Let’s talk about product design. Originally, I am trained as an industrial designer and only moved into video production during my Masters program. As an industrial designer I develop products and services that appeal to the public and ultimately will sell. Everyone gets excited when Apple launches a new innovative product, but ultimately, it’s a business and it needs to make a profit. With this commercial aspect in mind, many industrial design projects take a User Centred approach: market research, usability studies and much much more. So much time and effort is put into the design of a product or service. It often takes three to five years for a product to get from idea to market. With all this effort in user centred design, you might expect user centred video marketing as well?
The User Centred Approach
As said at the start, many industrial design projects take a user centred approach. This means that they actively involve users in the design process. Designers try to identify problems that a user faces so they can solve it with a new product or service. There are many different user involvement methodologies available. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies work well to get insights in what a user wants or needs. From large scale questionnaires to sit-down interviews and co-design sessions. Designers put much effort into designing a product that will actually improve the lives of the users.
User Centred Video Marketing
When the designer has finished their job, it’s up to the marketeer to sell it. And video marketing is a perfect method to get your product or service sold. However, many marketeers forget that a video requires a design process of its own. Your product might be amazing and might solve all the problems in the world, fail to communicate this to your audience and your product will not get sold. And that is where your video producer starts thier own user centred video marketing process. It is all part of the pre-production stage of video production.
User Centred Pre-Production is a must
Every new product development process is a bit of a gamble. However, with clever user research in the early stages you increase the likelihood of success. The same applies to video production. Cutting corners on user research in pre-production is setting yourself up to fail.
How to prepare
With video production, you always get what you pay for. If you invest in user centred video marketing, you’ll get a better video. If you don’t, you’ll run a big risk. So how can you maximise the result without compromising quality over convenience? Prepare your video brief well! Include answers to these questions in your brief and you’ll increase your chances of success:
- Who is your audience? Don’t state things like ‘we’ve got a global audience on social media’. Instead, be as specific as you can! Write down who they are, what are their jobs, what’s their family life like, how do they spend their pastime? Describe real people!
- Why should your audience care about your product or service? Which problem does it solve? Describe a before and after context. Tell us how your product or service improves their quality of life?
- When someone watches the video, what should their first thought be? Describe what kind of action the audience should take and why. Do you want them to get curious to find out more? Buy directly? Appreciate you brand more without direct selling? Make it clear to your video producer.
- Do you have evidence for your assumptions? Are you able to provide proof for the answers you gave in the previous questions? If so, share it with your video producer.
I don’t know yet, I need your help!
Not every client can answer all those questions before a user centred video marketing project starts. And I know that it is difficult to find those answers. If that is the case, make sure you allocate budget for pre-production and allow your video producer to help you find the answers you need to sell your product or service better. It’s an investment to get to know your audience better and sell more.
Not all video producers are the same
Many design projects are the result of a skilled multi-disciplinary team. You’ll have User Experience experts, Design Engineers, CAD Designers, Model Makers and much, much more. When it comes to user centred video marketing, look for a team of producers as well. Every good video needs three key elements: Image Quality, Excellent Cinematography and a Brilliant Story. Image Quality is down to the camera and lenses, but both the cinematography and story require human skills. And on set, never rely on just one person to ensure quality of both.