So You Want to Make a Video


So you want to make a video. You’ve heard it’s a good way to help people connect with your brand, and that including a video will increase conversion rates on your website, in your email marketing, and on social media. But you’re not sure where to start ― or which type of video is right for the story you want to tell.

The answer: it depends. But we’re here to help! We’ve broken down common video formats and their ideal use cases, plus a few tips we’ve learned in the studio.

If you want to put the viewer in someone else’s shoes, go with 360-degree video.

360-degree video allows the viewer to explore while a story unfolds. It puts the audience in the driver’s seat and gives them choice in where they direct their attention. The experience the viewer has ultimately depends on the perspective you choose.

If you want to perfect every shot, go with computer-generated imagery (CGI).

If you think CGI is only for action movies, think again. These days, most of the high-production video you watch on TV (think House of Cards) uses a technique called compositing to combine different visual elements ― film, images, 2D and 3D animation ― into one scene. Subtle visual effects can be used to make video look more realistic, or to superimpose different takes to get the best takes from each actor. Use it to make a more complex video out of simple elements, or to combine the best parts to capture a perfect scene.

If you want to hold a Q&A, go with live video.

Live video through platforms like Facebook and YouTube allow you to directly engage your audience. Because you can answer viewer questions in real time, it’s perfect for webinars or town halls. Plus, you can choose to keep the live video session in your feed so that your audience can continue to derive value from it.

Fun fact: live video has the benefit of coming off as casual, but many brands actually put significant production into their live streams. It can take work to make something look raw!

If you want to build trust, go with ephemeral video.

The disappearing video: it’s in a category all its own. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow users to post videos that can only be accessed for a short period of time, sometimes just a few seconds. You might be thinking, “Why would I put thought and time into creating a video that won’t last?” I have one word for you: authenticity.

Ephemeral video conveys transparency and allows the viewer to feel like they’re accessing a behind-the-scenes look at your brand. Like live video, it can seem casual and off-the-cuff, but it has a higher level of intimacy. It also allows you to subtly tell your story, over time and in short snippets, an approach we recommend pairing with a larger content strategy to drive your story home.

Like live video, ephemeral video can seem casual and off-the-cuff, but it has a higher level of intimacy.

If you want to supplement the real world with video, go with augmented reality.

While not strictly a video technology, one of the best uses of augmented reality is to augment print with video. Use it to bring text, like a user manual or a paper form, to life with supplemental content or video instructions.

If you want to transport the viewer, go with virtual reality.

VR allows for a truly immersive experience, making it ideal for acclimating the viewer to a new space. Use it to give your audience a sneak peek of an event venue, introduce new hires to their work environment before their first day, or train people for a job using simulations and role-play.

Once you’ve chosen your format, here are a few other things to think about.

Assume your video will be silent on social. 

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Create your videos with this in mind by telling your story visually, without relying on voice-over.

Plan for multiple uses. 

When we produce a video for a client, we want them to get a lot of use out of it. We plan up front how we can use every element of a client’s brand video throughout other videos, projects, or campaigns. The longer our relationship with that client, the more they get out of that one video shoot.

Focus on the story. 

No matter what you do, whether it’s high production or casual vlogging, it’s the story that counts. Story is what made the Internet break out the tissues over a flying ostrich. Trekk Video Producer Jesus Diaz sums it up: “Video is evolving. Today’s hyper-consumption of video across so many channels is pushing people to be more creative. You have all this low-production content that’s getting attention. It’s giving high-production companies a run for their money, and it’s underscoring more than ever that’s it’s all about the story.”

Inside Trekk is a 2,000-square-foot video production studio. We’re experts at creating interactive experiences using 360-degree video, special effects, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We work with a wide range of equipment, from shooting on an iPhone for professional live video to shooting a larger production with Red cameras. Think video might be right to get your story out there? Contact us for a demo today.

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