At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Who is going to shoot our videos?” But that is the wrong question to ask. Rather, the question you should be asking is, “How good do our videos need to be, in order to achieve our strategic goals?”
There are as many types of videos as there are ways to produce them. The key is to produce the videos you need, without overspending.
Some companies choose to shoot videos themselves and others opt to hire a separate company to handle video production duties. Your goals and resources will ultimately determine which path is best for your company.
Consider these three types of videos:
Video Type #1: Social media videos. Videos posted to social media channels like Facebook,Twitter or Google+ are a great way to engage your audience. We call this type of post “heavy content,” because a video has more substance than a blog post or an all-text Tweet. Heavy content provides an opportunity for deeper audience engagement, as well as more branding options. Most importantly, heavy content is shared more than text-only content.
These types of videos are usually very short -- typically 60 seconds or less (or even shorter if you are creating videos for Vine or Instagram). They can be videos of a product or an event, or short customer testimonials -- as long as the video is short, interesting, and relevant to your business, you really can’t go wrong.
Social media videos have a relatively short shelf life -- a video posted to Twitter will disappear into the Twitter feed after a few minutes, unless it is retweeted, in which case it could last for a few hours or a few days.
Who should shoot it? It stands to reason that if you want to produce a large number of videos that will have a short shelf life, you should save your money and shoot them yourself. These shorter videos are more “disposable” and your audience will be more forgiving of lower production values. In-house video productions can also be a fun, morale-boosting activity -- as long as the person shooting the video actually enjoys that type of work!
Video Type #2: Video blogs. Video blogs are also a form of heavy content, and they are also a great addition to your social media channels. But video blogs should have a more professional look, because a well-produced video blog can be distributed beyond your company’s social media channels. Potential distribution channels include press releases, email newsletters and a video blog section on your website.
Additionally, video blogs typically feature a someone whose image is important to the success of a company or brand -- a CEO, founder, or spokesperson. That is why it’s very important to make sure the video looks and sounds great. Additionally, video blogs will have a much longer shelf-life than a 60-second video posted on a Facebook page.
Who should shoot it? It's usually a good idea to hire an outside video production company to produce video blogs, unless your staff has the necessary equipment and experience to create professional-quality videos. Alternatively, you might consider hiring a video production consultant to train your staff and help you buy the necessary equipment to create video blogs in-house.
Video Type #3 - Website marketing videos. Website marketing videos are typically longer than other types of online video, both in terms of running time and shelf life. They also have higher costs because they incorporate more production elements -- interviews, B-roll footage, graphics, photos and music.
Website marketing videos are akin to tent-pole films, or blockbusters, that have higher budgets -- and bring in bigger audiences -- than smaller niche films. A good website marketing video should be one of the first things a potential client or customer sees when they visit your website, and it should be periodically reposted on your social media channels, to remind your existing clients and customers why they use your product or support your brand.
If you need to justify the cost of a well-produced website marketing video, consider your budget for printed marketing materials. Brochures, flyers, letterhead, business cards, and other types of marketing collateral all need to project a professional image. Your marketing videos should project the same professional image.
Who should shoot it? If you need a well-produced website marketing video, you should definitely bring in an outside production company.
Ultimately, a good video marketing strategy will incorporate two or all three of these types of videos. Likewise, a good video production strategy will combine in-house and outsourced video production, depending on your unique situation. If you are ever in doubt, check to see what types of videos other local companies -- even your competitors -- are producing.