For this edition of Marketing Insider, we’re talking with our Digital Media Art Director, Matt Smith. In addition to the web and digital design he does, he is also our in-house video editor. We talked through some of the differences in marketing videos versus other kinds, the production process and the value of video for brands.
Bouvier Kelly: Let’s start by getting some background information. How did you get into videography?
Matt: I was fortunate to go to a high school that had a broadcast program, so I utilized their cameras, computers, and editing suites and spent all my free time diving into videography and the production of the school’s tv station. From there, I learned a lot of non-linear editing, often using VHS or other traditional editing techniques, and over time taught myself a lot of new things. Fast forward to college, I went to school for computer animation and was able to grow my skillset in film making, animation and motion graphics. When I began working at a marketing agency, I got to mesh my experiences with both animation and videography to create content for brands.
BKI: That’s awesome and a perfect segue to the next question: How are marketing videos different from other types of videos?
Matt: All videography tells a story, but with marketing there is a lot of thought behind which way is the best way to tell a story to a specific target audience. Some groups may be more interested in an interview style for web, while others are more interested in a commercial format for broadcasting. Producing content that will best serve a brand’s goals is the main difference. The content needs to fit the brand’s style and also be unique enough to get clicks, views or some sort of engagement.
BKI: What does your research process look like when creating a video for a brand/client and what information do you need from them?
Matt: Typically, we go ahead and get the client’s logo and brand guide. Then we look through the client’s previous content to make sure any content we create is cohesive with their reputation and what they are known for. We also look at current trends for their industry in video and animation. Once we gather enough initial research, we begin brainstorming ideas. In this step it can be difficult to verbally explain a video plan to clients, so we create storyboards and style frames to describe what will happen and how it will look. It is important that this process is very detail-oriented, because if we are thorough in our pre-production work, the production and post-production work is efficient in both time and cost.
BKI: How fast is the turnaround time for making a video and what elements can affect it?
Matt: It all comes down to length and complexity. If you would like to create a couple of 30 second videos that include static graphics, footage and simple animated motion graphics that could be done in a week or two. On the other hand, if you’d like several two to three-minute videos produced for a commercial or YouTube channel with plenty of complex motion graphics and multi-camera footage that could take up to a month or longer. Something that is very important when doing a film shoot is making sure you have the right crew and you’re getting all the necessary shots, because once you get into the edit, it’s quite expensive to do a re-shoot and creates huge delays if you have to wait on additional assets. That comes back full circle to good planning in the pre-production stage and making sure you get more shots than you need while filming. When you have all the pieces to the puzzle, it’s a lot faster to assemble it.
BKI: Overall, what makes a good, high-quality video?
Matt: The concept is important, but budget is often the key. Shooting in 4K, getting drone footage, hiring actors and voice actors, good equipment to have on set, CGI assets (3D computer-generated-Imagery), paying for extra time in the concepting phase, the list goes on. But the larger the budget, the more some of these high-quality elements can be incorporated.
BKI: The cost of producing a video has some businesses questioning if it is worth it, but many marketing strategists see it as a must have. What makes a marketing video so valuable?
Matt: Brands can get so much use out of a single marketing video when it’s done right. A single video can be a commercial, a social media post, a digital sign, website content, etc. Plus, once you have all those video assets, they can be repurposed for other videos or elements of your campaign. That single investment has a lot of value and creates so many different avenues for a brand.