How Do I Get Started in Video Marketing?
Quick Tips for Video Preproduction Part 2
Now that you’ve figured out what you have to make videos and what you want to do with it, it’s time to start planning. Using your established purpose, goals, message, and resources, now you can begin writing a script, setting a timeline, and creating a distribution plan.
Writing a Script
A script can be a specific or vague as you need it to be. If you’re making interview videos, a script can be as simple as a list of questions and some possible follow-ups. If you’re making a promotional video, you may want to write exactly what you want the volunteers or actors in the video to say. In associations, most of our footage will feature volunteer members, so it’s important to assess who is comfortable on camera and whether they can deliver scripted lines naturally. Usually it’s best to choose people who you know can talk about a topic and prompt them to speak on their own. This will make it easier for them and will help them forget about the camera, in turn making your video more natural. When working with volunteers instead of paid actors, it is important to plan on being as flexible as possible, and factor in that they may not be as charismatic on camera as they are in person.
Setting a Timeline
Setting a timeline is tricky but incredibly important. Determine what is realistic based on your people resources. When will it be easiest to schedule volunteer involvement? How long should filming take them? If you’re hiring professional videographers, when are they available? Are you filming at an event or asking the volunteers to film themselves in their free time? All of these factors will affect your schedule. Here are a few tips to help make scheduling easier:
- Base your deadline on the purpose of your video, as that should drive your ideal launch date. If your purpose revolves around the launch of product or attendance to an event, those will be dates that have to factor in to your scheduling.
- Talk to your volunteers, what is their normal day like? Will they have time to do multiple takes? Do they need assistance or coaching when it comes to how to use their equipment or set up a shot? The answers to all of these questions will help you determine how long each person will likely take.
- Allow time for many takes. For most people, the more times they are recorded, the more comfortable and confident they will be when speaking. If your volunteers are filming themselves, make sure to encourage sending multiple takes of the same video.
- Does your plan feature a lot of postproduction work (work done by a video editor after the footage has been captured)? If so, make sure to leave enough time for several drafts. Videos are the same as any other publication in that regard: they always require review and tweaking.
- If your organization has an annual conference or meeting, that is a great way to get people involved with your video marketing efforts. Asking volunteers to let you film them at conference helps streamline the production part of your schedule, as well as the equipment used to capture each volunteer. Consider using the meeting to gather multiple volunteers while they are already in one place.
Creating a Distribution Plan
Finally, creating a distribution plan sooner, rather than later, will help you manage measureable goals and get the most out of your video efforts. When creating the distribution plan, you must consider all of your communication platforms: e-mail, website, and social media all play a role in how you distribute your video. Of course, where you put it and how you drive traffic to it all comes back to the video’s measureable goal.
If your goal is to drive traffic to specific products or services, be prepared with a friendly or shortened URL, mass e-mails, and social media posts. In this case, it may even make sense to embed the video in the product page on your website so you can drive e-blast links directly to that page instead of a video hosting platform. You can measure the success of your campaign by comparing traffic and sales before and after the video’s release.
If your goal is to grow your social media presence, then a social media–focused distribution will be your best bet. You can measure the success of your campaign by the number of likes, shares, and new followers.
If your goal is to educate membership, you may focus solely on e-mail marketing to drive traffic to your website to see the video. However, if you are trying to educate the general public, you might use social media and gauge your success by number of shares.
Additionally, when making the distribution plan it pays to choose a few future dates to use the video again. If the content of your video applies to multiple events or awareness campaigns, you can share the same video again to drive your goals and maximize your video’s return on investment.
What happens when I’m finished with preproduction?
Now that you have a script, plan, and schedule, you can move into the production phase of video-making. Keep an eye out for information on this phase in the AMC blog next month.
Previous AMC video series topics:
Why Video Content is Important for Your Association
Carly Mangus is an Assistant Editor in AMC’s Creative Media Services department, and the resident video editor. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn for more information and conversation about video marketing.