video

Feature attraction

If a picture tells a thousand words, how many can a video tell? How about taking the leap from your smart phone to a feature story with professionally produced videos.

Author

Anne-Maree Brown

Marketing is all about telling a great story. In a disruption heavy landscape, video content enables you to be memorable faster and with more power than other means. But if you are looking to grow and enhance your profile, your digital assets may need a stronger medium than user-created smart phone moments.

The thought of a professionally produced video can put the fear of high cost and higher risk into the minds of novices in video content creation. But, that does not need to be the case. High return on investment is the key.

When Melbourne-based builder Nick Lonsdale from Lonsdale Building Group was an apprentice, his mentor taught him that the power of visualisation is the key to being a great builder. ‘He said to me “you need to be able to visualise what’s on the plans and what we are going to build”, it really stuck with me,’ Nick says.

That simple lesson propelled Nick from realising it wasn’t just his need to perceive that was important, but his current and potential customers too. So, five years ago, full of gusto, he enlisted a videographer to help him create video content.

From the outset Nick says his focus was on building his brand rather than driving sales. ‘It really wasn’t about gaining more clients, but to create holistic and consistent content, and something really engaging,’ he says.

xmas pic

Nick says his focus was on building his brand rather than driving sales

Nick Lonsdale – Lonsdale Building Group – and his family

 

Someone who knows the power of video engagement is Tom Henderson, senior video and audio producer with Filtered Media. Every day he and the team set about helping businesses find the answers to their marketing questions through a blend of content, including video, or as they call it ‘brand storytelling’.

‘You need to lead with a story. You need to take someone on a journey, create a personal connection; it’s emotional,’ Tom says. ‘It’s a combination of music, sound, lighting, tone of voice, the footage you use and the dialogue you choose.’

Tom says the goal of video is to create intense emotions. ‘The more heightened the feelings, the more likely someone is to act and react,’ he says. ‘If you look at the stats, it shows 5–10 seconds are crucial to getting the viewers’ attention from a shot, and curiosity about the story.’

Tom acknowledged it’s also about understanding how and why people consume the content. ‘People look at information shared from their own circles first, and what is recommended to them. You are starting off from a position of trust then.’

 
headshot

‘It’s a combination of music, sound, lighting, tone of voice, the footage you use and the dialogue you choose’

Tom Henderson, senior video and audio producer with Filtered Media

 

So, how do you know where to start? ‘We encourage people to ask themselves – what is my story? Am I a family business? Do I have a speciality, or an area I concentrate on?’
But it is also as much about beliefs. ‘We try to uncover their brand values and what they stand for. If we can help them identify those then we have a clear direction,’ Tom says.

And you don’t need to be afraid to come off as unskilled because a professional content creator will guide you; it’s their objective to get the best sound bites, to warm you up, keep the energy going, guide and train you. ‘It’s their job to find the nuggets of gold in a look or a phrase. At the end of the day the crew have your goals in mind and they are on your side.’

Tom adds that they will also use the shoot day to ensure value for your investment. ‘We design our shoots to make the footage re-usable. We generally film interviews and b-roll for explainer videos and social cuts. But always ensure the footage can be used for future projects.’

From a value perspective, for Nick it was always about a long-term investment. ‘While I pay for the video creation, the use of the platforms are free, so why not use them? The past two years in particular I’ve really seen how it has added to our exposure and how people perceive us.’

 

Nick now employs a video content creator several days a week, working across Facebook, Instagram and more. ‘Whether someone is looking to find us directly or using hashtags to search for inspiration, if someone can find us on all of the digital platforms, and we have a consistent level of content, then they know you are of a high standard, and will look to connect.’

One incredible realisation for Nick was that humour was one of those connection points. He has started a ‘mockumentary’ series called ‘Walt the Apprentice’ looking at life through the lens of a new employee, and the observations they make along the way. ‘We’ve been blown away by how popular they have been,’ Nick says. ‘People ask us all the time what’s coming up next? When can we see more of Walt?’

But at the end of the day Nick feels it really has to be about passion. ‘Your business is so personal to you, if you do video, do it with passion and with your whole heart and invest completely, and others will respond.’

Tom couldn’t agree more: ‘People are, after all, on your digital platforms for a reason, so give them a reason to stay, and something to think about and take away. That’s really the power of video.’ 

 

Video lingo

  • B-Roll: reference to the second or ‘b’ camera, not focused on the subject’s face, this extra ‘cutaway’ footage provides dimension over the ‘talking head’ imagery
  • 4K: getting its name from the approximately 4000K pixels of width, this footage is much more detailed and gives more options for panning and zooming
  • Social Cuts: cut-down teasers where the audience is directed elsewhere to view the full video
  • End Plate: last frame of the video and your call to action, which should contain your website, logo or even a subscribe button
  • Supers: abbreviation of superimposed, this refers to text that appears on screen such as date, location or the subject’s name and position
  • Captions vs. subtitles: captions are a transcription of dialogue, while subtitles are a translation. These are recommended for video on social media because some people engage with video with no sound. If captions or subtitles are ‘burnt in’ it means that they can’t be removed.
 
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