Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
As practice, try telling a story with your b-roll and planning out a shot sequence. For example, your subject might open a door from the hallway, walk into their office space, sit down at their desk, open their laptop, and begin typing. Seems simple, right? But a shot sequence showing this 10-second scenario might consist of six or more different b-roll clips.
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.

Paid distribution is super important as well, but how much you can do will likely be limited by your cash resources. You’ll want to think more strategically about where your highest-converting audience is and dedicate most of your budget there. And because there are so many different forms of paid advertising even within one single channel (Facebook has 11 different types of advertisements alone), you want to test every channel and every type of distribution method. Until you know which will give you the highest return, hold back on spending your entire distribution budget.
With an agency, you shouldn’t worry too much about these details. At Lemonlight, we schedule a creative call to review your ideas and give you feedback based on what we’ve seen work. We also provide new concepts and any direction you might need. But agreeing on a creative direction is crucial — your creative will be what communicates your branding and what will dictate how memorable your brand video is.
Tone: Are you serious or sarcastic? A great approach to define your tone is to use the "We are ____, but we are not ____" exercise. In this framework, develop three bullets to help you understand the tone of the video content you're going to produce. For example, "We are humorous, but we are not over-the-top." These tone bullets are meant to guide you toward consistency.
As you’re planning your entire production, from creative ideation to actual video distribution, you should have a timeline to stick to. You should actually have multiple — overall timeline, production timeline, distribution timeline, and more. Your timeline serves as your guiding light, keeping you aware of how much you’ve done and what’s left to do.
It is estimated that 92% of people who consume mobile videos share them with other people. This is a massive portion and is higher than the share rate of many other types of content out there. Simply Measured discovered that video is shared 1,200% more than both links and text combined. Also, 60% of viewers will engage in a video post before a text post, according to Diode Digital. Because of this, video content is a powerful tool for any brand that wants to expand its reach online or enjoy wider audiences.
You can work with bloggers or influencers to create and promote videos. Rather than dealing with making the videos yourself, or paying someone else and then having to find a way to promote them, why not work with someone who can make and promote your videos? Vloggers with a large and relevant audience will be happy to work with you on a partnership. By integrating your product or service into their current video format, there should be little extra work for them to complete.
Tone: Are you serious or sarcastic? A great approach to define your tone is to use the "We are ____, but we are not ____" exercise. In this framework, develop three bullets to help you understand the tone of the video content you're going to produce. For example, "We are humorous, but we are not over-the-top." These tone bullets are meant to guide you toward consistency.
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.
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.
“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.”
Before launching any marketing campaign, it's important to determine your primary video goal. This could be to increase brand awareness, engagement, or even conversions for a free trial. It's crucial to pick out just one or two goals for each video. When you define more than that, your video will seem unfocused, making it difficult for viewers to determine what they should do next.
A note about shooting with two cameras: Your editor will need to sync the footage between the different views. To help them do this, clap your hands loudly in the view of both cameras right before you ask the first interview question … yes, just like an old fashion clapboard. Modern editing software has auto-sync features, but this loud clap will help you initially line up the clips.
As you’re planning your entire production, from creative ideation to actual video distribution, you should have a timeline to stick to. You should actually have multiple — overall timeline, production timeline, distribution timeline, and more. Your timeline serves as your guiding light, keeping you aware of how much you’ve done and what’s left to do.
When Instagram first introduced video in 2013, more than 5 million videos were shared within the first 24 hours. We’re seeing a similar trend with Instagram Stories as marketers look to find what works on the new medium. What we do know is that the introduction of this new feature has opened up tons of new video marketing opportunities on Instagram.

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.
You can also re-edit your video footage. If your view-through rates are low, your viewers are losing interest quickly. Try creating a shorter cut of your video that’ll be more engaging to your audience. Maybe try adding graphics to spice up the content. Although you don’t want to entirely replace your original video, creating different versions of it may bring you better results.
Video and mobile go hand in hand. 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. From Q3 of 2013, mobile video views have grown more than 233 percent. YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the number of smartphone users is growing, your video audience keeps getting bigger and bigger.
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.
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.
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.
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