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Four New Truths for Disrupting Brand Marketing With Video

Creating great customer experiences starts with engagement, and there’s no better way to break through the noise and engage an audience with emotion and intensity than video. 

It’s even more true today. In Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends report, we found that use of online video to increase engagement is seen as one of the top five opportunities available to marketers in the coming year, with 22 percent of brands and agencies listing video content as one of their top three priorities. From viral videos on social media, to high-end advertisements on television, video has never been more integral to brands’ marketing plans.

At the same time, digital transformation is forcing a radical shift in the way corporate video is produced and consumed. Everyone has a high-quality video camera in their pocket and multiple devices for viewing. And, digital-savvy audiences prefer watching video over other channels of communication.

The rules of the game have also changed on the creative and production side. Brands want to be able to tell their story in social media with short, snackable content. And while clients still want great creativity, they also demand value, versatility, flexibility, and speed.

I spoke with the team at Medallia, a leader in customer experience management, and Skycar Creative, a creative agency that produces cinematic live-action and design-driven motion graphics, to understand how these changes are impacting their work. I uncovered four new truths for disrupting your marketing plan with video. 

1.    Get Creative With Working Faster

Everything is moving faster, and the challenge is to work more efficiently without sacrificing creativity. 

“Our typical project timeframe—to move from creative, through pre-production, shooting, post, and delivery—used to be 8 to 10 weeks,” says Jane Selle Morgan, co-founder and director at Skycar Creative. “Now, our deadlines are 4 to 6 weeks from start to finish, and it’s not uncommon to have clients with less than 3 weeks lead time.”

“Creative teams are often the end of the line when it comes to launches or announcements, so we are typically hit with the brunt of any time compression necessary to hit a deadline,” said Michael Heriford, video creative manager at Medallia. “It's not the number of weeks you have that counts, it's the power of what you can deliver in that shortened timeframe, even if it's three weeks from start to finish.”

To be successful and creative in compressed timeframes, agencies have to think about efficiency at every step of the production process. “It starts with being honest about what we can achieve in a short timeframe,” Morgan says.

2. Shorter Videos, But Longer-Term Story Telling

Brands also want more out of their video investment. While a single campaign or event may be the initial inspiration for a video, the finished product needs to have greater re-usability and long-term utility to ensure a return on investment.

“We’re seeing more requests for serial video series,” Morgan explains. “Clients want to tell more than one story over longer periods of time. In some cases, they don’t even know what those stories will be yet. What they’re really looking for is a framework and visual language that they can use to combine and reuse multiple assets.” 

Delivery is a challenge, too. Any given video will eventually find its way to social media across multiple devices, screens, and channels. That means framing shots and developing motion graphics for every possible aspect ratio. Attention spans are shorter in social media, so snackable video is finding greater success. Video platforms like YouTube have even introduced six-second bumper ads at the beginning and end of longer-form content. 

“The story for a longer film might include an introduction, an arc, and a conclusion, while the shorter version may just be great visuals, sound, and branding,” says Morgan. “Once we’re sure we can tell the story in the shortest amount of time, we go to the longer versions, and those become a place for more freedom.”

3. Use Editing Tools and Stock to Gain an Edge

Making effective use of high-quality stock and licensed content is another way to get an edge on speed. And not just for video—templates for lower thirds and other motion graphics can give your production team a head-start on visualizing the design of the finished product. 

“We rely a lot more on stock content,” Morgan says. “There are projects that move so quickly we simply don’t have time for a shoot, and so we only consider animation, stock, or other found footage.”

Finally, tool choice impacts the speed of collaboration across production teams and clients. Skycar, for example, relies on cloud-based document sharing to speed its workflow.

4. It All Comes Down to Communication

One thing that hasn’t changed? The need for a strong brand-agency relationship. Both Skycar and Medallia say the real secret to any project’s success is communication.

“Communication will literally save you time and money. We open up as many avenues to talk as we can: video chats, shared Slack channel, collaborative docs—whatever. Communication creates honesty which creates trust, and when you trust each other, you can do great work,” Heriford says. 

While it may seem like a paradox, overcommunicating at every step of the production process leads to faster, more efficient outcomes.

“One of the most important things we do when we start a project is share detailed production calendars to make sure everyone is on the same page before we hit go,” Morgan says. “It’s really about level-setting and expectation-setting. We go into every project understanding that it’s always changing and evolving, and we’re all in it together.”

[Editor's Note: This is a contributed article from Adobe. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

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