Whatever audience you’re trying to reach – employees, prospects, customers, trainees – video is one of the most engaging and effective ways to do it. Visual content consumption continues to rise each year, another trend accelerated by the pandemic and the proliferation of remote work. In other words, there’s a good chance your organisation needs more video content, but can’t afford the expensive, siloed approaches to video production that were common in the past. So what should be avoided when making a video? Here are the nine most common video mistakes we see businesses making and – more importantly – how to avoid them.
Video mistake #1: Atomising video production
Especially in larger organisations, it’s common to see different teams and parts of the business tackle video production separately. Marketing might need a 30-second video ad, HR might need training videos for onboarding, while internal communications need video messages from executives. And, if you have an internal video production team, there’s a good chance that they’re usually inundated with project requests. They’re also more likely to focus on high-value video content, leaving other requests waiting in the queue. Plus, video production includes lots of smaller tasks, including the creation of B-roll footage of products, services or facilities. When teams can’t piggyback on existing footage or work, double-up becomes a big risk and video production costs can balloon. However, a centralised platform – a place that holds footage, design assets, scripts and other resources – helps minimise double-up and unnecessary costs. It also means each new project requires less time and fewer resources, since the footage and design elements already exist. Additionally, it’s easier to ensure a consistent visual brand across multiple projects. And, for those businesses with under-the-pump internal production teams, solutions like Shootsta Pro alleviate the burden and outsource the hard part: post-production. This empowers teams to film their own content and then have it professionally edited within 48 hours. This enables production teams to focus on big-ticket items, and is perfect for short-form content that needs to be made quickly, cost-effectively and at scale.
Video mistake #2: Allocating too many resources to a one-off project
Sometimes video is the best medium for your message, even if your message is part of a one-off project. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create the video, it just means you need to weigh factors like costs and whether the video – or elements of the video – can be repurposed for future uses. For example, a one-off internal message from an executive might be fine to shoot on an employee’s phone, especially if you have a cost-efficient, low-effort way to add editing flourishes like cutaways or lower-thirds. In another instance, you might need to invest more time or resources into a one-off external message – but creating new footage or assets can be repurposed via a centralised video platform.
Video mistake #3: Bringing in a full production crew unnecessarily
Sometimes a project does call for higher production value, the kind that requires specialist crews. But as smartphone cameras continue to improve, and as affordable devices such as light rings bring a professional edge to video production, self-shot footage is often just as engaging. In fact, as viewers increasingly turn to video for information, and as working from home has made us comfortable with video of varying quality, self-shot footage might even look more authentic and help audiences feel like they’re engaging with a real human rather than a glossy video advert.
Video mistake #4: Settling for low quality video
Of course, the previous point doesn’t mean video has to be low quality. In fact, grainy video, bad sound and drab lighting can distract from your message. Fortunately, it’s easy and affordable to solve this issue. First up, choose a filming option that suits your budget and skillset – whether that’s your own phone, iPad or even professional equipment. Next, consider your lighting. This might be as simple as using natural light from a window, or buying a ring light or a set of softboxes. Often, the best result comes from a mix of lights. Finally, sound is as important as vision. Low-quality sound, wind noise and other background noises can be distracting – plan ahead and try to find a few shooting locations where you’re less likely to be surprised by background noises. Make sure to shoot a couple quick tests and play them back to see whether there’s any distracting noise that you wouldn’t otherwise notice, like rumbly air cons or nearby traffic.
Video mistake #5: Creating video without a distinct brand
The more distinct and authentic the brand or voice, the more likely the viewer will be engaged by, listen to and trust your message. This is as important for short videos as it is for larger productions. Fortunately, video is a perfect way to communicate branding and personality! Start with a clear idea of the message you want to put across. Then consider the various options – tone of voice, language, colour, style, background – available to ensure the brand is communicated. Shootsta solutions like our cloud platform and Shootsta Elevate offer fast, templated ways to add these professional touches and polished branding.
Video mistake #6: Restricting access to video production
Scaling of video content only happens when creation capability is democratised. Easy-to-use, centralised video production tools enable teams across the business to produce their own video with consistency of brand and voice, and with minimal training or experience. Solutions like Elevate, which enables the production of personalised and on-brand sales videos in just a few minutes, give entire sales teams a powerful medium for anything from prospecting to quick product demos. And solutions like Cast, Shootsta’s screen recording tool, are perfect for demos and product education. Likewise, the right cloud platform ensures that all teams – marketing, internal communications, and more – can leverage video production capabilities without over-burdening a lone video creation ‘gatekeeper’.
Video mistake #7: Relying on time-consuming, manual processes
The more you can automate the video production process, the less time each video takes to produce. It’s that simple. One of the most basic solutions is templatisation. With easy-to-use templates, teams can pull together their video messages with minimal time or training. And for virtual selling, templated scripts are also big time savers – something that most sales teams really need! If they automatically feed to an in-app teleprompter, it’s an extra bonus. But automation capabilities, particularly those powered by AI, are becoming more sophisticated. Even using templates can be a manual process, so be on the lookout for automated features that take even more work off of employees’ plates. For instance, Elevate combines templates and AI capabilities to automatically insert elements like music, lower-thirds and branded cutaways into video sales messages.
Video mistake #8: Forgetting that the audience comes first
Consider the difference between a sales prospect who doesn’t have time for anything except a brief message, and a team member who needs an in-depth training resource. These two audiences need two very different types, styles and lengths of video. Video creation tools need to give teams the ability to tailor content and respect the unique needs of their audiences.
Video mistake #9: Losing sight of the video’s purpose
Finally, video without a definitive purpose – one that plays a clear role within a larger strategy – runs the risk of confusing viewers rather than informing them. Video is a powerful tool, but ‘video for video’s sake’ can be counterproductive. The purpose of the video must be clearly understood by all involved, and regularly revisited, to ensure the final product has the desired effect. Want more insights into video production and scaling it across your organisation? Be sure to subscribe to the Shootsta newsletter below.
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