Why Video?

  • Get more across in less time
  • Greatly improve your search engine ranking – Google wants video!
  • Demand attention literally 10x longer than text does
  • Increase brand recognition and awareness of your business
  • Easily explain who you are and what you do – your best sales rep 24/7!
  • Increase confidence and trust in your business – video makes you real
  • It’s accessible, it’s easy and it’s fun!

 

 Our Work

The Dude utilizes the latest HD commercial camera equipment and editing software available.

With extensive research we confidently produce web videos with amazing clarity and speed, on any web browser, now including mobile devices.

We also produce video for DVD, presentations, TV, cinema and more.


There’s an interesting double standard that has emerged with video advertisements.

We loathe the commercial breaks that interrupt our regularly scheduled programs, and we despise the pre-roll ads that play unsolicited before our selected internet videos. However, Scott Reese, CEO of blurblQ, explains that when consumers have choice in viewing ads, thevideo completion rate is well over 80 percent.

These successful advertisements don’t interrupt passive consumers with boring brand messages — they attract active viewers due to the quality of their content. People not only seek out these video ads, but they share and discuss them with their networks.


Types of Promotional Video

Whatever your need or budget, The Dude’s Productions can help. We produce a wide range of promotional videos for our clients:

  • Promotional Videos
  • Viral Videos
  • Case Study Videos
  • Product Demo Videos
  • Event/ Exhibition Videos
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Animations
  • Web Videos
  • Foreign Language Videos


Promotional Video Marketing

Promotional Video Marketing has become one of the top forms of communicating benefits to a target audience. All businesses, small and large, are jumping on board to get their start with video – consumers demand it! everyone wants to know how it’s done!

While some companies put their in-house marketing teams on the job to produce fantastic promotional videos, smaller businesses often struggle with all the intricacies.

This is understandable – video production can appear complicated – but there are solutions. You will learn the overview of how to make a promotional video either by Doing It Yourself (DIY) or how to hire a promotional video company by using this guide.

My video-producing colleagues have reviewed this top-ranking guide – the techniques and strategies are professional level, and work. The material here is written from experience – these are the methods I use in my own video production.

Full disclosure: video marketing is a double edged sword; a good video can do wonders for a business, but a bad video can often do harm to a business and brand. Ensure you read and understand the concepts of production value and strategy covered here before commencing in shooting your own video.


Topics & Strategies Detailed in this Guide

Promotional Video Marketing has traditionally been a specialized field.

Since you’re interested in learning how to make a promotional video, here are the topics covered:

  • Choosing a Camera: Which Camera to Depending on Your Budget
  • Strategy: How to Draft up a Video Marketing Strategy
  • Shooting Techniques: How to use a Camera on Set
  • Lighting Techniques: How to Light a Studio for Video
  • Video Production: Video Editing Techniques, Color-Correction and more
  • Audio Production: 5 Reasons Your Video Needs Narration, and  Tips for Voice Narration Success
  • Online Distribution: YouTube, Marketing and how to Get Your Video Seen Online

Interview Video Production

The gear part is the most fun – here are the highlights that will be covered later:

  • Video Lenses: 3 DSLR Video Lens Types Needed for Success
  • Video Tripods: Tripod Basics: 3 Types, Top Recommendation
  • Video Lights: Why use Lighting, how to light a video studio setup

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There’s a good amount to cover – and perhaps later on you should zip to the parts that interest you most and read those sections first – but not yet. If you want to succeed with any video project for business,  you must, must do a little reflection and have a strategy first.

Please read this next part as it’s crucial to victory.

Canon 5D Mark II Video Camera

Paying out of pocket up front for an experienced video producer’s guidance and discernment to create a good video for you that is successful is the simpler of the two, by far. Alternatively, you can spend time buying books, reading and learning as you go, in addition to buying the equipment and software required – without guaranteed results – which may costs a lot more in the long run if the video does damage.

Allow me to explain each…


Getting Started with Video Strategy: Do it Yourself Video Production

‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) video production is often the first step for most businesses as they explore their promotional options – creating a video in house is an inexpensive way to see how video marketing ‘works’. As a video producer and small business owner, I understand both aspects, which will assist you as you read use guide.

