Not sure how to launch your first video campaign?
Wondering about the most important factors that go into a video campaign?
Let’s face it: Launching your first video campaign can fill your stomach with butterflies. It can definitely be a nervous experience.
Chances are, you’re not using a high-end advertising agency.
So the questions roll around your mind:
- What top factors should I consider?
- Will my idea work?
- Without an ad agency, who can help shape and craft my story?
- Will a campaign create more sales for my product?
- What goes into a video campaign?
Let’s say you’re a marketing director who finally has a budget to create some video advertising. And let’s say you have experience producing marketing campaigns in the past. But now you want to feel confident launching your first video campaign.
How do you gain the confidence to launch your first video campaign?
Video marketing campaigns usually cost a lot more money than other types of marketing campaigns. Because of that, you’ll need a guide to help you navigate through a forest of options.
This article will highlight the best practices for launching your first video campaign.
If you’re thinking about producing a campaign, consider this article your guide.
Phase 1: Pre-production
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself and start filming!
It’s cheaper (and strategically better) to discuss your story during the pre-production phase instead of jumping into filming right away.
Since all your filming is based on the pre-production strategy, it’s critical to capture the heart of your story early on so you avoid wasting production dollars later.
Approach your campaign by first defining your story.
a) Define your story
- What story are you telling?
- Your story stands behind what you do.
- Every video you produce can’t be just to sell the product.
Questions to consider when telling your story:
- What are the reasons you got into the business?
- What makes your product unique?
- Who is your target audience?
- How does your product affect your audience?
- How does it make them feel?
- What will make this a successful campaign?
b) Consider the logistics
- Where will the video assets live (website, social media, etc.)?
- When is the video due? (Even an arbitrary date will work—it’s a good target for you and your team.)
- What’s the budget?
c) Script the story
When it comes to scripting your story, there are two main options to take:
- Unscripted interviews
1. Unscripted interviews
It may be tempting to pose a bunch of questions to your interviewee and then head to the editing room, where you can try to pull a story out of the answers.
But that would be a big mistake.
Without a framework or storyline, you won’t know whether the answers from your interviewee will tell your story.
Unscripted interviews still need a storyline or framework.
For example, think about reality television.
The producers don’t script every single line for the stars to speak, but they have a framework for the actors to drive a particular storyline.
The same idea applies to your interviews.
You don’t need to script every single word your interviewee will speak, but you do need a framework for telling your story.
A narrated video uses a voice-over talent or an on-camera talent. The upside of using narration is that you have the ability to own every word of the script.
Don’t take this responsibility lightly! The words you choose and the demeanor of the actor all point back to your story and message.
After you’ve written the narration, read it out loud so it sounds natural.
d) Cast professionals
This is your opportunity to find someone who will really connect with your audience.
You have two choices when it comes to casting professionals:
- Voice-over talent
- On-camera talent
If you’re considering being on-camera yourself or filming someone from your company, we recommend you take a different approach—hire a professional.
That’s because it takes considerable skill and experience to quickly adjust to a director’s changes. As subtle or simple as these changes may be, it isn’t easy for a non-professional to pull this off while coming across naturally.
A non-professional on-camera talent will not be able to adjust his or her performance like a professional can.
You want your on-camera person to deliver the lines in a credible way.
To achieve this, the on-camera talent needs to have plenty of experience in front of the camera.
e) Choose your location
You’ll spend considerable time on defining your story, scripting, and casting, but you’ll want to spend just as much time on choosing your location.
The key to finding the right location is to have it reflect your brand’s story.
The ideal location should support your overall creative strategy and the nuances of your brand’s message.
For instance, does it make sense to shoot in a forest or a garden? A warehouse or a garage? A stadium or a high school football field?
The location you choose will imply a lot of subtle messages you may not see—or think about—right away, so spend time selecting the location that is best for your brand.
Phase 2: Production
When it comes to getting your video produced, you have a few choices:
- DIY (do it yourself)
- Hire a freelancer
- Hire a video production company
And when it comes to how you’ll work with a production company, you will have two choices:
- Project-based work
- Retainer-based work
1. Project-based work
Project-based work is best for making one-time improvements to your business. Whether it is developing a YouTube channel, building user-generated content guidelines, or creating a wide variety of content for a campaign, a project typically has clear deliverables, timelines, and budgets, including:
- Well-defined scope and services
- Clear, short-term deliverables
- Shorter timeline (typically < 6 months)
2. Retainer-based work
Retainer-based work is ideal for getting ongoing support and making continual improvements to your business. Ongoing content strategy and creation are good examples when there is an overall goal but the way to get there isn’t clearly defined.
This might include:
- Broad range of scope and services
- Longer timeline (typically 6+ months)
- Ongoing needs (i.e., there is always work to be done)
Phase 3: Post-production
If production is putting all the ingredients together to bake the cake from the recipe developed in pre-production, then post-production is putting the icing on that cake and making it look irresistibly delicious.
The post-production editorial team kicks in to shape your story, handles color correction, records any voice-overs, clean up the audio, adds music, and creates graphics.
In general, the post-production team makes sure your video looks exactly as it was planned and designed in pre-production.
Here are a few key elements to keep in mind when getting ready for post-production.
To use one piece of content for multiple social channels, you need to understand how the different aspect ratios will affect your piece of content.
We recommend you understand where your content is going to be published BEFORE going into post-production.
The graphic below shows you the three most common aspect ratios used in social media and how each will look on one piece of content.
You’ll have two choices when it comes to licensing music:
- Organic postings
- Paid advertising
Music that is used in an organic post usually has a fixed cost associated with it.
Music that is used with paid advertising is based on a sliding scale (typically a percentage of your ad budget).
In many ways, photography licensing is similar to music licensing.
There are many options available, based on variables such as the number of years a photograph is used, where it is published, etc. Here is a link to a usage calculator to see some samples of the sliding scale.
Make sure that the production company you hire clearly understands your music and photography licensing needs right from the start.
Phase 4: Results analysis
Now that your campaign is finished, it’s time to go back to your purpose and measure whether or not the campaign was successful.
How do you measure the campaign?
Here are a few popular metrics to measure video content:
- View count
- Play rate
- Social sharing
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
Don’t be discouraged if your measurements don’t match your expectations.
This is your first campaign; it’s a major learning experience.
Whatever you learn from this experience will naturally fold into your next campaign.
But without the butterflies, of course.
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