When the video platform YouTube launched in February 2005 few could have imagined just how many videos would be watched each day by 2020. 15 years after launch video is arguably the most powerful form of content with 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each day and almost five billion videos are watched on a daily basis on the platform alone.
Visual content has taken over our lives whether it’s television, short clips filmed on our smartphones and uploaded to social media, corporate videos published on business websites to encourage sales or investment or simply hilarious GIFs that soon go viral online. Over lockdown in the UK video became a crucial part of people’s daily lives as video conferencing and calls through platforms like Zoom changed how we communicated with family, friends, colleagues and clients and one thing is for certain – it’s changed our lives forever.
Video production agencies are in high demand as a result with businesses looking to producers and animators to help create innovative new digital campaigns that can be used across their website, social media channels and emails; while the number of people getting behind the camera themselves continues to rise with “YouTubers” now earning more through endorsements and sponsorship than many of us earn in our careers!
While the boom in the video production industry is great for the sector it can also present a series of challenges for those within it. For instance, how do you get your name and services out there in a period when face-to-face networking is no longer possible? How can you get your brand in front of your target audience when almost every other video producer is striving for the same screen space?
These are the kind of questions that video producers are asking themselves on an almost daily basis, but growth is certainly possible – and there’s no better time to re-evaluate your current strategy. Our recent case study which focused on Envirron Productions from Texas, showed the benefits of working with Meet Hugo in order to increase leads and take some of the strain out of the new business process, but what do video production agencies believe are the keys to a successful growth strategy? We spoke to a number of leading video producers from around the world to find out.
Richard DePaso, Aardvark Video
People would rather watch a video on a subject than read about it
A lot of companies are struggling to attract new business and to find the source of income they need in order to grow – and, worse, keep going.
Richard DePaso from the Las Vegas-based video producers Aardvark Video, gave this advice: “Believe it or not, this may be the time and an opportunity to rethink how you are doing business and take advantage of tools you may not have thought about which can help you gear up quickly.”
He went on to say “Let’s talk about using video and virtual engagement as a business tool. With everyone quarantined you were exposed to more video on virtual webinars, live streaming and other searches you did than ever before.
“Maybe you realized from watching all this content how effective video is for conveying information and that your training or marketing message could reach out all over your company, the area and actually the world not just with webinars but from your website and via people searching online for what needs and problem solving your company can do for them.
“There are numerous ways video is used to achieve business goals such as training and generating business. The key to successful video is solving someone’s problem, satisfying their need, teaching or entertaining. I can categorize general uses as:
- Value Proposition (what makes your company the best choice)
- Social Media Campaigns (getting known in the marketplace)
- Explainer and Education Videos
“If I could give you one line to remember it’s that people would rather watch a video on a subject than read about it and if you aren’t using it, you are behind the curve and people will go somewhere else.”
Edit your video to suit platforms, purposes and audiences
Different users watch video for different purposes. Some wish to be entertained with short clips, others watch video tutorials and in-depth interviews, it’s all about tailoring the content to meet the target audience.
According to Kerri Feazell, the CEO of Concurrent Productions, “You can edit longer content for different purposes. For example, I’m currently working on a simple case study for our own materials: I recorded an exit interview with a client via zoom. I have one long 6 minute edit that I’ll use for clients who really want to go in-depth on what it’s like to work with us. I’m also going to cut into at least three very short snippets from that (10-30 seconds) to use on social media and as embedded video directly in my written case study for my website.”
Kerri went on to add that “If you do it right, video can help you establish trust very quickly and even short clips can make the emotional connection you need. Setting up all your gear for 2 hours doesn’t make sense to capture a ten second bit. But if you can capture 10-20 of those so you have emotionally engaging or educational evergreen content for a year, you’re done!”
Kerri Feazell, Concurrent Productions
Brian Robben, Robben Media
Tease your audience
Giving your audience a sample of what to expect is a great way of not only showing a preview of what you can do, but getting their own imaginations working overtime, too. That is the opinion of Brian Robben, CEO of Robben Media, who told us that “Prospects are more likely to buy when they see a sample of your video. Knowing this, give them a quick trailer of the work you’d propose for them.
“No matter if you have to use stock footage, they will get a sense of the possibility and, in their brain, it goes from a video to “their video”. Now they’re more likely to purchase to see the video project all the way through. This requires more work and it’s a risk you’re going to make trailer videos for prospects who never buy, but in the grand scheme of things the ROI is phenomenal.”
Make a name for yourself, not everybody else
One area that many businesses fall down in is trying so hard to deliver something for everybody that they forget what their overarching purpose is and where their skills are best suited.
Robert Patin, the Managing Partner of Patin and Associates, told us “The first step in establishing a video production agency that functions well and grows is defining who you serve and how you help, create a name for yourself in that space.”
He went on to say that “Many agencies struggle in many ways because they try to be everything for everyone, which makes them efficient, profitable and great at none. It is your agency and you should be telling your prospects “this is what we do and this is how we do it.”
Robert Patin, Patin and Associates
Matt Haley, MHF Creative
Create a killer strategy that reaches audiences at all stages
Not everybody who arrives on your site or who discovers you in the search results is necessarily ready to sign a contract. Some might be looking at the options available to them, others are searching for video producers in the local area and others want someone who can deliver a high quality video on a tight budget in a matter of days.
While you might not be able to tick all of the boxes for every single potential customer, being able to offer something on your site for people at different stages in the buying process is key according to Matt Haley, Creative Director at MHF Creative.
Matt told us that “We live in an attention economy where everyone is fighting to get their brand, product or service noticed online. A great way to stand out online is to create a killer video content strategy that shows up at every point of the customer journey focusing more on helping to solve your audience’s problems – even before they know they have them – rather than selling your services, and creating a connected customer experience that enables you to scale your communications.”