The Different Approaches to Video: What Works?

By Bill Zoelle, Chief Creative Officer

Published: July 17, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, video doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t need to be time consuming, no need for it to be expensive, and most importantly – you’re not required to have experience as a videographer to tell a good visual story.

Yet, majority of companies have a hard time producing consistent video to align with their brand story. Citing reasons like lack of time, expertise, and budget, businesses are missing out on reaching up to 80% of online visitors who will eagerly watch a video, while only 20% will actually ready content in its entirety.

Demand for online video is growing in every sector of business—from content marketing and sales enablement to learning and training; from corporate communications to investor relations. Video content is the new black, but it’s more than a passing fad. Marketers are expected to utilize video in all avenues of corporate marketing.

Online video brings your message to life. It engages your audience. Video drives action where other mediums no longer do. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 B2B Content Marketing report, the use of video and online presentations is rapidly increasing.”

Don’t make video production harder than it needs to be. There are many approaches to video that 1. are extremely simple to create, and 2. will help you start to make a name for your company and products on the #2 search engine in the world, YouTube.

Start By Building a Strategy

Knowledge Vision said it well, don’t be afraid to slice up your video needs into three segments. Then employ different production approaches in each tier.

  1. Profiles – Include customer profiles, product profiles (in-depth customer-focused walk-arounds are included), no intro slide needed, simplicity in tilting/naming preferred, standard outro slide, music as needed per video.
  2. Product Knowledge – Working footage, raw, natural sound, simple – these include “how-to” videos and “service and safety” process videos.
  3. Promotional – “Impact” videos, a more finished piece that includes music and is used for product launches, campaigns, or events. “These are the splashy videos that grace the front door to your website. They play in your trade show booth. They are meant to turn heads, grab attention, to get the heart pounding, and to stop a viewer in his or her tracks.”

From there, choose your goal. Is it educational? Do you want to spur action? Have a purpose before you start shooting.

Finally, broaden your definition of what a video is. Over the course of years, network television engrained in us a concept of what a video is. It’s a linear story,
with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s designed to be viewed from beginning to end. All the action happens within a 16-by-9 frame. It’s a largely passive experience; watch it or turn it off. And it’s got a certain “look” provided by high production values.” But what about everything else? There’s room in your playlist for short, educational mini segments, text and still videos, man on the street shoots, drawings and screen capture, and even online video presentations.

The options are limitless, as long as you follow a few guidelines:

  • Make sure you have good sound. Try to always use a microphone, it doesn’t have to be fancy but it usually makes a difference.
  • Good videography. Whether you are shooting with a professional camera or your phone, try to stay steady or use a tripod, do not overly zoom in and out, and pick an interesting perspective.
  • Avoid bad lighting situations. Filming in front of windows that let a lot of light in or towards the sun often darkens your subject matter. Try to film with the light source behind you.