As the sole video marketing guy at Bluleadz, there’s been a lot I’ve learned in my 4 years in agency life; both within my own video craft and as an inbound marketer.
In addition to new video techniques and the ins and outs of HubSpot, I’ve really learned the importance of organization; easy steps that all creators—not just video and media folks—can take to deliver great products on time and on budget.
These steps can be as simple as carrying extra equipment and as in-depth as creating a 10-page strategy doc for a single-day shoot.
In this blog, I provide insight into some of those organizational tips; while most pertain to video content and video marketing, there are probably more than a few nuggets of helpful information you can use in other aspects of your marketing efforts.
Create Standard Production Setups and Styles
For video marketers looking to streamline in-house productions, one great practice I recommend is deciding on—and marking or recording—a standard production configuration.
By that, I mean having a set, optimal location to place equipment for different kinds of shoots (whether you move the equipment or keep it in location). This includes:
- Lighting equipment
- Camera/tripod placement
- Standing microphone(s)
- Any backdrops or paper board used in your sets
For example, when shooting videos around Bluleadz HQ, I frequently have to move our equipment around for new locations and shots.
To keep track of proper equipment placement with our main backdrop setting, I find solutions in simplicity—that is, setting down small strips of painter's tape where equipment legs, camera positions and even on-screen talent are located in my ideal video shoot.
No, You Haven’t Backed Up Your Files Enough
This is one I'm guilty of, and have certainly faced the music over. Don't edit videos from your memory cards and call it a day. Don't even settle for just copying them locally onto your computer and editing from there.
Instead, once you have the files on your computer and off the card, also store them in the online file hosting service of your choice and an external hard drive. Seriously. It's not worth it; just take the extra time—and pay for online file hosting if you must, given the large file sizes videos may have—to properly secure your hard work, and more importantly, your clients' assets.
Keeping an external hard drive or three around as dump drives isn't a bad idea, either. In the unfortunate case you accidentally delete critical files, or spill coffee all over your computer (told you I was guilty...), those assets will be backed up.
If the time comes and you do need to clear some files off your computer, back those up, as well. You can be sure a client will reach out sometime in the future for assets you removed locally from your computer way down the line.
Get It On Paper: Strategy and Planning Docs
As we've stated before, a little planning goes a long way in any marketing initiative; this is something that's especially true for video marketing. When you're planning your next video shoot, be sure to create:
- A script or script outline; in the case of testimonials, a simple list of Q & A topics is a great format to record natural performances from people that may be uncomfortable with being on camera, but still have something valuable to say
- A shot sheet or shot list; itemized list of all critical shots for a given video shoot
- A schedule; one that's both realistic and allows for flexibility between segments for pick-up (extra) shots made after the initial recording
- A storyboard; a visual, consecutive imagining of the flow of your video, including illustrated (see: "doodled") representations of different shots, angles and additional information
Once you have a thorough strategy and itemized plan in place, stick to it. When you get to your shoot location, or even begin shooting a new video in your own facilities, it's highly likely that you'll notice some great extra shots you could capture, or additional topics you could discuss in an interview.
However, unless the additional shots are absolute must-haves or are time-sensitive, or the interview/voiceover/audio beckons for improvisation, try keeping those instances to a minimum until the end of that portion of the shoot. Save the extra topics you think of mid-shoot until you run through your priority items a.k.a. the one's you've listed down in your plan.
It's great to allot time for valuable extra footage after a shoot, or after a portion of the shoot, but in many cases, it's not worth potentially missing out on what you initially set out to record. This way, in the scenario that you don't have extra time, you'll have at least captured everything you planned. At best, you can use extra time to grab that sweet shot of additional B-roll, or have your on-screen talent expand on additional topics.
Cross-Team Collaboration is Key
At the end of the day, sharing ideas and gaining video marketing insights from your fellow team members—and even from your clients—is one of the most valuable things you can do to create the perfect video project.
Brainstorming with other video producers, marketers in other industries and clients with unique audiences can help you master your craft and explore new techniques and approaches. If you think you're the creator with all the great ideas, then you're wrong, and that's a guarantee.
For example, the team of marketers, designers and specialists that I work with quite often come up with new ideas, or edits to current video projects, that I would have never conceived of.
The best part is, a lot of the time, they're great freaking ideas, and take my projects from "Yeah, it's not bad" to "Wow."