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You’ve commissioned a video, NOW WHAT?

So I’ve got some bad news for you, in my experience “videographers” don’t always get social media.

Before you pay out for a videographer to come and give you a promo video, take a few tips from me, with experience at both ends of the spectrum.

I started my career as a graphic designer, working mostly on print media, but dabbling in web design. At one point we held an event and I was tasked with shooting video interviews with the speakers. This was maybe ten years ago.

These were incredibly dull conferences, and incredibly dull speakers. Even if you were in the industry, it would take something special to hold you there until 5pm on Day 2.

That’s where it began for me. Since then, video content has skyrocketed.

But not all video is equal. Here are five things to keep in mind when you make the decision to hire in a videographer.

  1. Be crystal clear on the purpose

As with any marketing activity you need to be clear on what it is you want this video to achieve. Think about the outcome you want and how you can emotionally trigger the viewer to do that. I use that word “emotionally” because video is an incredibly emotional medium. I’ve made conference halls cry with video, and I’m quite proud of that. So be clear on how you want the audience to FEEL, and how that will help them to take the ACTION you want them to.

In my case, I made them cry because I wanted them to donate to the charity I was working with. It worked pretty well!

2. Keep it short and sweet

“Filmmakers” are great at getting emotional responses, and nailing those incredibly artistic shots, but you need to remember that this video is competing with a million funny cats. There is ALWAYS a cat video standing by to steal your viewer. So if your video is for social media alone, you need to hit them quick. NO long slow drone-shot intros, NO flashy logo screens before your content, and NO video beyond 60–90 seconds. Don’t be swayed by the artistic integrity of your videographer, you need to grab your audience within the first 1–3 seconds and hook them in with your message.

3. Use text with your video

You’ll have seen that most social videos now have subtitles. This is because most video is shown with sound off, then the viewer has to switch it on. So they need to be able to read what’s happening. Also use headlines on your video. Give your video a top and bottom panel, top for an attention-grabbing headline, and the bottom for the subtitles. Again, the artistic filmmaker with probably hate this, but this isn’t cinema, it’s social, and you need to literally grab your viewer by the shirt and drag them in to watch.

4. Hook — Intro — Content — Call to action

This is a little technical, but if you keep this in mind, you’ll be able to help your videographer nail your next video. The concept here is to kick off your video with a little hook — snippet of the big valuable piece of info that they’ll get later in the video. You’ll have them hooked, then hit them with the information that they didn’t come here to know, but that you want them to take in. Then hit them with the full piece of valuable information (the snippet replayed but in full detail), and the call to action. The call to action is the thing that asks them to do something right now.

Use graphics on the end to reinforce the call to action visually too. Now display your logo here if you want.

5. The perfect size (or aspect ratio)

The standard aspect ratio for video these days is 16:9. In Full HD that’s 1920x1080 pixels, or in 4K that’s 3840×2160 pixels. Sorry, that’s complicated- it’s a rectangle, the shape of your TV screen.

Now, strangley enough, this is not always the ideal size for your social media channels. At the moment, people are experimenting with video of different sizes, but the top performer and easiest for you to make use of across all (or most) channels is to go SQUARE. That’s 1080x1080 square video. Talk about this with your videographer.

There are two exceptions to this: 1. YouTube still prefers the traditional landscape 16:9 aspect ration. 2. Instagram/Facebook/Linkedin Stories, TikTok and Snapchat all prefer portrait 9:16, the same as YouTube just turned on its head. This presents a challenge because you don’t have much width, so talk this over with your videographer — and watch them squirm!

Ideally, when you get your content finalised you should have three versions, one 1:1, 16:9 and 9:16.

This is a quick overview of just five things you should consider before you hire in your videographer, or indeed just things to discuss with them before you sign the deal. Remember, this video must work for your purpose and above all else, it should grab the attention of your audience.

✖️Attention multiplier 👾Content hacker