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Don’t Start Your Video Project Without This

You may have been in this meeting. Someone chimes in and says, “Let’s do a video!” All of a sudden the room is a buzz. Ideas are flowing, people are excited, everyone is ready to jump in and work on it!

Whoa. Pump the breaks.

Producing a video is a great idea. It’s bound to be one of your most valuable pieces of content; however, companies and organizations often jump into video projects too quickly.

As the founder and chief storytelling officer at a Milwaukee and Chicago video production company, I see this all the time. Everyone gets so excited about this creative endeavor that they forget there needs to be a plan.

At my upcoming Content Marketing World presentation, Ultimate Video Marketing Case Study: how I sold my family’s crappy Mazda Protegé, I’m going to walk the audience through the entire process I went through when producing our marketing video. It’s a step-by-step guide.

In this post, I’m going to focus on one aspect from the presentation. It’s the most important question you need to ask at the start of every video project.

Who’s our audience?

You’re probably thinking to yourself, ugh. Seriously? That’s it? I’m a professional marketer. Of course I’m going to define my audience!

I get it. This might be a simple question, but it is one I see people lose track of over and over.

In some cases, it’s not their fault. Sometimes it’s a manager or executive’s fault. Yeah, let’s blame them. Someone starts whispering in the marketer’s ear…

“You know what we need to get into OUR video?”
“I have something important that needs to be in OUR video.”
“You need to make sure this gets into OUR video.”

The problem with that is it’s not “our” video. It’s the audience’s video.

It’s a common video marketing pitfall. Companies end up producing a video for themselves instead of their actual audience.

They include things in the video(s) that they’re super proud of. Their audience couldn’t care less, but company leaders think it’s awesome, whatever it is.

I’m talking about that ribbon cutting at the new plant, the cool drone video of the office building, or an 8-step proprietary process.

People at the company love that stuff, but none of it actually serves the audience. All they want to know is if you can solve their problem.

And guess what. If you don’t focus on them and what they want, you’re a click away from your audience moving on to your competitor.

The best way to avoid this problem is to ask that question I posed earlier throughout the production.

Who’s our audience?

That one question will solve most problems that come up.

  • Should we include this piece of information in the video? I don’t know, will it help our audience?
  • Who should we interview? I don’t know, who will connect best with our audience?
  • What type of music bed should be in the video? I don’t know, what type of music will appeal to our audience?

Anytime there’s an issue to resolve while producing a video, this is the one question I consistently fall back on to solve it.

You can also use it to deflect that executive who’s butting in. “I’m not sure the proprietary process of how we do things really matters to our audience. They’re more concerned with price, quality, and customer service, so we need to focus our story on those things.”

Who’s our audience?

I’m telling you, the more you ask yourself this question before, during, and after production, the better results you’ll get from your videos.


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