How a rural council attracts new residents to a town, using web videos

Location Marketing Web Video Case Study

How does a rural shire attract new residents to its towns?  With the same suite of marketing activities that anyone else would use, especially web videos, since they’re so effective.  Clips-That-Sell recently made these, with support from Smack Creative.

I’ll explain how these clips came into being, to share the good and not so good lessons.  But first, have a look at the outcomes:





How We Worked

Having worked in Economic Development for a Council in a previous life myself, I understood the client’s need, but I don’t have good local knowledge of Mitchell Shire.  Council officers had limited time to devote to the project, so they appointed a creative agency which knows the area well, to team up with me.  They wrote a brief, helped with the scripts, and was generally fantastic initiating and organising interviews and other logistics like the voice over actor. This pairing up worked well.

In total I made six trips to the townships to get the footage needed. They tended to be organised around interviewees availability, and as it happened the weather was often overcast.  Plus of course the landscape has browned off in the height of summer.  These are the sorts of constraints that can be overcome if you have unlimited time and budget, but hey, that wouldn’t be the real world.
Some filming was done before the scripts were written, to try and get green landscapes, but then of course much of it didn’t fit in and ended up on the cutting room floor.

When it came to final approval of the clips, I did wonder if Councillors would have a whole bunch of ideas which would send us off in different directions, but that didn’t happen.

Project Timeline

So here’s the essential process:

  • Late October 2013, met with the Shire’s Manager and Coordinator for Economic Development
  • Late November, client agreed the brief
  • Mid December, visit and script writing, Sally organised interviews and logistics
  • Filming over six days between mid December to early March (excluding late December and all January for holidays)
  • Early March – drafts were uploaded for  review.  Councillor viewing.  Minor edits made
  • 11 March, videos ready for the Regional Living Expo in Melbourne, where they were well received.

Improved Production Standards

The scripts have quite specific target audience characteristics in mind, whether it be retirees, young families, people with jobs in the city.  I think the final videos talk well to those markets as well as painting a relaxed view of what life might be like.

The final outcome is the result of hundreds of small decisions and in many ways improvement is about each little choice. Different talent, interview questions or locations, different weather conditions, different script, different editing choices, camera moves, lighting or sound recording choices.  Higher production choices usually require a higher cost and more time. The client was extremely happy with the quality, timeliness and costs.

Benefits of Communicating with Video

There’s every reason for governments (or businesses) to use video to easily and frequently get messages like this across, for example:

  • It is easier to distribute to your target audience, using Youtube, Vimeo and social media
  • Attract particular industry sectors
  • Improve the quality of property developers or businesses attracted
  • Communicate policy updates or explanations in a more user friendly manner, saving staff time
  • Film events to multiply their audience, or instead of a media release.  Or put them behind a pay-wall.
  • Emotion is part of all decisions – video appeals to our emotions much better than brochures.
  • Save time and money.

Clips That Sell is a video production (videographer) serving businesses in Melbourne. Give me a call and we can talk through possible approaches to your needs, no obligation. The sooner we get the ball rolling, the sooner you’ll receive the video’s outcomes – better informed customers, or more sales.

by Keith Rhodes