How long will your corporate video be relevant for?

The question on the lips of a lot of marketing managers and directors is, if they invest in a video, how long will it 'last' before becoming irrelevant? This post will explain how long it should be before you re-invest in a video, if at all. 

The other day I was in a meeting with some potential clients. They were looking to increase their digital media presence both for themselves, and for their own clients. But they weren't sure how long a video would 'last' once purchased. 

Point-in-time vs longevity

Any consulting firm and business can change with increasing demand, competition, changing priorities and more. 

Therefore, it can be remiss to invest in a video, if you think that you will be presenting something completely different in 6-12 months time. 

But here's what you should be actually thinking about:

"Can I afford to whip up a video right now for tomorrow's launch, or should I be thinking 3-6 months ahead, and make a video for that?"

My advice is the latter. 

Being proactive is always the smartest play with online video content and here's why:

You're organised.

There's nothing worse than trying to create content 'in arrears', and video can be even more difficult.

The reality is that it takes time to create video content, so if you're behind the 8-ball, you may never get back in front of it. 

So when you're thinking about quality video content in advance, you are going to be way ahead of your competition already. 

This is especially pertinent for software products or any viable product that hasn't even been built yet. 

Put 'explainer video' in your pre-launch sprint, because having a proof-of-concept video ready to go upon release will be super potent for lead generation and sales. 

Clients are often concerned that if they make a video, then it's finished. And if anything in their product or process changes, the video won't be able to affect that.

9 out of 10 times, a simple change request can be filed, and we can punch-in the changes without a problem. This can lengthen the life cycle of the video, potentially infinitely. 

But there are video types that have a longer shelf-life, from inception and can be a reliable website/social media salesman.

Live action is a great video type that can last for a long time

Purely because the nature of live action video, it creates a sense of trust in the viewer. Once people see a real human being, certain fears (often subconscious) are quashed. 

Getting your CEO on camera and talking about how great your workplace is, is a video that will last for a long time.

The only reason this will become irrelevant is if your workplace becomes a terrible place to work!

Video case studies are timeless for longevity. They show the world that you're the real deal, deliver high quality work to satisfied clients. Success has no statute of limitations. 

But here is the bottom line, it doesn't mean that you just make a video and stop.

While live action can last for a long time, you should fill your digital media arsenal with a catalogue of premium videos that will pay off into the future. 

These can be recruitment videos, video testimonials, summary videos of annual general meetings, interviews with employees, video for your lobby/next convention. 

These kinds of videos can be the difference between winning work and not. Between recruiting a rockstar employee, and getting a second banana on board. 

Bringing it all together...

We prefer to make videos with as much advance time and expertise poured in as possible. It helps us not pull our hair out, but it will also be the best possible product for your business. 

Having said that, you can make videos that exist 'in the now' but will actually pay off long into the future. Whether it's animation or live action, we make videos that can last for a long time and are able to be chopped and changed, where necessary. 

Until next time,

Pete

PS - if you have ever worried that video has a short life cycle, we can explain how it will actually last long into the future. Get in touch below to find out how:

Why We Sell Videos

This post will tell you why we sell videos and why we think they're one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal.

I used to have a 'real job'. I turned up to work every day, 9-5 (usually) with a half hour lunch break (usually longer) and then come home exhausted. I knew nothing about business or marketing or brand awareness or anything. But one day, I got sick of the 'grind' and I went all-in.

I just needed a business idea.

"I need to build the next Facebook. Go." <- this was pretty much my stupid mentality. I got that out of my system pretty quickly when I realised that literally millions of people are out there trying, and failing to build the next Facebook.

Why are they failing? Because Facebook already exists. And it's dominating.

So when you start out in business, my advice is this - choose something that is already working and selling in the market. Whatever market that might be. Sounds counterintuitive, which it is - but hear me out.

Enter, Selling Videos

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that video is a huge draw online at the moment.

Businesses are gravitating towards using both live action and animated videos for their marketing, branding and more. So when I decided to go into business for myself, I picked videos. Not only because I have some knowledge about that medium, being a student of film and blah blah blah, but because it's selling.

Now, a lot of people say "ah there's too much competition out there, I can't get a foot in the door to sell that". Wrong. 

One of the first things I learned on this journey is that competition is good. It means the idea is already validated. All you have to do then is build your brand and be better than your competition. Of course, the journey is a little more nuanced than that. You will mess up, you will lose momentum, you might even fail. But keep going until it works, or until you find a more profitable pathway.

