3 Tips to Maximize the Value of a Video Budget

In many cases, the desire to make a video is a shortsighted goal. There is a LOT of potential content that could be produced from a single video shoot. A small garden full of vegetables should get you more than one salad. Why invest in the cost of a big video shoot and settle for one video from it?

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Content Matters. More Content Matters More.

No, this is not a call for focusing on quantity over quality. But committing to a budget for an entire team, location, equipment and other outside resources (like actors) is not just the means to the create of the video you want, it is also a big opportunity to leverage a room full of talent for something more.

We have had some amazing opportunities in this business with clients sending us all over the world – Buenos Aires, Singapore, London, Sydney, and more.  Sometimes with the entire mission being “make a three-minute video.” While these projects are often for larger clients with big budgets, there were missed opportunities – be they in an exotic location with a big budget or a run-down warehouse district on a nearby waterfront area.

So go ahead and make the video, but use the shoot day to give yourself so much more value. Sometimes an entire day on a set with four to five hours of shooting is invested for a 60-second video. But the “B-roll” (the extra, unused footage from the shoot) will be massive and can be part of something much bigger. The B-roll provides endless opportunities for additional content including 1) more videos 2) still shots 3) presentation material, etc.

Here are ways to make the most of your shoot day:

1. Make a Case Study to Remember

In many marketing departments, turning every big win and big sale into a case study is often an automated process. There is a “template” in use that follows a script designed not to deviate from the other case studies. The problem is that many of the biggest sales (or deals) can often be the least interesting. Start by focusing on a client who has a truly engaging story on its own, where the story is less about your “win” and more about highlighting how amazing the client’s business is. You will make their day AND illustrate your ability to work with (and bring to) exciting stories. Big or small, regardless of industry, find something that will show you know how to work with those who have an impact.

Boring clients make boring videos. Exciting clients make exciting videos. Talented marketing teams take their client’s stories into exciting videos either way.

2. Involve Your Subject In The Planning

For any video, case study or otherwise, involving your subject in the planning makes for a better final product. But other than the usual poring over a brief, reviewing scripts and shot lists, competent project management and scheduling, what does that look like?

If we apply the concept of “leverage the shoot day,” how about offering to create another video for their internal use? With the footage you will be creating, spend some time during the planning process working with your subject on what their needs are, what kind of communications matter internally, other aspects of their mission, and what they do.

During the process, let them in on the craft. Involve them in the process. Then they will begin to see the impact of their decisions on their own video as well as your video. It is a good exercise for them to know how much money it's costing, and what their involvement means at each step in the process. Work through all the little things that come up (like when they want to split the interviews up in the morning and the evening though you only have an audio guy coming in the morning). These things are not common knowledge, so you need to be very precise in presenting your customer with a plan when you enroll them in being in your video. During the process, you will build a better ally for your work with your client.

3. Turn a Video into a Content Portfolio

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Finally, once a shoot day is scheduled, ask yourself these questions:

“Why not do TWO days?”

If you are going to spend thousands of dollars for a team to fly somewhere special to make your video, the incremental cost of adding another day is minimal relative to the tremendous value you will get from the additional output.

If you were to invest in one three-minute case study video (about 3-5 minutes), then we would also recommend making a five-minute long-form customer documentary – a high-quality, five-minute film about your client, with just a little mention of how your partnership has helped them in what they have achieved.

Why not make a version of that SAME video, but edited down to two minutes, still talking about your partnership? Now you have a more focused version in a two-minute piece. Then make ANOTHER video, this time a one-minute highlight focusing on your partnership, for half of that video. You now have a five-minute, a two-minute, and one-minute video. These can be deployed in different places for the different audiences who are visiting your site, each with a different need.

You can also make a series of fifteen-second social shorts to promote the five-minute video to use on your Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media feeds as a means to draw in more visitors to view the video. You have invested a larger budget, but now you have six or more videos for the price of one. You are going spend a bit more for the extra editing time, but it's a small fixed cost relative to the cost of the shoot itself.

But Don’t Stop There…

If you have the budget, consider spending a third day, fourth day, or fifth day on location and make a plan for building a complete portfolio of content which can be edited and published on a regular frequency over six months or a year. Plan on getting more content, speaking with product managers, entry-level people, executives, etc. and make some more specific pieces based on an annual strategy and plan.

Those are our three tips. If you want to get even more tips on how to make great corporate videos, subscribe to our channel.

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