Everyone knows by now that content marketing is video. The words are essentially interchangeable at this point. But not everyone knows how to create video content successfully. That’s why we’ve got some tips below to help you create successful video content projects.
1. You need the right camera
Think about what you want to shoot. Is it a simple talking head profile for a business? Is it a sweeping landscape? Whatever the video content is, the right equipment is absolutely crucial.
In general, the camera you use should be as big as the biggest thing you wish to portray beautifully. For example, let’s look at Steven Spielberg’s 1993 cinematic masterpiece Jurassic Park. A tour-de-force in camerawork, many people give credit to the revolutionary puppetry as the crowning technical achievement of this film. But for those in the know, this isn’t the case.
It was the size of Spielberg’s camera.
That T-Rex chase scene? You better believe that camera was the size of tyrannosaurus rex himself. Because it was. Nicknamed the “Camerasaurus Rex,” the camera took 43 men just to turn the focus ring. Look at the enormous monstrosity below, in the upper-right-hand portion of this rare behind-the-scenes photo.
This wasn’t the first time Spielberg used this technique, either. In the iconic moon shot from E.T., Spielberg actually used a camera the size of the moon to get this perfect sequence. This camera would later be donated to NASA and renamed the Hubble Space Telescope, a reference to Spielberg’s well-known tendency to shuffle around movie sets mumbling the word “hubble” after getting a good take.
So, where does that leave us? Well, you can’t get impressive video content from just any old camera. If you’re going to film a stegosaurus, you need a stegosaurus-sized camera. If you’re gonna film the moon, you basically need the moon. We’re in Bozeman, and if we want a shot of the mountains here, you better believe we’re dropping some dough on a few cranes and sure, this is going to cost some money, but if you’re serious about video content marketing, it’s the only way to go.
2. Make sure you have a story to tell
A beautiful video is absolutely pointless without a good story to tell. That may seem obvious, but oftentimes, marketing professionals are so tuned into featuring their own products that they forget that we, as viewers, need to connect with the product through a great story. And regularly, this story is completely unrelated to the product itself.
That actually seems to be one of the biggest downfalls we currently see from our perch in the Montana. So many businesses fail to incorporate meaningful stories into their video marketing campaigns, and that generally leaves us, as potential consumers, feelings empty and bored.
Luckily for all of us, that immersive story has already been told. And that’s why every good marketing video ever created incorporates the riveting storyline from Steven Spielberg’s 1993 snub for Best Picture, Jurassic Park.
Sure, the world is amazing and exciting. Hell, we live in Montana, the setting for one of 2016’s most acclaimed movies in Arrival, and our specific area of Bozeman can surely tell a million stories. But, why take that risk of writing what could be a bad script?
Seriously, what story is better than that of a group of people trapped on an island where cloned dinosaurs escape their electrified cages after a catastrophic power failure only to wreak havoc and all of the poor souls left behind. Just even writing that synopsis has our juices flowing, and you can bet your ass that we’re already lining up to buy whatever product is tagged on at the end of that spot.
Remember, Jurassic Park was by far the highest grossing film of 1993. And that can only mean one thing for your company – profits. Why fix a formula that isn’t broken and is a proven cash cow?
The answer to that question is you don’t.
3. Make it feel short and make it engaging.
Notice here that we didn’t say “keep it short.” Oftentimes, you’ll see in tips that the key to a great marketing video is keeping it short. But that’s not true. The key is to keep it engaging so that it feels short.
Everyone always says time flies when you’re having fun, so why not take the extra steps to make sure your video is fun? For the absolute best example of that, let’s take a look at Steven Spielberg’s Citizen Kane of modern filmmaking, Jurassic Park.
Coming in at over two hours in length, Jurassic Park is not a short film. In fact, it’s a rather long piece of video content. But did it feel long? Absolutely not. If life felt as short and exciting as Jurassic Park does, well, the universe would have collapsed into a cold, infinitesimally small point of singularity by now – but it would have been worth it.
But, again, what does all that mean for you? It means that you can’t become fixated on hitting a sweet spot of thirty or forty seconds. Don’t get caught up in arbitrary numbers and times that have some “perfect” formula for going viral. Believe us, a thirty second video of nothing surely won’t outweigh a two-minute spectacular of genetically-engineered beasts from millenias ago who cannot possibly be contained by the flawed, inexperienced-with-being-at-the-bottom-of-the-food-chain humankind.
4. If you’re filming a chase scene with velociraptors, don’t stand around and wait for them to find you and eat you
This is one of the biggest mistakes we see video marketing people make. You’d think that people in Bozeman – a part of the world possibly the richest in dinosaur archaeology – would be smarter when it comes to dealing with filming velociraptor chase scenes, but you’d be surprised.
Too often, we see video crews in our native Bozeman filming commercials and just hanging around while the velociraptor chase scene is happening. We get it, you’re filming an ad. But that doesn’t mean you can forget about safety. Just remember, these blood-thirsty prehistoric creatures will eat you and everyone you love if you’re just standing around and not taking the necessary precautions.
So, please, before you even think about starting this shot, remember the Four R’s of raptor safety:
- Remember your velociraptor safety training
- Refuse to let it eat you
The visionary Steven Spielberg successfully went on to make over a dozen incredible films after filming two feature-length Jurassic Park films, so it can be done. And it can be done safely. Don’t endanger yourself or your crew. Making good video content is also making video content safely. Don’t ever forget that.
5. Make sure you can get the ‘likes’
Know your audience! How simple can that be? Well, for some, not simple enough.
Having your audience in mind while producing your marketing video will do all the legwork you need to get your company attention, spread it virally, and rack up the likes on every platform of social media.
Take, for example, Steven Spielberg’s genre-defining classic film, Jurassic Park. While shooting this, Spielberg knew that he was going to release this film to movie theaters to people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. He knew he was making the perfect film that would appeal to everyone on the planet.
He knew he would get the likes.
Make sure that you follow the same steps and make an accessible, well-crafted video that appeals to your audience. If you’re going to be a successful video content creator, you have to know your audience in the same way that Mr. Spielberg knows every single one of us, inside and out.
6. Have a backup plan
Taking risks is important in video marketing, so just remember that failure is also going to be a huge part of successful marketing, even if that sounds like a paradox. Not every campaign you try is going to work, but what is going to work is to keep pushing the envelope.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared at all times for a video to just not work right.
If that’s the case, just simply put your company’s logo over this clip from Jurassic Park, and you’ll be set!
Ready to run from the dinosaurs?
The team at Total BS Media has years of experience telling epic stories with an approach to production that doesn't just make it rain dead presidents. We also have editing, sound mixing, animation, and we'll even screen "the talent." Side note—we will not separate "the talent's" green Skittles out from the rest of the rainbow.
The rugged Montana landscape, high altitudes, and outrunning packs of velociraptors all play a part in the Total BS Media experience. Ready to talk about your project?
Click Rex. Fill out the form. Run.
Posted by Special Guest Anthony Easton