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Sparkhouse

2020 Definitive Video Marketing Guide

20-Insightful-And-Actionable-Video-Marketing-Tips-For-2016

Chapter 1 – Why You Need to Start Video Marketing – And the Stats to Prove It

Video marketing has shown to be one of the most powerful strategies for promoting and growing your brand online. More consumers are interacting with videos today than ever before and, in 2017, it’s imperative that video is an active ingredient in your digital marketing.

You see, videos have a convincing way of fostering engagement, producing results like click-throughs, shares, lead generation, and sales.

But don’t take our word for it! We’ve compiled 9 stats proving why every brand needs video marketing and tips on how you can implement it in your overall online marketing strategy.

#1 Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users (Source: SmallBizTrends)

Video is an excellent tool to boosting brand awareness and visibility in search. Owned by Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web. Ramping up your channel while optimizing your videos positions you to get in front of your ideal customer and bring more exposure to what you do.

#2 Video posts on Facebook have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts (Source: Social Media Today)

With more brands leveraging Facebook for their social strategy, finding ways to separate yourself from the sea of content being shared is vital for reaching your audience. Uploading videos directly to your business page can give you that slight edge.

Not only will it capture attention but has greater potential in touching more of your audience than traditional text or image posts.

#3 Social video produces 1200% more shares than text and images combined (Source: SmallBizTrends)

Another statistic illustrating the positive impact videos have on social media. If you’re looking for ways to amplify and improve your social marketing, adding videos is your best approach.

#4 Video in an email leads to 200-300% increase in click-through rates (Source: Hubspot)

This is huge! With email marketing being a top way for generating revenue, incorporating video can boost sales for your business. Open and clickthrough rates are key metrics in proving the effectiveness of your email marketing. Any tool that can raise these numbers is worth including in your strategy.

By the way, adding the word “video” to the subject line has shown to increase open rates too!

#5 Including a video on a landing page can boost conversion rates by 80% (Source: Unbounce)

We can agree that growing your email list is the lifeblood of your business. Since videos have a compelling way of drawing users in and moving them to action, it’s the perfect tool to complement your landing page. You’ll build your sales funnel more efficiently by using the power of video.

#6 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process (Source: Hubspot)

Product demonstrations give potential buyers the chance to see your product in action. They’ll gain a better understanding of how it works, check out the features, and discover how it will help them in their needs. Consider creating a product video for each of your products for evergreen content.

#7 Top three most effective types of video content: Customer Testimonials (51%); Tutorial Videos (50%); Demonstration Videos (49%) (Source: Curata)

One of the best ways to building trust with your audience is by sharing customer testimonials. Reviews on sites like Yelp and Amazon can sway readers into believing in your product or service simply because of someone else’s positive experience. Video testimonials are increasingly effective. Host a contest or offer a special incentive that encourages clients to give a quick video review of your brand.

#8 After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online (Source: Hubspot)

A whopping 6 out of 10 people are apt to purchase your product when promoted through video. This statistic alone proves the strength behind a solid video marketing strategy for increasing your bottom line.

#9 By 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic (Source: SmallBizTrends)

YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. The time is now to begin positioning your brand to capitalize on this upward movement. Amplifying your video strategy today will yield amazing returns for you tomorrow.

Chapter 2 – How to Start Video Marketing 

This post was built out into our How to Start Video Marketing Guide, where we walk readers and businesses through a step by step on how to properly start video marketing for their businesses. Today we talked about why video marketing is important, the guide will walk you through how to be successful!

Thinking of creating a custom video to help you achieve some specific marketing goals? Use our video marketing guide as a starting point to give you some good insights into all the ins and outs involved in making a masterpiece that will help you win fans and boost your brand.

Determine The Goal of Your Video

Before you jump into creating a video, give some thought to what your specific end goals might be —in other words, what do you want the video to do?

You’ll need to settle on some clear objectives to help your company determine if the video was a success — and everything you do in planning and creating your video should drive you towards this goal.

Are you aiming to drive traffic to your website? Sell a product or service? Educate the viewer on a new product or technology? Demonstrate “social proof” through real testimonials? Or maybe feature a specific lifestyle that aligns with your brand?

Instead of trying to plan marketing after creating the video, think about your marketing approach as a whole before you get started, and then determine where the video will fit in.

