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The Big Picture: Content Development

Picture the Audience

Picture the Audience

The Big Picture – Content Development

So you read my series on Video Marketing and now you are amped up and ready to go. You want to produce a video. Now what? This article provides three questions that will help you see the big picture and provide a roadmap to content development

Know Your Audience

1. Who is the intended audience?

Begin the planning process by thinking about your viewers. To whom do you want to speak? Will the video reach new and, or existing customers? Or, do you have a message to communicate to employees, investors, donors, or fans? Understanding your audience will drive the voice behind your content.

Dial-in on a Channel

2. Where will the program be viewed and, or distributed?

Knowing how the video will reach its intended audience is another crucial element to planning the production. The distribution medium helps to drive the length and content. In most cases, if your primary distribution channel is the Internet the video should be short and to the point. If your video has entertainment value or you have a captive audience such as presenting in a live seminar, the program may be longer. Understanding where and how your audience will interact with the video is all part of fine-tuning your content.

Set a Program Objective

3. After viewing the program, the audience will ___________________ ?

Once you know who is watching and where they are watching, the next step is to establish the program objective. Consider what you want your audience to learn, feel and, or do after watching your video. The program objective becomes the checkpoint for script content.

Here are some examples:

  • After viewing the program, the audience (customers) will have a better understanding of our product(s) and service(s) in order to help facilitate a buying decision.
  • After viewing the video, the audience (employees) will have a better understanding of our products and services in order to help customers and increase sales.
  • After viewing the video, the audience (public) will have a better understanding of our cause and mission and be compelled to act by volunteering or making a donation.
  • After viewing the video, the audience (fans) will be entertained and more connected/loyal to our show/brand.

In order to see the big picture, first picture yourself sitting in the audience watching your own show. Looking through the eyes of a viewer before the lens of a camera will help you develop meaningful content that is well received by viewers, who hopefully become your biggest fans.


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Video Marketing: Putting You on the Tube

So far, in our video marketing article series, we talked about why video is a choice medium for sharing your message and how video appeals to the senses and the masses in helping you build a sticky brand. That’s our perspective. We produce videos. Of course we will continue to tout the benefits!

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Share Your Message in Video

What about our customers? Why do they choose to earmark precious marketing dollars to video production and what exactly are they having us write and produce? Ah, the inspiration of this article. More justification for video! Why and How our customers are utilizing video and the top three reasons you should, too.

When it comes to why, though we hear a lot of variations to this answer, we find they can all be boiled down to the following three key reasons.

Why Customers Use Video Marketing….

 # 1  “I have important things to tell people.”  

When you have something really important to communicate, say it in video. Video gives your message time to think before it speaks. The simple act of writing a script and crafting the precise language is a valuable exercise in and of itself. The script requires you to hone and sharpen your message until it is clear and concise, and can be readily understood by your audience.

Once the script copy is polished, matching the words with eloquent visuals will make that message come to life and, once on tape or in digital format, the master program ensures that message is delivered perfectly every time.

# 2  “I want to stand out from the crowd.”

If you want to stand out in a forest, don’t wear camouflage. If you want to be found, wear something fluorescent.  The same is true in marketing – it’s all about differentiation. Video allows you to communicate the unique properties of your brand to encourage consumers to choose you over your competitor.

Those “unique properties” become the identifiers of your brand, allowing consumers to identify you without a second thought, or brand awareness. Awareness is the first phase in the buying process, which can lead to brand loyalty and hopefully – provided you deliver on that message – a lifetime of happy customers (and their referrals).

# 3  “I want our company to have a prominent online presence.” 

Bottom line, you want your message where your consumers are – online. Video takes your messaging and makes it visual and sharable, which is appealing for our digital culture of consumers. While video can be shared through traditional means such as DVD’s, having an online presence with a video can instantaneously reach a large amount of customers and prospects with just a click.

Now that we established the “why” from a businesses point of view, we can shed light on the ever looming “how” that turns theory into motion, literally. While this list is in no way all-inclusive, it can get your wheels turning as to the functional uses of video.

How to use video in your marketing efforts….

Commercials, Infomercials, Marketing Videos…

The most widely recognized use of video is promotional. Business-to-consumer (B2C) promotion is a saturated market, so it is more important than ever to differentiate your brand through effective video and strategic messaging/imagery. Business-to-business (B2B) promotion also falls in this category; if you sell a product or service that helps other companies deliver their final product or service. Video, in this situation, can take a proposal or sales pitch to the next level.

