"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Maya Angelou
With simplicity and grace, Maya Angelou gets to the heart of storytelling: we tell stories because we must. While true on a personal level, it is equally pertinent to brands. Your business has untold stories inside it. What’s keeping you from sharing them?
It could be these misconceptions and myths:
1. Video is Too Expensive
You may just be right. Whether you spend $5000 on a video or $50,000, it is, indeed, a waste of money — not to mention time and energy — if you do not leverage it across multiple channels.
While companies price differently, you should be paying for story, structure, and strategy. If you’re not using video on your website, on YouTube, on Facebook and Twitter; if you’re not editing out clips and isolating stories for Instagram; if you’re not sending them out as exclusive content for leads and customers; if you’re not blogging about them and linking to them, then video is unlikely to give you the ROI you want.
If, on the other hand, you integrate videos into your overall marketing strategy and deploy them in impactful, creative ways, the price per asset, if you will, decreases dramatically. Not only can you afford video — you can’t afford not to use video.
2. All You Need is an iPhone
We’ve already established that video doesn’t need to be exorbitantly expensive. And more good news: consumers show a strong preference towards “authentic” goods and services even if they’re lower quality versus those of higher quality which they deem “inauthentic.” The takeaway: authenticity is king.
But that doesn’t mean video production should boil down to your iPhone, some ad-libbed scenes, and Frank from HR dubbing in some music. Production quality matters: you can be authentic and create a visually compelling video within budget.
With our Mind of AGP podcast, for example, I sit down and chat about corporate storytelling and business video marketing. It’s just me and an interesting story. It costs a bit of my time to produce a video that’s relevant, authentic, and professional.
Is there a caveat to this? Sure. You can use your smartphone when opportunity knocks and you don’t happen to have a film crew on hand. A “home” video here and there, especially on social, does convey authenticity. But The Blair Witch Project notwithstanding, when it comes to your overall strategy, consistent quality matters
3. I’m Not a Star
Lights, camera… don’t point that thing at me! If you’re camera-shy, you’re not alone. Something happens when the film starts rolling; many folks freeze or fumble. This can keep you from producing effective videos with your brand’s most critical asset: you and your people.
Confidence is key, and remember this: an occasional flub can be corrected in two ways. One, you re-shoot. Two, you recover gracefully by making a joke or by completely ignoring the fact that you messed up. Remember that whole bit about authenticity? You won’t look overly polished, rehearsed, or salesy: you’ll look real and relatable.
And if you’re really terrified of being on film: recruit your best and brightest to do it for you until you work up your nerve. When you let your employees and customers tell the story, it can resonate in a completely different way.
4. Video Is Too Time-Consuming
Avatar took 10 years to make. The Simpsons Movie took nine, The Lego Movie took four…. Looking at video production and seeing months and months of work ahead — which takes you away from your actual paying work — may put a halt to the process before it even starts.
The reality: it does take some investment in time to work with a video marketing partner. You need to make sure that you brainstorm and identify the stories you want to tell, approve ideas, and carve out a chunk of your schedule if you’re appearing in the product. But with the right partner, this is as streamlined as possible, and you can shoot a video (or even multiple videos) in a day or so.
5. Once Your Video is Produced, You’re Done
You produced a video, let it free in the wild, and that’s a wrap. Not so fast. Now is when the real work begins! It’s time to use analytics and metrics to track your video’s progress. Is it reaching the right people? Are they watching and engaging? Are they sharing? Are they taking the next step and completing a call to action? Are they converting?
These metrics will give you the insight you need to boost your ROI and make sure that your videos are working as hard — and as smart — for you as possible.
Don’t let your brand stories go untold; there is no greater waste. Video production is a critical step in conveying powerful messages to the people who matter.