Then Decide Where Your Video Will Live

Thinking about where your video will end up being seen is an often overlooked step, but your answer can actually help you effectively plan out your video’s style, technical specs, and even the concept. As you might imagine, a video made for a Facebook ad probably won’t perform as well on a tradeshow display — so be sure to think through your video’s final destination before you get going.

A few examples of where your video might live:

  • Social Media Post
  • Facebook / Instagram Ad
  • TV
  • Website
  • Email
  • In-store Display

Types of Videos

Videos are essentially limitless in the types of videos you can do, however for businesses, the following are some of the most popular video types:

Website videos
Product videos
Testimonial videos
Announcement videos
How-to / Instructional videos
Training videos
Team leader interview videos
Company profile videos
Investor presentation videos
App demo videos
Crowdfunding videos
Explainer animation videos
Lifestyle videos

Website videos

Videos that live on a website have been shown to extend the time visitors spend there and can even improve conversion rates. Videos often can do a much better job at explaining difficult concepts or can replace long bodies of text.  An auto-play silent video serves as an engaging addition to a home page background loop, or plant one on the “About” or any important landing page for a quick explanation of your company.

Sample website video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/releash-high-fashion/

Product videos

Product videos are increasingly becoming popular as online e-commerce becomes more and more dominant. Product video help point out key features, differentiators and uses as well as show off the actual product in a way that you can control. Photos are limiting and can be confusing for consumers to fully understand the use cases, quality or size. But video allows you to provide a realistic perspective, as if they are actually touching and feeling your product. Most importantly, you get to show the prospective customers how the product should be used.

Sample product video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/uag-facebook-ad/

Testimonial videos

The overload of information at our fingertips has made the need for social proofing even greater. There is no more direct and believable way to convince someone you’re the best choice in the market than to let them hear it from a third-party testimonial. Knowing that there are real people and businesses that have engaged with your business and have great things to say can be the final factor to push someone into converting into a customer.

Testimonials also don’t have to be boring. They can be much more nuanced and fun, showing the character of the company.

https://vimeo.com/112974908

Sample testimonial video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/gmc-capital-one-card-lana/

Announcement videos

Have a new product, service or technology that your company is rolling out? Nothing is more exciting than creating a new video announcing coming product lines or new features that will be available. By creating these announcement videos you can better engage and nurture current customers who are already working with your business, while also informing them of new great thigns to come. Announcement videos are also a great tool for companies to use as company wide announcements to spread a message and to get everyone motivated for new goals and horizons!

Sample announcement video: https://vimeo.com/246341810

How-to / Instructional videos

Once people know about your product, they are probably not Googling the product since if they knew about your solution, they would have already bought it. Instead, they tend to search for the problems that can be solved with your product. If you have a video that explains how to fix their problem with your product, then your target customers will find you, trust you and become a customer! These how to videos or instructional videos also help add trust for prospective customers who know that the company invests in continual education past just selling a product.

By continuing to invest in these instructional videos helps you gain traction as a thought leader in your industry by teaching your customers something new. If people look to you for expertise, they will continue to reward that trust by going to you first when making new purchases in the same field.

Sample instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBUUx-0EE-k

Training videos

Training videos are an increasingly popular medium for businesses to train new hires. By creating videos, it eliminates the need for long, boring employee manuals that nobody reads. Training videos are a great way to dispense a whole lot of information to people in a short amount of time. Training videos have become so popular that many companies have created entire internal video libraries that employees can use to go and educate themselves. People are now even making their own training videos and packaging them as online courses, creating their own online courses businesses.

Training videos are especially popular for sales and customer service departments as a method to train their staff. If you want your employees talking and acting in a certain manner or style, creating a video can help teach them these nuances.

Sample training video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/cambro-dry-shelving/

Team leader interview videos

People like to know that the companies and businesses they are working with are led by strong leaders. Customers want to know the culture and identity of the company, which is usually embodied by the leaders of the company. What better way to highlight your top team than with a high quality team leader video that truly shows off your company’s style, attitude and passion for what you do!

Sample interview video: https://vimeo.com/237953696

Company profile/Corporate videos

Company profile videos are often the very first any business produces. These can also be called corporate videos or brand videos. These videos highlight the business as a whole and explain what the business is here to do. It provides a quick introduction to how your business fits into the world of the viewer. These videos help show viewers all the factors of the business that just cannot be communicated through text or verbally. It’s where you really get to show off the visuals of the business and to get people excited!

