Video’s explosion in popularity and use across the internet has led to a similar explosion in myths when it comes to video production. People see young kids and crafty adults with nothing more than a microphone, laptop, and iPhone cultivating massive audiences on YouTube and Instagram. This fast and easy method makes video production seem all too easy nowadays, but there is far more to it than meets the eye.
The content and production value of this DIY video content may seem enticing, but it looks downright terrible when compared to something like a Netflix production. “Well, that’s not a fair comparison,” most would say. Yet, that kind of comparison is exactly what businesses do when creating video content.
Too many businesses expect Netflix-level quality on a YouTube star budget. Most businesses think they can make a flawless video on their phones, that video production is too expensive, or that short videos are your best bet. Let’s evaluate each of these myths and see if they hold water.
Myth: I Can Make a Video on My Phone
Many brands want to obtain that “film look” with their video content. It's not as simple as flipping your phone to 23.98 fps (if you have software that allows this). While frame rates are very important, they don't tell the whole story.
Color depth, shadow details and contrast are things that give films their cinema look. The physical sensor of a phone or DSLR cannot achieve certain things simply based on the limits of their hardware.
Additionally, special camera lenses and lighting have a huge effect on the overall quality of the video. Lenses and lighting aren't cheap. Many lenses are more expensive than the cinema cameras you strap them on to.
The learning curve for these technologies can be steep. Imagine if you had all the right equipment to shoot your own brand video. You have the camera lenses, microphones, lighting equipment, video stabilizers, and editing software. Operating each one well enough to produce a quality video is daunting and often unfeasible.
Take, for example, Bentley’s “Intelligent Details” commercial that was filmed entirely with iPhones. At first, the advertisement seems like an argument for the efficacy of making your own videos. “It looks so good! I could make a video like that!”
But it’s immediately clear in the behind the scenes video is that these are not just a bunch of average joes shooting video on their personal iPhones. They use advanced lenses, microphones, lights, iPhone stabilizers, and a host of other equipment to create a professional video.
Plus, these filmmakers have years of experience of getting the right shots and emphasizing the brand goals of their client. The top comment on the YouTube channel says it all: “This just shows that the person using the camera is far more important than the quality of the camera.”
One of the truths of business is that the more time you spend on things you aren’t good at, the more money you lose. Delegation frees you up to spend your time on things that make you money.
A salesperson’s time is best spent selling. A filmmaker’s time is best spent filming. Why waste your time on shooting your own video and using equipment you have a passing knowledge of, only to produce something that’s “just good enough”?
Video production may look “short and easy” nowadays with the proliferation of smartphones in our pockets, but the amount of detail and time put in to produce such high-quality videos is tremendous. It takes years of practice to become comfortable with video editing software, and even longer to understand how to structure a story effectively. You also may have trouble with “killing your darlings,” which means putting forth the best idea at the expense of other promising ideas.
Simply put, hiring a video production service is your best bet for producing high-quality content that yields high ROI while freeing you up to do what matters for your business.
Myth: Professional Video Is Too Expensive
So, you’re considering hiring a professional video production service to create your branded content? Then you’re likely grappling with the biggest myth about professional video: It’s too expensive.
This is why many marketers think they can get by with shooting video content on their phones. Marketing executives put off professional video, citing it as a future project when they have the budget for it.
The reality is that professional video production is not only affordable but can end up costing you less in the long run than producing your own content. The reason is twofold.
First, 81 percent of marketers saw an increase in sales after using video in their marketing strategy. People also spend an average of 2.6 times more time on web pages with video than without. This means that any video you produce has the chance to increase sales. Second, producing your own content will inevitably take you more time and lack the polished quality a professional video would hold.
You may pay a higher upfront cost than you would producing your own video, but consider the fact that appearance is everything to brands. Companies big and small spend tons of time and money on their brand image. That image can be ruined by a series of poorly designed (or flat-out bad) videos.
Sixty-two percent of people are more likely to have a negative opinion of a brand that publishes a poor-quality video. The quality of your brand videos can sub-consciously reflect a lack of quality product to the consumer. This is especially true if your competition is putting out higher quality video content than you are.
Another benefit of creating professional video is that you can repackage and reuse it across platforms while maintaining the high quality of your production. In the end, that one video can pay for itself over and over.
Myth: The Best Videos for Brands Are Short
This myth ties the other myths together in a neat package. Brands often pursue shorter video because they think it is easier to produce on their own. They also choose shorter videos because they supposedly cost less and will be a better value.
You have undoubtedly heard stats like, “You need to grab the viewer in the first 10 seconds,” and, “You lose 60 percent of your viewers within the first two minutes.” These figures only embolden brands to go the easier route with video production, but this isn’t the whole story.
The advent of streaming services like Netflix has brought about a renaissance of long-form content. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook both launched their own long-form content platforms, IGTV and Facebook Watch respectively. In fact, longer videos on Facebook Watch received 79 percent more shares and 74 percent more views than short videos.
People’s taste for high-quality content has only grown, so it’s no surprise that they ask for the same quality from brands. Both can be effective depending on what’s best for your video marketing efforts, but high-quality long-form content will set you apart from your competition.
Producing effective long-form content requires more than just an iPhone and a shoestring budget. Producing long-form videos like Patagonia’s “Worn Wear” film require a laser focus on the message you want to convey that only a professional production can provide. There are many other examples from companies like GE, Cisco, and BMW, to name a few.
Long-form video offers you the ability to connect with audiences much in the way a good film does. Good film is about the people producing it. When you think of pursuing your next video project to boost your brand, think of these myths and why you should choose a professional to get the job done right!