I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received calls from potential clients who know they need a video, but don’t really know what they need. I won’t go placing blame … I mean, that’s why you call a video producer, right? Because they are supposed to bring your video needs and your message to life. True, true. But it will make your and their lives easier … it will save you time and potentially money … if you consider a few key points before you embark upon a video project. Here are a few things to think about:
Who is your audience?
Clearly there would be a huge difference in messaging if you are targeting lawmakers versus high schoolers. Or medical doctors rather than general consumers. If you have more than one audience “category” (ie. Potential donors, current clients, and people who know nothing about your product/service) that’s fine too. Just know that and be able to visualize your different audience members and what you hope they gain from watching.
What’s the message?
Which leads me to the next key point: What do you want your viewer to take away from watching your video? Are you trying to explain how a product works, provide instruction, rally support for your cause, create a video to accompany a presentation, or pay tribute to an award recipient? You don’t necessarily need to know how you want to verbalize and visualize your message, but you should most definitely know what you want your audience to take away.
Where will this video be shown?
There’s a difference between hosting video on your web site, showing it on a big screen at a conference, and emailing it to recipients of your newsletter. Perhaps you want to use in on many different platforms? Share these details …. Oh, and any deadline you might have … ahead of time.
What’s your Budget?
I realize you may not know how much a video will cost, but it’s good to know how much you have to spend. This will save everyone’s time. Understand that video rates vary depending upon several factors including: the number of shoot days, location of shoot(s), if travel is involved, length of the video, complexity of graphics, how many cameras will be used, whether voiceover will be included, etc. Having a general idea of what you can afford will help a producer tailor their project costs to your budget. If your budget is on the small side, you can discuss cost-saving options with the producer such as limiting the number of shoot locations.
Length? Get real!
According to a 2018 study by Microsoft, the average human attention span is now eight seconds. EIGHT seconds (and falling. In 2000, the same study showed an average attention span of 12 seconds). While some training videos or documentary style stories may require longer formats, if your goal is to promote a product, explain a service, recognize a person, or one of the many other reasons people and companies produce video, realize that shorter is almost always better. Here’s the good news: According to Marketing Guru Insivia, consumers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video, compared to 10% in text. Social media posts with video have 48% more views. BUT your message needs to be short, sweet and to the point.
A few final tips: If you have examples of similar video styles that you are drawn to, it’s a great idea to share those links with your producer. The goal isn’t to copy another video, but to share your style …. much like you might show your contractor photos of kitchens you like when planning a remodel. With so many ways to visually tell a story, make sure you give your producer more than just a few verbal clues to get started.
In case you’re still not sure if video is what you need, consider this: By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic (Cisco) and for good reason: Six out of 10 people say they’d rather watch videos than television (Google).