Sample company profile video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/entrepreneur-the-innovators/

Investor presentation videos

An often overlooked application for videos, investor presentation videos are a great way for you to build the hype and excitement for your business idea. Looking to show off the big picture or the next huge opportunity? Investors can be picky and may not have a ton of time to read into your investment. An “at-a-glance” investor presentation video can get them excited — and do it quickly! Show off why now is the time, build excitement, highlight the numbers and get that investor on board.

Sample investor presentation video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/rich-uncles-brand/

App commercial videos

With app stores featuring videos and not just screenshots, an app video is a no-brainer. Just like product videos, app videos allow you to show potential users the great things that the app can do. You can show off your amazing game play and intuitive user interface, or just intrigue viewers with a trailer of the experience. By really showing the ins and outs, you eliminate the unknown for the users and build trust and confidence. Increase downloads and create customer excitement with an app demo video that drives downloads.

Sample app demo video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/playworks-playbook-app/

Crowdfunding videos

Everyone knows that videos are a HUGE part of making a crowdfunding campaign successful. We’ve personally helped create many crowdfunding videos that have helped launch campaigns to completely obliterate their funding goals. Crowdfunding videos needs to engage an audience, explain your campaign and drive contributions. Crowdfunding videos are a surefire way to make sure your story is told the way you want it, and a great way to get those backers excited!

Sample crowdfunding video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/argus-haters/

Explainer animation videos

You may have complicated products, processes or services that need to be explained quickly and in an engaging way to your customers. Explainer animation videos can help solve that problem. Since target customers usually don’t have the time (or focus) to read through pages of information, it’s a sure bet that they’ll be willing to watch a minute-long explainer animation!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A6bGFTv7B4

Sample explainer animation video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/college-entrepreneur-contest-entrepreneur-magazine/

Lifestyle videos

As all of the successful brand leaders know, customers aren’t just buying a product or service; they are buying into the lifestyle of your brand, too. It’s easy to TELL your audience about the kind of lifestyle your product supports, but why not SHOW them what you’re all about in a video that evokes emotion and action? Creating scenes filled with fun times and happy people while integrating your product is a highly effective medium for demonstrating just how your product enhances that lifestyle.

Sample lifestyle video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/dice-featuring-kevin-skibba/

Chapter 3 – Planning Your Video Marketing Budget

Bringing up the budget might feel a bit uncomfortable, but the fact is that funding plays a huge role in the video marketing strategy. Obviously, the size of your company/brand is a factor when shaping the budget, but you can look at the video’s ultimate goal as your key deciding factor. If your marketing goals are achieved with this video, what is the value of that goal to your company? You can also consider the other steps — like deciding where the video will live — and how these might affect your budget. For example, a video intended for a TV audience should have higher production value than one made for a social media post. And a brand or company video should look more polished then a testimonial video. You get the idea.

Just know that in the end, your budget is going to limit your production value as well as your concept scope — but these limitations don’t necessarily have to be a negative; Setting boundaries can have huge benefits to the creative process when it comes to developing concepts and making production decisions.

Your video budget should factor in the following:

  • Number of shooting days
  • Number of actors (paid or volunteer)
  • Number and cost of locations
  • Props, set designs and wardrobe
  • Special or visual effects
  • Level of animation and graphics
  • Music and sound effects
  • Final mastering like color correction or audio mixing

How Much Does a Video Cost?

Here at Sparkhouse, clients and interested parties often ask us: “How much does a simple video cost?” And the answer is always the same: it depends, there are a TON of factors to consider.

Take a 1 minute video as an example. Sure, we can give our client an exact quote for such a project, but only after we hammer out all of the details; and there are a lot of details to consider: production values, location, script, actors, special effects, etc. We often compare the question of how much a video costs to asking: “How much does a house cost?” There are many variables that come into play when buying a house (number of rooms, size, location, age), and it’s the same with video production. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Our team at Sparkhouse is all about working with clients to meet their specific goals, and stay within their budget. With that in mind, here is a breakdown of some important factors that play a role in video cost:

Actors

This is a big consideration; after all, the ultimate success of your video will depend in large part to the skills of any actors/actresses that you use. In addition, the typical cost of an actor for a smaller production ranges between $50-$400/hr, which makes this area a clear difference-maker when it comes to the overall price tag for the video.

