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.
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.

Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But building trust should be a goal on its own. The whole concept of content marketing is based on trust and creating long-term relationships. Stop selling and let the people come to you by providing them interesting and useful information. I couldn’t have said it better than Mark Schaefer, the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:
Social sharing is one of the simplest forms of earned distribution. It often happens organically, but you can encourage social shares by getting the ball rolling. Set up a schedule to post your video content from your corporate and personal accounts on every social channel you’re active on. Send a private message to friends and family to do the same. If you know anyone in a related field or industry, make sure they share your content, too! Though it’s not the best method, you can even incentivize shares by creating a contest or giveaway through an app like Rafflecopter.
Just as important as your visual effects are your audio effects. Sound mixing, dialogue, narration, and music all come together to create the audio that’s heard when your video is watched. Even just adding a layer of ambient sound over a quiet scene can make the difference between what feels like a high-quality video and a low-quality one. Make sure a professional handles your audio mixing, so you have the perfect sound levels, foley effects, dialogue volume, and more.
Tripods range tremendously in price, and the quality of your tripod should depend on the level of camera and lens you have. If you're shooting with your phone, you can get by with a table mount like the Arkon Tripod Mount or a full-size tripod like the Acuvar 50” Aluminum Tripod. For a DSLR, Manfrotto makes a variety of trustworthy tripods starting with the Manfrotto BeFree and increasing in quality and price from there.
In fact, the biggest challenges of video marketing in 2017 are strategic: How to build a solid and effective video marketing strategy, how to create content that people want to consume, and how to create engaging videos that get shared. Additionally, video content marketers need to have a solid understanding of metrics, and how they indicate a video’s success and areas for improvement.
The right lighting can make the difference between a beautiful, high-quality production and a shoddy, low-budget production. Lighting sets mood, lighting sets tone, lighting sets the entire look and feel of your production, so pay close attention to it. Again, you should have a professional handle this for you, but don’t forget to check your shots and approve the look and feel.
An analytics platform will give you the best overall picture of your important data and where it comes from. The good thing about these platforms are how they’re able to tie all your marketing efforts together — your advertising, your social posts, your referral sources, even audience demographics and more. These simplify tracking efforts and put all your data conveniently in one place. There are tons of analytics tools, but here are our favorites.
The popularity of video also means that more content at the top of the funnel has to be in video format. In B2C it’s almost obvious. But B2B-people are people, too. Video content is more likely to keep the audience in the comfort zone, and they will not engage in system 2 thinking. System 1 autopilot mental state should lead to less critical thinking, less friction, and more conversions.
Sound: Yes, often viewers are watching video ads on silent, mainly on Facebook. But when they’re not, what a world of difference a good track adds to your video. A great tip from the Promo sound editor was, to conder sound an enhancement to every video. A recent study found that when the music in an advertisement fits the message and imagery of the commercial, consumers were significantly more emotionally affected and remembered it longer. Now, this means you can choose music that plays to the tone of the video, or for a bit of humor, take your sound in the opposite direction. This contrast can be video magic and certainly something to make sure you’re remembered.
Try to keep social content videos under 30 seconds. Pay attention to aspects unique to social media, like muted autoplay and video looping; you can actually use these tools to your advantage by playing with silent audio and creating seemingly endless loops. Also take advantage of highlighting positive customer feedback in your social videos — this increases your credibility and spreads positive word of mouth.
Tripods range tremendously in price, and the quality of your tripod should depend on the level of camera and lens you have. If you're shooting with your phone, you can get by with a table mount like the Arkon Tripod Mount or a full-size tripod like the Acuvar 50” Aluminum Tripod. For a DSLR, Manfrotto makes a variety of trustworthy tripods starting with the Manfrotto BeFree and increasing in quality and price from there.
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.
The inbound methodology is the marketing and sales approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful. Each video you create should acknowledge your audience's challenges and provide a solution. Looking at the big picture, this content guides consumers through the journey of becoming aware of, evaluating, and purchasing your product or service.
The other thing that will set the mood for your entire production? Physical styling, including makeup, wardrobe, props, and set decorations. Whether you go big or go small, these things will communicate the bulk of your story. You should iron these out in the creative planning stages, though the specific details and purchases can come later. But how your video looks can deeply affect its success, so make sure your stylistic choices match the story you’re telling and your ultimate marketing goals.
If you have lots of connections on LinkedIn and you're not really posting on there, start immediately. You can reach a large audience, especially when your posts go viral. This is a great place to convey the entrepreneurial journey. Talk about your challenges and tell stories. The more effective your stories, the larger your potential reach when you go viral.
Test and listen. Think you can record the perfect voice over in just one take? Think again! Invest in a good pair of headphones and keep an eye on your audio quality throughout the recording process. It's easier to get a new take of audio than trying to fix it during the editing process. We recommend running through your script a few times, especially the first few paragraphs, to ensure that your voice is fully warmed up. If you hear popping or hissing sounds, try standing further away from the mic or invest in a pop filter.
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