Mini-documentaries Extended ArticleAnatomy of a Mini-Doc: What It Is and How to Knock It Out of the Park“Documentary” used to be a dirty word to the average viewer. Normally educational, often stodgy, and more than a little cheesy, documentaries were the… Read More are less about your brand’s visual aesthetics and focus more on expressing your company’s core value or mission statement in a documentary-style format. This is usually accomplished through interviews with key company representatives, like founders, employees, or satisfied customers.Client: RFK - School for the Visual Arts & Humanities (LAUSD) To make a big impression, it’s important your mini-doc keeps it short and sweet. You want to highlight excellent sound bites that tell viewers exactly who you are, all while maintaining their attention. While feature-length documentaries have enough time to develop a full, three-act story, mini-docs don’t. They have to establish their story by quickly answering three crucial questions: what, why, and how. What is the focus of this video? Why should the viewer care about this? How does your subject work? This helps you get key pieces of information to your audience in a fun and interesting way.
“With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing,” says my friend Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom. “And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.”

What does it take to do that? Simply put, you have to take a step back for a moment. You have to analyze and understand the basic mechanics of your message and how to effectively reach a larger audience without losing your shirt. The secret to all of this? No matter what marketing strategy you use, if you don't have an effective sales funnel and optimize your conversions, you'll just be throwing money away.


No matter your industry, target audience, or whether you're B2B or B2C, there is no doubt that today a large portion of your potential buyers are on social media. And well-planned, consistently-created video allows you to connect with that audience time and time again to drive awareness and enagagement more effectively than any other form of content.
You also want to use your data and insights to adjust your future video strategy. View-through rate should inform the length of your video, audience demographics should inform content, characters, and voice-over in your video, and most successful distribution channels should inform where to prioritize distribution efforts. Use this data to create a more detailed strategy next time around so you can set up any future marketing videos you create for success.

Determine whether it’s better to create the video content in-house or to hire an agency to handle it. It’s tempting to go the in-house route as it’s generally seen as the most cost effective, but that can be a mistake. As Sophia Bernazzani writes, “Videos are hard to make – and it shows. The internet is populated with far too many slideshows and photos set to music that are masquerading as videos.”
The benefits of a planned marketing strategy are numerous. Business owners often rely solely on their intuition to make business decisions. While this informal knowledge is important in the decision-making process, it may not provide you with all the facts you need to achieve marketing results. A marketing strategy will help you define business goals and develop activities to achieve them.
Depending on your industry and the type of video you create, your video could benefit from more traditional types of publicity, like a press release or publication on a trade website. Working with a PR agency could be beneficial, but you could also reach out directly to site administrators on niche sites related to your field, like health and wellness sites, fitness sites, major food websites, tech sites, and more. Ask to be featured in their newsletter or send them your press release with a link to your video directly — the more official your campaign, the better!
But while you're maintaining the fun level on set, remain vigilant. It's your job to pay attention to the little things, like making sure all of the mics are on or noticing if the lighting changes. Record each section many times and have your talent play with inflections. When you think they've nailed the shot … get just one more. At this point, your talent is already on a roll, and options will help tremendously during editing.
Just like organic posts, paid social media posts can spread your content far. Paid posts, however, allow you to target the exact type of person you want watching your ads. Organic posting is only shown to your immediate fans, but with paid advertising, your content can target all sorts of demographics, locations, income levels, interests, and beyond —  ensuring only the people most likely to purchase from you actually see your ad.

There are endless platforms for video marketing. YouTube, broadcast television, video boards and street marketing, you name it. The possibilities are endless. With a smartphone, consumers can access online video anytime, anywhere. The same is not true with traditional, paper marketing. With video, you can reach your audience wherever they are in a cost-effective way.


