Marketing 'gurus' will quip that 'content is king', and growing trends will support the reasoning for shifting more output towards video. Yet, creating effective video content isn't as simple as purchasing a fancy camera or lifting the latest smartphone up for an impromptu Tik Tok.
At Mäd, we have developed long term MarComms goals, and plotted out internal strategy to aid our success. With regard to video, we decided that our digital voice would massively benefit from increasing our recording and editing capabilities—to reach our audience in an alternative manner, and of course reach a new market. Today we're outlined not just why we've turned our attention to video, but also how we structure our processes.
Scouring the internet for reliable marketing data can feel like a full time job, which positively reflects the rich, available information that we can consider when crafting campaigns.
Whilst it should be highlighted that localities and differing industry variables will always prompt more bespoke market research, we've highlighted some general findings of interest from global marketers and data scientists.
94% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, and 79% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy or download a piece of software or app by watching a video. Also, 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
- Wyzowl 2021 Video Survey
72% of people involved in video marketing say they use videos to raise brand awareness and 66% of respondents use videos to generate sales.
- Wave.video marketing for small business survey, 2020
A HubSpot marketing survey that included about 3,000 respondents showed that 54% of the consumers consistently preferred video marketing from the brands they support.
- HubSpot Content Trends Survey Q3, 2017
Opinions will vary on why Video content is a great choice (or not), but the noticeable drops in attention spans from our instantaneous age is a huge indicator that accessibility is a useful factor for any marketing strategies.
To explain it further, it is now possible to order food within seconds through some simple taps of a phone (without speaking to anyone)—and pay without physical cash—and have the delivery at speed; it's possible to speak face-to-face with someone on the other side of the world in real-time with virtual solutions; we're able to access, not just new episodes but, entire new series all at once through digital television platforms; And, any piece of information you want can be sourced from thousands of websites within seconds through the vast collection of data available online.
All these great innovations geared at providing instantaneous services have came at the price of our patience lowering as the new norm is slicker, and more efficient than ever.
This perhaps explains the rise of favour towards video content, as messages can be conveyed at speed both clearly and with impactful visual aid. Our approach is not to 'dumb-down' information, or seek the quick and easy shortcuts, but rather to leverage strengths and combine our efforts towards well rounded output. By improving our video output, we aid the rest of our communications—but we don't abandon long-form.
As a crude explanation, simply imagine the tragedy of only having the DVDs of Lord of The Rings, but not the books. Yet, as a Human-Centric Design Agency, being able to showcase the 'human' element more is a no-brainer for us; The faces behind the text, the work, the ideas, the brand.
When crafting long-form written content, we have many considerations to incorporate to keep our writing consistent and on-brand. These same considerations largely apply to video content, so before any new insight piece we have an ideation stage accompanied by sanity checking the process to match key requirements.
Firstly, writing for the sake of writing has benefits; To improve a skill, regular practice is vital. However, our public communications need to have a higher level of thought, and add value through relevancy.
Looking ahead, we define the work we're doing and the market(s) we're serving—and then we ask the key question of whether our topics will be of relevant interest to our target market. The second consideration here, is whether we are relevantly qualified to be writing—or speaking—about the suggested topic. You wouldn't ask your bank manager for dancing advice, nor go to your ballet instructor for investment guidance; At Mäd we seek to have deep understanding of the subject matter before sharing our thoughts.
Relevancy also relates to the longevity of a content piece. Whilst topical opinions and discussions may have high short term value, we need to weigh up whether our time is best spend discussing matters quickly outdated or perhaps if the topic has other future considerations to be brought in to the discussion.
We value adding value, in that our aim is to provide useful thoughts and answers that can enhance our client relations and benefit their brands meaningfully. As such, much of our content inception comes from a client question, or a problem highlighted during initial project enquiries.
Then, we need to consider 'the how'. Not all problems are best served with long form writing, and not all suit short snappy videos. Addressing a topic in a suitable manner (medium) aids the success of the content piece, with a hybrid approach often ideal to serve different defined client personas.
