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.

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.”
Search algorithms are increasingly prioritizing web pages with video and videos now appear in 55 percent of Google keyword searches. Besides helping your website rank on relevant searches, videos also make your snippet (or the actual result listing content) bigger and more eye-catching, meaning searchers will likely see it before they see other results on the page.
Customer testimonials are usually between 30 seconds and two minutes long and can focus on one happy customer or numerous. These videos are highly versatile, meaning you can publish them almost anywhere. You’ll just want to make sure whoever you film is wholly authentic — a forced or fake-feeling testimonial could be more detrimental to your brand, so take some time to find the perfect person.

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.
Instead, place a laptop below the eye-line of the camera. Break the script into short paragraphs and record it section by section until you capture a great take of each. If you plan in advance when the final video will show b-roll (supplementary footage or screenshots), you can have your talent read those lines directly off the laptop like a voice over.
It’s time to nurture your prospective leads! If your audience has made it this far down the marketing funnel, your marketing efforts are paying off. Nurturing is one of the harder stages, but luckily, it’s quick and easy to measure. If you’ve done a successful job nurturing, you’ll see it in conversions. What those conversions are are up to you — you might want sales, social shares, contact information, you name it. But the completing of a desired action means your video is accomplishing exactly what you want it to.
What type of lead magnet should you build? That could either be an ebook, a cheat sheet, a checklist, a video and others. Of course, it's not just about the lead magnet. You have to have a squeeze page with sizzling sales copy to get people to drop into your funnel. But it all starts with a great lead magnet. The better it is, the more effective you'll be at reaching your audience.
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