How to Engage Your Audience with Video in 2023 [Without Breaking Your Marketing Budget on Video Production Services]
Videos can be an effective and impactful marketing tool. Develop your marketing plan to add videos without breaking the bank on video production services.
Video content empowers businesses with the ability to inform, inspire, entertain, and activate audiences.
However, consumers encounter thousands of videos daily.
Only the most impactful content will elevate your services and effectively promote brand awareness. High-quality video production services can seem costly, while in-house production may seem overwhelming. Although crafting optimal content can be daunting, the final products are well worth the effort. Regardless of your marketing constraints, anyone can generate valuable, engaging video content through careful planning and a well-developed video concept and brief.
To avoid costly errors or video content that fails to meet your business needs, it’s essential to outline a high-quality marketing strategy before hitting record. Moreover, businesses must understand the value of video content, critical points in the production process, and the overall needs of the target audience when developing that plan. As with anything, taking the time to lay the foundation early on sets you up to blow expectations out of the water.
Before shelling out for a video production service or embarking on the video production process yourself, get informed. Here’s the secret sauce to engaging your audience using video content—without breaking your marketing budget.
The Value of Video Content
As we move into 2023, the video will only continue to claim its space as a major staple in the marketing world. This past year, people watched an average of 19 hours of online video per week—96% of which did so to learn about a product or service. With this level of consumption, it’s no surprise that 86% of brands consider video marketing a pillar of their overall marketing strategy. The broad swaths of digital natives entering the market each day only stand to send these numbers soaring.
Granted, so many businesses churning out content means the competition to capture your audience is getting fiercer each day, too. Oversaturated markets challenge businesses to stand out in a sea of mass-produced media. And these efforts don’t stop post-edit, either. After crafting your video marketing formula and perfecting your video production, it’s time to extend your online reach. You do so by improving your search engine optimization (SEO) and making social media marketing algorithms work for you, rather than against you. Improved SEO can generate leads and entice viewers to ponder your brand before your competitors. Being the first one in the room is half the battle.
Beyond increasing visibility, video content also appeals to a wide spectrum of audiences. Millennial and Gen-Z consumers seek authentic approaches that reflect their own lives. They are also self-directed learners who seek brief videos rather than text-heavy articles to gain insight. Regardless of which medium you prefer, everybody can make time for a two-minute video. A ten-minute read, not so much. Not to mention, recent video advancements are working to level the playing field for the differently-abled. Automatically generated speech-to-text captions can now play directly on the video—meaning those of us with hearing impairments can get the same information as our hearing counterparts. Another accessibility win for social media!
Best of all, these are just some of the reasons why your brand should harness video production marketing. Doing so stands to maximize your audience’s accessibility and therefore your reach. It offers a unique way to build trust and intimacy with your audience, both of which promote customer satisfaction and loyalty. When all is said and done, properly executed video content can be among the most powerful conversion drivers for brands across industries.
Have a Video Production and Marketing Strategy
Now, it’s time to devise a winning video marketing strategy. Though there are certain recipes for success in the digital sphere, all of them rest on having a deep understanding of your target audience—and then putting that understanding to work via a clear, step-by-step marketing strategy. Start by focusing on relevant topics that also resonate with your audience. What are they interested in? What are they passionate about? How can your brand play a role in that? You can learn all of this through data analysis, scrolling the interwebs, or just going straight to the source. That’s right, your audience can help you determine which types of video will be most successful with them before ever hitting record.
As you develop your strategy, be sure to reference the basics of content marketing strategy—starting with WriteForMe’s six Ps for content production. Before developing this strategy, you should familiarize yourself with the three most important phases of video production: pre-production, production, and post-production.
Pre-production serves as the planning phase of your video marketing project. Here, your aim is to develop your concept and content brief, as they will be your beacon throughout the entire production process. In the pre-production stage, you will flesh out all of the logistical concerns regarding video production. That includes storyboarding, scripting, location, casting, budget, and permits, as well as screening contractors and production companies. This phase serves to align your objectives with your constraints. Putting the cart before the horse rarely ends up in a carriage ride, after all.
Production is the video shoot itself. It’s where all of the monotonies of pre-production start to come to life. This phase entails having the camera crew, directors, actors, and everyone else needed to produce a quality video onsite. Just like production doesn’t start at hitting record, it doesn’t stop there, either. That’s why you must have a wide lens when constructing your production timeline. Account for the time needed to set the stage, prepare performers, and then break everything down after filming.
Post-production is where you’ll edit and evaluate the video your team has just worked so hard to make. These services could include video editing, audio mastering, re-records, color corrections, and even after-market testing. Though the post-production phase will look different for every team, yours should always include a robust evaluation process. How did your target audience respond to the video? Was it well-received, or did it fall short? Most importantly, did it actually translate to higher sales?
Developing a Video Production Strategy
It’s imperative to develop a video production strategy that aligns with each of these phases, and vice versa. To do so, you must first establish a budget and timeline. To do that, you must envision the final product and work backward from there. Working backward rests on having a superior understanding of who and what you’re working towards. That means identifying the overall needs of your audience and which types of media appeal to them most. You may love a dramatic, cutting-edge approach, but your demographic may find more value in informative or comical video content. It’s not about who’s in front of the lens, it’s about who’s behind the screen.
