Brand Marketing with Video: Your Ultimate Creative Guide
Video has been a part of marketing for decades. Television used to be the only place you’d see it, but today, average consumers also carry screens around in their pockets. Marketers virtually have 24/7 access to eyeballs, and they’re taking advantage of it.
Your brand is facing unchartered territory. New platforms, channels, and competitors are entering the landscape at a record rate. In a flooded market, your target customers face an abundance of choices—and content—on a daily basis. To effectively reach your audience and ensure your brand’s vitality, you need to be publishing a constant stream of smart, targeted video creative in more places than ever before.
Check out these stats:
- Video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022
- Mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year
- A website with video is 53X more likely to reach the front page of a Google search
- Videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%
- Video increases organic search traffic by 157%
- 85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands
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In tight markets where technology and creativity are advancing daily, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve in your industry. Video is still the best way to capture audience attention and grow your business, but the video production process involves several steps to getting it right. As for marketing videos, they’re a science of their own.
- Video Marketing Production Cost Drivers: Explained
- 3 Tips to Maximize Your Video Production Budget
- Video Marketing Production Process: Explained
- Best Production Types for Video Marketing
- Performance Marketing
- Multivariate Testing
- Video Marketing: The Takeaway
Video Marketing: The Overview
Think about where you may have been a consumer of video marketing recently. You’ll probably have seen videos at the doctor’s office, office waiting rooms, or even at the grocery store. Carefully crafted content runs on continuous loops. Screens are so ubiquitous that most Americans aren’t phased no matter where they encounter them.
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Younger generations are part of a continued upward trend in video. Social media has changed the environment drastically, with all major platforms now embracing video as another means of sharing information. Instagram used to be a picture-sharing app with no video capability whatsoever. Now, Instagram video stories are taking the place of photography.
Video is everywhere and everything. If you don’t have it front and center in your digital marketing strategy — or your existing content needs a boost — it’s not too late to catch up.
Nearly every video production process plays out the same way from start to finish, whether it’s live-action or animated marketing videos, produced by a local creative agency or a video creation and insights platform like QuickFrame. It might be a 15-second social media video for bottled water or a five-part educational video series on saving for retirement. The basic method is the same. The biggest difference is the cost.
How to Use Video Across the Marketing Funnel
In today’s experience economy, video is the ideal way to immerse your audience in your brand and grow your business. Targeted video can be effectively deployed across all channels and at all stages of the marketing funnel throughout the buyer’s journey.
Keep reading to see how you can acquire, nurture, and retain customers with the right videos. We’ll also cover which types of marketing videos work best at each stage.
At the top of the funnel, Awareness videos introduce your brand to an audience.
Here you’ll want to focus on communicating your brand values and offerings with personality. Publish where your audience consumes content most—social, OTT/CTV, Linear TV, and OOH are great options to consider.
The video types that work best at the Awareness stage are:
- Brand Commercials
- Educational Videos
- Culture Videos
As your prospect moves further down your funnel, focus on your value propositions. Work on differentiating yourself from competitors by standing out with unique and memorable video content.
The video types that work best at the Consideration stage are:
- Brand Commercials
- Product Spotlights
At this critical stage, your focus needs to be on driving the sale home. Your buyer should know your brand at this point, so product-oriented videos work best.
Use video at the point-of-sale to drive conversions. Video across your website and eCommerce presence can be the tipping point and offer your customers a standout shopping experience that sets you apart from the competition.
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The video types that work best at the Conversion stage are:
- Product Spotlights
- Case Studies/Customer Testimonials
Your video marketing efforts shouldn’t end once a sale has been made. Once you’ve acquired a customer, use video to delight and turn your buyers into loyal fans.
Retention videos not only drive repeat purchases but also make your customers a part of your brand community.
