iPhones and Zoom Just Don’t Cut It

You’re selling your house.

You do all the improvement projects you put off for years. The grass is as green as it has ever been, and the inside as spotless as can be. Maybe you even leave out fresh-baked cookies before an open house to make a lasting impression.

You want to present your home in the best light possible. Ready for prime time. Because appearances matter.

With that in mind, why don’t we apply the “house-showing” level of care and preparation to our small business marketing efforts — especially when it comes to video projects?

Video is the king of content these days. It’s the most consumed marketing format, the most shared and the most memorable.

With your video content, will you present your business as poised and pulled together — or sloppy and behind the times? Do you want to be the house that stands out from the rest and attracts top dollar or the one they forget when they walk out the door?

Naturally, you want your business to make a great impression on potential customers, and professional video production positions you to do just that. Things the pros know:

Resolution: Trying to get by with DIY, low-res video in our HD streaming world is like showing kids black-and-white TV shows from the ‘50s. It’s a dead giveaway that you’re living in a bygone era, and that impression spills over into consumers’ impressions of your overall product quality and brand relevance.

Lighting: With higher and higher video resolutions now possible with modern equipment, the need for appropriate lighting has never been so crucial. In fact, this is one of the “secret sauce” ingredients that sets OK videos apart from excellent ones. Lighting doesn’t always get noticed when done right but significantly diminishes the quality of digital content when overlooked or ignored.

Audio: Awesome video’s best friend is awesome audio. Pros use equipment such as shotgun microphones and switchable filters to zero in on the sound you want and reject the background noise you don’t. Poor audio is another perceived-quality issue impacting people’s impressions of the entire project. If it’s bad, they think the whole video is bad. On the other hand, crystal-clear audio exudes quality. 

Editing: A lot of the magic of video is created in the editing process. The right clips are selected and knitted together to pull viewers into the story and convey a clear message about your business. Music and other sound effects add richness and emotion. Graphics and text on screen help connect the dots and improve message retention.

Strategy: Successful video professionals have the tools of the trade, e.g., fancy equipment, but you should tap into something else they can bring to the table — strategy expertise. Let them in on your company’s positioning and marketing goals and how a particular video project fits into that. Then, drawing on past successes and failures, they can advise you on the techniques and approaches best suited to your situation.

When these elements come together, the results can be powerful, even in short form. 

A 15-second GMC Hummer ad in 2020 was a great example.

The ad immediately commanded the viewer’s attention with action — beautiful, high-resolution video of wild horses running full stride in a valley, kicking up dust as their manes blew in the wind. 

For four seconds, the powerful, distinctive sound of hooves pounding the ground was the only soundtrack, a visual representation of the power of the Hummer’s engine.

But that was followed by quick, stark silence, delivering on another key product feature GMC was promoting, the vehicle’s quiet interior. 

The ad then used the power of light, darkness and video graphics to advance the story, with the screen going black seven seconds in. Ad copy and images of the vehicle’s headlights against the black backdrop did the rest.

The ad was only 15 seconds, but they were 15 seconds that really packed a punch that only video could deliver.

There’s no doubt the bar is high when it comes to today’s sophisticated viewers who watch incredible amounts of video content each and every day. Yet it is an essential marketing tool that can’t be ignored and that you don’t want to backfire on your business.

So put away the iPhone and Zoom videos. Bring in the best.

Professional videographers will sweat the details of 8K, softboxes, motorized sliders and sophisticated software because that is their actual job. Making your business look its best is their craft — and mission.

Video is no place to cut corners in your marketing plan. There are some things your customers just have to see.

brad burrow

 

Brad Burrow is co-publisher of Thinking Bigger and founder of Real Media, a video, VFX and design firm in Overland Park, Kan.