Your retailer clients are asking for them, competitors are making them. It seems the pressure is on wholesalers to provide product videos, along with all the other marketing collateral even for items you really wouldn’t think need explaining. I know; I’ve made some of them! As a wholesaler, you may be wondering how far to go down this path. Here are some suggestions, why and how, from a video producer who sees what others are doing.
Web videos are easier to make and deliver than ever and often they are more convenient for the consumer. But you still need to think through what works best for your customer. We’re not all carrying smartphones with unlimited plans, scanning the QR code for the instruction movie. Sometimes it’s easier to glance at text quickly to find the bit you need, rather than have to wait for 4 minutes of a video.
I think Product Videos are great when you have something that’s hard to describe in words, and easier to show. Ever tried putting together Ikea furniture, even with the instruction pamphlet? Video can use voice, text and moving pictures, it uses more of our senses than still pics and text.
Should I make Web Videos Myself?
Once you decide you do want videos, then there’s the question of how. What’s the strategy? Maybe you have been wanting to make them yourself but haven’t got round of doing them properly? It’s like choosing whether to take your own photos, or write your own PR copy, versus using a professional. You can DIY, but there are times you want a professional outcome quickly. And to be honest, a professional will cost less for a better outcome; if you properly value your own time. It’s also a matter of how you want to represent your brand – professionally, or amateurishly?
There are some happy mediums though. You can use a professional videographer, but get Jo from the warehouse, who’s a bit of an extravert, to present to camera and demonstrate. It won’t be quite as swish as an actor, but it will be authentic, and maybe fun for the staff.
Alternatively you may not need a presenter at all. A mix of animated graphics and /or filming the product only can work well.
In this one we used voice over for the dialogue:
Where to start?
Same as any communication planning : first be clear with your purpose and whom you’re talking to. How will you get the videos in front of them?
Try to stick to one core message per clip. Maybe write some dot points for the script, but your video production company should help or advise you at this stage. The questions in this web form will help you think about the script. The script/ or project plan is something you and the production company do together. Give them some latitude; you may get a better outcome. Make sure they have your logo, high resolution, and that you’re on the same page with titles, graphics, intros and outros.
It’s always handy to have some reference videos, other examples, even from another industry that show the feel, style, tone or quality you’re looking for.
When it comes to filming and editing, you can let the production company drive. They should give you a draft first, and they should be happy to make any changes you need, so long as you don’t vary from the agreed script or plan too much. Understand that if they show you a ‘rough cut’, it’s just to check the sequence of shots tells your story is okay. It will be completely different with spit-polish-and-music.
What’s The Price
You guessed – as little or as much as you’d like. If you’re using Clips That Sell, a lot of 1-2 minute explainers will take half a day to shoot, and another day to edit, plus client liaison and second round edits. Budget $800 to $1500. Actors are around $300 per half day. Animation and motion graphics can add more.
Bigger agencies may charge more, and you will get a classier outcome because they’ll use more specialist staff and equipment. You’ll quickly get a sense where different companies are pitched by reviewing the clips on their websites. Watch they haven’t just put up a few choice examples though. Get a couple of quotes and see whom you’re comfortable with.
By Keith Rhodes, Director of Clips That Sell Pty Ltd, a Melbourne video production company : www.clipsthatsell.com