Skyrocketed by the rise of social media, marketers all over the world have embraced video content as an exceptionally engaging format, guaranteed to capture viewers’ attention across various platforms. However, many struggle to bring their idea to proper execution. In the midst of modern media clutter, high quality production is more crucial than ever. And even if you succeed in production, without proper distribution - it’s just a waste of resources. So what makes video so alluring and why do we keep seeing a high proportion of poor quality video content? What are the key ingredients of a good video?
We sought expert opinion from Slovenia’s top video producer. The cutely named Miss Moose Studio, was founded by Manja Porle, producer with years of experience in the field of TV production and post-production. TV commercials, radio commercials, dubbing, animations are all part of the mix, but Miss Moose is especially skilled in explainer videos; short videos, which explain your service or product in a clear, fun way.
Define your goals
Manja recognises the hype around videos in her daily work, but encourages clients to define their goals prior to any script writing. Ideally, one should have a clear understanding of the following steps:
2) target audience
3) distribution (and optimal length for each channel)
4) call to action
Manja emphasizes the importance of defining a precise target audience: “A clearly defined target audience allows us to write a better script. According to the classic formula, the viewer is exposed to a relevant problem within the first seconds of the video. You lose engagement if the problem is not relevant. The script becomes more general if the audience is wider and there is less chance of identification with the content.”
As for the script, and explainer videos specifically, you’re advised to follow a set formula. Firstly, you expose the problem, followed by a saviour in the form of a product or a service who comes and saves the day. Then, the latter should be explained as simply as possible and topped with a clear CTA.
Subtitles are advised for all videos on Facebook, just have a another copy saved for different purposes. Depending on the distribution, it’s also smart to produce your video in all major formats, both vertical and landscape. Keep the length to maximum two minutes.
Leave it to the professionals
Nowadays, it’s easier to produce videos than ever before or at least it seems that way. Undoubtedly, there is a supporting trend of ‘authentic’ and raw content, which is much more forgiving production-wise, but not all businesses can fit into that mould. With more serious B2B marketing, one’s content has to live up to traditional standards. And good quality comes with a price tag.
“There is a difference between years of experience and someone who just bought their first camera,” assures Manja and adds that big companies don’t have the time to deal with amateur in-house production.
Stop the cheesefest
B2B is plagued by cheesy corporate-style content. Manja says it’s been her mission to push her clients’ boundaries by adding even the smallest engaging elements: “Talking about the Slovenian market, it’s still a bit conservative. I try to push boundaries and explain that even a B2B video has a human on the other side. Consequently, the most serious CEO is still a person who likes engaging and dynamic content. Nobody likes boring elevator music and regardless of the audience, our attention span is very short. Obviously we can’t be overly humours or provocative with some topics, but we can still add engagement with little key elements.”
Now, another challenge to be aware of is choosing a suitable person to star in the video. It takes years of training to become natural in front of the camera, hence, if no such people are at hand, it’s best you go with a different format like animation.
Speaking of animation, the latter has outgrown its childish origins. “Look at the trends and companies like IBM or Slack. All major tech companies are communicating new features with animated explainer videos. They must be doing something right. However, you need to be careful with the design of the animation. It doesn’t have to be cartoony, animation can be futuristic or high-tech. Just be careful with the visual direction and the voice-over, which needs to have a professional tone,” explains Manja from Miss Moose.
Does the message come across?
Every piece of content requires testing and feedback. It’s hard to be objective in terms of design or sound, but the message needs to be universally clear. Manja recommends avoiding feedback from close friends and loved-ones, who struggle with being impartial: “My mom loves everything I do, therefore, it’s hard to take it seriously. Test your content on somebody who doesn’t know anything about this business. Test, whether they have understood the message and leave all the design elements out of it.”