This guide will take you through the top 5 points of how to make a promotional video, and then follow up with resources, expert advice, and interviews from personal seasoned professionals covering more specific questions!

Let’s start; here are the top solutions all in one article that will help make your video work:

1. Know Your Audience

How do you know your audience will actually click play on the video? Use a creative brief to find out what makes them take action.

A creative brief asks a series of questions with the aim of discovering the target audience, their wants and needs, and how best to motivate action.

Here, use the successful creative brief format I’ve used with my video production clients since I started my video production business. Use this for any project you start for yourself or your own video clients:

Successful Promotional Video Creative Brief Questions:

  1. The Purpose: What is my main core objective? Pick just one primary goal!
  2. Single Thought: What is my main core message? Identify the key takeaway idea or action
  3. Target Viewers! Who is my primary target audience? Age? Sex? Interests? Income?
  4. Reach Your Audience: Where might I reach this audience? YouTube? TV Ads? Facebook Video? Video Podcasts?
  5. Call to Action: What is the single action you need to make?

Answering this brief’s questions will get you started.

Hands down, these are the most important ideas to begin with, period. I cannot stress this enough – answer these questions, and you’re well on your way.

Video Production Creative Brief

These are just core concepts, many more are covered in the monthly newsletters and other experts and their articles on ReelMarketer.com

As tools such as quality cameras and tripods are highly affordable these days, you must make sure the message itself is actionable. Pick one core message– be as specific as possible. (e.g. Non Profit – ask your target audience to donate).

Only when you’re certain of your target audience and what they need to be compelled to act should you move ahead with your video.

Next is the class of video you’re going to create.

2. Choose Your Video Style
Now that you are aware that identifying who you’ll be speaking to, and what the message will be is half the battle, it’s now time to choose the how.

Choosing the Style & Genres

The style says a lot; this is a case where the ‘medium is the message’, so have fun with it. You can be serious, or light hearted – both can work at different times, even for the same brand, providing the message fits the tone.

What's Your Story?

Be sure to take a look at YouTube for other videos that have a tone or feeling that you wish to convey, and borrow those styling cues.

Promotional Video Style Elements

  • Tone: Lighthearted or Serious?
  • People & Speech: ‘Talking Head’ Interview style or Professional Actor?
  • Production Quality: Highly Polished Studio or Set, or, more shoot on On-Location?
  • Scripted or Unscripted: Candid Q&A or Scripted and rehearsed questions?
  • Video Quality: Often called “production value”. Various visual and technical attributes affect how the target viewers perceive a video’s tone.

Production value and attributes that affect quality are covered in great detail later on.

Picking a Promotional Video Genre

The genre of the video sets the tone and direct message about your idea, offering and business. Working with a creative person involved assists as a resourceful person can often connect abstract ideas more easily and help you make something that engages the viewer.

Tried and True Promotional Video Genres:

  • Testimonial Videos: Interviews with people about their needs and how their expectations were met.
  • Narrated Video: A female or male narrator‘s voice talks over the video, informing and educating.
  • Company Spokesperson: Have your spokesperson do a ‘talking head’ video where they speak to the camera about the product or service offerings.
  • Professional Actors: Actors ‘play out’ scenarios, or talk to the camera about the benefits.
  • Explainer Videos: Combination of narration along with very simple animations to explain a message. “Whiteboard” videos are another alternative.

Lighting Production Room

Each variety of video says a lot about the your intent and the service – choosing the right mix of elements is important for your video so that your viewer doesn’t get mixed messages.

Genre and style will also affect budget – the least expensive video uses no graphics or music, and just candid interviews, but typically has a lower impact than a video with higher production value.

Production Value: Creating a Better Promotional Video

Investing in higher production value helps a video be more persuasive.

A more polished production will make the best of all the tools; high quality camera work, professional lighting, narration, professional recorded audio, great music, great B-Roll footage and tight editing!

As an example, here’s a promotional video I created that has all of the production qualities above:

 

So what attributes affect the perception of higher-end production?

Imagery and Visuals and Production Value

  • Animated: Animated custom graphics, or simple “ken burns effect” photo graphics?
  • Lenses: Will it be heavy on graphics and animation, and if so how will this affect your budget
  • Graphics: Will it be heavy on graphics and animation, and if so how will this affect your budget?

