With the growing importance of video we believe it’s essential to take a closer look at what goes into a well-made, effective marketing video. Thanks to our creative video marketing team, fronted by Ali Faghfouri, SEO TWIST’s Multimedia Manager, video has been a source of widespread exposure and leads not just for our company, but for our clients who invest in this medium.
We sat down with Ali, and dug a little deeper into the evolution of a video from start to finish…
- What’s the first step in your creative process?
The first step is always to brainstorm and narrow down all ideas into one concept. Then I match the video style to that concept. For example, if it’s a corporate video, I consider using natural color grading and cooler tones. Depending on the objective, desired vibe and ambiance, I’ll vary the camera shots–long versus short, a dolly zoom versus a Dutch tilt, aerial versus arc shots, etc. Although it looks simple, video really is an art, and I love creating something cinematic from a scene that appears unassuming and mundane. Finally, I also give consideration to an appropriate voiceover–the voice used in the video has to match the overall tone.
- How do you get “in the zone” as it relates to coming up with a video concept?
I usually start with a strong cup of dark roast coffee, plug in my headset, tune out everything around me and just go! I draw inspiration from certain styles and filmmakers such as Director X, Colin Tilley, Tarantino, even BuzzFeed – my vision is largely influenced by the style of the video, the client, their industry and target audience, and many other factors. Sometimes I’ll also just browse Vimeo and YouTube for creative inspiration.
- How do you get your ideas organized? Is there an order to the way your concepts are communicated?
Well, there’s both chaos and order, often at the same time. Being a cinematographer and graphic designer my minds tends to work a little differently. I like to be organized and follow a procedure, but not so much so that it stumps my creativity.
- Do you envision the entire video before you finish it, or does it evolve as you go along?
I always have a big picture vision of a video concept, which ties into the video marketing strategy. But then, what happens is that we’re out on a shoot, and things tend to be more fluid and impromptu than planned – and this is actually a great thing. In fact, this scenario most often leads to the best videos. With scripts, the best ones asre those that are not followed too closely. Improvised lines and unrehearsed banter always comes off more natural on camera.
- What do you do when you get stuck?
Well, in the entire video production process there are quite a few places where you can get “stuck”. When shooting with actors it’s sometime challenging for them to nail the delivery of their lines. Or when shooting in a public space there are many possible unforeseen distractions that we have to deal with, or work around. Really, it’s all part of the process. The best general answer for this question is one simple word – IMPROVISE.
- What do you do to ensure that you and the client are on the same page regarding video expectations?
This is actually a great question. First of all, the ideas and the expectations have to be really well-defined from the start of the project. At SEO TWIST we have a pretty organized process that we follow, which starts with our clients completing a detailed questionnaire. The feedback and answers they provide define the scope and objectives of the video. Once these things are clear, and on paper, the client has ample opportunity for input and tweaking of concepts. There’s definitely a collaborative creative process that involves plenty of back and forth, until we arrive at an understanding and expectation of the final product.
- Are there ways that you help shy clients to be more natural or comfortable being in front of the camera?
I think I’m pretty easy going and I try my best to make clients comfortable with light-hearted conversation– humour is also a great place to start. That being said, I have worked with people who are simply not comfortable on video – which is understandable – but that does affect the end product. It’s easy to see when someone’s camera shy; and thankfully, they almost always see for themselves. In these cases, we’ll suggest using professional talent or another person from the company. There’s almost always a consensus on this.
- Which video that you’ve shot for SEO TWIST are you most proud of and why?
Hands down I’m most proud of the recent marketing video that we shot for an adventure tourism outfitter in western Newfoundland called Marble Zip Tours. The wanted a high impact video that captures the emotion of the experience. We used a combination of aerial footage, shot with drones, and then, with cameras mounted on our crew, we zipped 300 feet above a river gorge. A lot of very expensive equipment was suspended high above massive piles of rock and raging water and shooting without having our feet secured to the ground while flying across the sky was an exhilarating experience. It’s been less than a month and this video has been shared and liked hundreds of times across social media platforms. Not to mention it has reached more than ten thousand people. Needless to say, the client is happy–we delivered.
- When is a marketing video “tough” to make, whether it has to do with the concept, overall theme, shooting, or editing?
In our experience, the toughest videos are the client projects that involve multiple resources trying to communicate conflicting concepts or objectives. Same goes for scenarios where clients try to include too much information into one video. Nowadays, our attention spans are short and videos that exceed two the three minutes are rarely watched to completion – the effect is lost. In terms of editing, it’s also challenging when clients request additional changes once the video is completed. The thing with video production is that the smallest change can mean countless hours of re-editing, re-syncing audio, color grading, combing through alternate clips and then re-rending. Although client satisfaction is always our number one mandate, a lack of understanding of the complexity of the video production process can create challenges.
- What are the next steps for a successful video marketing campaign?
Once the video is complete we work with our in-house team of SEO experts to gear up and show the world the finished product!
A strategy that works well is to position the marketing video front and center on the website’s home page. You can check out our own website and that of our client Gerami Law, for examples. Video adds dynamism that will better engage visitors. Regardless of where on the website the video is positioned, we optimize said page so that it ranks, ensuring that traffic is being generated to the video.
With some clients, we engage in Pay-Per-Click campaigns (Google and Facebook) to significantly increase the video’s reach, garnering views that it wouldn’t have otherwise. Then, in terms of posting the videos on video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, writing a clear description and attention-grabbing title is important. Using relevant tags and categories will also help potential customers find your video better.
If the video is going to be used in a paid ad, such as those that play before a selected YouTube video starts, we advise that video doesn’t go past 30 seconds, since people rarely watch beyond that.
Upon viewing the finished product a video marketing campaign may appear simple and straightforward, however, there are many technical elements that must be considered for its success. Using a full-service digital marketing agency that focuses on both high quality, professional videos AND search engine optimization and search engine marketing, vastly improves the chance that you’ll end up with both a rockin’ video that people will actually find and watch!
SEO TWIST is a national leader in digital marketing. We are an award-winning, results-driven, Google Partner Agency helping businesses in North America Grow with Digital Strategies. Our services include website design and development, search engine optimization, search, content, social media and video marketing, and much more! www.SEOTWIST.com / www.Facebook.com/SEOTWIST / www.Twitter.com/SEOTWIST / https://www.linkedin.com/company/seo-twist