Adrian: Hi. I’m Adrian Maidment, and this is the WUMA Media Digital Marketing Podcast. And this episode, we’re talking video marketing for social media, and my guest is Simon Maxwell from Simon Maxwell Creative. Hello, Simon.
Simon: Hello, Adrian.
Adrian: Well, we’ll get straight into it. So we’re going to look at the pros and cons of say, doing video marketing yourself, the creation of the videos, as opposed to employing someone, but the overall process has the same basic components. Doesn’t it?
Simon: Pretty much. I mean, there’s a lot of talk about, you know, shooting on phones and stuff. And to be honest, the latest generation of phones, I mean, I got an iPhone, so since iPhone 11 onwards, they’re awesome. A lot of people use them, nothing against them.
What really I think,  the real thing is the skillset in producing a good marketing video for, for anything, particularly social media, It requires a little bit of skill, like anything else.

And if you go at alone, which is fine, there’s a whole stack of stuff on YouTube about how to do it. We all know that. It’s just, maybe it will take you a little bit, probably a lot longer than if you employ a professional. So, I mean, my honest opinion is, excuse me.

If you’ve got the time for it, then by all means, give it a go. It might not be, it might not come off as you thought first time round, you may have to have a couple of goes at it to get it right. But but you know that the quality of the phones now from iPhone 11, up to 12 to the new one 13 and the equivalent in Android, are awesome. They are just awesome.

And they, they are getting better. I don’t think that’s really the major issue. I know people say it’s so hit and miss and all this sort of stuff. I think a lot of it is just, experience.

Adrian: So, there’s sort of the three, three paths of it –  Pre-production Production Post-Production. So can you sort of whip through the key elements of each of those.

Simon: I mean, those are the things that whether you’re do it on your own, or you get someone else to do it they’d have to be done. So, you know, at the top of the list is the, pre-production what we call the pre-production stage, which is basically, figuring out your target market, your brand, how your is going to look.

Developing a concept in particularly in terms of the look and feel of the, video and that as we say, should be in keeping with your brand and also bearing in mind your target market, your demographics, whether it’s the, you know, 18 to 25, whether it’s 35 to 45, whether it’s male, female, all this sort of stuff, you have to figure all that out because  you need to stylise the video to appeal to that particular audience.

I would say from my experience that most business owners have a pretty good idea who their target market is.  Most of them have been in business for a while. I mean, we’re not talking about startups, we’re talking about existing businesses that just want to grow, which is fair enough. So most business owners have a pretty good idea of the target market. So it’s just a matter of stylising the video to suit that. To, attract attention from that market.

Adrian: And a script. Let’s talk about scripts.

Simon: Whether you go it a loan, whether you employ someone to do it, you need a script. I mean, some people go, oh, my mates just filmed so-and-so’s wedding, he’d be good at filming this. Unfortunately there’s a little bit of a difference between filming and creating a marketing video.

You’re creating something that’s going to appeal to a certain type of person, your potential audience.  So I was just going to say, this is a few tips and a few tricks, that’s what you are paying for.

You’re paying for the experience. You know what someone’s may have done, probably a few hundred, maybe a few thousand marketing videos. They’ve got it down to a fine art. They’ve got it. They know how it works. They know how to pull it off, you know, how to, to to do it. Whereas if you launch into it, it’s a bit like the whole DIY thing. It’s very easy to go down to Bunnings and pick up a whole lot of gear, but it might take you a while to kind of build what you’re anticipating and you might have to have a few goes at it.

Whereas you’ve got to think about. Your lights, your sound, as you said, the script.  So the pre production, so the pre-production stage is everything before you start shooting a thing. So you need to have a pretty good idea.

You need to know exactly what you’re going to film and that’s what the pre-production stages. So, it’s working out, whether you do on-camera stuff with, yourself, the owner, or whether you get your marketing guy out there talking about it. And video testimonials are still, they’re worth having. The video testimonials can be filmed on the phone to be honest with you.

So, whether you get a video professional out there and he films the testimonials and pops by the office and spends an hour filming interviews and another hour or so picking up b-roll, kind of like product shots and stuff like that. I mean, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of choice basically.

Adrian:  We’ll get down to the post-production, which I thinks time consuming.   Cause it’s the editing part, isn’t it?
Simon: The production sides not as straightforward as you think, because not only are you recording pictures, but you’re recording sound and sounds actually a little bit more difficult than recording the pictures sometimes.

And so, you need to kind of be aware of it. And the professional guys, who’ve got a lot of sound gear that the business owner, kind of someone not in the business wouldn’t have. And so but you need to have a think about that and to have a think about how you’re going to cut to to take it, to make it work.

But as you say, the post-production side of things is where you make it, you know? So you take all the elements that you’ve filmed and you put them together in such a way that it creates a kind of mood look and feel. And that is a definite skill. Also, you need to use, reasonably proficient editing software to make it work for you. So that’s another little learning curve that you may have to try and take on. If you want to do the whole thing on your own.

Adrian: Software such as Adobe, Adobe Premiere DaVinci Resolve.  Sony Vegas.

Simon: There’s quite a few apps coming up on the phone that you can cut stuff together and put some music and stuff like that. And that may actually work for what you’re trying to achieve.

Adrian: And for a little SEO tip, the transcription, you want to have the words on that video because often people aren’t going to press the sound.

Simon:Yeah, there’s also, there’s all sorts of, things that you know, that you need to take into consideration. I mean, basically if you want to go on your own, then then it might take awhile, to get there in the end. That’s what I’m saying. If you don’t have the time to put into, learn about how to shoot stuff and how lighting works, a little on basic lighting and, making sure that sounds fine.