These choices will largely flow from a study of the creative brief questions from above. Additionally, If you’re working with a promotional video company, be sure to consider these options with them – hold them accountable!

Video Production

Audio Quality and Production Value

  • Recorded On-Location Sound: Were external microphones used when recording the audio interviews on set? Was a boom mic used, or lapel microphones? Were the audio volume levels balanced with a mixer when recorded?
  • Music: Royalty Free Background Music, Music, or no music at all?

Consult a professional if you’re unsure how to approach these questions, or ask your questions here.

3. How to Properly Invest in Yourself & Production

Online Media Marketing is getting high-tech, but the quality isn’t where it should be. In the past, businesses could get away with webcam videos shot in dark rooms. Those days are over.

Viewers won’t accept low quality.

YouTube has moved to HD and so have expectations.

alm Filmmaker Pro Pack With mCAMLITE for iPhone 5

Why Production Quality Matters
Production quality is important. Consumers only accept higher and higher quality continually driving expectations up higher. Twitter and Facebook users won’t bother with a low quality video and audio any longer. Remember: your promotional video represents your company much like a sales person, except the video can’t make up it excuses on the spot, it will have to stand up on it’s own! If a video can’t make the cut in the real world along side other high-end videos, count it as a lost investment.

Investing thousands into video production only to have the video a loss is a scary proposition. This fact reminds producers that they continually need to be aware of changing trends and standards to remain current.

Video Marketing Woman with Movie Clapper Slate

The 5 Key Roles for Necessary for Successful Video Production

During video production, each of these roles is important when creating. In a small production, such as a one-man company, that one person will perform all of the tasks, but this doesn’t diminish each role’s importance.

As you read through this list, envision yourself in each role to feel a sense of the role.

A. The Director: The Visionary and Story Teller.
This is who we think of when we think of the ‘hollywood’ director. This person understands vision that knows what the story is to tell, the best genre and methods to conveying that message. The director ensures that the emotions that will convey action are present and get across to the end viewer – which is why in theory this is the most important role!

Book Recommendation: “First Time Director: How to Make Your Breakthrough Movie”

B. The Producer: The Organizer and Butt-Kicker.
The producer ensures all the elements for the production are procured and readied: The creative brief, a well defined script and story, perhaps a storyboard, a production checklist, set or location scouting, research, the gear, the crew, and a distribution strategy for when and how the video is released and shown.

The producer is the hub of the production. They’re responsible for all the planning that needs to take place to start the ball rolling, get the video shot, and get it done as planned – on budget!

Book Recommendation: “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro”

Interview Video Production

C. Visuals Professional. Lighting and Camera Operation
Quality camera, high-definition and 4K resolution, lighting, good composition, well-groomed interviewers or actors, broadcast graphic design, animation and color correction. The camera operator or director of photography controls elements that define the quality of the video’s visuals.

Investing in a top quality video will impress your clients, just as a low quality video will damage your reputation. Either way you will make an impression – make sure you are making the right one.

D. Audio Technician. Well Recorded & Mixed Sound.
Sound is more important than I can possible stress with written words. Put simply: Sound is more important than the moving image.

This goes for all processes regarding sound: recording voices on set, editing sound clips, and includes music, narration and sound effects. Viewers often accept mediocre visuals, but people will simply not tolerate poor sound. Both are important, but don’t risk shooting a video without a dedicated microphone and the knowledge of how to calibrate it properly.

Book Recommendation: “The Location Sound Bible: How to Record Professional Dialog for Film and TV”

E. Post-Production Technician. The Editor.
Videos are ultimately technical jobs. Production requires the right gear, used in the correct manner to create the desired result. The video producer knows what to look for to get the video to all fit together and may be the most important to you, the director understands how the story or message will be told.

The audio and video technician(s) handle the image, sound and editing, capturing the video and sound and putting it all together as the director and producer planned – with the creative brief and producer guiding the process, of course.

Book Recommendation: “So You Want To Be An Editor – Or The Client Is Always Right, Even When He Is Wrong”

These 5 roles can be performed by a handful of people, or often just one person, but breaking down the roles often increases the quality. In larger productions, such as a multiple-day commercial promotional shoot, a team of people will be tasked with these responsibilities.