Facebook wasn't just spawned in a vacuum. Anyone remember MySpace? Friendster? Zuckerberg didn't just pull Facebook out of thin air. It started as the 'white-background MySpace of college campuses' in the USA. Now look at it - it's worth something like $400 billion with a 'B'.

Videos Can Be Whatever You Want Them To Be

We help our clients realise the best way forward for them in their video content. For some, it's a product walkthrough. For others, maybe a talking head interview style video or a case study. In any case, they explain something. The video content ought to teach something to your audience. Teach them about your awesome product, or just teach them about you. But make it look good and be effective! That's where we come in.

Video is super effective for your brand. This past month, I participated in the very noble Movember cause. I raised over $700 for research into men's health issues - which exceeded my expectations. What I did to get to this milestone, however, was upload a weekly 'progress VLOG' to YouTube. I would thank people on camera, mention my progress etc.

This was super effective in differentiating me from the 7 other guys in my circle who were raising money. Now, the end game is money to a good cause so it's not about the competition - but it goes to show how video can be effective in building your brand capital.

So Why Do I Think Know I Can Offer You The Best Value and User Experience?

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been at this for some years now. At the time this blog post was written. On approximately 600 occasions, I have wanted to throw in the towel. But I didn't. Why? Because I believe in myself and my ability to create a superior product with a superior customer experience. I am 'all in' on making the best videos and having the best communication your money can buy.

A lot of explainer video sites use the 'cookie cutter' approach and churn out video after video that might not even suit the 'feel' of the brand they are servicing. Not us. Each and every video that is produced here is overseen by me personally, before being released. It could come across as 'micromanage-y' but I don't really care. I want only the best products released to my clients, to ensure their success.

How Do You Benefit From A Video?

Like a post I wrote a little while ago for our good friends Mint Content, you need a mixture of both targeted written copy, and video in order to 'get the edge' (as Tony Robbins would put it). You put yourself out there - front and centre on your website/landing page or Facebook campaign and strut your stuff. So there's no longer any ambiguity in their mind. A video will answer the question everyone asks when they land on your page, "who are these people?".

If you can answer that question for them, front and centre, 24/7, that's very powerful for your brand.

Until next time,

~Pete

PS - If you liked this post, please share it on whatever social media you'd like.

What You Can Learn From Filmmaking And Apply To Almost Anything (Even Business)

Judging from the title of this blog post, it might come across as little out of ‘left field’, but bear with me… Initially, this post was going to be a personal Facebook expression to my 500-odd something friends about a particular YouTube channel (which I will mention later). But instead, at 1:00am on a Wednesday morning in Canberra, with the wind blowing a gale outside, I thought I would put it in a longer, hopefully more useful format.

The main reason for this is that I thought it would be lost in the ether of the Facebook juggernaut. Appreciated by some, and not even seen by others (that pesky algorithm), then forgotten forever. So let’s go deeper…

 

Why Film?

Film is something I have enjoyed from a very young age. It has shaped my life in many ways. Among my friends and family, I am considered a ‘film buff’ – a title I wear proudly, even though I have definitely seen only a fraction of the amazing cinema out there. Even a fraction of films my older brother has seen. But he’s got four years on me…

One thing I have learned along the way watching probably 400-500 films, is that film and filmmaking is perhaps the most holistic creative endeavour.

At my time at university, I studied Film. Initially, I admit, I took it as a ‘bludge class’ that would get me two hours a week watching a film and, with my hubristic approach to academia and analysis, an easy passing grade.

For the most part, I was right. But it was a great experience for my young brain. I was exposed to several genres of film, directors, eras, and above all, the process.

To the passive cinemagoer, a film is made for consumption alongside their Malteasers, large popcorn and carbonated drink. Maybe an explosion, a laugh and the odd spot of nudity. Nothing wrong with all of that.

But when I go to the movies, I never buy any refreshments, because I want to be able to:

  1. hear dialogue without the crackle of plastic annoying me and others (I wish others would be so kind as to do the same) and
  2. not have to go to the bathroom to relieve myself of 1.25 litres of Coke. I’d rather actually watch the damn thing that I paid for. In emergency situations, I have trained my bladder to hold on.

