Bad Video is Still Bad: Production Value by Kestum Bilt

“Are you ready to give it another shot?” No business owner ever wants to hear this seemingly innocuous question, yet Tosh’s web redemption shines a light on subsistent reality – bad video is still bad. Even with consumption rates on the rise, digital video can not overcome boring, bland, or poor execution. In a world of ever increasing competition for eyeballs, capturing, retaining and guiding user engagement is still the holy grail of a successful video campaign; entertaining is not enough, if it doesn’t increase ROI (Return On Investment). Cat videos in aggregate, garnered 25 billion views, yet the benefit of the creator is non-existent, at least in a financial litmus yardstick. Business video does not enjoy intrinsic value outside of its major purpose, a vehicle for business growth, yet wanting or demanding attention is the archetypical child mentality. To rise above the fray, and stand out, without being a clown in the marketplace, companies need to avoid pitfalls and hede industry expert opinion and historical references.

You’re Not a GroundHog: Hide Your Shadow (Proper Lighting)

We eat with our eyes first, as vision is one our most primordial, and relied upon sense. Even the best told stories fall short, if the quality of the picture (240p) is subpar, or the lighting appears the business is either in the shadows of ones paren’ts basement, or at the perigee of the sun, flushed with overbearing lighting. Even the most mundane stories have a chance of being successful, if the quality looks akin to what consumers are conditioned to accept. If it’s too dark, too bright, or just oddly lit, the scene does not work, losing both credibility and influence. This logic can be applied to any communication. If you tell your pet’s they are naughty, but do so in a positive, loving tone, the message is clouded by tonality and body language.

Dragging On…Are We There Yet?

There’s a reason most short films or videos receive little to no views – superficial! You have to connect on a deeper, emotional level. Rather than explain logically why an adult should obtain life insurance, videos depict love and affection of children, wanting to keep them save. This is a visceral connection, where the watcher implicitly connects an emotion to a brand and an ideal.

Keep the videos as short as they need to be, but no shorter.  There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to video length.  If you are building a new audience, it doesn’t hurt to keep things short, say around 2 minutes.  Now, that being said, if you can make a 10-minute video that people want to watch, go for it because sites such as YouTube find that people are willing to watch longer videos that are relevant and engaging.  However, most companies don’t have content that will keep people interested for more than 2 minutes. With the increase of people watching video content on their cell phones, they are more likely to watch a shorter video than a longer one.  If you have longer content, consider making a few short videos.  At the end of one video, lead them to the next video.  If you have an established audience, save the longer content for them.

Alpha Wolf: Who’s Leading The Pack?

In any pack, wolf, human or other, natural leaders emerge. They are often incorrectly portrayed as uncaring of other members of the group, when in fact one of the most important traits of effective leadership is active listening. Empathy and caring transform a dictator into a benevolent problem solver. A director has an enormous amount of responsibility to emphatically demarcate a brand’s value proposition from its competitors, understand the end goal in his/her mind’s eye, as Earl Nightingale stated, and execution from big picture to minute details. One director who has risen above the fray through his body of work is Pete Guzzo, founder of Kestum Bilt, a full service video production company, with multiple locations throughout the southeast, predominantly Atlanta and Florida.

(Pete Guzzo, Director, source: kestumbilt.com)

Pete’s work includes Cooper Tires, HGTV, HSN, Dell, and Habitat for Humanity. The combination of technical advantages through cutting edge technology: cameras, drones, editing software, audio equipment, birth a platform where an artist’s vision can become reality. Just as Maslow’s hierarchy proposes humans need food and shelter before love, a quality video, whether commercial, short film, or documentary needs a solid framework. Even Christopher Nolan couldn’t have filmed Inception from an outdated camera.

Editing is also often overlooked. You can overwhelm a viewer with hours of footage, yet attention spans are dwindling. High impact moments require different angles, music, background sets. If Shakespeare was correct, All The World’s a Stage, cutting corners in terms of believability or immersiveness is akin to lifting the veil, looking beyond the curtain, breaking concentration and losing the audience. The human condition demands stories; we want inspiration, we want new, exciting, mystery and help. But most of all, don’t be boring! The internet is replete with how to guides which are in depth, yet lack enough sizzle to properly convey a message. A business video only succeeds when it achieves the desired, which is varied but typically falls into major categories: brand awareness, leads, and sales.

The film industry has seen a meteoric increase in user generated video content marketing. Everyone with a cell phone believes they are a photographer and movie producer, yet with any industry, the devil is certainly in the details. The astute minded director is keen to plot progression, emotional connections and subtle calls to action. Novices are relegated to a handful of views, wondering why their video did not go “viral”. Business video doesn’t need every eyeball, just the right ones; planning, execution, channel and optimization is the recipe for a successful business video marketing campaign.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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