Professional Video Production Studio

4. Being Practical: The Big Choice when Producing Video

Now for the fun part!

With your video strategy complete, and goals readied, it’s time to get the promotional video actually made!

As covered earlier, a promotional video requires planning and preparation before the production starts. As many businesses investing in buying DSLR video cameras and production gear to start making videos in-house, these same businesses are beginning to realize how much work is actually spent in production.

Video productions require a lot of aspects to be lined up and ready to go; a location (or locations) reserved for shooting, a camera and camera operator, audio equipment and the technical know-how to use it, tripod and other camera support gear, lighting options (either reflectors or electric lights) and a spokesperson, interviewee or actor to be in front of the camera! Whew.. it sounds complicated, but doesn’t have to be.

But where do you come in?

You have two main options here:

The Big Choice: Self-Produce Video or Hire a Video Producer

This decision is important, and the implications may not be immediately apparent.

Video production isn’t cheap and costs money, and DIY (do it yourself) is far from free. The two choices are you either hire a video production company to create a video, or you spend the time to learn how to do it. Do It Yourself (DIY) or go and hire a Pro – either way, there is a cost attached.

Canon 5D Mark II Video Camera

Paying out of pocket up front for an experienced video producer’s guidance and discernment to create a good video for you that is successful is the simpler of the two, by far. Alternatively, you can spend time buying books, reading and learning as you go, in addition to buying the equipment and software required – without guaranteed results – which may costs a lot more in the long run if the video does damage.

Allow me to explain each…

Pros and Cons of Do it Yourself (DIY)
There are pros and cons to making a video. First and foremost, creating video is a fun, fulfilling learning experience, and if you plenty of time, the quality of the result is entirely up to you! It’s also a challenge that no one expects – it’s likely 3-4 times more difficult than what you imagine if you care about quality.

  • Pros: Excellent learning experience and challenge. Not paying upfront cost.
  • Cons: Costs money to buy learning products and books, purchasing equipment and spending the time to create the video. Quality is lower, results not guaranteed. Hidden costs galore!

iMovie iOS Video Production Solution

Pros and Cons of Hiring Professional Producers
Hiring a pro isn’t a sure-bet of a great video, but it’s definitely the closest thing. With your creative brief in hand, seek out video producers and look at their portfolio to get a sense of their quality, client-type and results. Then meet up and chat costs. Working with a professional is a lot of fun too – you still are the ‘director’ in a sense, it’s your video after all!

  • Pros: Top-notch quality, timely, predictable ROI. Turnkey ability to “work out of the box”. No hidden costs. Predictable cost = value equation.
  • Cons: Will cost a lump sum, usually half up front, half on completion.

So which is for you? DIY or Pro?
Here is a question that can assist you in deciding which route to take: will you be making lots of these videos, or is this the big one that’ll represent your brand for years to come?

My advice: If you’re doing just one full-on video, go pro. If you plan to make many videos over the course of the next 5 years, and are a person with a great deal of grit and determination and enjoy a challenge, learn the skill.

Choose your own adventure…

Adventure A: Choosing to Work With a Video Pro

Investing in a professional with assure a video is done right.

Created with the most modern technologies which assures it will remain usable for 5-10 years for all platforms, including television and mobile.

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A video made by a professional will last years. It’ll save you time – you won’t have to bear the stresses of learning all the technical and marketing ‘communication’ elements that go into production – and you will make money spending your time elsewhere to offset the cost.

Seriously, consider that the cost of the production will be shared across the years it’s used as well. Break down the total cost by a factor of 10 or 5, and there’s your cost per year. Then compare these yearly costs to the cost of creating a new video each year by yourself – suddenly, the cost of a hiring a professional “to do it right” is pretty affordable!

Treat your investment in video as a business expense, and you’re thinking with the right frame of mind.

There is a lot more to producing a quality promotional video than simply setting up a camera and pressing record. Use of proper lighting, audio recordings, post-production editing, graphics and animation, music… altogether these things will add up to a nightmare if you don’t have an experienced producer. A professional will be faster and more effective than you and will produce a good, ready to go product.

How much you spend on a professional? I’ll get more into this later on – first, what about the alternative, going the ‘road less travelled’ route…

Adventure B: Choosing to Learn Video and Do-It-Yourself!