The video types that work best at the Retention stage are:
- Culture Videos
- Brand Commercials
- Product Spotlights
- Educational Videos
READ THE FULL GUIDE: The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing for Brands
Video Marketing Production Cost Drivers: Explained
When planning your video marketing campaign, remember that all steps of the video production process have associated costs, from pre-production to publishing. A project’s unique needs can drive costs up or down anywhere along the production journey. Keeping these cost drivers in mind ahead of time will help you stay on budget. Standard cost drivers that influence video production pricing include:
What is the result you’re hoping for when people see your video? You should be able to hammer down what you expect to achieve. Your ultimate goal will help you determine the type of video you need and where it should be published.
If the goal is to boost sales, you’ll likely need to produce a brand commercial or product spotlight to air on channels such as network TV — a major cost. A campaign goal to increase social media followers among a specific demographic would likely only require a shorter and simpler social media call-to-action ad — much cheaper. Knowing the type of video you need to generate and the channels they’ll run on helps identify additional production costs.
Concepting involves envisioning the appearance, tone, and narrative approach of your video. How you want it to look and feel directly impacts production costs. Something as seemingly simple as wardrobe can completely set the tone. A video with a more luxurious feel might require more costly clothes and props while keeping things simple and down-to-earth can keep costs down.
While you’re concepting, determine if your video ad needs on-screen talent, off-screen talent, or both. Off-screen talent includes voiceover talent and any music you might need to license.
Some companies bring talent costs down by featuring real customers in ads, but you can also use professional actors. If you’re going that route, remember that each type of talent — from union actors to independent freelancers — adds to the overall cost of production.
The concept of your video will determine what location(s) you’ll need for shooting. A complex, cinematic concept may require multiple locations, which drives costs up. A shoot focused mainly on the product can probably be done in a basic studio, lowering costs significantly.
Many locations require permits for filming, adding to your budget or production time if you’re required by local authorities to obtain them. Any application fees you need to pay can sometimes increase based on the number of people you have shooting at the location.
As your concept starts to come together, you’ll be able to determine the kind and size of production crew you will need. For example, if you’re planning on a live shoot, it’s almost impossible to accomplish with a one-man crew. Sound technicians are needed to work directly with the camera crew, meaning you’ll need a two-person team — a camera operator and a sound technician — at minimum. Additional crew members you might need to consider include hair, makeup, and wardrobe professionals.
As for equipment, each type of video production will require something different. There may be multiple cameras, equipment such as tripods and mounts, lighting, sound equipment, and more. Most content creators or production agencies have standard equipment they work with, but if they need to rent anything additional, you’ll cover that cost as well. If you’re looking at a multi-day shoot, the daily rate for additional rented equipment adds up quickly.
The biggest cost driver in post-production workflow is how much editing you need and how long the process takes. All videos need editing, regardless of their type — there could be 25 takes for one short scene in a live-action commercial. That might not be the case for an animated video, but shots may still need to be cut or moved around for better flow. Adding effects also takes time.
If the production team you hire includes all editing in the total cost, that could drive costs down. If it’s an added expense, consider that some editors charge by the hour while some collect a flat rate. If you request multiple rounds of edits and are billed by the hour, you may encounter unexpected costs.
Publishing and Testing
The audience you’re targeting will affect where you’ll be publishing your video, and different channels have different costs. Social media platforms have specific rates based on your goals, whether that’s new impressions, clicks, or something like app installs. These can range from $0.10 per click to as much as $40 a day. If you plan on running your video on one of your own landing pages, you won’t have these costs.
Marketing teams often choose to create multiple versions of an ad for testing purposes. The more ads you run, the higher your costs will be.
3 Tips to Maximize Your Video Production Budget
Along with being aware of the cost drivers, knowing the three tips below allows you to maximize your production budget to the fullest. Planning ahead and having an idea of what resources you already have at hand can save both time and money.
Identify Potential Additional Budget Sources
If the desired outcome for your marketing video falls under a few different business areas, you may be able to take advantage of marketing dollars from different departments. They may also have a stake in what you’re planning.
Imagine you are a financial services firm filming a retirement planning video series to help drive views to your website. Dollars might be available from several different business lines the series might address, like estate planning, education savings, insurance, and more. With skin in the game from other departments, you might be able to get more to work with.
