If you’re working in the PR and social media industry, you will be well aware of how video content has grown in popularity and relevance in the past few years. It has taken the world of content by storm! It’s unlikely these days that you would go on any social media platform and not see some form of video content when scrolling… In fact, it’s become so popular that we now have dedicated social media platforms specifically for video content such as TikTok. This means there are so many avenues for brands to utilise video content to engage their target audience.

But it’s not just the social world where video has a key presence. It’s been noted that press releases with the word “video” in the subject line are 7% more likely to be opened!

As video has continued to grow in popularity, it’s become a little trickier to get it right. Luckily there are a few tips to ensure successful video production. Read below to learn the essentials of where to start when it comes to producing the perfect piece of video content.

Establish a clear target audience and message for your video

The first step to creating any piece of video content is to identify exactly who you want to target and the message you want them to take away from it. If you’re unsure on this, it might be a good idea to build a consumer persona, which is a detailed description of your target customer. This will allow you to clearly establish who you wish to target from the offset, meaning you can ensure the content is tailored to suit them – making them more likely to engage!

Many brands often make the assumption that all of their consumers will want to view the same kind of video – but this isn’t always true. A comical video tapping into current trends might be absolutely hilarious, get the message across perfectly, and have the potential to go viral. But if your campaign is targeting older people who do not use social media frequently and aren’t up to speed with current trends, it may be completely lost on them. This is why having a specific demographic in mind will allow you to create a video that’s perfect for them.

Further to this, the whole point of using video content in PR is to convey some form of message, whether that’s to promote a product launch or highlight your company values. Viewers should come away from watching your video with a clear takeaway that has been identified as your key message from the offset. As long as you nail the message and target audience, there’s no reason why your content shouldn’t be successful.

Know your budget before you begin producing video content

The beauty of video production is that it can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like. It’s up to you (or maybe your campaign budget!) whether you choose to go for a full production video with location and prop hire, actors and fancy filming techniques or a simple set up with a tripod and a smartphone. Either is just as effective, when done correctly. The trick here is ensuring that you know this from the offset.

Carefully take the time to plan ahead to work out the cost of things so that you’re not presented with any surprises halfway through the project. It’s a good idea to draw up some tiered options. So, think if our budget is X and above, our video content could look like this or if its Y, the final content may look like this. Above all – agree your budget, and stick to it!

Stationery brand Notes did a great job of storytelling using a simple set of handwritten notes. Anybody could replicate this but, with a bit of money behind them for slick backdrops and professional videography, the result is a simple yet effective, piece of video content.

Stay on brand

This is really crucial! You want your consumers and target customers to resonate with the video and feel a sense of brand unity – otherwise, it’s just a piece of content with no real relevance. Stay on brand throughout the piece of video content and don’t try to shoehorn yourself into something that doesn’t feel like a natural fit.

If it’s unnatural for your brand to come across really formal with a talking head piece to camera, don’t do it! Likewise, if you’re a serious brand with a serious message to deliver – don’t feel as though you have to tap into the humorous side of video marketing. It’s important to find what works for your brand and run with it. This will help ensure your videos resonate well with your audience and relate back to you as a brand.

Write a good script

A script is really crucial when it comes to producing a good piece of video content. It helps to guide the flow of the content and will also ensure everyone knows what they’re aiming to achieve – from the production to the people in it. A script can be anything from lines for those taking part to read onscreen, to a more general approach of directions if you want the look and feel to be a bit more relaxed.

Some online videos can appear completely natural and unscripted, but don’t let that fool you – a degree of preparation will have gone into them. The phrase ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is still relevant when it comes to video production! Having a clear direction for your video to take will ensure the filming process goes as smoothly as possible and that you deliver really successful results.

An example of a perfectly scripted video can be seen in a Purple Mattress online ad, where Goldilocks comically explains the benefits of a high-quality bed. The script is tight, authoritative, and injected with humour, allowing the brand to humanise a seemingly dull product and bring it to life.

Get your timings right

It’s difficult to say just how long your video should be. Some stories take longer to tell and others get right to the point in 15 seconds. However, ensure you’re always clear what platform you’re looking to utilise them on from the offset as this will determine the maximum and minimum time they can run for. For example, Twitter videos can only last for 2 mins and 20 seconds, but LinkedIn can be up to 10 minutes.

That said, shorter videos generally prompt more engagement. It’s been noted that 68% of viewers will watch a video that is less than 60 seconds long, with only 25% finishing a video of over 20 minutes. While the length of your video should depend primarily on the platform you’re sharing it on -you should also consider the messages you’re sharing and the audience you’re targeting. These three key factors will help determine how long or short a video should be.

Not only does this April Fool’s Day campaign from Logitech revolve around a playfully punny fake product name, it also condenses its humour into less than 90 seconds!

At Prohibition, we work with a range of brands across all sectors to deliver quality videos that help portray everything from a product launch, brand key messages and pieces to camera. Get in contact today to find out how we could help you: hello@prohibitionpr.co.uk

About Abbey Gray

Senior Account Executive at Prohibition PR. First class journalism graduate, passionate writer and novice baker! Based in Leeds.