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Video Production Budget (Part 2): Get the biggest bang for your production buck.

money_filmPart Two: The Lean Production Philosophy

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.

 

 

 


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Video Production Budget: Get the biggest bang for your production buck.

 

movie-money-film-reel.ju_.09Part One: Time is Money

There is a plethora of research touting the benefits, value and trend toward video marketing. Marketers are churning out online video content at an unprecedented rate.

According to EMarketer, online video was the fastest growing ad format in 2012 with a nearly 55 percent growth rate1. Still, some marketers are struggling to develop quality video content, stating time and cost as the most common barriers.

It is true that writing, shooting and editing quality video programming requires a lot of time, but the effort pays off. According to MediaPost, 57 percent of consumers say that product videos make them more confident in a purchase and less likely to return an item2. So producing video content can be time and money well spent. But here’s the caveat: Be mindful of how you approach production–or you risk wasting both.

In effort to save money, companies often attempt to take production into their own hands, only to be frustrated with the results, or—more likely—lack of results.  Unless there is a dedicated, in-house production team or at least a project manager with production expertise, the clock may tick ever so slowly and often the end product suffers.

The good news is there’s an easy solution that will get your project done in a timely manner. Hire a professional.

Production is truly an area where outsourcing to an expert pays dividends. Besides freeing you up to conquer other tasks, hiring an outside contractor provides a fresh perspective and an objective eye on your products and services.

As an independent producer with full-service production capabilities, I travel all over the world to help corporations produce broadcast-quality programming, often becoming an integral part of their marketing team. I have worked with some clients for well over a decade. Why? My clients say they enjoy working with our team because they can trust us to work in autonomy to delivery a turn-key product on time and within budget.

They’ve discovered through trial and error that they really can’t achieve the same quality results faster, better or cheaper on their own (or through their agency of record, which typically outsources production and marks it up at cost plus a hefty agency charge).

So what’s the best approach to procure a high-quality, well-produced, cost-effective production with added value? A good way to start is by talking to an independent producer – whether it’s me or someone else – about your needs, budget and timeline.

An independent producer, can help you determine your production needs, then work with you to meet your budget and timeline—delivering a high-quality finished product for your company. And with careful planning, can help you save on future project costs—bringing added value to your company.

With a pipeline of fresh video content, your company’s investment in production will pay dividends to your bottom line.

About the Author:

Kristin A. Pelletier is an award-winning writer and executive producer with more then 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.

Next Month: Part Two, “The Lean Production Philosophy.”
Sources:
 1EMarketer (2012). Video Top Asset Created for Content Marketing. Retrieved May 8, 2014 from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Video-Top-Asset-Created-Content-Marketing/1008927
 2MediaPost (2013). 57% of Consumers Rely on Product Videos by Daisy Whitney. Retrieved May 7, 2014 from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/196791/57-of-consumers-rely-on-product-videos.html#axzz2OmAzPtJQ


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Video Production: How much will it cost?

clapperboard with Cost vs ROIThe most common question I hear regarding video production is: How much will it cost? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. And it may not be the most important question that marketers should be asking.

Producing a video is a lot like building a house. The price to construct a new home depends on the size, design, features, amenities and neighborhood, as well as other factors. As a general rule of thumb: the bigger the house, the lower the “cost-per-square foot.” With that said, there are exceptions to every rule. A case in point: the current national average to build a home is $125 per square foot. However, if you want to break ground on a high-rise in Manhattan or deck-out a waterfront mansion in Miami, plan to shell-out more than four times that amount.

In video you may hear “cost per finished minute.” And for many years, the average budget for broadcast-quality video production has been valued at $1,000- $2,000 per finished minute Again, this is a loose rule of thumb. There are exceptions to every rule. You can’t always produce a one-minute video for $1,000 and it isn’t always necessary to spend six-figures on a one-hour documentary.

Just like building a house, the architecture and design of each video project dictates resources and crew requirements − and those production elements dictate the budget. Will your video feature animated graphics or on-camera interviews? Will it be filmed on location or in a studio? Will it involve voice-over talent, music licensing or actors? There are a lot of variables to video budgeting.

The bottom line: asking how much a 3-minute marketing video for your website will cost is like going to a homebuilder and asking how much “a house” will cost. Clearly, a competent builder will want to engage in an interview and fact-finding session in order to professionally guide you in the right direction.

Similarly, in video production, a key first step is to meet with a producer who can guide you through the creative process and make suggestions on how to cost-effectively write and produce video content that accomplishes your communication and marketing goals.

A video budget should be evaluated just like any other marketing investment. Consider the return on the investment (ROI). What is the goal and how will you measure the success of the campaign? Simply put, if you invest x-dollars in video content, how many new customers will you need to acquire or how many widgets will you need to sell in order to recoup your video production investment and realize a profit?

According to EMarketer, “51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide cite video as the type of content with the best ROI.” 1, 2

With proper planning and production guidance, an investment in professionally produced video content will pay off.

At the end of the day, “How much will it cost?” isn’t the most important question. Rather, marketers should be asking, “How much will I gain?”

Next month:

Video Production: Getting the most bang for your production buck.

Sources:

1EMarketer (2013). Get the Best ROI? Retrieved May 6, 2014 from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Which-Content-Marketing-Tactics-Best-ROI/1009706

2CopyPress (2013). 2013 State of Content Marketing. Retrieved May 7, 2014 from http://www.copypress.com/White_Paper.pdf.

 

Written by Kristin A. Pelletier, Writer and Executive Producer, Blue Truck Productions

Blue Truck Productions offers broadcast-quality programming design and production.  We specialize in developing original content for corporations for use in marketing and social media. For more information visit www.bluetruck.tv.


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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.

iStock_000009575940Small

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.