Using video for business? Avoid the pitfalls with these top tips
So you have an idea for a video that will help promote your business, but aren’t really sure where to start. Will your ‘vision’ really turn out the way you expect? Will the rest of your team ‘get it’? And will it showcase your business in the right light? Here Simon Greene, from SGA Video & Events in Sudbury, shares his top tips.
Always have a purpose for your business video
Producing a film or video in your company’s name isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It’s likely that your video is designed to solve a specific business issue or to promote an opportunity, so it’s important not to lose sight of your intentions.
Be clear about what you want the video to achieve and who your audience is. This will help you to not only determine its content, but also how you will distribute it.
Ensure you create a brief
No matter how well you get on with your chosen production company or how much they appear to ‘get’ you and your business goals, it’s so important to have a written brief.
This helps in the event that timescales shift or other ‘stuff’ gets in the way… key messages can be easily forgotten so having a brief to refer back to will ensure that your intentions are not lost along the way.
While your external agency is unlikely to be an expert in your field, they should have relevant experience and be willing to add ideas and value you may not have considered.
Share examples of videos you like
If you can share relevant creatives this can really help with agreeing the look, feel and sound that you feel is best for you. Resources like The Matboard and Canva can be handy for ideas.
Simplify your messaging
You’ve likely heard the acronym K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) – this also really important when it comes to producing a video. Remember that people learn in different ways and generally have limited attention spans.
So don’t cram in more than one main and two secondary messages – it’s better to break down topics into bite size chunks.
Even with the simplest video the output is only as good as the plan. Success will rest in the detail – so whether you’re commissioning a 30 second sound-bite or 30 minute webinar, approach your production with the same level of planning each time.
Manage time well
If filming at your business premises, make sure you allow the crew enough time to do a good job. Set aside the necessary time instead of trying to squeeze it in around your day job.
Your crew will need enough time to get set up, and do multiple takes of whatever it is they’re shooting. Oh – and be sure to get them somewhere to park and a place to put their ‘stuff’ (normally thousands of pounds of advanced technical equipment!) securely.
Make it a positive experience for all
Never ‘force’ your team or colleagues to take part – even in a minor role. Involve them in what’s going on and explain what it is you are trying to achieve and why, it should always be a really positive experience. They will also probably want to see it when it’s finished!
Choose any speaking contributors carefully. A nervous interviewee or presenter will undoubtedly feel awkward which can translate into looking slightly ‘shifty’ – giving the impression that s/he is not to be trusted. Not ideal!
So if there’s a script, get it agreed beforehand and ensure your presenter is familiar with it. And tell them to avoid bright reds, stripes and checks in any wardrobe – they don’t look great on camera.
Ensure peace & quiet
When recording audio, always think about your environment. Avoid filming in areas where there is noisy air-conditioning, traffic noise or telephones ringing – you’d be amazed at what ambient sounds the mics can pick up.
The sweet sound of music
Push your production team for their ideas on music – don’t fall into the trap of using the cheapest ‘plinkety-plonk’ tracks. Today there is such a fantastic choice, and it pays to pay for it.
With a good brief, a clear plan and great content, what you’ve commissioned should be even better than you ever imagined.
If you’d like any more advice or would like to sound out ideas for your own business video, just give SGA Video & Events a call on 01787 378422 or visit www.sga-uk.com.