Spend More Time on Pre-Production
The better prepared you are, the less likely it is for surprises to knock you off budget. Define the purpose of your campaign, the platforms you want to publish on, and your desired outcomes. Establishing clear key performance indicators will help give you a realistic idea of the amount of footage to expect.
A clean and organized pre-production phase ensures that you won’t run into roadblocks, particularly in post-production. If you miss something or find yourself going down the wrong path, you might spend more time on reshoots than you’d like.
Plan for a Single Shoot
A single shoot might not always be possible, but capitalize on the opportunity when it comes by filming as many shots in the same location as you can. If you’re on location, use your surroundings to the maximum extent. A shoot at a house can involve several different rooms and the exterior, for example.
Your production plan should leave room for multiple takes of each scene. QuickFrame designs production plans to capture a vast variety of footage and leaves nothing on the table. This can mean filming the same person in the same shot from multiple angles or taking a ton of B-roll. All of this footage can be used later.
To ensure you’re able to get all your footage in a timely manner, you’ll want to create an exhaustive shot list. This may include storyboarding with a shot-by-shot visual breakdown of the individual scenes in your video. Isolate what the focus is for each segment.
If you’re able to maximize on the resources you have available on shooting day, you can avoid having to reshoot any scenes. Reshoots involve scheduling and paying the crew, talent, and location costs for additional time. If you need them on short notice, they could charge you higher rates.
Repurpose Existing Assets
One of the best ways to keep video marketing production costs down is by including repurposed assets in the edit. If your company has been around for a while, you likely have photography and footage from previous campaigns stored on a drive somewhere. Using these assets is a cost-efficient way to add more content to your campaign.
Repurposing footage is also a great way to create different video versions for testing purposes. Swap the intro scene in an ad with good footage that didn’t make the edit the first time around. Switch out endings or involve scenes with different actors. Using these shots can do more than just save time and money. They contribute to brand recognition when viewers begin to associate scenes they’ve seen before with your company.
If this campaign is one of your first and you don’t have existing assets to repurpose, keep in mind that any footage captured in this shoot can potentially serve you in the future. If you’re really ahead of the game and already have future video marketing ideas in the works, you can even try to get footage for that purpose while you have the filming resources now.
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Video Marketing Production Process: Explained
The production process for a marketing ad video breaks down into four defined steps. Staying organized and on-schedule is key with so many moving elements. The four steps are standard no matter what type of video you are filming.
Step One: Pre-Production
The pre-production phase includes forming ideation, concepting, and scripting. It can’t be stressed enough how important pre-production is if you want the high-quality video your brand deserves.
Ideation and Concepting
The length of the ideation stage can be as long as necessary. It could be a very short process if you already know what type of video you want. If not, keep going until you have a clear picture of your goals and what you want the final product to look like.
Then, it’s time for concepting the finer details, including:
- Ideal video length and outlet(s) for publishing
- Amount of talent needed for actors or voiceover
- Additional crew needs like makeup and wardrobe
- Location, location, location
When you and your team feel confident with all the concept details, it’s time to draft the script. There are multiple options when it comes to writing it. It could be drafted by an internal marketing employee, a freelance scriptwriter, or even a writer associated with the production company.
The script is not what you might be imagining with only spoken words. It should be a complete textual description of everything you envision happening on-screen from start to finish. A character’s line might be “And I take it everywhere I go,” but if that’s all the script says, how does anyone know what’s actually happening on the screen?
Scriptwriters often lay out creative scripts in two columns, with spoken words on the left and corresponding descriptions and direction on the right. So, when an actor’s script says “And I take it everywhere I go,” it also provides clear direction. It could be “Actor #1 picks up product, looks at it, smiles, and walks out the door.”
Once the script is done and approved by all stakeholders, a storyboard and/or a shot list is created. The storyboard sketches out what each scene of the video will look like so that everyone working on the production is on the same page. During this stage, you may need to present the storyboard to company executives or compliance officers for the OK to move ahead with production. Depending on how many people or meetings are needed, there could be a gap between pre-production and production.
Step Two: Production
Now you’re finally ready to shoot or animate. The more thorough you were in pre-production, the more organized and problem-free your production process will be.
