Great Ideas 2017: The Challenges of Making Great Videos

A morning workshop on the first day of the 2017 Great Ideas Conference highlighted that there are many ways to make videos that work for your audience—but also many challenges, including cost, approach, and overall strategy.

Looking to do video? If so, it’s important to keep your options open.

That’s the key takeaway from “,” an executive workshop held Sunday morning at the 2017 Great Ideas Conference, which highlighted numerous ways to build clips, along with what role such role video clips should take in your overall marketing strategy.

The session, led by ASAE’s senior manager of public relations, Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE, and featuring video experts both within and outside of ASAE, highlighted the importance of strategy and tactical approaches when building out video clips. And while there are certainly some huge benefits to using video to get your message across, it’s something that should be well-integrated into your organization’s overall messaging.

Video isn’t the be-all-end-all, as much as we love video. It is part of a healthy ecosystem of communications tactics.

“Video isn’t the be-all-end-all, as much as we love video. It is part of a healthy ecosystem of communications tactics,” said James Loizou, the vice president of LAI video. “That includes your website and email blasts and live events as a platform for telling great stories.”

Among the points highlighted during the session that are worth considering for your own video approach:

How much should it cost? This is often driven by the nature of your messaging, including how important the message is, what it’s trying to say, and the resources needed to build it out. “The budget should mirror the priority of the particular messaging,” said Loizou. Often, the largest cost that comes into play is the human resourcing. A simple thank-you video, shot with low-cost equipment, may only take a few hours to make and can be done with in-house staff, but video of a live conference may require outsourced staff and higher-end equipment—easily bringing your costs above $10,000. The panel recommended taking a close look at younger employees or students from local colleges as a resource for building more inexpensive videos.

Metrics considerations. If you only get 1,000 views on a video, that can feel disappointing, but often, the true story is in the level and type of engagement—how long the videos are watched and who’s watching them. Jim Wacksman, CEO of Association Studios, recommends using Facebook ads to narrow in on specific audiences. More drilled-down stats can also tell you important things about the video (e.g., if people drop off right away, whether the language used is misleading) and can help you decide on where to share the videos. “It all depends on where your members are most active,” Kidwai said.

Simple or complex? There are many strategies that can be used—along with different equipment, from iPhones to cameras that cost thousands of dollars. (But audio should be considered paramount. Nelson Cuellar, ASAE’s learning specialist for educational video and multimedia, noted that you should buy dedicated equipment for recording audio.) Costs have been driven down by consumerization, which makes it possible to do things on the cheap, but you’ll get better quality with pricier equipment or outside resources, especially for more complicated techniques like illustration. But sometimes, the best approach might be the simplest. Wacksman said that one of the most successful videos his company ever did for the Florida Dental Association was the one above: a very simple legislative update on a bill relevant to FDA members that was put together in about three hours.

Video length. If you’re aiming for a more general audience, shorter is better—but if the content is more narrowly aimed, you can get away with a longer clip. (The above clip, highlighting ASAE’s Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference, is about 45 seconds.) “The video should be as long as it needs to be, and not a second longer,” said Wacksman. However, you will see people dropping off of the video at some point, a point Kidwai said is about a minute and a half in. Keep that length in mind if your video includes a call to action, Kidwai added.

In the end, though, the workshop emphasized the diversity in strategies that can be taken in creating a video clip that goes viral—or at the very least, hits your audience.

“The only thing that’s limiting you is your imagination … and your budgets,” said Loizou.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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