Should You Hire A Videographer?

When would a ‘home made’ video be appropriate and when should I hire a Professional Videographer?

Think of it this way: you may take many snapshots of family gatherings, events, community affairs, but when you want a photograph to put into a public announcement, or a company brochure, or for the graduating senior, or maybe a wedding, then you hire a professional.

When you look at professional photography, alongside your treasured ‘snapshots’ of friends and family, you should be able to tell the difference.  The photographs you hang on the wall or put on the fireplace mantel, are usually taken by professionals.

This is the best deciding factor that I can think of and it’s easily applied to the use of video.  If you’re recording your company picnic, the softball game or scenes from a retirement party, these are videos you can shoot.

Some of the footage may be suitable to include in the annual company function where everyone gathers over a meal to review and celebrate the years achievements.  The videos can also be published on your YouTube Channel. The link can be sent to all the employees and they make a great tool used to create and sustain a common bond.

This is a form of Social Media / Social Networking

Now suppose you organise a fun event which doubles as a fundraiser… maybe an egg race, or one that comes to mind was a fundraising event  I helped to organise in Europe; the funds were used to supply equipment for special needs children.

A pharmaceutical company (Merck) hosted the event. While researching what kind of event to stage, I noticed that 85% of the upper management were men.  So I organised a ‘cross dressing’ event. They were judged in a beauty contest by the entire staff.. oh, did we have fun! Imagine video of that.

A product launch is a good reason for creating a video and you want to attract a wider, public audience, then hiring a Videographer is a good idea. The professional will be involved in performing many functions.

One of them will be to shoot the footage so that the ‘branding’ of the product is not broken. That is to say, the video should not break the established branding. If a marketing professional has not been involved in creating ‘the brand’ then some of this task may fall to the videographer.

That is the look n’ feel of the product…take a closer look at TV ads, or the ads that precede the feature film at the cinema. These are typically high-end branding commercials.

Product launches, well done, are works of art. It’s almost never just the product, but the story of the product… it communicates how it will make you feel if you buy it… what type of person you are if you buy it… and how others will see and feel about you when you buy it.

That is a very sophisticated video.  It’s a marketing and advertising tool.. it is Branding Video. Some of the content of the ‘branding’ should, from that time forth, feature in all the publicity.

Virtual Tour Video: This is appropriate if your customer has a reason to see where you are.

Maybe you have a B&B, or a Yacht Club, Dance School, Restaurant, a Massage School, Health Spa, Vacation Home for rent or a House for Sale.  These are all good subjects for a virtual tour.  I hasten to add however, that the more professional that video looks, the more likely someone will want to come see it in the ‘real’ place.

I’d like to take this opportunity to re-set what the word ‘virtual’ was crafted to say – ‘like being there’.

I don’t know about you, but many of the so-called ‘virtual tours’ have given me more the experience of virtual sea-sickness rather than an actual impression of the venue!  Not wishing to be unkind towards the novice so I’ve included a separate section of articles, and ‘Tips n’ Tricks’ Of The Trade for those of you who either have to make your own or want to learn to make your own videos.

Product Demo.. this can be shot by an amateur or it can be handed over to a professional.  It depends on what budget is available and what audience the product is intending to attract.

Here’s a few pointers that I hope will help in making a decision about whether you or a professional should shoot the video;

If you can put a camera on a tripod, and without moving the camera, determine that it will effectively record the demonstration of the product, then you can probably create this video yourself.

But if, on the other hand, you know your product needs some close-up shots to properly display functions or aspects of your product, then it’s best to rehearse and hire a professional.

One of the main reasons to hiring a professional will be because the video will need editing. Good editing will ensure that the viewer is not bored with the zooming in and out of the camera, and the ‘swipes’ or travel shots that are usually found in unprofessional recordings.

Editing is magical. A wand that can be waved over a less than transcending bit of footage, and voila` ‘there’s magic in them thar shots!  They only needed a professional storyteller to distil the footage and render it into the essential essence that conveys a simple elegant point.

Effective video as good storytelling, it lets the images do the work. Good productions never say what they can show.

Think of it as a person who enters the room. They’re well dressed… everything about them is an understatement… they have an allure, you don’t need to know why, you just decide that there’s more to the package than meets the eye. The essence lies in what’s left unspoken.

Compare this to the flamboyant, coulourful, overdressed and noisy person who makes the same entrance… unless they really have something to do or say, your eyes are quickly filled..and you move on.

The understatement, strategically placed, will always say and do more than it’s full throttle cousin! That’s why it’s always employed in high end branding.

The usual amount of cutting on a low budget shoot is 10 to 1.  That is to say, you shoot ten times the amount of footage that you know you’ll need. So a product demo that is intended to cover the landscape of a 3 min video will often have 30 minutes of footage, and this ratio is tight. When this is cut to a tight and effective 60-90 sec internet commercial, you will have a lean-mean-marketing- machine to send out as a lure and with this bait, you should catch the attention of that prospect.

This video should be crafted for them… address their desires…solve their problems and convey your professionalism if it’s a service you’re selling.

When making low budget movies the ratio generally becomes a 3 to 1. That’s because everything is well rehearsed, and a host of professionals hang their crafts on the framework called the script.  That script is like the frame of a building.

Just observe how quickly you loose interest in most of the footage that’s posted on the internet.

To make interesting video, say a product demo, it is usually shot 3 times and each time with a different angle, then this footage is cut to a succinct, and engaging 60 sec internet commercial.  Not a frame of that footage can be wasted.

The studies show that almost all of us (97%) elect to click out of a video in 10 sec or less, unless it can grab and hold our interest.  We are all ruthless viewers.  Good video ‘entertains while it informs’ and a reason for viewing is absolutely essential.

Stark fact worth considering if you’re thinking of creating videos for the purpose of selling products and services.

One more type of video is the Vlogg; this is usually created and posted weekly and never less than monthly;  it can be of many things but I think it’s best as a running commentary.  I know of a Stock Broker that set one up to great effect.  Sitting in the same place, with the camera in the same place, he would record his comments on the weekly market. It kept him in touch with the clients he then cultivates by being consistently available to them, serving them and that is the best way to be in front of them when they make decisions to go to the next level.  The best time to make an ‘up-sale’ is to be there when their cheque book is out and decisions need to be made.

Another time I used the Vlogg was to illustrate a before and after of a house that an Interior Decorator was transforming.  That was the only calling card she ever needed.  It was like watching magic. It sold her and her services.

Anytime something that is made has a process is a good time to create Video Vlogg.
It’s posted to the company’s website weekly or monthly.

The Vlogg Diary, is a good tool to document the making of anything… like making cheese, or the process wine goes through (this is an opportunity to involve your clients / customers and it is sure to encourage sales) if they follow the process…they are involved in the end product.  It’s more like they belong to the ‘family’ and naturally come to the table instead of being invited to dinner once all the prep work is done.

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