Educational and Training…

While we often focus on the added value video can have on your marketing strategy − video can be purely internal. Use video to spice up meetings, to unveil new product releases or changes to the website. Save money and increase the efficiency of employee time by using video to train new employees or existing staff members on protocol changes or updated safety regulations. Video also makes employee training more flexible, allowing the person to go at his or her own pace and approach the content more thoroughly.

From a human resources perspective, video allows for recordable evidence that training has been provided and fully covered all issues. While this may seem minor at first glance, proper training is an important preventative measure against lawsuits and workplace malpractice claims.

Public Relations Efforts…

As the age of digital media continues to emerge, video news releases are more prominent than ever. Members of the media tend to prefer audiovisual content to the traditional press release style. With video, your words pack more punch and will better grab the attention of your intended audience.

Public service announcements (PSA) are another public relations tactic that translates effectively through video. Many times, PSA’s address more serious issues than typical press release and the serious tone is easily captured through the power of video. Product recalls and public apologies are often transmitted through PSAs.

Investor relations…

Maintaining positive investor relations is an important part of your company’s success. Video provides an avenue to communicate important information to investors in a sophisticated format that subconsciously communicates organization and sophistication. Video also allows you to capture and maintain their interest by providing visuals to support your numbers. You can also show your appreciation for their vested interest by using top company executives to communicate the information, showing them how much you value their investments from the top-down.

Creative brand building…

When creating and sustaining a recognized brand, you can’t be all business all the time. You have to find a way to be personable with current and prospective customers, which can be achieved in many ways. Philanthropy is one way to meet this goal and benefit others. Partnerships with charities and videos to promote that organization’s cause and your work with them are a great way to give your brand character. You can create awareness for a cause and your brand at the same time, without being too conspicuous.

Social media campaigns supplemented by video are another example of creative brand building. Engaging online followers to use a specific hash tag (#) on Twitter or post their own content to your Facebook wall allows company’s to make personal connections with their more important audiences. Kick off the campaign or program with a video getting viewers excited about participation.

Videos can, but do not have to be, completely calculated. While you always want a consistent message, videos can take chances and show the fun side of your organization. When posting sharable video content online, you touch on the concept of viral video. While this is considered a bit passé’ in the world of social media, there is definitely some merit to creating short, fun or meaningful videos that make people want to share across their internet presence.

Documentaries and docudramas are less recognized in the business world, but can provide historical value to your organization. Identifying important milestones can create an emotional connection to viewers that sparks interest in your product or service, thus building brand awareness.

Throughout the series, we established the what, when, where and why of video in a business environment. Don’t miss article one: Moving Messages in the Right Direction or article two: Appealing to the Senses. Appealing to the Masses.


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Video Marketing: Appealing to the Senses. Appealing to the Masses.

There is a lot of buzz in marketing circles about creating brands that appeal to all five senses.  “Brands have to be powered up to deliver a full sensory and emotional experience. It is not enough to present a product or service visually in an ad,” advises Martin Lindstrom, Author of “Brand Sense: Sensory Secrets Behind the Stuff We Buy.”

With that being said, one should never under estimate the power of a visual message in conveying that multisensory story. Here are the top five benefits to employing the motion of video in helping you create your own sticky, touchy, feely, aromatic and melodically awesome brand.

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Moving Pictures.
Don’t let the wrong medium,
steal your message.

1. Video is a Multisensory Experience

If a picture says a thousand words, video speaks volumes. Using video, marketers can create a multisensory experience that communicates their message in a dynamic format.

Unlike a print ad that is visually oriented, or a radio ad that is strictly an auditory message, video has the ability to engage both sight and hearing simultaneously. With carefully crafted scripting, music, sound effects and visuals, video can paint an even bigger picture that expands into our senses of touch, smell and taste.

By virtually touching multiple senses of the viewer, the information is more likely to be retained. According to Geoff Crook, the head of sensory design research lab at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, “83 percent of the information people retain is received visually.” We can assume that by simultaneously engaging other viewer senses such as taste, the message packs an even more impressive punch.

For example, images of a glass of tea coupled with appropriate audio can make viewers thirsty. We have probably all experienced this at some point in our life. It starts with the senses, but can quickly translate to a deeper connection. Slow motion footage of a father and son reuniting at the airport can evoke tears in the eyes of strangers sitting in their living rooms.

2. Video Evokes Action

Beyond engaging the traditional five senses, professionally produced video messaging has the ability to affect not only emotion, but thought and action. The script, audio features and visual elements all come together to communicate a unique message or set of messages that engages a viewer on an emotional journey and leaves them with a feeling or opinion.

