What does success for your project look like?
Is success 500,000 views? Is success a 20% increase to gross margin? Is success coverage in Mashable or Fast Company?
My mentor told me to, “Write the press release you want to see and work backwards”.
Whatever the goal is, you must be able to visualize the win and communicate what that win is to your vendor.
Understand what success looks like for you then facilitate the steps necessary to get there.
Know Your Audience
Effective storytelling happens when strategy is applied to an intimate knowledge of the consumer. What style of filming will your audience respond to best? What approaches should be avoided? What tone is best suited to the message of your piece? What would immediately grab attention?
Having a strong understanding of who the message is for is the difference between success and a missed opportunity.
Set Clear Team Expectations
In addition to consumer insights, you need a plan to ensure that a good idea will survive. Your idea must pass through the scrutiny of all the necessary stakeholders in the production – big and small. To do this, you must establish clear team expectations.
The insights provided by understanding your audience leads to the basis of a creative brief. This brief informs your team’s “idea people” where in the sandbox they can play; allowing the team to have full creative license while establishing a clear guideline of existing boundaries.
Work with your agency to make a creative brief and a strategic brief that work hard for your project. Ensure that these briefs communicate effectively and efficiently the needs and expectations for the writers and where exactly that sweet spot is. The creative and strategic briefs are truly the foundations of any successful idea.
Get It on the Page
Once you have sign off on the creative and strategic briefs, the writers get to writing. Their job is to give you options. Your creative team should deliver at least 3-5 different ideas that are fully flushed out with the story and calls to action all in place.
Choose a Script and Revise It Until It Sings
Take the time to invest in your piece. The script is a loose map or guideline to your end product; edit, add, scrap, slash; be vicious with the application of your vision.
In the end, it’s got to feel right to you. For your brand. For your vision
As much as you take the time to revise your script, make sure to take a little time away from it as well. Even if stepping away only briefly, looking at the script with fresh eyes can be hugely beneficial. The script could possibly evolve over the course of shooting, (more than likely), but until you map out what direction you are aiming for, you are ultimately just wandering in the dark.
Ideas into Motion
A good idea isn’t realized until it is executed. Find the right production company and director to bring your idea to life. You need the execution team (director, producer, crew) to be on-board from the beginning so that they know, intimately what the collective goals are – not just what’s written on the script. There should be no confusion as to which direction the work is moving toward.
Hire an Excellent Editor
They give out Oscars for editing films because editing is an incredibly difficult art.
The editor is like a personal tailor, cutting and draping all the shooting material across the form of your overall vision.
Anyone can cut a piece of fabric. It takes skill to craft and customize it.
During the filming process you have to have a plan, and you have to follow that plan. However, you also need contingencies and you need to anticipate the unexpected surprises. None of that can be done without the finesse that a talented editor brings to the table, no matter how diligently you follow the plan while shooting.
Music and Effects
A famous director once said that storytelling is 51% music.
Everyone knows when something bad is about to happen in a scary movie. Why?
Because the music changes.
Everyone knows when a scene is getting tense. Or romantic. Why?
Music drives the storytelling – it sets a mood. Even if it’s just background sound effects.
Try this sometime. The next time you are watching an emotional scene (sad, happy, scary, doesn’t matter) – continue watching but mute the volume.
The same scene, though still drawing on emotions, will not be near as powerful as when the music is playing.
Creators know this and take concentrated time and effort to match the right sounds with the right scenes.
Leverage Earned Media
Any publicity that is gained without direct paid advertising is considered earned or “free media”. Just one example of this is the proverbial word-of-mouth method. This type of publicity has evolved from sharing a person’s opinions about a product with family and friends to sharing what they think on every social media platform. We are living in a global community where everyone is watching. Cultivating a good reputation among your consumers is huge.
Yes, of course, paid media is important. But with the insatiable content cycle in which we are all immersed, you can leverage earned media in amazing ways without spending much or any money.
Remember: If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Use every last drop.
Our Los Angeles-based creative team has the experience to create engaging storytelling content in ways that compel your target audience into action. If you’re interested in incorporating video marketing into your digital marketing strategy we can help, contact Blend Today.