Last year, I wrote an article for Succeeding in Small Business on the importance of incorporating video into your marketing campaigns. With the help and advice of Michael Kusek, who had developed videos for many clients, Bill Wagy, a Florida videographer, and Diane Pearlman, director of the Berkshire Film and Video Collaborative, I outlined some strategies.
A year later, I realize that our technology and communications strategies are changing so quickly that I wanted to add some important elements for a small business to consider when using videos.
1. People see your video, but how? A couple of years ago, most videos were viewed on computer screens or laptops. Now, add smart phones, tablets, and other devices to the mix. Consider the following. Will your video look good on a small screen like a smart phone? Will your video be compelling enough that people will want to click on it, when they may have to pay additional charges on their data plan to view a video ? On smaller screens, contrast may become more important, and “the fine print” may be hard to read.
2. Size matters. Can you capture a person’s attention for 3-4 minutes (as you can on a computer or laptop), when your video’s being viewed on a phone? When your video reaches a person by computer, that person is in one place. When you reach them via smart phone, they may be moving around, crossing a street, in line at Starbucks, or in a place where distractions are high.
3. Video has to look first class. If your video looks low budget, people will assume your business is low budget. You want to aim for the best possible product you can afford. If you can’t afford Hollywood, look to the best talent you can find locally. A good source to find local talent, beside your local film commission or film company, maybe your local cable access channel. Some of the local access operations have top-notch equipment and top-of-the-line studios. Local public television stations do as well. Is there a local film and video festival in your city? Ask the folks who run it who they’d recommend locally to shoot film or video.
4. Pick the right kind of film or video person. Several years ago, I was working with a local music group that was making a video about their conductor. They chose a videographer who was an artist with food shots, and could make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich look like a four-star Michelin menu item. But, the guy couldn’t film people who don’t stand still like a food platter. It was a tough film shoot.
5. Understand the kind of video you’re making. If you’re launching a product, it’s a different filming situation than covering an event. I made an employee orientation video for a supermarket, and used videographers who came from television news. With hand-held cameras, they were able to create a sense of activity in supermarket aisles, and were able to film employees in their actual work place. It looked “spur of the moment” as opposed to being staged, but it was tightly scripted and directed.
Make sure you plan to incorporate film and video into your marketing and outreach campaigns. Video is here to stay, and you can demonstrate a product or create an ambience brilliantly through film and video. Plus, if you remember back to middle school, when the film projector meant “movie day” in class, film is more “fun” than reading copy.
Incidentally, the second Western Mass Film and Media Exchange will be held in Holyoke, MA. on October 23. It’s a business-to-business expo with workshops, exhibits for New England film and video folk who want to meet New England business people who want to use film and video in their marketing. For details: www.berkshirefilm.com.
Mark G. Auerbach is principal at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, a Springfield, MA, based marketing, public relations, development and events consultancy. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook and LinkedIn.