Concept first, implementation second.
If you want to create a video you only need a high resolution camera and a finger being able to press “record”. Right? Wrong! Read more about the essential steps for creating a video concept.
When searching for the term video in a dictionary, it is defined as “the recording and broadcasting of moving images and sound.” However, this should not mislead one into the assumption that the pictures are needed first to develop a multimedia product.
No, it is the message that needs to be created at the beginning and it should be based on
- the trigger/starting point and
- the benefit.
Then, it is necessary to determine the archetype who communicates the message best. Archetypes are associated with a set of values, meanings and personality traits. Mark and Pearson explain that “archetypes provide the missing link between customer motivation and product sales”.
Figure 1 – Archetypes
Only after the archetype has been decided on, the killer slogan can be developed. To make it successful, it should be kept short, catchy and positive and should focus on the benefit, as recommended in a blog post by Business Achiever.
Figure 2 – Successful Brands by Archetype
Hub, Hero and Help Content
Before the story for a video is finally created, it is important to determine what kind of content is needed. Think with Google suggests a general channel strategy which includes Hero, Hub and Help Content.
- Hero Content
This content is produced to make people notice a brand and has an enormous impact on audience growth.
- Hub Content
Hub content is “regular, scheduled content” that has push character according to Google. Videos of this category are produced for an audience that is already aware of and interested in a brand. The aim is to build a loyal audience that has subscribed to the company’s channel and returns on a regular basis.
- Help Content
This “always-on” content is classified as pull content and should be optimised for search queries of the audience. Such videos address existing subscribers and provide help videos or tutorials.
Figure 3 – Hero, Hub and Hygiene/Help Content
Finally, it is time to develop the story and the muse storytelling concept can be used as a guideline.
Figure 4 – Muse Storytelling Process
Find five strong keywords on which the message is based. The purpose needs to be clear, precise, well-developed and intentional.
The story always has one heart and this person carries the message based on the keywords. It should be considered not to go with the obvious.
The places also should match the heart of the story and the keywords.
There are six essential plot elements that create a plot arch:
- The Hook: Opening, grabs attention.
- The Conflict: The heart runs into the central conflict.
- The Initiation: Heart chooses to take on and over Comeback conflict.
- The Journey: Events that take place while the heart is trying to overcome the conflict.
- The Resolution: The answer and emotional crescendo.
- The Jab: Closing of the story, determines what the audience is left with.
Figure 5 – Plot Arch Based on 6 Universal Conflicts
When elaborating the concept for a video, it may be useful to work with a decision tree as a helping tool. A decision tree makes it easier to sum up possible outcomes related to a certain choice. Both, individuals and organizations can weigh their possible actions against one another and figure out what the benefits and disadvantages of a specific decision are. Costs and probabilities can be taken into consideration.
Usually, a decision tree starts with one single point that can lead to various possible actions. Every single action can branch into further nodes which can spread more hypothetical outcomes. This development gives it this kind of tree-like shape. For that reason: decision tree.
Figure 6 Example Decision Tree
To make the very best out of a decision tree it may be helpful to make sure that:
The main decision represents the starting point from which it is possible to go deeper into the matter.
Trees have profound roots and are dense as well which is why it is necessary to go as deep as possible.
Even if the result is uncertain, it should be written down as a note.
Expanding should be continued until every point has reached an endpoint.
If a decision tree is used for creating a video concept the following questions can be answered: What is the goal of the video? Who is the target audience? What is the core message? Is there a fixed budget? What kind of channel is most suitable for the purpose?
Channels to Distribute the Video
After defining the archetypes and choosing the Google H3 Modell, the customer needs to define on which channels the video should be published. This decision could depends on the budget, time resources, goals of the project and personal preferences of the client. Depending on the chosen channels, the video should fulfill certain requirements.
Social Media Platforms and Their Impact
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the most used social media platforms according to recent user surveys. Whilst Facebook has its big fan crowd with people from 25-40, Snapchat focuses more on the younger generation between 14-30 years. Twitter operates successfully in anglo-american countries but has its difficulties to enter the German speaking market. Pinterest is known as a platform for pictures but started to focus more on videos as well. Typical video platforms are YouTube and Vimeo. Both channels are widely used around the world and offer different possibilities to limit the access of the content.
Technical Requirements of Social Media Platforms
After setting the channels on which the video should be published, it is necessary to have a look on the technical requirements of the different providers. The channels allow to upload videos with different sizes, length, frame rate, quality and other parameters.
Depending on the requirements, the creator has to decide if a video which fits on every channel in one cut should be produced, or if it will be adapted to the needs of every platform. Instagram for example allows videos between 3-60 seconds. Instagram Ads Stories instead limit the length up to 15 seconds.
A detailed matrix of the technical requirements is available in this Google spreadsheet.
Squatty Potty – a Success Story
Is it even possible to boost the sales of a company by 600 % because of a video? Yes, it is and Squatty Potty proved it by raising the revenue to 30 million Dollars in 2016. The company was founded in 2011 and the company had its first appearance in 2014 as participant of the television broadcast Shark Tank. The appearance was successful and an investor was found. Later when Edward the CEO came up with the video the other founders and Shark Tank investor Lori Greiner did not like the idea. But he did not give up and went out on a limb against the advice. The Squatty Potty is a plastic step aiming to get you in the correct position for pooping. That sounds weird but experts proved that the right angle makes things easier. As the slogan says “the stool for better stools”.
Via Video to Success
The Squatty Potty video proves how successful product videos can be. The online sales increased by 600 and the retail sales by 400 %. The video was watched about 66 million times and shared more than one million times on Facebook within four months. But one of the most impressive KPIs is that 70 % of the users watch it until the end.
Here is the video, take a look:
Analysis of the Best Practice Video
One of the factors that made the video so successful is the ironical approach of a topic nobody wants to talk about. Although the video is entertaining, it comes up with the clear USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of the product. Also the Call to Action in the video is clearly placed and makes it easy for customer to order. Primarily, the video was published on Facebook, the website and YouTube, but the key elements like the unicorn and the prince were also used on other channels. Because of the success more videos are available on the website to introduce add on products.
Recommendations and Summary
When producing a video, it is not recommended to be several steps ahead. It is impossible to harvest what has never been sowed. It is not possible to drink a beer if the bottle is not open and it is not possible to record a video without a concept. Before even thinking about turning on the camera it should be made sure that everything is planned. There are couple of strategies that can be consulted such as the H3 model and the decision tree. Having a good equipment and a great team is only one half of the story. The first phase should be dedicated to planning, figuring out the basic conditions and conceptualising. Knowledge acquired
in this early phase will provide a solid foundation for making decisions relating to system design and component implementation.
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