I’m at the cliff’s edge on Hawk Hill — that iconic view looking down on the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background — about to roll a take of a music artist singing the chorus to his new song. The camera is ready, the talent is ready, it’s cold out, and we are ready to get the shot and move on when a state park ranger approaches. He didn’t approach to say that we had to leave, but to simply tell me that his nephew just got a camera and wants to makes movies, too. Then he asked if he could get a picture with me and the artist.
Everyone wants to be involved in making movies. And why not? It’s fun! Marketers, you can even use this to your advantage. The more people grabbing photos and videos, whether behind the scenes of a project or collaborating on an actual marketing program, the more assets you and your team have to work with — both in the short and the long run. At Sterling, we lovingly term this opportunity as “atomization.”
When clients task us to produce a video, they initially think that all they are getting is a video. False — they get so much more than that!
Let me explain.
The general plan for a corporate video is to post to YouTube or Vimeo, then embed on the company website. If you have a lot of traffic already going to your website or YouTube page, this plan may be sufficient. But say you want to reach a wider audience, what do you do?
There are multiple channels that video can live on, and each channel has its own audience. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine — the list goes on. Whether you’re making a corporate video, a Vine, or a commercial, you can use the same video assets captured for a single project and tailor the final output a bit to best appeal to each channel.
The storytelling process naturally creates multimedia assets during every step of the process. At the preproduction stage, you are creating mood boards, collecting examples of pre-existing work, sketching thumbnails, and sending out casting calls. Snap a photo of your mood board and send it out in a tweet. Use Pinterest to keep your inspiration in one centralized place while making it accessible to your team and others that may be interested. When you send out a casting call, don’t just use a casting platform, use a social one as well. Even if your friends on Facebook aren’t professional actors and actresses, making them aware of your project could lead to getting help in areas you didn’t know you needed.
Besides behind-the-scenes footage and photos, you can even repurpose the actual footage taken for a corporate video and make a sneak peek for your company’s social media channels. One client got two videos out of footage we captured for a video case study, because we recognized the opportunity to make the most of their assets.
Starting to get the idea?
Today, a video must be thought of as a mini-campaign, where fodder can be added to every social media channel – not just video-hosting sites.
What’s the point of making a movie if no one is going to see it? Generate a buzz with the photos you take (yes, using your iPhone or Android is ok!). Get people excited in what you are making, and even better, get them involved and let them evangelize your narrative.
Dale Carnegie said, “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” Now, make them a part of a movie, and they’ll share it with everybody. Today, marketing is so dependent on collaboration. Everyone wants to get involved and engage with brands. We say, let them!
Casting a wider net isn’t about simply showing people what you are up to, but getting them involved and making them a part of your project. Feed relevant channels with compelling media through all steps of the production process so that when it comes time to launch your video, there is already an audience that is ready to watch.
Wes Warfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @weswarfield.