It is now universally accepted and proven that film is the most consumed type of content. It’s partly because it is so easy to create by everyone with a phone, and YouTube is a phenomenally popular platform to consume this content on. Publishers, brands and media companies are also placing a very large part of their focus on producing the best content possible. This almost invariably means film. So, does your business need to do it? Is it beneficial to your bottom line to invest in something that means a resource-laden approach to creating something that may or may not mean an improvement in visitors and sales?
For a small business that is predominantly focused on visual product, the answer is strangely enough not an immediate ‘yes’. It is a definite ‘yes’ if you are touting your business as an event photography specialist with film as an added extra. This might not be you who does this, but someone you know well to act as a partner on those jobs. It is a definite ‘yes’ if you are setting yourself up as a workshop expert with a broad selection of skills in visual mastery.
The honest and transparent version of your business is the long-term meaningful way to build your company.
It is not an obvious ‘yes’ if what you do is specialise in photography products, fine artistic pursuits, portrait work and a certain approach to event or wedding photography. However, if done well, it’s a great way to sell your sizzle.
Whatever direction you are pushing yourself, content creation that focuses on you and your business should be as natural as possible, and play to your strengths. This comes back to building a community. The honest and transparent version of your business is the long-term meaningful way to build your company.
- You are the business. Decide very early about whether you want to place yourself at the forefront of communications. If you are comfortable in front of the camera, selfie-happy, and content to make films that are either quick hits you upload on your Instagram or more crafted versions for your website, then go right ahead. If you are not but then try to do it, your unnaturalness will come through quite quickly and could be a turn-off. You can learn of course (see Gary Lineker), but appreciate this will take time.
- Keep it short. The optimum length for people to consume film of a campaigning nature (and high quality) is around 2-3 minutes maximum. Instagram length is between 15-30 seconds. It does not matter how many times you practise before you get the right take (within reason!) but make sure it’s to the point and you are getting everything you need out of that timeframe.
- Focus on the result. Very rarely does it work out that people watch for the pure sake of your wit and humour. If they are learning something from you then that is a great starting point. You must make them for your own selfish reasons. Boosting sales, attracting clients and company promotion. If you can do it for fun because your sales are that good, more power to you!
- Don’t neglect the other content. Quality of content does not only apply to film. Well written website copy, clever taglines and a certain amount of personality behind the copy will go a long way to convincing people to stay even before they watch a film. Adding the two together, well, then bingo!