Cost Factors

In order to get an idea of actor-associated costs, we try to get the answers to such questions as:

    • Are actors needed in this video?
    • If so, how many?
    • Do the actors need to have special talents?
    • How many days will we need their services?

Pro Tip: Use company employees to fill certain roles instead of professional actors.

Location

Another huge cost factor can be location costs. Some video concepts are great fits for low-budget settings, like an office in the company’s building, or even a private residence. Other clients are looking for a more exotic background, or even multiple locations for their project.

Cost Factors

It’s no surprise that the more exotic the location, or the more locations in use, the higher the video’s cost will run. Here are some key cost factors to consider:

    • How much will it cost to rent a venue?
    • Are multiple locations needed for the production?
    • How “exotic” do the locations need to be?

Pro Tip: For clients that are really concerned about budget constraints, we often recommend making use of “zero-cost locations” for the video setting, like a park, a quiet avenue, or another appropriate venue.

Production Days

The length of time that must go into the production can also drive up video costs. It’s true that some videos can be shot in one day, which greatly reduces overall cost. However, some projects require shoots at multiple locations at some distance from one another; or, perhaps featured actors or interviewees are only available on certain days, which could lead to an extended time frame.

Multiple production days mean bringing out your cast, crew, producers, director, and support personnel on multiple occasions… and paying them for their time.

Cost Factors

    • Will we need to shoot at multiple locations?
    • If so, how far away are the locations from one another?
    • Will featured actors only be available on certain days?

Pro Tip: There are some ways to work around the need for multiple production days, such as:

    • Design your concept for single day production
    • Use multiple rooms in the same residence, or multiple offices in the same building, to achieve the effect of being in different locations
    • Film at locations that are near to each other, and don’t require a lot of travel time

Travel

Speaking of travel time, if you video concept requires a lot of travel, then you’ll be looking at a much higher cost of production. This is especially true if air travel or multiple days of travel are involved.

Cost Factors

    • How many days of travel are required for this video’s production?
    • Will air travel be necessary?

Pro Tip: If air travel is needed, use resources such as travel search engines to find the best price for tickets.

Props and Wardrobe

If your video concept doesn’t require a lot of special props, or an outlandish wardrobe, then this likely won’t be much of a cost factor. However, if your actors need to wear elaborate costumes, or if you’re giving a product demonstration that requires a lot of props, then you’ll be looking at rental or purchase costs to count against your budget.

Cost Factors

    • Will actors need to wear an elaborate wardrobe?
    • How many props will be needed for this production?
    • What type of props will be needed?
    • Can these props be bought, rented, or borrowed?

Pro Tip: Even if your concept does require some out of the ordinary props, there are still ways to reduce costs. For instance:

    • Look for props that can be procured for free
    • Search through consignment shops or other outlets for less expensive wardrobe items
    • Obtain clothes, furniture, or pieces of hardware that can be returned and refunded after use

Know What You Need

Clearly, there are a lot of factors that influence the answer to that question, “How much does a video cost?” One of the best things that you can do to reduce unnecessary costs is to know what you need for a particular video project. Then, lean on the experts and their expertise to find creative solutions to make your vision come to life.

At Sparkhouse, we have both the expertise to produce high-quality videos, and the creativity to find cost-effective solutions for any budget challenges that you may face. If you’d like to see your video project come to life, reach out to our team at Sparkhouse today for more information, or get started by clicking here.

Nail Down a Video Concept

As with most marketing efforts, the concept is key, and it’s no different when it comes to video marketing. Many people believe that their concept needs to be viral in order for their video to be a success. In reality, there is no one formula for going viral, so it’s better to focus on the sales, the big-picture goal, and where the video will live to give you the best shot at success.

Keep the following in mind when developing your video concept:

  • What do customers love about the product or service?
  • What does the typical customer look like?
  • What is the problem or problems the product is designed to solve?
  • Who are the main competitors of the product? And how is this product better or different?
  • Will viewers already know they want this product? Or do you need to show them that the solution exists before they will want the product?
  • What doubts about the product need to be overcome in order to convert a viewer to a customer?