Such consumer engagement is vital when attempting to elicit actionable responses from your audience. An actionable response is anything from a visit to your website or purchase of a product to attendance at an event. When you present engaging audiovisual content, you have a better chance of getting a response than a simple email or printed advertisement.

This is true especially if your viewer makes an emotional connection to your product or company. If a personal connection is made, viewers are more likely to convert into customers and if they are pleased with their experience and still possess that emotional connection and vested interest—you are more likely to create a level of loyalty that multiplies your return on investment (ROI).

3. Video Delivers Brand Consistency  

Being mindful of brand consistency is just as important as creating the brand itself. Brand consistency translates into brand recognition and with recognition comes familiarity. With familiarity comes trust. Trust converts shoppers into buyers.

Utilizing video allows a company to deliver a consistent and compelling brand message. By disseminating the same clear, concise message to all constituents, corporations facilitate and build brand trust and equity.

Not only are videos a perfect way to humanize your brand; giving it an identity for consumers to identify with and make a personal connection, video is also the perfect medium for introducing your brand to employees and training them on how to deliver that same message.

As your video is an extension of your brand, you will want to put your best foot forward in terms of content and production value. If your content is sloppy or is even slightly a misrepresentation of your brand, it could cause major damage to your reputation, and eventually, your bottom line. Put on a good show, however, and build your audience while reaping the financial rewards of your investment.

4. Video is User-Friendly

Video is not only a consistent way to communicate; it is also a quick and convenient method for customers to receive sharable information in a timely manner. Given the time constraints of consumers in our culture, concise messaging is no longer just suggested − it is required. With video, you can pack concentrated messaging into variations of images and sounds to engage the senses and make a significant impact.
Lets turn our focus to the ‘sharable’ aspect of video. Video can be readily transferred across multiple mediums through email, DVD distribution, Internet channels and to broadcasted or live events, exposing broader audiences to the brand. This could even be less formal in the form of viral video sharing through YouTube, Vimeo or even through social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

There are important implications to ROI when content is easy to share. If a video is interesting, someone may post your company’s video to their social media pages for their followers to see, who may also post it to their page (and so on). Thus, multiplication of shares potentially turns into multiplication of sales as more and more consumers are exposed to your video, and thus, your messaging.


5.  Video Translates Globally

In an increasingly diverse world, it is important a brand’s messaging is delivered effectively despite potential language barriers for comprehension. Given the state of modern video production technology, video is easily translated and allows a brand’s messaging to be multilingual.

By translating a video into multiple languages, companies can reach into the global economy and welcome a community of new customers. To accommodate multiple audiences, subtitles can be used to reach various members of a single viewing audience, if necessary.

If we take a second to look past the actual words being spoken, there are certain images and emotions that represent universal themes, understood by all. The feeling of peace, serenity and freedom don’t require a specific language, but can be translated through the power of video to reach a diverse audience.

The need for actual spoken words in a video differs depending on the message, intended audience and nature of the product or service. In the end, one aspect of production is standard – effective video production can elicit real emotion and action that far surpasses any barriers that may exist despite language or location.


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Video Marketing: Moving Messages in the Right Direction

Flyers and brochures are a dime a dozen in the business world and tend to go straight from your hand to the consumer’s trashcan. So what is the best way to gain face time with your customer? Video may be the premier medium for channeling an audience toward your brand.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 2.22.45 PMThe ever-changing power of technology elevates video over the brochure of yesteryear. According to research by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business on the effectiveness of video marketing for sales, consumers are 72% more likely to take actionable steps (purchasing a product or service) when there is video presented. They also found that they tend to make the buying decision faster.

Think about that significant statistic. Video utilizes graphics and sounds to give your words life, providing a front row seat for your viewers to the world you created in production. A front seat that more often than not, compels them to take the next step in the buying process, making video a powerful medium for reaching and impacting your audience.

We have probably all seen a video that impacted us in some way through quality production or content – we may not even have realized how that experience shaped our opinion of the company or individual delivering the content. Now, imagine how your perception of the message would’ve been different if the words you heard or images you saw were just printed on a piece of paper. Would you have even finished reading the page?

With the nature of today’s culture, consumers are overwhelmed with messages attacking their senses from every direction. They have very little time and even shorter attention spans, forcing companies to compact their message into a swift punch for the brief seconds of an audience’s attention they are given.

This is not to say that printed materials and other forms of promotion are not effective, but considering human nature and the environment in which consumers form their decision-making processes, video provides an opportunity to quickly engage the heart as well as the mind. Oftentimes, this means putting your best foot forward towards earning the recognition of your target audience − converting them into customers.