Count the engagement, not the cost of online video budget

Gok WanBrands are moving into online video in a big way which is hugely exciting for all businesses involved and within the next three years video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to a report from Cisco earlier this year.

Be in no doubt, online video content sits at the heart of content marketing and is its future.

This dramatic shift to storytelling through short-form video and the subsequent increase in spend (a recent Adap.tv and Digiday report states that 86% of brands are increasing their video ad spend this year) brings increasing pressure and responsibility to make sure you commission and distribute online video correctly to get exactly what you need and the results you require.

We have commissioned over 60,000+ short-form online videos and counting at Videojug Networks.  We share these with a global audience of tens of millions through our own site, videojug.com and through partners like YouTube, AOL, Yahoo and more.  We’ve been doing it since 2006 and we’ve learned a few things on the way so we thought it would be useful to share some of the do’s and don’ts of commissioning and sharing online video with audiences of all types.

Not every video can be a viral hit, and not every brand can afford to produce a one-hit wonder so think formats – You should consider the pros and cons of a one off video vs a publishing strategy for multiple videos. ‘Non-viral’ formats engage the consumer and can often be more cost effective.

Manage internal stake-holders feedback effectively – The more edit days needed, the more costly a video can be.  If agencies can cut down on feedback rounds by ensuring all stake holders have contributed to the feedback before being delivered to the edit, there is a cost saving to be made.

Get the investment in distribution right - In a perfect world, at least match your distribution budget with your production budget. It could be the best video in the world, but if no-one sees it, what’s the point?

Use the right talent for the right platform – Gok Wan may be a big name in style, but he has a relatively low online video following, so explore native talent instead which will guarantee an engaged audience.

Find the right production company for the right content – Film and TV production houses may not be experts in online content – budgets and strategies may not be maximised.

Discuss budgets up front – It will maximise development time and ensure budgets and creative match up to produce the best content possible.

Know your music rights – We know commercial tracks cost a fortune, so manage expectations and use royalty free tracks or less expensive music libraries.

Add scalability into content strategy – Can you film more videos in one day? Can you negotiate a retainer with a creative or production house to access lower rates and tap into strategy and trend advice?

Story boarding isn’t a must – It’s a very expensive (and not necessary) requirement when working with smaller budgets.

Following these rules means the online video content you end up with will be more engaging, and that, combined with the way you share it, will result in you having a greater chance of hitting the audience you are trying to reach, whoever and wherever they are.

Ben Sinden is content director at Videojug Networks