexibility to make creative decisions along the way. This arrangement allows you to flex as new ideas enter the conversation and decide which ones are worth your investment, and many clients like having this creative flexibility. Either way, be sure that you receive a written estimate or budget and read all of the terms. Without that, both sides can end the ordeal frustrated over budget.

 
 

A single point of contact interacting with the agency

A Single Point of Contact.jpg

Having a single point of contact ensures that all of your feedback has been adjudicated and is presented with a single voice. When changes come from multiple individuals in an organization, they don't always agree. This can create errors and add time and cost if your creative team has to sort out conflicting comments.

 
 

Setting realistic expectations

Videos can be built at almost any budget, so if you're on a very limited budget, go for high-quality videography and good basic editing without a lot of production frills.

 

Here are some things that can add cost:

Shoots at multiple locations

Shoots at multiple locations

Writing and recording a narration

Writing and recording a narration

Identifying voice talent

Identifying voice talent

Coaching voice talent during recordings

Coaching voice talent during recordings

Photo touch-up

Photo touch-up

Stock image searches and use fees

Stock image searches and use fees

Illustration

Illustration

Animation

Animation

Excessive editing of an interview

Excessive editing of an interview

Special effects and techniques

Special effects and techniques

Graphics

Graphics

Expensive music (music rights vary widely)

Expensive music (music rights vary widely)

Changes.png


Changes. We have seen clients almost double the cost of their project with changes that could have been prevented if  reviews had been thoroughly conducted, so don’t underestimate the importance of careful reviews at each step.

 
 
 

Where and how to allocate company resources for video production

Here are some simple guidelines:

 
Branding.jpg

ANYTHING THAT MUST REPRESENT THE BRAND SHOULD BE PRODUCED AT A LEVEL THAT MIRRORS THE BRAND VALUE AND ATTRIBUTES
Other material that has a short lifespan can be produced more economically and with lower production value.

 
Interest.jpg

THE MORE INTERESTING THE TOPIC IS TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE, THE LESS PRODUCTION QUALITY IS NEEDED TO KEEP THEIR ATTENTION
People will watch a camera-phone video if it's about something they are extremely interested in.

Of course, one always wants to be sure that your overall brand standards are upheld, but not all videos merit the same level of investment. Likewise, the less interest your audience has in the topic, the harder the video has to work to keep them engaged.

For example, it may be important to your organization to help customers understand certain things about your product that aren’t interesting but are important for them to know. These can require more creativity and production investment.

 
Reach.jpg

VIDEOS THAT HAVE A WIDE REACH, ARE OF HIGH-IMPORTANCE, AND HAVE LONG SHELF LIVES GENERALLY REQUIRE GREATER INVESTMENT

 

Even so, every visual communication is building your brand—regardless of budget—so deciding on a level of production quality should always be intentional.

 
 

Video is a hyper-effective medium.

But just because a message is delivered via video doesn't mean it will grow your business or build your culture.

 

Here are pitfalls that can prevent a successful video marketing campaign:

 

THE GOALS OF THE PROJECT ARE MURKY OR UNREALISTIC
If you're not clear on your audience, what they care about, and how best to reach them, it's unlikely you'll experience success.

2.jpg

THE VIDEO DOESN'T MEET THE GOALS OF THE PROJECT
Throughout the process, always keep your eye on the goal, and as decisions are made, ask whether they will contribute to the goal..

3.jpg

THE CONCEPT ISN'T RIGHT
It makes the viewer work too hard to understand the benefit to them, or to recall who sponsored the video.

4.jpg

THERE'S A POOR DISTRIBUTION PLAN
It's tempting to think once the video is done and posted somewhere on a website, the job is over. But this is definitely not the case. If your video doesn't reach your intended audience, your business results will be disappointing.

5.jpg

THE VIDEO DOESN'T SPEAK TO THE AUDIENCE
Using words that are too technical or corporate and creating messages that don't speak to the audience's need can be death to a video's success.

6.jpg

BEING TOO FORCEFUL
Selling is best done gently, in a way that allows the viewer to come to their own conclusions. Many viewers will abandon their engagement with video if they feel it is too salesy.

7.jpg

INADEQUATE SHOOT SCHEDULES
Allowing adequate time for the crew to set up the shot, conduct the interview (if applicable), compose shots, and take down/set up is vital to getting a good video—and no amount of post production prowess can make up for B-grade footage.

8.jpg

BRAND INCOHERENCE
The video needs to project and support the brand's key attributes.

9.jpg

POOR METADATA
Failing to spend time on titles, tags, and descriptions will ensure your video won't be found via searches.

10.jpg

UNCLEAR CALL TO ACTION
Once the viewer watches the video, what should they do? Taking the next step should be frictionless for them (see section on landing pages for more on this).

 
Deliver Strong Results.png
 
 

To deliver strong results, your video must:

  • Meet your business goals

  • Speak to your prospective customers or employees effectively

  • Get shown to the right people

This is where most people end up needing help—and where most video projects fail. If you don't have in-house resources to help with any phase of video marketing, assemble a professional team you can trust and explore the possibilities.

 
 
CMBell-Definitive-Guide-to-Video-Marketing-Logo.png
 
 

Talk With Us

We welcome your additions and comments. Get in touch if you'd like to talk with us about how to develop a video strategy to grow your business.

Name
Name