So you’ve decided that it’s time for a Brand Film. You know it’s the best way to get your message out to your clients, to capture their interest in just a few seconds, to convey the feeling you put into your work. You’ve decided to make the investment in your business.
Well, once you’ve contacted us and signed your contract, then the work begins. We schedule a time to meet with you and discuss the vision for your film. From the very moment, your film begins to work for you.
Some clients come to us with a very clearly defined brand. They know exactly what they want to say with their video, have a clear direction for both their business and their clients. For others, the process helps them to discover that direction and definition. In any case, these things will be fresh in your mind as we start planning your video. Use them.
Write it down. Take some photos. Blog about it. Post about it.
It’s okay to share that you’re planning to make a brand film, it doesn’t need to be a surprise. Anytime you’re working on the details for your film, whatever that means to you, take some pics, even phone pics and share them. This is a great use for SnapChat or Instagram Stories! Tease little bits of info for your current clients so that they will be excited to see your film when it’s finished.
The big day.
First off, relax. It’s going to be okay. Every single person that contacts us about making a brand film prefaces it with “just so you know, I’m the most awkward person ever. I’m terrible in front of a camera.”
No you’re not. You know how I know? Because I am. And there can’t be two ‘most awkward people’. I’m not even cute ‘Zooey Deschanel’ awkward…I’m just plain awkward. Last year I had to be in a video for my little non-profit, and it was seriously painful. There was probably an hour of me reading over my notes, closing my eyes, taking a deep breath….then saying “Wait a minute. Let me just think about this a minute.” But somehow, even for all of that, Chris made a great little video, exactly as I had requested (I wanted simple, short, to the point) and my little non-profit was awarded a grant last year.
So I am the reigning champion of awkward, in the end it doesn’t matter, and you don’t need to worry about that.
For your film, we’re just going to sit down and have a conversation. I know what it feels like in front of the camera, because I’ve had to do it. So you and I, we’re just going to talk. No notes, no pain. Just like we did when we met to plan for your film. You’re just going to tell me you passion for your work, I might ask you a few questions, and it’s going to be fine. You don’t have to worry about saying just the right thing, or not messing things up, because that’s the magic of editing.
When we’re filming your film, you aren’t going to be doing something new and different. You’re going to be doing your thing, the thing you love. We’re just there to capture it.
It also means this isn’t the time to try something new, something that might stress you out. If you’re a photographer, let’s plan to shoot in a location you’re familiar with. If you’re a maker, there’s no need to feature a new technique or product. For places (restaurants, hotels, venues, parks) there’s no need to rent a bunch of furniture or change things around. We want the tried and true things that your current clients already love about you; these are the same things that new clients will also love.
(Unless the reason you want a film is to debut a new product. Then we’re going to feature that in the most awesome way possible.)
It’s also okay to bring a friend or family member along. Someone who will help to relax, who knows your branding and message and can be an extra set of eyes and ears for you. They can also take some behind the scenes snaps for you to share on your media. We take some as well, and share those with you. This keeps the energy for your film going!
Your film arrives.
The big day is here, and your film arrives. As tempting as it may be to post it as soon as you see it, now is the time to apply the same marketing strategy to your film as everything else you publish. Take time to get your film up on your website before posting it to social media. You may wish to choose one media outlet at a time to make a big push on, or you may have enough of a network to push them all at once.
With Facebook, we like to upload the video to Facebook for its first big push. Facebook compresses video, so it doesn’t look as good as it does when viewed on Vimeo, YouTube, or embedded in your website. But Facebook heavily favors videos uploaded to its own platform in the algorithm of what will make it into news feeds, so use this to your advantage for your first big push. This is also a time to call in your friends and family to lend a hand. If you’re like me, you probably don’t ask them to help out in this way much, because you don’t want to constantly overwhelm them with requests for help on social media. But also like me, I bet you don’t mind at all showing some love on other businesses who post something on FB (small business owners especially, we recognize the value behind every single like, comment, and share, and I take time out of my day to rain that kind of love down on others). So call your mom, call your friends, reach out to your goal groups and colleagues. Let them know exactly when and where you’re going to be sharing our film, and how much it means if they can like, comment, or even share it.
Intentionally planning to boost your reach organically will help your video to make a big splash.
Often, we’ll share the video from our website few days or weeks later. It looks better. We use Yoast for Video (for WordPress hosted sites) so that viewers can click play on our video thumbnail directly on Facebook without having to click through to the website, and can share details on this if you’re interested. It is not free, but if you’re thinking of added video content to your site, it’s a worthwhile investment.
You may also decide to boost your video, or create a targeted ad with it. If you choose to do this, we recommend specifically targeting your video to your client base, and we’re happy to provide some tips on how to do this. (In fact, it’s recommended that you target ALL of your marketing in this way, not just your video)
Instagram loves video, but it sure doesn’t make it easy for you to get your video there! We send several versions of video clips specifically formatted for Instagram, along with instructions for posting it. Just as with Facebook, immediate engagement from your network will increase how many people see your video in the end, so it’s okay to reach out to them in advance. Count us in as well, we’re always happy to make a point to stop by and show some love. Just like everything else you post on Instagram, invite the viewer to engage with a question or action step, and hashtag the crap out of it (don’t forget to tag your city as the location so that you show up in location searches).
If you are struggling to get your video to post (or even if you have some other video that you’re struggling to post), let me know. I’ll talk you through it. Even if it’s not video we made for you, if you’ve got video sitting around, I want to help you use it.