“You can’t wing your on-camera talk.”
“Don’t even think about going off the cuff with your YouTube videos. It takes skill and practice.”
Blah, blah, blah.
Some folks believe all this talk about not winging it on camera is a tired cliche. Every video coach or on-camera expert delivers the same old boring spiel, don’t they?
As folks who’ve been involved in video in one way or another for most of our professional lives, we give a raised eyebrow to those kinds of comments.
Yes, those with considerable television or video experience often quote from a similar playbook. One of the recurring principles in that playbook is that, in order to be effective on video, you have to be prepared. Winging it isn’t an option. It’s a bit tough to understand why some people interpret that as hollow, salesy hokum.
What kind of world would it be if flight attendants assumed that everyone knows the safety drill? There’s a reason it’s necessary to hammer home the importance of preparation versus winging your videos. It’s because winging it is precisely what many newcomers to video tend to do. Shaky video, bad audio, rambling on-camera presentations—the symptoms of an on-the-fly video are as common as rice.
There’s more to video than the gear, the makeup and the pseudo-celebrity of being a home-grown media star. Who is your target audience? What is your video content meant to accomplish for your business?
These are lots of questions you need to ask yourself before getting all glammed up and hitting the record button.
So, let’s walk through some reasons why you’ll likely get far more out of planning your video marketing than just going where the wind takes you.
Defining your goals
When you’re flirting with the idea of incorporating video into the marketing mix for your small business or entrepreneurial derring-do, it helps to nail down what you want out of the format.
It could be you need to raise the profile of your business. Perhaps, it’s all about clearly demonstrating what makes you different from the guy or gal next door offering similar services.
Some companies use video marketing to show customers their business is run by ordinary people, just like the people they serve.
Some people define success with video by the number of likes, comments and shares it attracts on social media. In some instances, these are definitely the metrics you’d want to keep an eye on. However, it depends on the mission behind your video marketing.
You can get thousands of likes or views on your video content with little of it converting into actual sales of your products or services.
Give careful thought to what you want your video content to do for you and your business. In this way, you’ll produce videos aligned with your business objectives. This is always better than throwing content (and yourself) at the wall to see what sticks.
Pinpointing your audience
You need to be sure you’re reaching the right audience. Otherwise you’re just creating free content for the masses with nothing in return.
If what you expect in exchange is increased sales, an expanded customer base or wider brand recognition, you’ll want to invest some effort in finding your ideal audience.
There is a significant benefit to having a clear understanding of your target market. With this information, you can tailor your video content to suit your ideal viewers more closely. What you should be going for is content that is the yin to your customers’ yang. They should be able to see their questions, fears and concerns reflected in your video content. You will be better able to do that when you’ve identified who you’re speaking to in your videos.
By incorporating audience identification into your video strategy, you stand a better chance of resonating with people who can actually make a difference to your fortunes.
The three stages of a successful video
Social media is crowded with firecracker coaching personalities who seem to eat a thousand suns for breakfast and emit blinding rays of positive energy. Who doesn’t like a kick-in-the-butt quote like, “You’ll never see the mountain top if you don’t get off your butt and make the climb!”
What many of these nuclear-powered motivational gurus also talk about, but some people don’t hear, is the importance of having a plan or strategy. That’s probably because planning is far less exciting than just getting swept up in the rollercoaster ride of dabbling in something new.
So, here’s a look at the video protocols that will given you a smooth landing instead of a resounding thud.
This is the part of your video creation process where you plan what you want to say, whether it’s with a script or script outline. Here you identify the key points keeping you connected to the main purpose of the video.
This is also where you determine where you’ll be shooting your video. You want a set that’s neat and presentable to give your business a crucial image boost with the audience.
Planning and preparation are key ingredients of this first phase of production. It will determine, not merely the eventual effectiveness of your video, but the ease with which you’re able to record it.
Okay, so you are shooting your video now. You are bringing all of the elements of your planning together.
The script or outline has been drafted so you have an idea of the talking points for your video. That’s the direction you’re going to follow with your on-camera presentation. The set has been arranged to reflect your brand or, at the very least, is tidy and clutter-free. Image-wise, you’re on point.
The investment of time and effort you make in planning will, to a large extent, determine how smoothly the production process goes.
During the production process, you will also shoot any additional footage you need to put together your video. If you get through your shoot relatively easily, that leaves more time to either create more content or take care of other business matters. In this way, careful planning = a smooth production process.
It’s in the edit, the post-production phase, that your vision as spelt out by the planning and executed by the production, is finally brought to life. You can now edit the video in which you’ve briefly but clearly outlined the most important topics for the audience.
With the additional footage you’ve shot, you can cover any mistakes made in your on-camera delivery. What the viewer will see is a professionally-edited video that’s eye-catching and informative.
By following the three stages of video production, you can create content that will have a greater impact for your business. It’s a three-step process followed by any serious videographer and is vastly superior to merely pointing the camera at yourself and letting a flurry of thoughts loose.
So don’t wing it, plan it!
Again, it’s tempting to think that winging it in video is the ‘in thing’ because it’s a prevalent trend. So many social media influencers are doing just that.
We recommend, however, that you plan your video content for the greatest impact. Very few successful people in this world have gotten where they have without a calculated marketing strategy, no matter how folksy or spontaneous it may seem. So, if you have an urge to pick up your smartphone and just say the first thing that pops into your mind, we’d strongly recommend against it, unless you’re calling to order a pizza.
A bit of thoughtfulness and strategy will make your video content bring in the goods for your business. The time you invest in planning will save you time in the execution and earn you the result everyone wants – success.