And then learning some editing software and things like that, then it’s probably better to employ a professional to do it. Who’s does it every day and has got all the right gear for what we’re trying to do, what you’ve, what you, what you’re trying to achieve. And let them get on with it basically.

Adrian: Oh, there’s also that, bring someone in-house isn’t there?

Simon: Yeah. Well, there’s, there’s a number of large companies now bringing production in-house, within the marketing or communications department. They’ve got a couple of people who are t up to speed on editing and  they’ve got some technology and equipment to be able to do it. But, they still rely on outside contractors sometimes, as like second shooters or backups or something like that. And that’s always an option for business owner.  They may shoot a bit stuff on their phone, video testimonials from clients that are your customers,  then they can send it to you. Give it all to a production person.  Cause  that’s a huge time saver. Editing takes awhile.

Adrian: What’s it? Six times six…

Simon: It used to be six times, you know, so if it took an hour film, it would take six hours to edit it. Sometimes it’s a lot quicker, but other times it’s, it takes a bit, a bit of time. Because not only are you cutting the pictures together and stylising them, but you also got sound and sometimes sound can take longer to edit and get right than actually cutting the pictures together.

And particularly now, with, well, not now with social media, but you want to stylise it in a way, you want to kind of this quite a bit of colour, what we call colour correction goes into most of the images you see on social media now and that takes that’s a skill in itself, to be honest.  So I don’t think it’s the technology is the problem. The technology is great. It’s getting better, it’s getting cheaper, but the skillsets that you need to get the best out of the technology you’d have to get up to speed with them. Hmm. So maybe what are the 3, 3, 3 skill areas to be weary of or develop, or even if you’re not doing it yourself, you know, checking with professionals.

My first one would be sound about. It’s you want to make sure the sounds right? Cause you see a lot of stuff on social media and particularly on YouTube where the sound just goes up and down. It’s really quiet. And then all of a sudden it gets really loud and then all of a sudden the music comes in and you can’t understand, can’t hear what’s going on and stuff like that.

So I mean, that’s just, that’s just. Not spending the time on it, to be honest with you and mixing the sound and getting it, getting it as best you can, you know, and a lot of times for the sound you, you’ve got to apply plugins to them to make it sound better, you know, and all this sort of stuff. But that’s just that again, it’s like a skill mixing sound. It’s the same as colour correction for pictures. Most cameras now kind of use the two part process. You’ve got the acquisition process, you know, part of it, which is the filming. But then when you bring the files to the edit software, you colorise them. You kind of give it a look, we call it, giving it a look and that’s a skill, and you can pick it up, but it it’ll take you a bit to do it.

Adrian: So sound, we’ve covered sound, two more areas.

Simon: There’s sound and there’s lighting. So, I mean it’s just, cause I’ve been doing it for years, but I always light things. This is me without the light…

Adrian: Some would say that is better Simon.

Simon: Yeah. Well I think so. But professionals, generally pretty much light everything, just to make it look better. And they’ve got all the gear for it. I’m not, I’m not trying to talk up, you know, video professionals, but that’s the fact of life is that most video professionals will light the, whatever it is to make it look better. You can do it on your own. You can grab some new work lights from Bunnings and stuff like that and stick some diffusers on them and things like that. But it’s just another thing that you need to get a your head around. But failing that if you want to have give it a go, then, you know, use a late model phone like that.

Then lighting wise, just make sure that if you’re inside, put them near a window. Get some  sunlight coming through, just get some soft light coming through.  I know on the iPhones, it’s like you go into the camera setting, there’s a little thing that selects record stereo. I think it is on the iPhone where you want to turn that off because basically there are two mics. There’s one on the camera’s side and there’s two, one on the screen side. And in stereo, they both operate.  But if you turn that that record stereo switch off, it only is only this mic on the front with the three cameras.

And as you get it close enough, it’s fine. The other thing is with I’m not sure about the Androids, but generally with the iPhones only the main camera. There’s three cameras usually. So there’s a wide shot camera. There’s a medium camera. And there’s a a telephoto. The medium camera, the one times camera has all the image stabilisation. Okay. So image stabilisation is kind of like, it’s all kind of smooth and floaty and stuff like that.

And that’s what you’re really, after  when you’re doing  product shots, you just want to kind of keep it smooth. So you can either stick it on a gimbal. You know, you get these phone gimbals or you can do it hand-held. But just make sure you’re using the one-time lens, which has the has the image stabilisation on.

Adrian: And third area, third and final. We’ve done – Sound and light, I guess you could say stabilisation, gimbals.

Simon: Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s a whole host of stuff, you know, that you can get, but I mean, again, a gimbal will make this, you know, kind of like, well…Yeah, the DGI. And there’s a Ronin one as well. And they’re not that expensive, to be honest, you know, that, you know, a hundred bucks or something, couple hundred bucks.

Adrian: Summing up, what have we learned? We’ve learned there itself sort of where we started…

Simon: I think the the biggest issue is skillset. And so if you’ve got the time, if you’ve got the time to invest in it, then I’m sure you can pull it off quite easily.

Adrian: But if you haven’t got the time…
Simon: If you haven’t got the time, you’ve got a looming deadline, you’ve got some product coming in and you want to get it out, you know, start a marketing campaign on it, next week then maybe I would be tempted if it was me. I would even though I’d have liked to have a go at it, I’d, I’d be tempted to get someone in.
Adrian: Or you just don’t like it. That’s the other thing you just don’t like doing it.
Simon: Yeah. Yeah, pretty much.
Adrian: I’m trying to think of a profound line to finish on Simon, but I think we’ll just finish on – thank you. Thank you, Simon.
Simon: Thank you, Adrian.
Adrian: That’s all I’ve got. Oh, and we’ll just say your website is Simon Maxwell. I think. Well, no is it based
in Auckland.  Give us a call. Give us a call.

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash 


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