Video is everywhere right now. Social media have put their focus on it. YouTube just keeps growing and live video is huge. If, like us, you’re a video production company then you might be thinking one of two things. Either “this is great and there is demand for what we make” or “people can make video themselves now, what is the point of us?!”
Here at CMA Video, we like to think that we are quite pragmatic and like to embrace challenges and opportunities like this. We actually think that businesses should look at both options when it comes to video production because the reality is that if you want to use video to promote your business there is a definite need for quick turnaround video that you can make yourself and equally there is a definitely a place to use a video production company as well. There are some obvious pros and cons to both options and we will discuss a few of them here. Don’t worry though, we aren’t going to tell you that you should use a video production company for all of your video production needs, this is (hopefully) a balanced look at the best options for using video for business.
Seize The Moment
The best thing about social media and video on social media is that it’s instant. It’s the here and now and can perfectly capture that ‘you had to be there’ moment when it comes up – usually without warning and instantaneously. These types of situation can’t be planned, scheduled or scripted, they are just things that happen. So, unless you have a video production team on standby 24/7 who are ready to film at the drop of a hat you are going to have to film this yourself. This type of content is allowed to be raw, filmed on a phone and a little bit shaky because it’s just happening right in front of you. In fact it will actually have more authenticity if it is filmed in this way rather than a polished, perfect looking video. Sometimes a video of this nature that is too well produced and edited i.e. by a video production company can leave viewers feeling a little suspicious and not engaged with the content.
The quality of mobile phones these days means that you shouldn’t have an issue with the quality of the footage and even the audio is pretty good so you can capture whatever you need in HD and better. Editing on your phone is getting easier too, this article highlights some of the best apps that you can edit footage on so you’re able to film, edit and upload all from your mobile device in one go. My verdict is if you’re capturing something on the spot then shoot it on your phone and get it out on your social media channels as soon as possible.
Vlogging (or video blogging)
I’ve never been too comfortable with the term vlog (video blog). I understand what it is but it just feels a bit clunky and weird. I mean, I get why Jedward are called Jedward and why Brangelina had their combined name but vlog just feels wrong. Sorry I digress.
If you do video blogging on a regular basis then you’ll be familiar with putting yourself on camera and giving your thoughts to world on whatever your chosen subject matter is. This is your opportunity to let the world know what you think, position yourself as a thought leader and generally put your views out there. However many people will film this themselves in a selfie style on their phone. What then tends to happen is that the angle isn’t quite right (usually shooting from below to get a more flattering angle) and you get a great view of the subject’s nostrils. Then if they move, they are slightly out of shot and the framing looks weird and you have to contend with all manner of background noise. The result? It doesn’t really matter what’s being said because the viewer is concentrating on all these irritating little nuances that are jumping out at them. So, the message is lost, the footage looks amateurish and the moment is gone. From a brand perspective do you really want your business to be portrayed like this? Does it convey professionalism, quality and authority? Probably not.
This is where a video production company can really make a difference. It will be lit correctly, framed right with the camera tracking and following any movement, the audio will be spot on and overall your brand will be represented in a polished and professional way plus the viewer doesn’t see what’s up your nose. Just what you want to convey, right? With the right planning, a day of filming could also create at least six month’s worth of video blogging content (dependent on how often you distribute it) so you’re ready to send videos out straight away.
This can be a tricky one because it cuts across seizing the moment and video blogging. Sometimes going live is all about the moment and capturing what’s happening there and then. This is obviously geared up for mobile filming as we’ve discussed above but if you are planning ahead for something to go out live then a video production company will make sure your live broadcast has a much more professional feel to it – of course the content might have something to do with it, live TV can always throw up the unexpected.
It’s definitely worth thinking about your live broadcasts and whether they can be planned in advance so that you can use a video production company to create that slicker feel.
It doesn’t matter what Apple tell you about their latest iPhone or if you have learnt about producing video with a DSLR camera, really think about whether your skills or your equipment is really at the standard that you require to make a promotional video for your business. I’m not saying that it can’t be done but if you’re ‘having a dabble’ just consider this – ‘will I present my business or represent my brand in the best possible way if I make this video myself?’.
This is a bit like when people used to go into Word Art on Microsoft Word and create their own leaflets and marketing materials. Just because the tools were available to create a leaflet – in a Word document – doesn’t mean that it would look any good. In fact it often meant that all brand style and consistency went out the window. Don’t fall into this trap with a corporate video just because your phone is the latest model or your DSLR has amazing video capabilities. It still needs that expert’s hand or eye to turn what you have into a professional looking piece of work. And don’t get me started on the principle of brand consistency in this case.
A video production company will be the best option if you’re looking at producing a corporate video that truly represents your business and you want a marketing asset to convey the high quality that your business is. A video like this will be your advert to the world, your representation to website visitors, on social media and more. Don’t cut corners on this.
There are plenty of other video moments that I could look at that involve the choice of doing it yourself versus using a video production company but this hopefully highlights some of the most popular. The principle here isn’t just for producing video, it really applies to almost anything. I believe that how you want your brand to be represented should impact on what you choose to do, not just the cost. Obviously if you don’t have the budget then that can’t be helped but you should look at what value do you place on how your brand appears and is represented in the marketplace. It’s not whether you can afford something but can you afford for your brand to look sub-standard or below par? This applies to a video, website, leaflet, logo or anything else for that matter.
Think about all of these points of view before you go ahead and create anything and decide what really matters to you and your business.
Blog writer: Adam Snelleksz is the marketing director of CMA Video and has worked in marketing for over 20 years. He has worked in video production in Birmingham for five years with CMA Video and has been using video for marketing for nearly 10 years. He also set up the video TV channel Blues TV, the official online channel of Birmingham City Football Club. Some of the projects that Adam has used promotional videos for include the Birmingham Half Marathon, the European Gymnastics Championships and the World BMX Championships.
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