You’ve decided that a product video is exactly what your company needs. You’ve found the right independent production company to help with the project. Now what?
If budget is a concern—and when isn’t it?— there are ways to lower your overall costs and get the most bang for your production bucks.
Rule No. 1 (there’s not a Rule No. 2, but this is important—pay attention): No matter who you hire to write and produce your content—and even if you self-produce your programming—don’t try to save money by “under producing.” This is a case where more is definitely better!
In corporate production, while it may seem counterintuitive, producing more can actually cost less. I always recommend to my clients producing (or at least filming) with more than one end product in mind. It is simply more efficient in the long run.
When a customer comes to me with a video project in mind, I always consider what other content might be useful. Not because I want to sell the client more production. I want to add value. “Added value” and “lean production” are business philosophies that were engrained in me as a young producer working for an independent a business television network.
One of my mentors instilled this idea in all his producers. He even wrote a handbook: The Lean Production Handbook, a guideline which outlined the most cost-effective ways to produce quality content and add value to every shoot. Among the time and money saving tips, we were encouraged to collect “bonus footage,” shoot “evergreen stock” and think of ways to “repurpose content.” These philosophies help me bring added value to the clients I serve today.
As a production manager and content developer, one of the first things I suggest to clients is to create a “programming wish list.” We brainstorm a list of all the video programming that would possibly be needed or benefit the company over the next one to two years.
We consider content for marketing, sales, training and human resources. We note milestones, new product development and anniversaries so that we can take advantage of key marketing opportunities.
We discuss any inefficiency or pain the organization may be experiencing. Often we discover video solutions that can solve key issues, save valuable time or impart meaningful content.
In fact, some content can even provide a level of protection from potential lawsuits (a topic for another time.) Once we have the “wish list,” we prioritize the content, noting which videos will bring the most value to the organization.
Taking note of the big picture allows us to maximize production and to be forward thinking in planning and filming so we acquire footage not only for content at hand but also footage that may be relevant in future programming.
By carefully planning production, we are able to acquire bonus footage and clients are able to amortize their production budget over several video products. Maybe most important, we get ahead of the distribution game by developing a pipeline of content that can be edited and disseminated over time across various distribution channels. This approach saves corporations time and money and helps position them ahead of the competition.
Besides looking at video assets simply as video assets, I encourage clients to consider the other ways these assets can be used. For example, still shots captured from video can be used on social media channels and in print materials. Transcripts of interviews may appear in magazine articles and newsletters. Customer sound bytes could be included in radio commercials or appear as written testimonials in collateral materials.
In this way, video production becomes even more cost-effective because the content serves multiple purposes.
Keep this “Lean Production” philosophy top of mind as you contemplate video content. Big-picture planning and repurposing video assets helps corporations stretch their marketing dollars and get the biggest bang for their production buck.
About the Author:
Kristin A. Pelletier is an award-winning writer and executive producer with more than 20-years of experience in script-to-air television production and is the president of Blue Truck Media, Inc. Blue Truck specializes in the writing and creative development of original screenplays, television programming and books, and offers customized marketing and video production services to corporations, worldwide.