Back in the day it was clear when you needed to produce a video. Either you had a new product to promote, you were offering a new service, or you needed to inform your “audience” (be it staff or the public) of a new initiative. Our role as a video production company was merely to follow your brief and deliver what you needed.
Now, however, more and more we’re asked to produce video just so the customer has a video on their website. My first question is “What do you want the video to be about?” and more often than not the customer pauses then answers “I don’t know”. People are aware they NEED some sort of promotional video on their website; they hear time and time again that their website is their “shop window” and as everything is video, video, video these days they assume just having a one ticks a box. But really if you’re going to have a video, if you’re going to spend money producing a video, you should decide early on what you want the video to be about.
So what options are open to you?
Say you produce door handles (someone must). You want to say how your door handles are better than any of your competitors. A montage set to music of doors being successfully opened is one way to go but what are you actually telling your potential customer/site visitor? Perhaps you’d want a video showing how you construct your door handles, how you use the finest materials to make door handles that go beyond simple function to a stylish form. You could show in close up how they’re hand crafted/machine built, to bespoke/typical standard. Perhaps you want to educate people in the correct way to use the door handle itself, how twisting the door handle all the way will prevent scuffing of the interior mechanism and mean it’ll last far longer. Maybe generations of your family have been producing door handles for many years and you want your customers to know that they can trust your name as an established producer of door opening products. Potentially you may have improved the design of a door handle; you’ve discovered a better way of opening doors and you’re hoping your new development will throw the competition into disarray. Maybe the best option is to have users of your door handles to say how much using your particular brand of door ingress and egress has improved their life and they can tell potential customers about it.
I may be being glib but it’s worth noting that recommendations are the new life blood of business. In fact it’s what this and other professional networks are based on. So we at Galleon Productions are asked more and more to produce videos that aren’t specifically about a product or service but about how that product and service have benefitted those who use it.
The other types of video we’re asked to produce are short introductions to company’s websites, the kind of information that people generally have to read on traditional websites. Not only are you giving them some history and providence to your organisation but it also gives you the chance to give a “human” touch to what can be a very sterile home page. Now if you choose this option then you probably want to decide who is going to “front” the video. Dougie from accounts may be a riot at party’s but is he going to be good in front of a camera? Would you maybe benefit from hiring an actor or actress to present your message instead? Or should you, in your role be the one in front of camera? Any way you jump one thing that we have found helps immensely is using an autocue. An autocue is a mirrored screen allowing you to read the text as it’s projected direct to camera, which means you’ll never be lost for words when it’s time to start rolling. Since purchasing one 3 years ago the difference in the quality of presentation is markedly improved, particularly when it comes to the amateur delivering a piece to camera. So if you are an MD, want to present your own video and yet are worried you might come across badly you can put yourself at ease and do what news presenters and presidents have used for years.
Yes, you like the idea of presenting a video but what if you don’t have a “shop floor” to speak of where it could be filmed. What if you don’t have an office (or you do but it’s immensely untidy), “Where could I film my presentation?” you ask. For clients who have just that problem we recommend using our professional and comfortable North Manchester studio. The studio has what’s called an “infinity cove”; that is a white wall with no discernable joins; it effectively makes one look like one is standing in a white space. Not only is it visually stunning it has the added advantage of giving the viewer nowhere to look but your presentation and to hear your message loud and clear. For added effect you can use green screen; which means that behind your presentation we can superimpose graphics, product details or any visual information you so wish.
The studio has it’s own green room and kitchen and is a mere 2 minutes from the M62; therefore a perfect rallying point for you to ask your clients to meet and record their testimonials too.
I was reading an article on this very site that inspired me to write this little piece; it mentioned how all advertising would eventually be web based. Advertising has always been a visual medium with people wanting to see a product or service in action. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas if you wish to pursue a web video of some description to promote your business. I’d obviously be happy for any feed back on this my first submission, and obviously if you want to discuss any points raised feel free to contact me.
Kristen Gibson is owner and operator of Galleon Productios, a video production company based in Manchester now in it’s 10th year.