Start big and prepare to fail. Even with all of this preparation up front, you will probably come up with 10 or more bad concepts before you find your ideal approach. Brainstorm a bunch of concepts and share them with friends and co-workers to see which ones stick. Get a group together to mine for great ideas — you never know where your big “aha” moment might be hiding. You can tap their brain power in-person or collaborate remotely on Google Docs or other online venue.

Having a professional creative agency jump in to lead you through these beginning steps can be a tremendous help in nailing down an innovative video concept that will set you up for success. Just think of how many fun and powerful storylines you’ll be able to generate when you mix your company’s best and brightest with an experienced team of videographers, writers and editors who know what’s creating a buzz in the video world right now. The sky’s the limit!

Build Your Video Concept Structure

One you have your video concept nailed down, it’s time to work on structuring your video so that it performs just the way you intended. Keep it simple by starting with the basics, then you can evolve it from there if you want to take a more complex track.

Here are the essential parts of a video that effectively reaches out to its target audience:

The Hook

You need to grab the audience’s attention FAST, since you can’t sell a viewer on your product if they don’t hang around long enough to watch your video. The hook is what makes them stay.

The Problem

Introduce the specific problem that your product is intending to fix. Make the viewer feel the problem and connect with them so they are invested in finding a solution.

The Solution

Show the audience your unique solution with more than just a clever one-liner; make sure you explain what all the current customers love about the product.

The CTA

The call-to-action tells the view what they are supposed to do next. Do you want them to follow a link to buy your product, visit your website, learn more, or maybe share the video? Make the next step obvious.

Finally got your concept? Now it’s time to get video production started

Chapter 4 – The Complete Video Production Process

Ready to move forward with a video or two? Here are the various steps that a seasoned video production company will guide you in, starting from the idea stage to a polished finished product:

Set a goal for the video.

Every video marketing campaign should accomplish a distinct goal, whether it be introducing a product, engaging visitors on a website, encouraging someone to learn more or driving people to a purchase. Once a goal is set, the production team will make sure to check back along the process to assure they are achieving what they set out to do.

Creating a video concept.

Producing a video is like building a house: You can go as big or as small as your company wants or needs. Should this video be a simple interview with the founding team in a walk around your offices to show who the company is and what they do? Or is it a lifestyle spot that requires actors, locations, elaborate scenes and props? The concept will set the stage for how much work, budget and time will be needed to execute a strong video.

Determine where this video will live.

Where will your video marketing be featured? Whether the video is placed on a website, tradeshow booth, TV or on Facebook, this decision will change the approach to the style and execution of a video. Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched WITHOUT sound? Nuggets of wisdom like this will help the production company adjust the way the team presents a video, in order to assure that viewers understand the finished version while on the go, without any audio.

Set a deadline.

Most videos will have a deadline built in. Is this video going to be used for a tradeshow? A tool for a product launch? Or partnered with a new website launch? All of these can drive a reason for a deadline. Rush projects are always an option, but most video productions will take 4 to 6 weeks to accomplish.

Establish a video budget.

After setting some specific goals, next the team needs to decide what that goal is worth to the business. If the video will increase website engagement, how much is that worth? If it drives more sales to a landing page, what are those results worth? Remember, there are also exciting video benefits that may be unrelated to the original specific goals, like enhanced brand perception, customer excitement, increased overall engagement and much more. Other things that can affect budget that should be taken into account are:

Actors

Does the script require actors or extras to produce the video, or will it only require your team members or employees?

Locations

When making a video, special locations and permits are required in order to tell the story. Should these locations be outsourced, or is it possible to produce the video in existing locations like the client’s offices, storefront or an employee’s home?

Props

Does the video require props or decorations outside of what the company produces? If the client makes iPhone cases, do they have iPhones available to be used inside them? If diving goggles are the featured product, will the shoot require fins, a scuba tank and a boat in order to properly demo the product?

Shooting days

The most efficient way to produce a corporate video is to limit the amount of shooting days. The production team’s job is to think of ways they can fake a single location to act as multiple, or schedule locations that are close enough together to film in a single day. Each time another shooting day is added, the budget will increase with each crew member (normally producer, director, camera, AC, gaffer, key grip, grips, audio, hair and makeup, PAs and more!).

