To get PR video production and marketing results – media attention, views, awareness, action, shares, and ultimately sales – your team has to first answer these 8, super heroic questions.
I know that for many public relations Executives and communications teams launching a new PR video production and marketing campaign, the inclination is to bang out a video for your company or client that either covers the bare minimum requirements – like a video press release – or swings the other way and tries to be a promo, an announcement, an ad, explain everything about the brand, products, services, CSR, all loaded down with CTAs – oh, and go viral too.
Check the box – go home – enjoy your weekend.
But that’s not the way to get results.
1. Who Really Needs To See Your Video and WHY?
This matters most when the bottom line people come calling. Did the right people see the video and take the right actions?
Who is your ideal audience, your consumer? The people who will pay money or be moved do something. Who are the people who will buy your product or service, or become aware of your brand, products, services as a result of seeing this video?
This is the group we’re trying to reach and motivate to buy or take action. How old are they? What are their buying habits? Do they need what you’re selling and if not, how do we convince them that they do? What other products do they like? What websites do they visit? Who are their friends and influencers?
This is the group that influences your target audience! I may not need your new hybrid car that runs 6,000 miles on a tank of gas, turns different colors like a chameleon and makes a perfect grilled cheese sandwich in the glove box, but my friend Bob would LOVE that. I’m going to send him your video.
Why do you want them to see the video? What actions do you want them to take.
Few people are going to watch, comment, like, share and make purchase or show up. They’ll do some of them, but not all of them.
2. How Many Videos Should You Produce?
This is a big one I’ve been pushing for awhile.
PR video production doesn’t always have to mean one video.
Consider segmenting your call to actions (CTAs) into more than one video. You may be focusing on multiple aspects of your clients’ products or services, or you may be calling attention to more than one product.
In the case of startups, you may need to make videos that are attention grabbing, cover the value of the startup, the founders, what products and services they offer, why people should care AND the new event or promo coming up.
Consider breaking multiple angles into several videos, and linking them them together, Netflix style.
Also consider creating enough video content to use on multiple platforms, for pitches, social media, advertising…
3. How Will Your Video(s) Be Distributed?
Before you start a new PR video production and marketing campaign, figure this out.
Without a solid PR video distribution strategy, your video will be seen by exactly 474 people, according to statistics I just made up in my head based on the average number of employees at the average agency and their client’s office, plus some friends, family and coworkers who bother to click.
WITH a solid distribution strategy your PR video, promo, launch event, stunt, will be seen by the right people – lots of them.
Your distribution strategy can, in part, determine the creative approach you take with your video. If you’re relying on something to go viral, you need both unexpected and memorable creative, combined with a video seeding strategy across blogs, publications, influencers and paid media buys.
The idea here is that you need to pay for initial attention, then let the video catch on and be shared for free, thus reducing your initial spend, on a cost per view basis.
Website And Social Media Channels Only
You may choose to embed the video on your website and post on YouTube Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and make shorter versions for Instagram and Vine.
This tactic is most effective when you have an existing audience, a good sized social media following, a large email list or significant brand awareness.
Otherwise, it’s a must add-on to the other distribution tactics listed.
Paid Video Ads:
Paid ads can appear anywhere from social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to video sites like Hulu, to iHeartRadio, in apps, and on your target audience’s favorite websites.
Paid ads don’t necessarily require the same “stickiness” or shareability as viral videos, but it helps, a lot. Think of how well Super Bowl ads do each year since they invented the interwebs. Mostly, that’s because they’re not only ads, but they’re funny, charming, or emotionally shareable as well.
Typically you can require that viewers watch the entire video to proceed to the content they really want, kind of like TV ads before DVRs were invented.
You can also allow viewers to tap out and skip after the first several seconds. A lot of this depends on how confident you are in your video and how long you believe viewers will wait for it.
Don’t be the guy or girl that makes people watch a :30 beer promo before viewers can see that 7-second highlight reel from last night’s game.
The comments won’t be good.
Native Video Ads:
OK, these are still paid ads, but videos that are designed to look like they’re part of a non-paid article pr feature on a blog or publication. The writer of the article or the publication running the video is being compensated, but the video topic is so consistent with the other content on the site that it appears natural, organic… native to that publication.
Videos can be inserted into mobile, PC and console games as incentives for players to get coins, extra lives and level up if they watch all the way through. Bonus points of they share!
Digital PR / Blog and Publication Outreach:
As a PR expert, you’re likely up on this one, but it involves encouraging bloggers, writers and journalists to write about your video and share their opinions, and your video, with their readers.
Identify which blogs and publications are visited most frequently by your target audience. Identify which writers are most likely to be interested in doing a story on your product or service.
Pitch them via email or social media channels. get on their radar. But don’t be a pest, and don’t assume that just because they didn’t pick up your story it’s because they didn’t like you.
Keep in mind that writers are interested in topics that will entertain, inform or educate their readers. They may have just done a similar topic, or they just don;t think you’re a good fit.