When discussing consistency, we're firstly referring to our brand guidelines. Our tone, our language, our manner, our voice, and our output should match across all communications. We aim to reflect our work, and the Mäd brand accurately whether it's through an eBook or video-interviewing a C-level person of note for our content series. To do this, we have to align team members to adopt and understand the same company goals—meaning that authors may vary but the reader will be unaware.
Of course, Video content will reflect much more of an individual's personality due to them being directly identifiable on camera (compared with our 'author-less' approach to insights). Yet, through carefully discussed video guidelines we can match the recording style with tone and language.
Firstly, equipment matters. To ensure the quality and style of our video footage stays consistent, we operate with the same series of Canon cameras for ease. We have an 850D and 750D cameras, both equipped with 50mm lens.
As we tend to shoot from static locations, we have several tripods on hand, including a table top option when necessary.
Lighting is important, and as such we've multiple light-boxes to keep our shots bright and on-brand.
To keep content on brand, we film most of our main content at our Phnom Penh office; Our team are able to be mobile, but we're fortunate that our office gets great lighting and is a picturesque open space.
All editing is done via Adobe Premier Pro, with low quality previews sent out during the review period. Then, final versions will be uploaded in high quality to our Vimeo account.
Our Interviewing Process.
Whilst we have been perfecting our internal video processes to a fine art, we also have worked to simplify content involving clients and influential people. Ensuring we have a structured workflow allows us to minimise any issues or errors, and keep our video standards high.
If you're taking part in one of our video interview series, or any video content piece, our typical process is as follows:
- In advance, we'll work on a Google Document to outline the structure of the content piece. As an example, for our interviews we'll outline the questions we'll ask— this gives you a chance to prepare meaningful answers ahead of time plus you can give input, direction, and make changes directly in the document.
2. Once the questions are prepped, we will send a calendar invite for date and time of the video shoot.
3. When you arrive at our office, we'll have two camera setup with various lightboxes to maximise the quality of the video. The second camera helps us create a more dynamic output, and the switching of scenes also can cleverly make multiple video clips flow together naturally.
4. We'll offer some mild directional instructions about the best angle to face, and some general best practises for effective filming such as:
• Responding to questions with the question phrased in your answer. I.e. 'What is the last book you read?' would be answered with 'The last book I read was Principles' rather than simply 'Principles by Ray Dalio'. The reason for this, is that the questions may not be including in the video audio, so it allows the viewers to have full context at all times.
• Taking a clear pause between statements in longer answers. This means it'll be easier for the Editor if you stutter, misspeak, or generally want to cut a section.
• Record multiple versions of your answers. This gives our Editor more options to work with, helping us craft the most impactful final output.
• Remember to smile, and relax. It can feel unnatural talking down a lens, and often this awkwardness can lead to visible stiffness and create a 'deer in the headlights' look— the more relaxed the speaker, the easier it is for audiences to also relax and pay attention fully.
• Evergreen answers are ideal. If you say time-sensitive things such as 'recently', or 'three months ago', the content will quickly outdate. If possible use firm dates and times in your responses as it'll keep the content relevant for longer.
• Clapping can be problematic in the editing process. The loud distorted noise of a clap near a microphone may not fully level out— so avoid clapping or such percussion effects.
• We use a clip on microphone, we try to hide the wires by asking you to feed it through your clothing (i.e. a shirt or blouse). If possible. we'd recommend wearing clothing that is easy for this process.
• You don't need a script, as reading out answers can sound quite unnatural. Preparing main points ahead of time certainly helps, and for the outro we recommend summarising some of your main points so that the content lingers in the viewers mind.
Some Internal Examples.
Jonathan Tep, our Head of Projects, discusses Project Management and the Mäd approach.
Angelique Delamere, Brand Strategist and Design, discusses our processes and thinking behind crafting impactful brands.
Crafting great content takes further considerations on board. Thinkwithgoogle offer actionable advice by considering their 'ABCDs' for videos:
When you’re coming up with video concepts, remember ABCD: Attract attention from the start, Brand naturally and meaningfully, Connect with your audience through emotion and storytelling, and Direct viewers with clear CTAs.
This advice can transfer to short bumper (six second) un-skippable adverts, through to long meaningful content spanning hours at a time. As always planning out your goals, and considering various content strategies will help you reach your targets.