Clear communication is the most important part of production. Depending on who is directing or producing your video, someone will have to take on the responsibility of keeping everything on schedule. On production day, the talent and crew need to know exactly where to go and how much time they have to set up.
For a multi-day or multi-location shoot, efficient logistics surrounding transportation are critical. The crew might have their own van, but how are you moving the talent? These things need to be top-of-mind while also ensuring you’re capturing the best takes and enough footage.
Step Three: Post-Production
Shooting wraps up when you feel confident that everything on the shot list was captured. The footage then heads to editing where the live video is pieced together and elevated with post-production effects including:
- Sound editing and engineering
- Visual effects
- Color correction
- Graphic and textual elements
The post-production process can be a single pass or involve multiple rounds of edits going back and forth. Even if the footage itself is complete, it takes time to get the effects right. Deciding between the logo coming in from the top or the bottom seems trivial, but in the marketing world, every detail matters.
Step Four: Publishing and Testing
The process doesn’t end when your video is finalized. Where will you be publishing your video? If it’s meant for your blog or website, you need to upload the video to your website content management system, YouTube, or both. Managing those outlets internally saves time and money if you have the resources. If the video is for purchased ad space, publishing will depend on your media buys.
Best Production Types for Video Marketing
Any creative vision can be brought to life, but there are certain styles of video that really fit with the goals of video marketing. Here we’ll break down five different video types with examples and project details for each one.
Commercials tell your brand’s story while communicating the value it offers customers. They’re a tried and true production type because consumers will always react to stories. The best commercials tell a story that makes the audience feel something, whether that story is fictional or based on reality.
As an example, consider this 30-second TV commercial for a flight booking website. The client maximized their production budget by filming actors in front of a green screen, but they still effectively tell a story through the dynamic actions and words spoken by the talent. The subject matter aims to be relatable to viewers who can’t always afford to take trips.
In post-production, editors added backgrounds and dynamic text elements. Having the talent point to blank spaces where words would later appear on the screen is a prime example of pre-production planning.
If you need to show off a product’s features in detail, a product spotlight video is the best type of marketing video to use. In this 15-second mouthwash ad meant to run on Facebook and YouTube, the packaging is the star of the show. The video has clean, crisp animation with clear text highlights of the product’s unique selling proposition (USP). While there’s nothing revolutionary about the germ-fighting power and freshness of mouthwash, the product’s USP is its sleek, recyclable aluminum bottle.
Explainer videos help your audience understand how they can use your product and what value it might provide them. Though these types of videos are often short and to the point, they can vary widely in length depending on your audience, goal, and message.
Showing explainer videos during a sales presentation elevates your sales pitch. Audience members may not remember the exact details of the presentation, but high-quality videos leave an impression. Video can also help you in closing sales when sending follow-up emails or give you an excuse for a client or prospect touchpoint. When you send a video and a note, customers and prospects feel remembered and cared for.
This data engineering software ad from Databricks meant to run on YouTube and Facebook is over two and a half minutes long. That length works for a video like this because a potential customer would likely be deliberately searching for a video containing this type of information. The video is still considered an ad, but it usefully highlights the benefits of this specific data engineering system.
How-to videos take your viewers by the hand and guide them through the process of using your product or service. These videos are ideal for marketing because it’s easier to see something demonstrated on video than to read step-by-step directions on paper.
This 15-second product how-to for Facebook and YouTube demonstrates the application of a peel-off facial mask. It’s a good example of a video that could easily be used across multiple channels by swapping out certain elements appropriately. For example, the music track that plays across this ad could be swapped out with voiceover talent making it more suitable for a 15-second television spot.
Educational video content can allow you to express a point of view on a topic and build authority while promoting your brand. This is ideal when you’re aiming to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
The educational video for Sparknotes study resources below features illustrative images and text accompanied by a voiceover. While educational content can be for any audience, this video targets school-aged kids.
Demographics are important to get right with educational videos — here, the tone of voice and video effects are spot-on for the target audience. The length of the video is one minute and 15 seconds, long enough to send the message but short enough to keep students’ attention.
