In the contemporary world, videos are one of the most trending and influential forms of marketing. From brand awareness to product demos, videos are a great medium to hold the viewer’s attention and deliver an impactful message, which is why more and more companies are investing in video marketing.
Today, companies spend millions of dollars to produce marketing videos in the hope of enticing more customers and driving business growth. However, while crafting video content, they often make mistakes and end up with a mediocre, low-grade video. The blunders could be due to many reasons; they may have either produced a video without a clear objective or target audience, used the wrong equipment, hired an unprofessional team, and the list goes on.
To be better prepared and stay clear of costly missteps like these, Penrose Productions has compiled a list of five of the most common mistakes people make when producing a corporate video.
1. Not identifying your audience (or keeping them in mind).
The first rule of creating any communications program is to identify your audience, yet it is surprising to see how often it gets overlooked. Whether you’re creating business videos or any other form of audio and visual communication, it is imperative to develop a precise definition of the target audience and remember it.
Market research firms and departments spend billions of dollars annually to determine who will receive a message, so that proper product placement, advertising, and promotions can be done. That’s how powerful the audience or the customer is. Yet, we often see companies approaching their video or multimedia projects with a “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach.
Another mistake people make is they try to appeal to several audiences with the hope that the program will serve multiple purposes. Remember, when you try to please everybody, you appeal to nobody. While the same video can sometimes be used for different audiences, we recommend that different variations or versions be created for different groups. Moreover, it is quite simple to re-edit or re-narrate portions of production and shouldn’t be a problem. However, this must be planned at the start of the project.
So, remember to plan the project with your audience in mind. Also, find out their level of expertise or experience with the topic at hand. This will help you avoid the problem of shooting too low (wasting their time by showing or telling them something they already know) or too high (losing them because you assume they hold a level of expertise that they haven’t attained yet).
2. Not defining your objective.
While it is necessary to know your audience, it is essential to plan how to woo them with your work. The end result matters, but the impact it has on the audience is what matters the most. Before creating the content, you need to decide what impression you want to make with the video. That impact would then be your objective.
Try to make the objective quantifiable. For example, in training videos, pre, and post-training assessments, tests can quantify the results of a training program. Similarly, for sales and marketing or communications, statistics can be gathered about project awareness and attitudes before and after the presentation of the overall program package. However, each of those probably isn’t the real desired result – the true goal is pumping up the sales figures.
The problem with this is that the measurement of the specific impact of a specific video is difficult, as the production is typically not used in isolation. Instead, it is usually part of a marketing package including other material delivered along with it.
For B-to-B companies, a new product or service introduction is often where we see the merger of these packages of video, trade show booth, collateral and trade publication advertising, etc., making it impossible to ascertain the effectiveness of the video alone. However, anecdotal evidence can be gathered from clients as to what portion of the total package made the biggest impact. This can even be formally quantified through the use of surveys. Mix in a good portion of industry experience and common sense, and the sales or marketing executive can often get a pretty good feel for the impact of the video or multimedia portion of the campaign, as well as other individual components.
3. Not arranging for additional lighting.
The current level of electronic technology is truly extraordinary. Even cell phones capture great images but as good as these cameras have become, a professional, high-impact look can only be achieved when additional lighting and other equipment are applied.
Knowing how to light is a complete art and science in itself. If you were to review the movie credits at the end of a major motion picture (without animation or special effects), over half the people would be involved in lighting and related areas to make the image look just right.
Of course, we’re not trying to duplicate “Gone with the Wind” here, but remember that the image you show is the image that represents YOU, which is why the lighting in any video production must be meticulous, to ensure that you do justice to the subject matter.
4. Using the camera microphone to record audio.
The rapid improvement and compactness of video are also manifested in the audio that accompanies it, making it necessary for the audio to be loud and clear. However, if you’re using the camera microphone, you must be aware that it records the sounds that are closest to it, and this may not be what you want to be recorded.
Have you ever set up a camera in the back of the room to record a live seminar using the attached microphone? Have you listened to the result? Have you noticed how the comments, coughs, and collisions in the back of the room sound so clear and the speaker is unintelligible at those points? We can’t count the number of times people have come to us to ask if we can enhance the audio from such presentations, and other live events as well. The answer is, unfortunately, a “no.” We cannot bring out audio that essentially is not there.
What is the solution then? It’s all just a matter of microphone placement. In such a situation, you should invest in a lavalier microphone for the presenter to wear. The mic is placed less than a foot from the presenter’s mouth and will record clear audio. Wireless microphones or hard-wired ones will do just the trick.
5. Allowing in-house talent to wing it.
Let’s face it, your co-workers are not professional actors, and they need some help to remember all the things they must say and do on camera. To help them out, you require a teleprompter. It mounts in front of the camera so that your executive or employee can look straight at the camera and read the words as if they were looking into the lens. After a couple of practice runs, anyone will feel comfortable enough to blast right through the script. It’s money well spent as it means faster shooting, less errors, and fewer frayed nerves.
If your executive looks stiff or really doesn’t like the feel of “reading” the words, you can put up bullet points or slides on the prompter so that they can still appear to be looking at the audience. This prevents the presenter from turning to notes or cue cards and looking “shifty-eyed” as a result.
To avoid these and other mistakes while producing marketing videos for your company, reach out to the production experts at Penrose Productions. We are a highly competent video production, editing, and video marketing company in San Francisco, CA and the surrounding areas, and guarantee 100% satisfaction to all our clients. With over thirty-five years of experience, we excel in video production, editing, SEO, marketing, web videos, and have managed to scale our services throughout the United States and even around the world.