Fundamentals Of Video Production As An Essential Element Of Effective Digital Marketing And Branding
As many of you know, my firm E-Copywriters Plus is “pretty big” on digital marketing though the use of social media and other new age platforms. Because the technology is so new, we have found that it’s ideal for marketing certain “controversial” products (such as medicinal cannabis, CBD and related products) for two reasons. First, there is not much (if any) federal governmental regulation of digital media (or its content) as is the case with commercial television and mainstream print media. Moreover, in the digitial arena, most of the regulation is at the state level; and most state laws are concerned with age and geographic restrictions (i.e. regulations primarily intended to insure that underage and out-of-state users are not targeted). Second, digital marketing is cheap as compared to traditional television advertising (an argument I made in another blog post, and I will not remake here).
It should be noted, however, that there are no hard and fast rules as to how digital marketing should be done, or what even constitutes a good campaign. For this reason, I have written this blog post to help some of my followers.
What Is The "Madison Avenue" Approach?
First of all, I always say that a good digital marketing campaign is one that implements the so-called “Madison Avenue” or “Hollywood” approach. For those who are not familiar with this terminology, a “Madison Avenue” or “Hollywood” approach is basically a television or cinematic approach. That’s where you use state-of-the-art video production tech to deliver highly sophisticated messages (or story-telling, as the case may be) to a target audience. Although this is a relatively new art form, and hence there are few rules of practice, there are certain practical norms that are starting to emerge and evolve within this space.
First, short and quick is best. By that I mean that digital videos should not be very long. For example, a good promo video should be 30 seconds to 3 minutes. This is because in the age of YouTube, it’s hard to keep peoples’ attention beyond 3 minutes. This is why it is imperative to make your promo video impactful----a term you will hear me use ad nauseam, if anyone who reads this article ever works with me.
Three Types Of Promo's
There are three basic types of promo videos--- the “short-form” promo, the “how-to” promo, and the “long-form” promo.
The Short-Form Promo
The short-form promo (as its name denotes) is a short video of about 30-60 seconds in duration. Its purpose is to give the target audience a quick reference of the primary products, services or attributes of a company or brand--- to help establish brand identity. This video only describes what is done, not necessarily how it’s done. For that reason, the short-form promo is the easiest to produce of the three types described above. A typical production might consist of the producer (i) obtaining footage (stock or B-roll); (ii) writing a script that matches the footage; and finally, (iii) syncing the music to the script and footage. This sort of promo is ideal for posting on social media along with daily information posts, which is why a company might want to produce a few different versions of the short-form promo so that its audience does not grow tired of the same online promo over and over again. The budget for this type of video should generally not exceed $2500 (and the vast majority of these promos should be much less than that amount). If you’re being charged more, there’s a problem---trust me. An example of a good “short-form” promo is below.
The “how-to” promo is next up (in terms of cost and level of difficulty). The purpose of this sort of promo is to inform the audience how to perform a particular task--- one which presumably involves your company’s brand or product. This is very good for purposes of establishing brand identity. People have all kinds of questions throughout the day. As a modern brand, it’s incumbent upon you to provide the answers to as many of these questions as reasonably possible. The reason how-to videos are more expensive to produce than the short-forms is because the footage generally has to be custom in order to be “impactful”, which means that the producer will have to shoot original live footage or create the visuals using animation. Once the producer arrives at the right footage (live-action or animation), the producer would still need to write the script and sync music to the final product. Because there are so many variables to this sort of production, it is hard to make any definitive statements (in a vacuum) as to a fair range for the budget. That being said, we generally believe the budget for this type of video should range between $2500 and $10,000. Obviously, some promo’s could be more expensive because of the number of scenes, actors, cameras, equipment, etc. (“Variables of Production”). An example of a good how-to video is below. This video was produced on behalf of Mortgage Bankers Field Services--- one of America’s leading property field inspection companies.
The Long-Form Promo
The final promo is the long-form promo (which is the most expensive to produce of the three). The purpose of this video is to give a 360 degree view of a company (or brand), which is why the producer of this sort of video will generally “pull out all of the stops”. They might schedule a 2-4 day shoot covering multiple locations; and that would be for a simple long-form promo. The reason these promo’s are the most expensive to produce is because they can be miniature feature films. The budget for these videos can range from $15,000 to $50,000 (or more, depending on the Variables of Production, described above). An example of a good long-form promo is below. This video was produced on behalf of Nutra-Boss, A leading farming tech company.
It should be noted that the estimates of budgets described above are for productions in which there is no crew travel involved. In other words, the producer and crew are not required to travel any significant distance to the location of the shoot, if any. If there is significant travel involved then those costs would also have to be factored into the budget, which could significantly impact the budget in an upward fashion.
If anyone who reads this article has any questions concerning the topics covered here, please direct your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to answer them.