Making the choice to learn video production and do it yourself is a very rewarding experience. Just look at the popularity of self-created videos online now! Many companies are choosing to make videos in-house today, and the number will grow until most companies that do in-house marketing will have video production abilities.

Woman Holding Camera One Hand

I personally made the choice to learn video, and found it very valuable. When I began, I like anyone else, knew nothing about the process at all. How did I learn?

I read the manual for a Hi-8 camera, and played with the settings, learning what knob did what. Then I made videos with friends, and saw there was quite a difference between Hollywood and TV productions and our ‘films’.

I learnt that sound was important, so I began plugging a microphone and cable into the camera “news TV” interview style, and recording that people that way. Then, I figured out lighting was actually something that was planned and designed for.

Since I was still shooting Hi-8 video tape, computer “non-linear” editing wasn’t an option – not till the year 2000 and I got an iMac with FireWire (for plugging in new digital video cameras) and iMovie!

Then it all took off from there – with audio and lighting and now editing, the world changed, and the rest is history – the tools are cheaper and more abundant now than they were then. Today, an iPod Touch is an entire production studio in the palm of you hand.

Video is so incredible, and so rewarding. And now video is both profitable and easy to understand!

Learning How to Make Video is Fun!

If this is a choice you’d like to make, it’s more economical than it’s ever been, and the learning tools, video marketing books and expert resources are better than ever before too!

Actor in Camera Studio

And promotional videos can be made cheaply too – no reason to break the bank for your first video!
You can purchase all the equipment yourself off a reputable company such as B&H Vide: buying a tripod kit such as a Manfrotto Fluid Head & 755XB Tripod with Carrying Bag , a simple camera such as the  iPod Touch, get an editing app such as the venerable iMovie or Final Cut Pro and simple lighting kit – by the way, don’t knock iMovie, it’s how I got my start in the year 2000!

By the way, don’t knock iMovie, it’s how I got my humble start in video production the year 2000 – iMovie is a veteran video-editing app, it’s been around for quite a while now!

Stages of a Video Production & Marketing Strategy

First, let’s look at the 3 stages that a basic video producer uses. We’ve touched on these earlier:

  1. Pre-Production. Planning the technical aspects to making the video.
  2. Production. The day(s) of the video shoot.
  3. Post-Production. Editing and fine-tuning the visuals + sound.

Simple.

Just the technical stages of video creation, nothing fancy.

Behind the Scenes Hotel Video Shoot

However, you are going beyond just making a video – you are a video marketer! This video has got to actually work beyond just pretty visuals and sound – this video has to attain your goals.
Goals you strategized and identified with your creative brief.

So, when video marketing, pre-production takes on an additional stage called video marketing strategy, and there’s an additional stage after post-production there is a online distribution or marketing stage.

The Complete 5 Stages of Video Marketing Strategy

  1. Stage 1: Video Marketing Strategy: Defining strategic goals and outcomes. Accomplished with a creative brief, story outline, goals, genre, budget, audience, script, storyboard, etc.
  2. Stage 2: Pre-Production. Planning the technical aspects to making the video.
  3. Stage 3: Production. The day(s) of the video shoot.
  4. Stage 4: Post-Production. Putting the video together through editing and fine-tuning the visuals + sound
  5. Stage 5: Online Distribution & Marketing: Distribution, Public relations, promotion and search optimisation.

Here is the list of stages professional video marketers use. And, all there is to it is to follow the steps!

Really, it’s quite easy once you begin, and we are nearing half way through the pre-production process.


The Complete 5 Stages of Video Marketing & Production Strategy

  1. Stage 1: Video Marketing Strategy: The strategic goals and story. Creative brief, story outline, goals, genre, budget, audience, script, storyboard, etc.
  2. Stage 2: Pre-Production. Planning the technical aspects to making the video.
  3. Stage 3: Production. The day(s) of the video shoot.
  4. Stage 4: Post-Production. Putting the video together through editing and fine-tuning the visuals + sound.
  5. Stage 5: Online Distribution: Distribution, PR, marketing, video SEO.

Here is the list of stages professional video marketers use. And, all there is to it is to follow the steps! Really, it’s quite easy once you begin, and we are nearing half way through the pre-production process.