Chances are, your first reaction to the title is something along the lines of “this sounds like a lot of work, we’re not a media company, why should I bother to learn to think like one?” It’s a fair response. Here’s the answer: if you’re going to be producing video, learning to think like a media company will make your video content creation efforts more efficient, and more likely to be successful.
Creating videos that cuts through the clutter — even just one video — takes some work. The effort required to produce worthwhile video scales proportionately as production increases. The need to create video on a regular basis, video that your audiences are eager to watch, is what’s driving the rapid explosion of B2B and B2C video. Up until now, the only companies that have been succeeding with video on this scale for many years are media companies. Now that your brand, however large or small, can compete with them head-to-head for viewers, you want to know how they’ve been doing it.
Let’s take a quick look at the parallels between what you want to do and what media companies do, starting with you.
- At the outset, you’ll need to generate ideas. Great ones. Ones that need to be developed and vetted. Ones that keep your audience coming back.
- Next, you’ll need to understand your audiences. Who are they? What are they watching? Where are they watching it? What can you deliver that they’ll love?
- Then, you’ve got to figure out how to produce this content. How will you bring your great ideas to life as great videos? On budget? On a regular, scalable basis?
- Up next, you’ve got to figure out how to get these videos out in front of your viewers. You’ve got to get them discovered, embraced, and shared.
- And lastly, you’ll need to figure out how you’re doing; you’ll need some metrics.
Sounds like a lot, right? This is where media companies come in. They’ve streamlined each of these disciplines, and given them cool media-industry names. Let’s take a look at what media companies do:
- Development – This is the process of sourcing and developing show ideas, and trying to make the selection process as scientific as possible. Understanding the process they use to select and develop ideas has great value for you.
- Production – Media companies have budgets to live within just like you, and so they’ve developed workflows and methods to keep costs down, productivity up, and production values consistent.
- Distribution– Media companies invented the original “channels,” and know how to manipulate them. With the explosion of online channels, there’s lots to learn here.
- Promotion– This is a huge, little known industry-within-the-industry, devoted exclusively to creating videos and other marketing materials that motivate people to watch programming. Videos that never get seen don’t have much value, and so this is an area ripe with secrets for the corporate video world to plunder.
- Ratings – Media companies need to know how they’re doing, and what they’re getting for their investment. This gave rise to Nielsen ratings. There are great lessons to learn here regarding metrics and determining ROI.
Still sounds like a lot of work to learn and master, correct? Smart brands know it’s worth it. In upcoming posts, I’ll discuss topics around the areas outlined above, and point to some key lessons you’ll want to learn from media companies in each of these categories. As we progress, you’ll begin to see your video strategy come into view, one that will give you a significant edge as online video continues to become essential to your businesses’ growth and prosperity.