A lot of it has to do with timing too.
I’ve seen video pitches published the same week and even the same day if the timing, target and content are a quick fit.
Influencers are people and celebrities with significant and/or targeted social media / online following across YouTube, Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, Instagram…
If they like you, your video and the brand you represent, they can share your video with their audience and accelerate the rate at which your video blows up, gets shared and stuff gets bought.
4. What Style Should Your Video Be – to Match Your Company or Client’s Brand Voice?
Styles can be broken into different segments:
Should the video be funny, serious, heartfelt, appealing, urgent, scary?
What will the video look and feel like?
High production value, 4K – great lighting and polish?
Natural – looks like it was shot on an iPhone?
Be original, take chances, grab attention, be edgy of possible, create controversy if applicable.
Should the video be live action, with real actors and sets, interviews, scenes from a live event?
Animation / Motion Graphics / Explainer / CGI
Should the video a 2d or 3d animation, a cartoon with moving characters, motion graphics, sound effects, voiceovers, or simply motion text and graphics, stock video?
Stock video / photography
With the right creative approach, stock footage can be incorporated into some pretty cool video content. Combine stock footage with
You can also mix live action, animation, voiceovers, graphics, stock and music to create some pretty spectacular results.
Some of these decisions can be based on budget, and some are simply based on choice and use.
5. What Makes Your Videos Worth Watching and Sharing!
It’s easy to fall in love with your own products and services and assume everyone in the world cares too. They may need your stuff, and buy your stuff, but that doesn’t mean they’re always fascinated enough to watch videos about your stuff.
I’ve seen to many PR video ideas / concepts start off as something amazing and get watered down as it moves through the management ranks, client revisions and hand-wringers worried that they’ll offend this or that segment of their demo if they get too crazy, funny or emotional.
Crazy, funny and emotional work.
Don’t let them make you produce a video that’s a pale reflection of what it started off as.
6. What Are The Key Points You Need To Make?
That said, don’t get too lost in the creative, fun part of the video production. Writing something funny and entertaining is easy. Just ask Fallon, Kimmel and Conan. They’re selling themselves, ad space and comedy for the sake of comedy. You’re selling a product or service, so you have to make that clear, in a cleverly disguised, yet transparent way. Do those sound like plat opposites? They’re not.
Viewers don’t like to be tricked. They like to be entertained and educated and even if they know you’re hocking something, that’s okay – as long as they know that you know they know.
ASK – what problem does your product or service solve? How are you making people’s lives better or easier? Why should they care? Assuming you’ve captured their interest with your creative style, what do you need them to know about you? How are you different and better than any competition out there?
What exactly are you offering?
Make it clear! Otherwise they’ll walk away having enjoyed your video, but may not make the connection between what they saw and what you’re selling.
Make a clear connection between what they’re seeing and what you’re selling.
7. What Is The Call To Action?
Every PR video production and marketing campaign has to have clear CTAs before you even begin the creative process.
After your ideal customer watches the video(s), what do you want them to do? Go straight to your website and buy? Go to a retailer? Share with a friend? Enter a contest? The average viewer is likely to do no more than one of these things… maybe two.
You can also repurpose your video with varied calls to action, for example, a :15 YouTube pre-roll could direct viewers to your website while an expandable video banner ad on a premium website could push them to a retailer.
You can use the same assets from one video to create several videos without changing the creative content and messaging.
At the very least, you can include a call to action in the real estate that surrounds your video, like the video description, or in the case of banners, the graphics and links.
8. What Is Your Budget?
SHORT ANSWER: $5,000 – $100,000
My creative / production / marketing agency Supercool Creative is constantly asked how much a video costs and our answer is typically – “that all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.”
My advice has consistently been to split your budget between producing the video and marketing the video.
The easiest way for you, as a PR exec is to determine one of two things:
- We have $X budget and here are our goals. How can we best accomplish this with video?
- Here is our creative vision and here are our goals. What will this cost? Please give us a quote.
1. Whichever audience, distribution channels, style, key points or calls to action you’re including, before you jump into your PR video production and marketing, make sure the creative is memorable, engaging and shareable! Don’t back down on that.
2. Test various distribution channels and don’t blow your video seeding / marketing budget all in one place.
3. Also, one video can be cut into multiple videos for multiple purposes, so where possible, prepare for that on the front end and you’ll save a bunch on concept development, production, post production and video marketing since you’ll know what you’re getting into ahead of time.
One 2:00 video can be cut down to a :60, :30, :15 and even shorter version for use on every platform out there for very little extra spend. Take advantage of that.
4. Establish your PR video production and marketing strategy up front.
5. Make your videos worth watching and sharing!
6. Work with a professional creative / PR video production / marketing agency to either take over these responsibilities, or as a consultant to guide you through, save a lot of headaches and get results.
Need help or consultation for an upcoming PR video production? Contact Supercool Creative Agency!