Professional cameras, like DSLRs, give you fine control over the manual settings of shooting video and allow you to achieve the shallow depth of field (background out of focus) that people rave about. While they're primarily used for photography, DSLRs are incredibly small, work great in low light situations, and pair with a wide range of lenses — making them perfect for video. However, DSLRs do require some training (and additional purchases) of lenses.
With people freaking out all over the internet due to the recent Facebook changes, it’s become essential to move from organic content to campaigns. It sounds surprising perhaps but after doing an expansive research on the power of images VS videos in Facebook ads, the data shows that video has up to 4x the reach and 2.5x more clicks on each ad. Promo user, Kelley Payne of Big World Art shared that she, “decreased cost-per-click (CPC) from around $1 to $0.40 – $0.70.” Theresa Shepard, owner of Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods, echoed the financial gain when using video to run campaign by noting that video ads, “sparked a 50% increase in store visits during campaigns.”
Another good news is that your videos don’t have to be perfect. It’s the content that matters! Latest research shows that users are mostly put off by videos that don’t explain the product or service clearly enough. Low quality and poor design didn’t matter nearly as much. So it’s fair to say that video is like pizza – when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!
Bottom line, overall strategy and data should drive your video marketing strategy. First, plan a solid strategy to develop video(s) for each level of your sales funnel. Outline the content and goals of each individual video. Determine what metrics will best determine a video’s success. Then, test. Analyze. Tweak your videos (and their deployment), when necessary. Work to make them more effective. And whatever you do, do do video; in 2017 and beyond, it’s the cornerstone of your brand’s marketing efforts.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as the surgance of video continues to climb. As Influencer and Best-Selling Author Joel Comm points out, “Instead of designing a graphic ad that’s likely to be ignored, you can create a simple video ad that people will actually watch and might even share.” And at the end of the day, that’s the point, creating something that viewers want to watch and spread across the web.
Before you start filming, set a music budget and research your local copyright laws. Copyright law can be very difficult to decipher, especially when you're dealing with digital content. Bottom line: Most music isn't free. If you use another artist's music without permission or proper licensing, you risk video removal and legal action. In order to avoid copyright infringement, you'll need to find royalty free tunes or pay a composer to create an original score. Royalty free songs aren't free to use; they're quality songs available for a single flat fee. This means you don't have to worry about paying additional licensing fees or royalties in the future. YouTube, Pond5, and PremiumBeat are all great sites to find royalty free music.
The power of video simply cannot be denied. If users are spending 1 billion hours a day watching videos, the facts speak for themselves. With the right approach, taking all the right steps in order, video creation can be the making of a business. It costs nothing to make a video these days and business both small and big are putting up their own videos.
Social media has revolutionized the way online users communicate with each other, with short, concise statements trumping longer forms of content. Micro-video apps shorten videos to less than ten seconds, making them ideal for sharing on sites like Twitter and Instagram. In this format, customers can quickly view a message as they scroll through their social media feeds. Brands can quickly send a message that will be seen by a larger audience, especially on Vine and Facebook, where they automatically play as a user scrolls past.
Your first opportunity to delight comes directly after the purchase. Consider sending a thank you video to welcome them into the community or an on-boarding video to get them rolling with their new purchase. Then, build out a library of educational courses or product training videos to cater to consumers who prefer self-service or simply want to expand their expertise.
Sixty-five percent of business decision-makers visit a marketer’s website after viewing a branded video. It’s clear that quality and relevant video marketing content can dramatically improve your site’s SEO by driving people to your homepage. Additionally, video can enhance your conversion rates: HubSpot reports that 39% of business decision-makers contact a vendor after viewing a branded video.
The growth of video marketing is presenting a unique opportunity for brands like yours. As consumers continue to prefer video to other forms of content, they’re now expecting brands of every size and in every industry to connect with them using video. Platforms are increasingly prioritizing video content, and even new devices like phones and tablets are more video ready than ever before. That means you have to take full advantage of this amazing marketing tool to be competitive. The longer you wait, the more customers you’ll lose.

We know that consistent quality of content continues to be a very important ranking factor for Google, and producing consistent quality video content is another way of proving to the search engine that you're a committed expert on your chosen topics. Video content is a great way to build up authority and relevance over time. And it's been shown that the chances of getting a page 1 search listing on Google increase 50 times with video.
"Convert" videos may include a webinar filled with tactical advice, product demos sent via email, landing page promotional videos, case studies, or more in-depth explainer and how-to videos. For example, while an "attract" video might provide a quick tip for nailing a sales pitch, a "convert" video could be an animated explainer video that breaks down the inbound sales methodology.

We can't talk about video SEO without mentioning YouTube. After all, it's the second largest search engine in the world after Google, and somewhere your video content should definitely be ranking. Consistent videos on YouTube answering your target audience's questions can continue to rank and build up awareness for months and years to come. And because YouTube is owned by Google, a high ranking on YouTube also frequently correlates to a high ranking on Google.


You also want to use your data and insights to adjust your future video strategy. View-through rate should inform the length of your video, audience demographics should inform content, characters, and voice-over in your video, and most successful distribution channels should inform where to prioritize distribution efforts. Use this data to create a more detailed strategy next time around so you can set up any future marketing videos you create for success.

Talk to your existing customers. They are the ones who already know, like, and trust you enough to buy what you're selling. Their input could help you create content that attracts more of the similar audience. Literally set aside 30 minutes to call them and ask why they hired your product to solve a problem and what content they'd like to see you produce.

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