One of the key considerations in any cost-benefit analysis of marketing materials is the expected usefulness and lifespan of the material in question. When you pay a company to design a nice brochure, you spend money on the graphical design and quality of the piece because you expect to use it for several years, possibly with a few updates along the way to pricing or mundane text details that are easily changed. When you want a flyer for an upcoming event, you may just have someone whip up a quick and dirty in-house flyer because paying a marketing company or graphic designer for a one-time event is simply not worth the investment or hassle. In a similar fashion, real estate videos for residential houses are almost entirely the domain of struggling videographers, newly graduated film school students, or even iPhone-recorded videos from the real estate agent. Because selling a house is a one-time event for the agent, spending significant resources producing a video is usually seen as a waste of time and money, especially when they already have nice photos. By contrast, Coca Cola can sell a billion cans of soda and still have a few billion more in production, waiting for the next eager customer to pick up a 12-pack.
The expected useful lifespan of a video isn’t the only consideration, clearly, otherwise holiday videos would never be produced, but the two biggest factors are probably the useful expected lifespan and the number of anticipated views. For a national commercial specific to one holiday sales season, while the lifespan is tiny, the anticipated views is enormous, so the video is thus a justifiable expense for the company. Most of our corporate clients rarely or never embark on national advertising campaigns, so the expected view count for each video on a weekly basis is modest. The videos need to last quite a while to be a solid investment of scarce marketing dollars. Luckily, many strategies can extend the lifespan of a video and make it valuable for years into the future.
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One of the keys to a successful long-term video is producing it at the right time. If you know you’re about to remodel your office or place of business, then if possible wait to produce the video until just after the remodel if it will be featured prominently in the video. Also if the video incorporates interviews, be sure to interview people who have been with your company for many years and aren’t likely to leave in the near term. Redundancy is your friend here, so if you can interview 4-6 people and gather a bunch of great interview commentary, you can potentially edit out a staff member who leaves your company a year from now and replace their commentary with someone else who you already recorded. In a worst case scenario, you could schedule another shoot of just a few hours to gather new interview commentary to edit into the video rather than paying for a complete redo.
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Another critical factor is recording extensive B-roll footage that is high quality and well shot. The better the footage, and the more of it you have, the easier future re-edits will be that can extend the useful life of the video. In the case of products that are frequently updated, you already know the product video will have a set life expectancy and will probably be replaced once you release a new version of the same product. In the case of many services, though, you can expect a longer useful life cycle barring a complete change of marketing direction. Even with many changes to your marketing focus, though, you can usually get away with a half-day shoot to update and refresh a video rather than replace it entirely.
You need to figure out from a budget perspective how often you can afford to create video content and how many months of use you expect to squeeze out of each video, then plan accordingly. You will be far better served by creating one great video that lasts for three years than three mediocre ones that are produced annually. Even many national brands re-use holiday videos year to year because of the vast expense in creating a new one every single year. The success and saturation of your video content also may impact how often you want to redo videos, though. If you create a particularly successful video that goes viral, you may want to keep using the video and riding the wave of success, but also start budgeting for your next big hit.
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If your goal is posting regular content to social media, of which videos are a highly effective marketing material, then find a way that you can plan and execute a one or two day shoot to gather a bunch of materials at once. With a ton of content, you can create shorter one minute videos and trickle them out over a period of months. You can then re-market your most successful videos and repurpose them on landing pages for your Website. Many “how to” types of videos that are geared towards your customers’ understanding of your product can last for many years because they remain relevant even past when you stop marketing the product. Great customer service helps you convince the same customers using your old product to upgrade to the new one through future marketing pushes.