One video can’t do it all

One video can't do it all

It happens a lot.

We complete a video for a client. It’s living out there in its intended location – let’s say a company’s website. But then, a week or two later, comes the inevitable: “We’re thinking we’d like to use this video for social, too.”

While we can all appreciate getting as much use out of a piece as possible, using the same video across multiple channels is rarely the best strategy. Instead, content needs to be tailored to both its audience and its distribution platform. And to make it most effective, this strategy needs to be worked out right at the beginning rather than as an afterthought.

So let’s back it up, and start at the beginning.

What’s the goal?

Before any creative is worked out, we’ve got to start here. We know, it seems basic. But it’s important to decide what this video is trying to do – Increase sales? Awareness? Build a brand? Push a product? First thing we need to do is identify the goal in simple terms, and focus on creating a video – or suite of videos – that does that.

Who are we talking to?

Next, we consider the all-important audience. At the surface, we’ll first determine basic demographics, like age, gender, ethnicity, income bracket, B2C, B2B, B2E and so on… Then we push beyond the basics, considering things like behaviors, mindsets and where it will be seen. Which brings us to our main point…

Let’s consider the distribution strategy.

That means considering the context our audience will view the piece in. Because the content a person consumes on one platform – like the aforementioned company’s website – is likely not the type of content that same person expects to see on Instagram. Thinking about all of the possible distribution platforms at the beginning of a project will help us work together to think about the best way to version the content across these platforms. In a future post, we’ll take a look at some of these different platforms and the type of content that makes sense for each.

Now, fear not! It’s perfectly feasible to consider distribution channels and, at the same time, find efficiencies in producing content, as Clinique did with their Chubby Plump & Shine campaign. The point is that it needs to be thought through right at a project’s start, rather than at a project’s conclusion when all that can be done is an attempt to reverse-engineer the creative to make it fit a new platform.

The takeaway? With each platform comes an opportunity to tell a compelling story with content that makes sense for that context, and as a result, gets a much better response.


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