3 Tips on Focusing Your Video Production's Message
Whether you are a veteran of working with production companies or if this is your first foray into the exciting (and intimidating) world of video content creation, this article is going to cover an important aspect of video and commercial production that is often overlooked--especially in this age of internet video content. It may seem obvious, but after working with hundreds of clients in both the Philadelphia area and globally over the years, a lot of challenges that arise in many video productions revolve around the message being imparted to the viewer. So, here are three vital elements to consider while putting together any video production:
1. Avoid cramming too many messages into a single video.
(or: focused effectiveness is better than a barrage)
One common misstep while on the road to creating video content for your company is the concept of the "one size fits all" video. Now, this isn't to say broad overview videos are a mistake; the mistake comes when the broad overview video becomes a detailed overview of every single concept or idea you have ever had about your company. This is context sensitive, of course, but when setting out to create a video production or when partnering with an agency or a production comapny, consider this: who is my audience and how much content will they realistically be willing to invest their time into digesting--at least in one sitting? Are you aiming for customers and want to as quickly and efficiently as possible convey the spirit, tone and character of your brand to them so they will buy your product or service? If so, then the feeling the viewer gets may be a lot more important than the left-brained data your video imparts--many TV commercials are a prime example of this. Or are you speaking to an established repeat client that already has grasped the gist of what your company does and now wants to dig a little deeper? Is your video production for employees or other industry professionals who will find granular level detail vital to their goals? If so, then some gradient of further detail commensurate with your target viewer will make your video production more effective. Once you have determined this part of your video production, you have a good basis for the next step, which is:
2. Sharpen your point to a razor edge
(or: quality beats quantity, even if there's a large quantity.)
Now that you have your message narrowed down to one (or five or not-too-many), the next most important question is what is the best way to convey it. As per the above example, if you are marketing to customers--depending on who they are--you may be better off skipping most or all of the details and figuring out the feeling you want them to experience, link it to your company and be done with it. In a more technical situation, your video production may center on the best way to impart specific knowledge. Is it telling a story? Is it explaining something technical? Given your audience and this message, what can be removed and reduced and what is absolutely vital for your video to achieve its maxium impact? Lose the filler and do so with extreme prejudice--your production company or agency can be a great partner and objective third party to aid you in doing this, so listen to them. Finally:
3. Don't make one video when it should be three (or ten)
(or: too much or too little is just as bad.)
When creating video production content for your company, whether it's a TV commercial, a B2B corporate video or an employee orientation video, the delivery format is one of the most important things to consider when designing content for your videos. What is the likely attention span of the viewer, not just in how long they will tolerate, but at what point you will reach optimal attention from them before it starts to wane (but before they close the window or change the channel)? This step goes hand in hand with number one, because choosing your message will also be dependent on its delivery format. Don't cram fifteen messages into a single video that you know your target viewers will likely never sit through if you could be creating fifteen short videos they might watch at their leisure. A thirty second television commercial that has non-stop technical-speak might be a wasted investment depending on who you are targeting to watch it; however, the same person might have gotten a strong impression of your business from a purely emotional bit and then later might have gone to your website and watched a different, longer video that gets more granular once they had been properly primed for it.
So, in closing:
Pick your optimal format, pick your messages, and hone them.
Remember your viewer flow--for example, TV ad-->website overview video-->piecemeal feature vignettes. Focusing these messages properly into the proper formats with this kind of strategy will help to better ensure higher impact and deeper investment than putting a five minute all-in-one video in front of the same viewer might have.