All of these types of videos can make for a great marketing campaign. Depending on your goals, budget, and time constraints, you might choose to create a few of them. Keep your target audience and publishing platform in mind when deciding on factors like tone and video length, but remember that it’s still possible to make some adjustments during the testing phase.
While TV is still a great medium, much of video marketing has moved on to a performance marketing model where advertisers pay for each action a viewer performs rather than just a time slot. A performance marketing video’s success is measured based on specific key indicators. By tweaking some of the factors in your video and publishing them to different platforms or to different audiences, you can gather data on those indicators that will help you position your videos for the best possible results.
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The digital strategy of performance marketing means clients pay more for their video placements the more successful they are. A prime example of this method in action is pay-per-click advertising. In addition to clicks, other actions used include impressions, generated leads, and actual sales.
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Performance marketing video ads tend to have higher conversions than general ads because they have to be customer-specific. They usually speak to direct pain points the target audience is experiencing. These videos present the product or service from the customer’s perspective and how it can help them rather than trying to sell with sales language.
The four formats of performance marketing videos are:
- UGC-Style (User-Generated Content) Testimonials: This format features talent talking directly to the customer through the camera. Chosen talent should resemble your target audience. For example, if your product is a teen skincare line, a testimonial from an older gentleman wouldn’t carry much weight.
- Product Focus: Videos in a product focus format highlight a particular product and its features. These can be educational, narrative, or even short videos that make your product stand out.
- Lifestyle: Lifestyle videos are similar to UGC-style testimonials, but the talent doesn’t directly address the viewer through the camera. Viewers watch your product put into action by on-screen talent or see the process narrated with a voiceover.
- UI Focus Video: This format is useful if your product is an app or tech offering. Through on-screen talent or animation, it leads viewers through the product visually.
Many effective marketing videos combine multiple performance formats. For example, you might pair lifestyle scenes with testimonials to drive home how your product is used in everyday life.
Once your videos are sent out into the world, how do you measure their performance? One option is to keep everything consistent and monitor results. Or, you could test different elements to see what produces more clicks, impressions, or purchases. Testing different elements often produces the best possible outcome, but you’ll need to decide what to test against. The resulting process will be different for every company and every campaign.
Old campaign data is the standard benchmark. If you have data from previous marketing campaigns, set performance goals to improve on it. If you have a younger company with little history to provide benchmarks, research competitors and standards for your industry. For example, an 8% click-through rate could be considered a success in one industry but fall short for another.
Multivariate testing is a technique used to measure an ad’s effectiveness based on sets of varying elements. Marketers do this by running the same video ad with one or two differing variables. If one video performs better than the other, you’ll have a good idea as to why. The difference might be changing on-screen text in both language and style. It could be the difference between music versus voiceover. You won’t know the determining factors until you test them.
Because you planned ahead in pre-production and captured a library of footage in your initial shoot, you should have multiple options that can be edited in for multivariate testing. The turnaround time to edit one portion of a video is short, so you can easily make adjustments and start measuring performance. The knowledge you gain will also help you know what’s likely to work best in future campaigns and if different channels need different versions of the same ad.
EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE (for free!): The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing for Brands
Video Marketing: The Takeaway
By now, you should have the confidence you need to produce an effective video marketing campaign. You now know the steps you need to follow:
- Choose the right video type for your product,
- Decide on the ideal platform
- Craft that stellar shot list and script
- Find your talent and crew
- Get through the shooting and editing stages
- Put your videos to the test
The fact is that creating high quality marketing videos that perform can be costly and time-consuming. But with thorough pre-production planning—and a discerning eye—you can keep production costs down so you can turn what you want to do into what you can do.
Fortunately, producing a video has never been more affordable. And as the appetite for video intensifies, being able to affordably generate a stream of new and relevant video ads will make your brand stand out in a rising sea of competitors.
But there’s another way to make your production process more efficient: QuickFrame’s production marketplace. We streamline the production process by connecting brands from every industry with professional video content creators and video production companies that can produce video at-scale affordably.
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