Video is a powerful tool in the PR cannon. It’s no secret. It allows your audience to gain an in depth look into what you want to show them. It’s personal and can be emotional, meaning it will resonate with the viewer. Audiences will remember a video and be able to recall the parts which really spoke to them.  

Social media has definitely played a role in the reason as to why video is now an important weapon in an organisation’s PR and marketing arsenal. It allows short videos to be shared quickly and more widely and can cut straight to the point in what you are trying to say. They can be easy to make (only a smartphone required) and uploaded instantly. As a result, audiences now demand more video content – 54% of customers prefer to see videos, over other marketing tactics, from the brands they support.

However, be warned, with thousands of tweets or Instagram posts going out a minute, it is now more important than ever to ensure your video content is striking enough to stand out and get noticed. 

I asked Robin Waldman, of Robin Creative Media, what advice he gives clients when they come to him wanting a video. This is what he had to say:

Video is such a rapidly growing and evolving beast, so you have to keep on top of it. Hiring the right experts to guide you through the process will certainly help to ensure you get the most of commissioning video content. We are advising more of our clients to think of an all-round strategy when approaching their video content, in the briefing stage we are pro-active to suggest short social media snippets, gifs, cinemagraphs alongside their longer pieces of film in order to building anticipation to the launch of their primary films, as well as act as lead generation to the main films from various channels once they are launched.

Shorter content will include specifically cropped clips for various channels at specific lengths, such as 15 second portrait clips for Instagram stories, to a square formatted video for Facebook which looks eye catching on mobile view and is more likely to draw your audience in. 

By building this bank of content, both shorter form and longer content, it means you can be reactive to opportunities online and PR opportunities by recycling your video content when a hashtag is trending based around a news item which fits in with your content and will create more interested. 

One of the main questions we ask in the pre-production stage is ‘where will you use your video’ and from finding this out in the early stage we can pro-actively approach the project before the filming has begun to capture those additional snippets for supportive short form social content when the time comes and be ready for our clients to make that impression with their content and make that impact.

During my career I’ve had the pleasure to produce a number of videos for clients and they’ve always had high engagement and impact. This video (part 1) was produced and shot with Robin Waldman, and the feedback has been excellent. 

Here are a few reasons why people should include video in their PR and marketing plans and a few more things to remember when considering if video is something to allocate your budget to. 

Reasons to consider video:

  1. Captures attention
    I previously mentioned that you need to cut through the saturated social media world with engaging content – and that is no lie. But once you have that engagement, people watching a video are more likely to take in the messages they’re watching, and they are more likely to share it. Stats say that 65% of viewers will watch more than 3/4 of the video (which is more than they do with written content) and they at 10 times more likely to engage with that video whether its likes, sharing, commenting or embedding it. 

  2. An emotional connection
    Video is a powerful way to forge emotional connections with your audiences that will last. Whether it’s a happy, heartfelt or funny response, seeing something on a video allows you to form a relationship with the viewer and in turn the viewer becomes more invested in what you’re saying. Investment builds trust and trust leads to conversions. 

  3. Accessibility and measurability 
    Technology is constantly evolving and thankfully many innovations are prime for video. Videos can now be optimized for on-the-go consumption making it more accessible for your audiences. Social media and emails are now prime places for engaging videos. 

    We can now track the audiences’ journey through the video in better detail than we can when they read a piece a written content. How many people saw the video? Did they go back and watch certain parts again? How does that compare to the next person who saw the video? Compared to text, the ability to track individualized video results is now at our fingertips. Consumer journey tracking software like Google Analytics and a wealth of new apps coming out, such as Smaply or Gliffy, allow for users to track how efficiently their content is performing on their website.

Things to remember:

  1. Videos take time
    Yes, short snappy clips, usually seen on social media, can be quick. But polished, slick and professional looking videos, take time. It can take up to an hour of filming that ends up being one minute of video and that’s not to mention the time it takes to arrange locations, interviews and permissions forms. Then the editing takes over and that can take up to a day for a three minute video depending on how many changes and tweaks the commissioning client wants done. Don’t be fooled by quick clips you see on social media. Most videos take longer than you think so be prepared. 

  2. More budget, more video
    Like the time aspect, the more budget you have the more you can do with a video. You can include multiple locations, more interviewees, drones, voiceovers, music options, the list can be endless. When commissioning a videographer, have a budget in mind, or if you don’t know what sort of quote to expect, be clear on what you want the video to look like so a detailed quote can be given. 

  3. Say something
    Make sure your video says something – is there a call to action you want the viewer to do? What is the campaign message? What do you want the video to say about you? The video should not just be a series of shots – it needs to have a narrative. A beginning, middle and an end. The video needs to resonate with the viewer so portray something that they would be interested in. 

  4. Case studies
    Footage and an interview from a third party, who supports your message, will speak directly to the audience because they will be the person they associate with. In a video about the power of music therapy in care homes, the audience will resonate more with what the care home residents say, than the people in the care home uniform. A video should include an interview from the company making the video – it would be foolish not to have one – but an interview and footage of service users, or clients, will add more authenticity to the finished product.

  5. Will the press use my video?
    Unfortunately members of the media are unlikely to use the finished, polished and branded video that you have just produced. To be frank, your video will be one sided (which is what it should be). The media will want to film their own shots, use their own interview questions and will want to find another side to the story to include. However, some members of the media may use raw, unedited footage that you have, so it is always best to store the footage in case it is needed. If you have a a great story for a video, the chances are that the press may want to feature it too – just be prepared to do two lots of filming. 

If you’ve got a concept for a video that you’d like to discuss, please get in touch. I’d love to be able to help and put your story into a visual format, so we can get people viewing your brand as well as reading about it.