(Also, why do people look at their phones during films? The giant screen and surround sound isn’t enough for them? Also, stop talking…please)

Anyway, my point is I go to the movies and watch a film appreciating every aspect that went into it.

From the initial idea, to storyboarding and screenplay, to pre-production, to casting, to shooting, to music composition, to editing, to distribution…and even then it’s not a guaranteed financial or critical success.

Any person invested in any of those particular aspects of the film making process will say that their aspect is the most important. But I think they are all equally important.

So what can we all learn from how a film is made? Having made a few dozen films myself in this business and in other endeavours, I am starting to scratch the surface of lessons learned. I hope the following is a useful insight into my own experience that you can apply to your life and your business.

 

There Is Probably Someone Better Than You – Get Used To It

Ouch, right? Sucks to hear but it’s true. There will always be a better writer or better composer or someone who picked this song over another to go in this particular place. Blah blah blah – who cares? The good news is, you can use them. There is no way that one person can do absolutely everything. There are very few successful figures who do EVERYTHING in their films.

Notable exceptions are guys like John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York) who have the cojones to not only direct but also compose the music. Then of course you have the director/lead actor egomaniacs (whom I admire) like Ben Affleck (The Town) and Joel Edgerton (The Gift).

These are the exceptions. For the most part, the film is made through many cogs in the machine. So swallow your pride and give up the task to someone better. For me, that was script writing. Oh boy did I think I was great at that. Until I wasn’t. Now I pay people to write scripts for me, because they are fantastic.

Added bonus: I now save time to focus on other things now.

What’s next?

 

Get organised

Making a feature film, or indeed any kind of film requires the ultimate level of organisation. If you are reading this, it’s probably not a huge revelation, some young CEO telling you to be organised. But duh, guess what happens when you don’t – it all falls apart.

This business - Video Spartan, is filmmaking. I have only really come to realise that recently, which is pretty insane. But it is! We write scripts, storyboard, animate/shoot, add music, edit and boom – video done.

I am proud of every video we produce – because it has been created from nothing. Best of all, it is designed to help our customers achieve their goals. It’s a functional film. And this is no different to a big feature film.

Look, don't get me mixed up. There’s nothing wrong with going to the movies and falling asleep or not paying attention (just get off your damned phone!). The cinema experience is a personal one, designed to entertain, shock, induce laughter, fear, regret, nostalgia, tiredness… all films have a function. If you look hard enough, you can see what that function is. For most folk, the cinema is a passive and social experience and sometimes I forget that. I tend to nerd out at the cinema and appreciate the organisation that went into it.

But next time you go to the movies, instead of stuffing your face with that choc-top, why don't you look at how the lighting in that particular scene made Tom Hanks look friendly/foreboding/harmless/psychopathic.

(Also hit me up if you can tell me about a recent Tom Hanks role where he has been a bad guy...)

 

Go Deeper

My brother recently recommended a YouTube channel to me, called “Every Frame A Painting”. Now studying film at university, I learned a lot of cool stuff. But it's pretty amazing how YouTube and the Internet in general has educated me before, during and since that time.

Every Frame a Painting is a film nerd's celluloid dream of insight, analysis and exploration of the medium of cinema.

Until I saw this channel, I thought I was good at filmic analysis. I am not – which goes back to my first point, there’s always someone better than you. But I am ok with that. This channel is a great example of directorship, actors, style and so much more.

In the current climate of vacuous content being created at lighting speed in so many formats, it’s very refreshing to have a channel like this (and there are many others, thankfully) that produce awesome content on the regular. Not an easy feat.

So look at those who are doing it better than you, going deeper than you and either get mad at how good they are (and appreciate it) or…

 

Be Better

For all the good films out there, there are so many bad ones. It is rare that in a ‘summer blockbuster’ release period these days that there will be any more than one or two gems. Usually, you have to look beyond the façade of crap, to the films that aren’t necessarily standing out and yelling at you to see them.

Alternatively, just wait for reliable directors like Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino to release a film. Those guys are bastions of great filmmaking and inspire others and me all the time - to be better at what I do.

So take the time to focus on what you are actually good at, and pass off the stuff you are not good at to someone else. It's a win-win - they like doing it, that's why they do it.

I hope that the rant above was at least partially insightful and useful. None of the people mentioned above have compensated me for any of the plugs (especially not my brother) – I just admire them, and maybe you will too.

PS - If you liked this article - please share it on any social media platform you like. I'll love you for it.