So you’ve decided to create a video for your company, organization, or product. You’ve sketched out a vision with your production company and you’re confident that they’re going to produce a great video for you. But there’s one last question you should ask yourself: if video produces 1,440 images a minute, why am I only getting one product at the end of the day?
The real question here is, “how can I maximize my investment?” and the answer is both simple and economical.
Video production is inherently expensive, but it’s also a content-rich activity. Your shoot can—and should– generate multiple media products that you can use in all of your social media campaigns, as well as your website. And some of these products are free. Here are five ways to create multiple marketing products from a single video shoot.
Getting the Most Out Of Your Video Shoot
1. Ask for Stills
Your video production company should be able to provide you 4-5 still images from the shoot for free.
Because it only takes about 10 minutes to do. Stills are great for social media posts and blogs. One thing to remember, though, is not every image can be used because stills are blurrier than photos. Video is generally filmed at a 50th of a second. The resulting motion blur is essential from making a film look natural, but only moments with limited movement will look sharp as a still image. The resolution and file size is appropriate for social media and online use, but not print.
2. Take Photos and Short Videos from Behind the Scenes
Video production is an event, so treat it as such. Behind the scenes, the footage is something you can capture yourself on your phone or any digital camera. You should be photographing the crew setting up, the talent getting mic’d, the interview or filming, and just about everything in between. Post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, and create a story of who you are as a company. And like stills, this is free content!
3. Get a Cinemagraph or GIF
Cinemagraphs and GIFs are different types of photographs that move. A cinemagraph has just one portion of the image moving (while the rest remains frozen) and a GIF… well everyone has been irritated by GIFs at some point in their life. But they don’t have to be irritating, and in fact, they don’t have to be constantly moving (which is one of the things that make them annoying). A GIF can perform an action once, like a 3-second animation, and then turn off.
For example, your video production may animate your logo, and that’s something that can be turned into a GIF. But since GIFs are image files, they can exist in places like your email that don’t allow video content. Cinemagraphs and GIFs are great for social media posts and email logos, giving just a little extra visual interest and polish when done right.
4. Shoot More Than One Video at a Time.
Producing two videos simultaneously isn’t as daunting as it sounds! You often have all of the talent and product you need waiting right on set. Roughly half the cost of producing a video is filming, and much of that day is spent setting up. With advance planning, you can create scripts that use similar company “resources” to produce two or more videos during the same day. That adds up to a savings of 30%-40% over the cost of producing each video individually.
A company profile video shoot, for example, is a great opportunity for a CEO introduction, a set of “What Drives Us” employee interviews, or product tips. That’s four videos that can all be filmed in the same location, and likely with the same lighting set-up.
5. Create More than One Version of the Same Video.
Consider all the ways that you communicate with your customers and clients and all of the different platforms that encompass. Remember, every platform has a different sweet spot for video length: 6 seconds for a YouTube-style bumper, 30-45 seconds for Twitter and Instagram, under 60 for Facebook, and roughly 2 minutes for blogs, YouTube, and websites.
When it comes to video production, this typically requires different edits of the same material, but the raw footage is the same. Editing has a number of “hidden” costs, such as data backup, syncing sound, and color grading, but you only need to do these things once. So while additional versions will require more editing time, the cost for each version will be less.
Planning a Productive Video Shoot
Video production is a content-rich event that can be extremely fruitful for businesses on a budget. The key to making the most of your shoot is planning, and there are a few tips for getting that right.
Identify Your Possibilities
First, work with your production company early in the planning stage to identify all of the possible materials that can be produced from your initial video idea. Ask your production company for an “a la carte” menu of additional content like gifs, multiple versions, and additional videos, and then make choices based on your needs and budget.
Spend Time on Preproduction
Time is generally the magical element in creating a video, so never skimp on preproduction. If you budgeted X number of hours to plan for a single video, add 50% more for each additional video, and give the same care to each. Lastly, make sure that whoever is in front of the camera is over-prepared. Unprepared talent can slow the entire process to a crawl, and that’s expensive.
Plan Multiple Videos at Once
If video production isn’t your business, creating a marketing video can be an overwhelming process. The problem is that video isn’t cheap, and for many, it’s unfamiliar territory. The idea of creating multiple videos can elicit a feeling of absolute panic. It’s time to tackle that fear.
Creating one video, while better than no video at all, puts you behind the competition. Worse, it can dilute your message by trying to serve too many masters. Most companies don’t just have one audience: they fulfill the needs of a broad range of customers or clients, whether that’s by age, interest, or language. They’re audiences that are best served by specific, tailored messages.
Lower Your Cost and Hone Your Message
While the instinct is to methodically plan and schedule each video individually, producing several at once can both lower your costs and hone your message and marketing strategy. So what does a multi-video campaign look like?
The first thing to consider is that there are several types of multi-video sets to choose from:
These highlight different aspects of your product or services on a single platform. An example would be three videos that describe different organizational programs or projects released on YouTube that highlight different benefits of the product.
These spread content out over several episodes, using a teaser approach. They’re geared toward a single target audience and platform. A multi-wave campaign might have one video that describes the product, another that is a testimonial, and a final video highlighting the passions of the creators.
This targets the same audience on different messages or platforms, for example, shorter videos for Twitter and Instagram, and a longer video for YouTube. Often times, these are different edits of the same video.
Targeting different audiences. These videos are aimed at specific demographics, such as language, age, or culture.
Limit Your Locations
Produced separately, these multi-sets can be cost-prohibitive. But there are many types of videos that can be planned and shot almost simultaneously to reduce the cost. One of the best (and easiest) tricks is to plan your campaign around things that can be filmed in the same location. A company profile video, for example, can be combined with:
- Customer testimonials
- CEO profile
- What Drives Us—employee testimonials
- Behind the scenes video of the shoot
- Product tips and Tutorials
- Multiple languages
Roughly 25% of production costs come from the set-up time. These include lighting and audio, as well as the hidden costs of travel, transportation, equipment rental, and checking/prepping the equipment for the day. Reducing the set-up time can dramatically reduce the cost. In producing the company profile and tutorials for Rocket Interview, for example, Jeevan Balani knew in advance that he wanted five tutorials and a company intro. We reduced the cost by 30% by filming all of them over two days utilizing the same location.
If you follow these planning and production steps, you’ll undoubtedly come out of your next video project with a wealth of potential marketing material.