How To Secure Your Video Production From Failure

By, Craig Bass • Creative Director

Most organizations realize that they need a video, but they are not aware of how best to approach the process.

With this in mind, here is how to get the most out of your video production:

Know Your Goal

It amazes me how often I will have an initial conversation with a client wherein they admit they are not certain of the goal of their video. They know they need video, they know that their competitors are using video, but they don't know why they should be using video themselves. 

My first question to them is: what is the mission of your video; what do you want it to do for you? 

Do you want the video to increase the amount of time a visitor spends on your site? Do you want the video to make your corporate entity more human, and therefore relatable? Do you want to increase your sales? What is the concrete goal of your video?

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There is always a goal of human behavior--even if it sometimes seems totally illogical. Your customers have a goal when they arrive at your site: usually, a desire to solve some sort of a perceived problem. The fact is, if you don't have a goal in mind when you are producing the video, you have absolutely no hope of helping a prospect meet the goal that they are seeking to accomplish themselves. 

Avoid "Viral" Thinking

Do a search for "how to make a viral video". You'll come across loads of research expressing elements that many viral videos have in common:

  • Topical
  • Surprising
  • Humorous

The list goes on.  

You can implement all of these elements and you still won't have a viral video on your hands. Why? Because it's a little bit like falling in love: the more you try for it the less likely it seems to be to happen. 

The key ingredient in all successful viral videos is "the right place at the right time". It is a magical mixture of spontaneity, and an alchemical concoction of unknowns. The truth of the matter is that the creators of viral videos had no idea they were going to go viral in the first place.  

Learn from the masters: ignore the "viral" desire. 

Kill Your Darlings

This is a term hijacked from filmmaking that refers to the necessity to leave shots and sequences out of the final cut that do not serve the purpose of the whole. 

As a filmmaker myself I can sympathize that this is one of the most difficult lessons to learn. You may spend hours on a single sweeping crane shot that you know is going to absolutely make the scene, only to realize in the calm of the edit suite that it doesn't have any good reason to be there.  

This disease isn't exclusive to filmmakers. Anyone who is passionate about their profession or cause finds it difficult to part with a good idea that just doesn't fit amongst the other good ideas in a set.  

There is so much that you have to say, so much that you want to include in your video. But please do not commit the cardinal sin of violating the rule that "shorter is better". The truth is, shorter really is better, especially when dealing with the attention span of the internet. Therefore, it is going to be absolutely necessary to cut out certain, less important, aspects of your message that just do not fit into story that your video is weaving.  


Work With A Company Who Knows What They're Doing

The heading says it all.  

You wouldn't have an amateur mechanic try his hand at fixing a major transmission issue on your 66 Mustang, so why let a dabbler in the art of video attempt to take on your project?   

More often than I would like to admit, I hear of companies opting out of having a video professionally produced because the vice president of marketing has a nephew with a camera. Guess what happens at the end of this story? The company either never posts the video, or has the pleasure of writing a second check to a studio that actually knows their craft. 

Just because video technology has become relatively cheap does not mean that producing effective and attractive video has become easier. It simply means that there is more chaff to separate from the wheat. 

Well, there you have it. Keep all of this in mind you are well on your way to securing your video production from failure. Most of it may seem like common sense, but it is all too easy to forget in the excitement of having a video produced.