Video is not a mysterious science. It is important, however, to understand that generating successful content requires effective planning. Henley-on-Thames based video production specialists TaleFin know better than most what it takes to create engaging content having built an extensive portfolio of successful projects for clients ranging from cocktail shoots and interviews to multi-camera live streaming of sporting events. Managing Director and Founder Max Tilney recently shared with us their six step guide to ensuring your content is as impactful as possible.
- Define the audience and your objectives.
You would be surprised how many clients use competitor’s videos as an example and then want to recreate it in some form. However, the key to creating successful content begins with understanding your unique and specific objectives as well as who your audience are and what they want.
It’s very easy to get excited by creative technologies (3D animations, drone footage, special effects etc) and dive into the production stage without fully planning the content. Max says: “this is akin to having something really important to say about your product or service and getting up on a conference stage without any idea of who you will be speaking to, how long for, what the audience are there for or the message you want them to take away.”
- Assess what you want to say and how to say it.
It’s important to carefully plan and craft a succinct and clear message that you want to deliver. The type of content and tone of voice you adopt is critical to ensuring you engage the viewer as quickly as possible. There are many different ways to create video content so you will need to assess which platforms are most appropriate for you and your brand. The most commonly created types of video are explainers, presentations, testimonials, sales and advertisements.
You may have a specific style and tone you want to use throughout all of your video content or you might identify different tones for different content types. It is crucial this message and tone of voice has been signed off by all relevant stakeholders as well. Max says: “numerous videos have been created and enthusiastically sent up the chain for approval, only to be met with ‘looks nice but I’m not sure that’s what we are trying to say.’”
- Locate your audience. Where can we engage with them and how?
You have to know where your audience are spending their time so you can target them effectively. It’s the same principle that fishing boats use with sonar to locate schools of fish! Understanding the platforms your audience inhabit will help define the style, duration, interactivity and measurability of your content.
In 2019, LinkedIn emerged as the most successful channel for video marketers, with an overwhelming 87% of LinkedIn video marketers describing it as an effective channel. However, Max believes it is important to stay on top of shifts in audience behaviour and platform trends. “According to wyzowl.com, 88% of video marketers plan to include YouTube in their 2020 video marketing strategy and 15% plan to use TikTok but you can bet at least one of those figures will shift significantly before the end of the year,” he says.
- Create impactful, targeted content.
Now you know the what, why, who and where, the time has finally come to create content that really drives home your message. It may involve live action, animation, live streaming, case studies, or events, to name just a few. The insight provided by the first three steps will enable experienced and qualified professionals such as the team at TaleFin to produce impactful, targeted content for your brand.
Max believes that the most powerful messages are sometimes delivered with the simplest creative but this doesn’t mean it requires less planning. He says: “where possible always invest in pre-production time and build a clear creative idea on paper before switching on a camera. It’s always cheaper to make changes on paper than have to re-shoot or re-edit sections that weren’t properly planned.”
- Measure the effectiveness of the content against KPIs and demonstrate ROI.
While all parts of the process are important, this one really bears emphasising. If you don’t measure you can’t prove effectiveness and demonstrate value in creating more content. Max says: “We could list dozens of company YouTube channels featuring a shiny, expensive video that was uploaded a couple of years ago but with nothing since. Usually because a big budget was blown to copy a competitor’s idea, or a production company sold their production capabilities without demonstrating an understanding of using KPIs ROI. The company sees no return, because it wasn’t measured properly, and so incorrectly concludes that ‘video doesn’t work.’”
Measurement might include website traffic, increased dwell time on pages, increased sales or product understanding, reduction in number of support calls received, to name a few. According to wyzowl.com, 89% of marketers say video gives them a good return on investment.
- Build an effective long-term strategy for producing and distributing video content.
With all of the above elements in place you can now start to build a full and sustainable video production and distribution strategy. It’s crucial that it is aligned with other communications output. Max recommends building video into a comprehensive content calendar.
By planning, you can maximise budgets and maintain an ongoing conversation with your audience. If you have a fixed annual budget for video, planning content will allow you to spread this effectively across the year. Max says: “We train staff in businesses, not only in how to deliver in front of the camera but also how to self-shoot some content. This means they are able to create regular videos themselves while we come in and deliver the glossier, higher production value content at regular intervals, according to their content plan.”
TaleFin take a tailored approach to helping clients create great video. For some, they provide all of the above services and for others only a few. They believe that the key to success is to use all of these points in order to make your content as impactful as possible. (It’s also helpful to partner with an approachable and flexible production company!) For more information on how TaleFin can transform your corporate video content, visit: www.talefin.co.uk
 wyzowl.com 2020