Don’t Let Perfection Get in the Way of Your Video Marketing Strategy

The Cost of Perfection for your Video Marketing Strategy

Don’t Let Perfection Get in the Way of Your Video Marketing Strategy

Everyone wants beautiful and highly produced corporate videos to highlight their company, products, people and mission, but we pay for them. That cost comes not only in the form of money, but also time, manpower, distraction from other projects and overall productivity for your communication or content marketing team. Advances in digital technology and the democratization of high-end video production tools have taught us that everyone has the capacity to produce professional quality videos if they put in the time and effort. Here’s the thing, though. That drive toward perfection could be undermining your broader video marketing strategy.

I was recently working with a company that had a fairly sophisticated video strategy and good video quality standards. They were not producing documentaries, but they knew how to produce consistent, simple, great looking videos with good audio and strong branding. Nevertheless, their top performing video on YouTube month over month reflected none of those quality attributes. It was a low quality smartphone video with lots of grain, horrible audio and no real editing to speak of. There was no script or actors or production quality to speak of, but it utterly trumped anything else they produced in terms of views.

At last check that video had over 500,000 views. Why? It told a story. It captured a real moment with real people. There was a simple, relatable feeling to it. Oh, and it existed. They didn’t let an addiction to perfection prevent them from putting it out into the world and it continues to rack up views and drive traffic years later.

Creating A Video Strategy Based on Simplicity

I once explained to a colleague that the key difference between a simple iPhone video I produced for our company’s social media channels and what a full fledged video production company could do for us was that my video existed. We could also have produced 20+ of my easy videos with the time and energy it would take them to produce a single two-minute segment. Would I put those simple videos on the front page of our website? No, but they were timely and performed well on social and other channels with high tolerance for lower production levels.

There’s a time and a place for both highly produced videos and quick, easily produced clips in a broader video content marketing strategy. Strategy is the key word here. Decide when and where those more labor intensive video projects make sense for your company… and where they don’t. That leaves lots of other room to experiment with easier low-input, high-output videos. The key is making sure you design those videos in a way that keeps them simple. You can do a lot with 60–90 seconds and a couple simple edits, but once you start moving beyond that, things can quickly get more complicated and throw off that desired ROI balance. Try to balance your input and output.

Simple Doesn’t Have to Mean Low Quality Video Content

Just because you produce a short video quickly using a DSLR, consumer camcorder or smartphone, that doesn’t  mean it will automatically be lower quality. There are some very easy things you can do to improve video quality without adding more time, energy or significant costs to the project. Two of the most important technical steps you can take to improve video quality revolve are light and sound.

Look for good light. Remember that a camera’s sensor doesn’t see light the same way our eyes do. We need to choose locations and angles that provide the brightest, softest and most flattering light for our subject. If you’re recording someone speaking on camera, that cold mean turning them around so the light from the open window is facing them and behind the camera vs. the other way around. You can even add simple video lights to the mix. Even a small investment in lighting will go a long way to improve video quality.

The same thing is true of audio. The built-in microphone of a DSLR, consumer camcorder or smartphone is awful. It’s designed to capture general room noise, not the crystal clear sound of a person speaking. Even plugging in a cheap lavalier or shotgun microphone will dramatically improve your audio quality and improved audio quality immediately equates to better perceived video quality by the viewer. You can sometimes get away with low quality video, but viewers are far less tolerant of low quality audio. Of course, the more you spend the better audio quality can get, but as with everything we’re discussing here, it’s important to balance cost and input vs. the expected return.

How To Go Viral… It’s A Numbers Game

If anyone tells you they know how to go viral, they’re probably lying. Sure, there are some things that work some of the time, but nothing works all of the time. It’s a numbers game and roll of the dice. Just like the example above, you need to show up and put video content out into the world. If you produce more, you raise your chance of something hitting the mark and gaining viral steam. Of course,  you may also need to expand the comfort level of your team to allow for more experimentation within your video strategy. Just be sure to remind them of this one key point. If you’re not able to produce and publish all the polished, highly produced video content everyone wants on a regular basis, then your opportunity to go viral is zero. On the other hand, a video marketing strategy built around a steady, easily produced stream of video content can get you in the game and keep you there.