Pre-production

Now that the video marketing is coming to life with a goal, concept, display plan, deadline and budget, it is time for the real work to start. Planning and prepping for a video can make or break a production, and there are a lot of things to keep in mind as the team moves forward. Let’s get started!

Script

Whether it be an explainer animation, an interview-based video or a full-blown narrative commercial, the first steps to preparing a production is to write out the script. The video production team offers copywriting services to help build the script to perfection. Most likely there will be breaks and pauses throughout the video, but a good guide is that you can fit about three words per second of video. It’s important to keep the script short and concise so the video doesn’t get too long.

Script breakdown

Often done in a two-column table, the next step is to break down the script into visual chunks. The production team will place the script on the left column of the script page, with a description of the visual elements on the right side. This is a good phase to check in with key stakeholders and members of the project to assure everyone is on the same page and imagining a similar end video.

Shot list

The video shot list is most likely done in collaboration with the director, director of photography (DP) and producer to ensure everyone is following the same vision. Every shot needs to be listed out so that each department can prepare what lighting, movement, effects, props, actors, etc. are needed.

Itemized breakdown

Once the corporate video script is locked down and the visuals get planned out, the next step is to itemize what elements of the shoot need to be sourced or planned for. The production team will circle or highlight every actor/character, location, prop, wardrobe description and special effect, earmarking them as action items that need to be sourced before production takes place.

Casting

If there are actors needed, the first task is to create a list of all of the actors and extras that will needed for the video. It is advantageous to reuse people throughout the video as background characters in order to reduce the amount of actors hired (and paid!). Each character will need a description to find the right fit— everything from gender and age to height, features and attitude.

For smaller roles or background actors, it is sometimes possible to get away with online casting only. For more key performances, it is recommended to do Skype video auditions, or even in-person auditions to assure the perfect actor/performance is found.

Location sourcing and permits

Each location in the corporate video will need to be chosen carefully. If the location is not a key aspect of the concept, it is best to find a freely sourced location from either a team member or employee’s home or their personal connections. If that is not possible, a location scout will need to source possible rental locations and pull the needed permits and requirements for each. Depending on the size of the production, you may have to hire security, police escorts and road stoppages.

Props / Wardrobe

Here is another great spot where it is possible to save budget if the team is resourceful. Using props such as phones, couches, bags, etc. that are already available at the location will help keep the costs low. Also, finding items that can be purchased for the shoot and returned afterwards is a common trick of the trade when it comes to keeping the budget tight. When there are unique items required for a shoot, they can either be purchased or possibly rented from prop houses based out of Los Angeles.

Wardrobe can often be sourced from the actors’ existing wardrobe (which normally fit best anyways), but if there are specific wardrobe needs, new items can be purchased and returned after the shoot. Just like props, in some cases the specialty wardrobe items need to be bought or rented for the shoot.

Shot schedule

Although confusing, shot schedules are often out of order of the actual flow of the video script. This is to optimize the shooting locations, props, actors’ time and location availability. Each shot from the shot list is broken into individual shooting time frames, and each of the props and actors are scheduled into their slotted times.

Production day!

Even with weeks of planning and pre-production, the actual production of a corporate video usually happens in a single production day (often 10-12 hours!). Here are a few things that will take place on production day.

Craft services

Breakfast, coffee, drinks, snacks, catering, etc. need to be planned out and provided for the actors, crew and clients to make sure no one has to leave and slow down the shoot day.

Equipment prep / rental

All equipment, including camera, lighting, audio, props, wardrobe, hair and make-up, need to be prepped or rented for the shoot day.

Actors / Talent releases

All actors and extras will need to sign agreements giving consent to use their likenesses. The releases will also detail the rights as to where and when the spot can be used in compensation for their pay rate.

Crew / Payroll

All crew will have to be documented for payroll and tax tracking for their rates.

Location / Permits

Locations need to be paid and issued permits if needed. The logistics team will also coordinate with any security or police required on set.

Hair and make-up

All actors and extras need go through hair and make-up before they can be placed in the spot to be filmed.

Scene lighting and prep

Each scene will need to be pre-lit and designed with any props, actors, etc. before any filming can be done. Depending on the complexity of the scene, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours.