Your video production strategy should also consider keywords that have already successfully generated traffic to your web pages. Evaluate your past marketing strategies to understand what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t. Define your future brand identity, and think carefully about how your brand would translate into more immersive media like video content. Take it a step further by studying your competitors’ approaches, including their outcomes. Should you consider similar outlets for your content, or would your target audience be more receptive to a different approach?
The overall video production process will vary based on your video’s style, content, timeline, effort, and budget. However, understanding those three essential stages (pre-production, production, and post-production) will lead to a successful video. Each phase will have unique challenges, but your video marketing strategy will ultimately guide you in the right direction.
Create the Video Production Brief and Concept
Once your team has developed a clear video marketing strategy, it’s time to craft your video concept and brief. Think of the concept as your ‘why’, and the brief as your ‘how’. They are your roadmap to success. Both should include the already developed elements of your video marketing strategy.
A robust concept should specify the video’s objectives, scope, and target audience, as well as the intended final product. Meanwhile, a video brief defines clear expectations for each stage of the production process, as well as each participant’s functions throughout. Structurally, most briefs should include the main topic, video objectives, and a summary of the target audience. Remember, wide lens!
Furthermore, beyond getting you where you need to go, having a quality video brief stands to save you money. When developing content, rewrites and extensive editing hours can plague a project's early stages. Not only are they often expensive upfront, but they also prevent you from delivering timely content to your audiences. Waiting audiences are not spending audiences.
Know Your Audience
All successful marketing relies on having a profound understanding of your target audience. Knowing who you are dealing with is pivotal to delivering an impactful message. That’s why it’s mission-critical to detail your audience’s pain points, questions, and interests in the video content brief—as well as how your brand can alleviate/appeal to them.
This an excellent phase to test out various content strategies and approaches with members of your target audience. Consider how this each complements or detracts from your overall brand identity. You want to ensure that you appropriately balance your business needs with your audience’s needs. Top-tier video production marketing rests on making sure everyone gets a plate.
Tell a Story
Every good marketing product has a storyline. Your audience needs something to grab onto—whether that be a sentiment or a reason why what you’re selling deserves a spot in their lives. Contrary to popular belief, we buy purpose, not things.
As with everything else in marketing, your storyline begins with your objectives. Are you aiming to educate or inform? Or, to entertain and inspire? If your objective is to excite people about your product, the video will look very different than one trying to teach them how to use it. Regardless, you should always try to make the viewer the star of the story. They’re the main character, your brand/product is the supporting cast.
Develop Your Video Production Resources
It’s paramount to provide your production team with quality resources to piece the puzzle together. This resource packet can include links to videos that complement your target aesthetic, or examples of how your competitors have approached similar content. You also want to provide samples of your existing branding guide or brand materials to showcase the voice you’re striving to foster.
As with anything, it’s always better to overcommunicate than to under-communicate. Give them everything you’ve got to paint the biggest, most accurate picture you can for them. Providing the right resources will help your production team develop a deeper understanding of your overall goals, audience needs, and general vision. That will translate to a more on-the-nose video—giving you the best chance at success possible.
Shatter and Exceed your Audience’s Expectations
As much as we’d love to tell you otherwise, simply meeting your audience’s needs won’t go the distance where it counts (sales!). Luckily, you don’t have to look too far to find what will. Video is the most effective medium to tell the story that will keep you where you belong—in the back of your audiences’ minds. By developing visually appealing, emotionally-engaging content, we can influence how viewers feel, think, and act.
That influence can be achieved with the element of surprise. Your viewers scroll past hundreds if not thousands of videos each day. Aim to stand out with video content that they wouldn’t expect to see generally, much less from your business. Duolingo, for one, has mastered this art of surprise—and has the internet in a chokehold because of it. You, too, can surpass expectations with well-timed twists to make your video content both engaging and memorable. Of course, that will entail experimenting to learn which concept and style cocktails your audience gravitates towards.
Regardless of intent, product/service, or audience, you’ve got to get creative in the delivery. Think of how you can blend different styles in fun and unexpected ways to create twists that your audiences may not expect. Can you convey useful information with a joke? Are there references you can make that your audience will appreciate? Which filming techniques would best showcase the product?
Furthermore, you’ve got to meet your audience where they are—and then rise to the occasion of that unique platform. For example, if you’re targeting younger audiences on TikTok or Instagram, ride the trend wave. Or better yet, start your own. One viral video can very well spell the difference between packed warehouses and sold-out shelves. The power of the internet is unprecedented. Think out of the box to claim your space.
External Production Team
When working with a production company, highlight opportunities within your brief to catch the audience off guard. Video production is a collaborative, team effort, after all. Be clear on what you want, while remaining open to the production team’s creative insights. Assuming you’ve tasked the right people for the job, they’re pros at the video marketing game. Listen to them! Furthermore, remember that you also want to be clear on what you don’t, too. Clear, upfront communication will save everyone time and money while crafting a stellar, objective-aligned final product.
Be the Best in Video Marketing and Content Strategy with Help from WriteForMe
Video production and marketing were once afterthoughts, only to be invested in with leftover budget scraps. The digital revolution and the demands of the modern consumer have done away with that luxury. That’s why every business—regardless of scope or industry—should consider partnering with an agency and investing in video production services.
Though daunting, you can always count on WriteForMe to help you navigate the murky waters of the online realm. It’s what we do best, actually. Better yet, you’ve got nothing to lose. We’re so confident we’ve got what you need that we’ll craft you your own comprehensive content marketing playbook for free.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your foot in the video marketing and content strategy door with video production services by WriteForMe today.
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