Mini-documentaries Extended ArticleAnatomy of a Mini-Doc: What It Is and How to Knock It Out of the Park“Documentary” used to be a dirty word to the average viewer. Normally educational, often stodgy, and more than a little cheesy, documentaries were the… Read More are less about your brand’s visual aesthetics and focus more on expressing your company’s core value or mission statement in a documentary-style format. This is usually accomplished through interviews with key company representatives, like founders, employees, or satisfied customers.Client: RFK - School for the Visual Arts & Humanities (LAUSD) To make a big impression, it’s important your mini-doc keeps it short and sweet. You want to highlight excellent sound bites that tell viewers exactly who you are, all while maintaining their attention. While feature-length documentaries have enough time to develop a full, three-act story, mini-docs don’t. They have to establish their story by quickly answering three crucial questions: what, why, and how. What is the focus of this video? Why should the viewer care about this? How does your subject work? This helps you get key pieces of information to your audience in a fun and interesting way.
Just as important as your visual effects are your audio effects. Sound mixing, dialogue, narration, and music all come together to create the audio that’s heard when your video is watched. Even just adding a layer of ambient sound over a quiet scene can make the difference between what feels like a high-quality video and a low-quality one. Make sure a professional handles your audio mixing, so you have the perfect sound levels, foley effects, dialogue volume, and more.
Bryan is also one of the nation’s first Master Certified Local Experts with Constant Contact, having provided digital marketing strategy to well over 1,000 businesses since 2010. Bryan is a guest lecturer at the Sawyer School of Business and a contributor to several websites including Constant Contact, BlueHost, BusinessTown, and the Boston Business Journal.
Now comes the script writing, the search for the perfect agency, the video review and edits, and celebrating finally having a beautiful, well-crafted video you can be proud of. The entire production process should take about two months with the right partner, but be sure to plan more time than you need for each of the following individual production stages so you don’t fall behind.
With the attention span of online users getting smaller each day, mobile devices taking the lead in the competition for screen time and more brands fighting for attention online, video has moved from an added element of a marketing strategy to an imperative piece of your content creation. Luckily, there are online tools that guide business owners, marketing gurus and social media managers from creation to execution with ease. So … lights, camera, action. Or should we say drag, drop and publish.
2. The content quality is very important, but the production quality is not that important. Production quality and technical aspects have to be OK but not world class. Better production quality is correlated with more trust, but it can’t make up for the lack of substance. So, Facebook Live videos, webinar recordings, and other video material with good enough production quality will work as long as the content itself is engaging.
Social sharing is one of the simplest forms of earned distribution. It often happens organically, but you can encourage social shares by getting the ball rolling. Set up a schedule to post your video content from your corporate and personal accounts on every social channel you’re active on. Send a private message to friends and family to do the same. If you know anyone in a related field or industry, make sure they share your content, too! Though it’s not the best method, you can even incentivize shares by creating a contest or giveaway through an app like Rafflecopter.
It’s ideal to break your month down into categories. You want to execute 1 branding video per week that shows off your business to every customer and can be run as an acquisition or re-marketing asset. Then you’ll add in any special sales or promotions. This category can include a teaser video, a video for the sale itself and a final “last call” video right before your promotion is over. Next, you can add any special campaigns and/or offline event videos into your monthly plan. And finally, sprinkle in at least 1 video a week that is playful and is created specifically for the goal of engagement.
Extras are unique to your needs — you might benefit from behind-the-scenes footage, a quick photo session, or certain types of b-roll. Get it done! Any content you can create on set during production will only benefit you. It can add more long term value to your clients and give you more content to post. If you work with an agency, ask them what they can do. You might even ask for raw video footage so you can continue editing and repackaging your video for future use. Think about your needs and see what you can do!
You can work with an agency to develop the videos. This option is more expensive, and you will often end up spending thousands of dollars for a single video. However, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking to create a single, impactful video (or if you have a healthy marketing budget), working with professionals is certainly a beneficial option.
Just like organic posts, paid social media posts can spread your content far. Paid posts, however, allow you to target the exact type of person you want watching your ads. Organic posting is only shown to your immediate fans, but with paid advertising, your content can target all sorts of demographics, locations, income levels, interests, and beyond — ensuring only the people most likely to purchase from you actually see your ad.
Owned distribution is always a must, though, since you own and have complete control over these channels. There’s the lowest barrier to entry here and they also have the most opportunity due to how many different options for distribution you have. If one form of owned doesn’t work, another surely will. And, if your goal is to capture leads, using your owned channels is especially crucial.
As you begin creating videos, you'll notice a key difference between video scripts and your typical business blog post — the language. Video language should be relaxed, clear, and conversational. Avoid using complex sentence structures and eloquent clauses. Instead, connect with your audience by writing in first person and using visual language. Keep the language concise, but avoid jargon and buzzwords.
Video advertising is becoming more and more affordable and widespread. Video adoption grows partly because advances in technology but also because it’s easy to spread across the globe. Making marketing videos for your business requires creativity and knowledge of human psychology. The cocktail of these components makes it possible to create real miracles of advertising at minimal cost.