Walkthroughs and blocking

Before the camera crew starts rolling any shots, the entire team (including actors) need to walk through the shots to assure the director, actors, camera crew and clients are all on the same page as to what is to be captured. The walkthroughs/blocking stage is where creative changes are often added based on last-minute ideas, weather changes and other factors.

Shooting and circle takes

During shooting, notes are taken about each shot — whether the performance was good, the lines were delivered correctly, any outside noises were heard and whether the camera had any issues. The director’s favorite takes are circled so that the editor can go directly to those and start editing without searching through the bad takes.

That’s a wrap!

With a small celebration, the production day ends. The DIT (digital imaging technician) will transfer the day’s video footage, photographs and audio files to an external hard drive for backup and ship to the post-production team.

Post-production

Even if a shoot day is pulled off successfully, if the post-production isn’t on point, the corporate video will fall short of its true potential. Ensure your finished product is the best it can be with flawless execution of these stages:

Transferring and organizing

With today’s high video resolutions, the files can be massive! Each card is often well over 500 GB and takes a few hours to transfer to the editing stations. Once the files are transferred, the editor will need to organize them by video and audio, various scenes or separate videos that are being created.

Syncing and trimming

A tedious next step is to sync the video footage with the audio recording. It’s interesting to note that the editor actually uses the famous film “clapper” to sync the exact moment when the audio recording has the clap noise to when the video footage sees the clapper close.

“Story cut”

First, the post-production team needs to lay out the story of the corporate video — no need for music, sound effects, titles or color correction just yet. It is really important to make sure the flow and storytelling feel is there before adding any bells and whistles. Many times the video’s story cut is kept internal at the post-production house.

“First cut”

Adding music, basic titles and graphics, a simple pass of color, etc. makes the corporate video’s first cut presentable for the client or general audience to view and provide input.

Client review

Best done with a dynamic video collaboration tool such as Frame.io, the review stage allows key stakeholders to assess, comment and collaborate on their vision and thoughts of the video.

“Final cut”

The editing team then takes into account all of the comments and recommendations from the client and gets to work finalizing the corporate video.

Graphics / Titles

With the video is finalized, a higher level of artistry and animation can be added to the graphics and titles in order to bring the production to its final state.

Visual effects

Any visual effects — fixing skin tones, skylines or removing logos — happens near the very end of the the post-production process.

Color mastering

Depending on delivery via TV, online or elsewhere, various levels of color mastering will be needed to make sure every viewer is seeing the same colors and tones that the director desires.

Audio mastering, music and sound effects

The final step before exporting is to mix all of the audio, dialog, sound effects and music so the video can be clearly heard and is not distracting no matter the display format (TV, car, headphones, phone or laptop).

Exporting for delivery

An often overlooked piece needed for a successful video is to properly export the video files with the correct settings for the final delivery — again, the protocol will differ depending on where the video will live (YouTube, Facebook, TV, etc.).

And Lastly, Distribute Your Finished Video

Your video might be completed, but you’re not done yet! It’s now time to give your video a proper distribution to get the right eyeballs on it. If your masterpiece is headed for TV, you’ll need a strong media buying strategy. If the video will be placed on your website, ask your webmaster to tag the video with proper keywords and descriptions. If it’s bound for social media, make sure you have a strategy ready for posting it during optimal days and times to garner the most views.

If you have the time, you can also test different variables to optimize your branding video’s performance. Try giving it a different title, changing the call-to-action, or switching up the editing structures to drive different results. Keep an eye on how many views it’s racking up — if exposure is dropping, switch it up and see what happens!

Final Thoughts

Any company that’s committed to growing and building strong customer relationships can look to video marketing as an effective way to reach customers where they’re at — on social media sites, websites, TV, crowdfunding and other arenas. But just because your first video is done and distributed, it’s no excuse to sit back and let all your hard work lose traction. To get the most out of your production, test your results as often as possible, get feedback, and use what you learn to plan your next video. Use video marketing as an ongoing tool to continue building your brand and connect with current and potential customers in new and different ways.

We hope our guide to video marketing has been useful in demystifying the video production process for you. The general structure we described can be applied to videos of any size budget — from $5K to $1M — no matter if they require a one-man crew or 100-plus team members.

Before you make your next video, review the steps above, take your time, and most importantly — have fun along the way.

Best of luck!

Sparkhouse Crew

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