Why Video is Valuable in Public Relations
Public relations is about storytelling; it’s about creating and controlling a narrative in a tactful way. Now, there are several ways PR companies can go about establishing these narratives but, one method that is often overlooked is the use of video content. Videos are the most effective tools for digital storytelling, and this blog post is here to help you understand just how beneficial it can be for your business.
It’s possible that you already have some interest in utilizing video content, but perhaps you have some hesitations holding you back. Maybe you don’t know what a video production company can do for you, you’re concerned about getting a return on your investment, or you just aren’t sure how far a video could go. Fortunately, your concerns are about to be addressed.
Since public relations is based on earned media promotion, rather than being marketing through a paid ad space, videos leave little room for messages to be misinterpreted or to be lost in translation as they move through the media cycle. They are clear and concise, and working with a video production company can ensure that your video is saying and portraying exactly what you need. Further, video is attention-grabbing, they have the ability to cross platforms, and they can improve your search engine optimization and rankings.
People love videos. The combination of audio and visual content is stimulating and engages the viewer, more so than written content or still photographs. This is crucial in public relations because you need people to pay attention to your message and to take the time to hear and share what it is that you have to say.
Videos posted online are no longer limited to just being available on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, the way they used to be. Thanks to many social media advancements, video content is now supported by sites and apps including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, TikTok, and more. Further, platforms like Instagram are actually starting to push video content more than photos, which is what their app was originally created for. Continuing with the Instagram example, the platform also provides various means by which videos can be posted. These include a regular Instagram post to your feed, an IGTV video which allows videos longer than one minute to be shared either on your feed or in a separate section, a Reel which is a short, vertical video styled similarly to a TikTok that can be shared either on your feed or in a separate section, and Instagram stories which are 15 seconds long and disappear after 24 hours unless they are saved to a highlight. Algorithms are changing to support and promote video content, so by creating quality videos and sharing them on social media, you can easily expand your reach, as the platforms are on your side.
If you’re one of those who are concerned about whether or not social media is a worthwhile endeavor, videos can help with that. In recent years, social media platforms have granted professional accounts the ability to track their metrics. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok all provide information on who is and how people are engaging with your content. With videos, you have the added ability to easily see views right on the video post. It is important to note that different platforms have different standards for how they measure engagement, such as how long a video needs to be watched for it to be considered a view, so you should educate yourself on exactly what the different platforms’ insights mean.
Going off of the previous point about social media’s accessibility, videos are also adaptable to various screen sizes and devices. In a time where about 50% of people who are accessing the internet worldwide are doing so from a mobile device, it is important that your content is as widely available as possible to small screens. The ability to post videos on social media, YouTube, and even your website ensure that it is relatively simple for audiences to view your video no matter where they are. Even better, videos are more likely to get people to stop scrolling when they’re using a small screen because they are easier on the eyes than small text.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is another perk of including video content in your public relations plan. When taking this approach, you want to make sure that the video content you are using is high quality, and enlisting the help of a video production company can guarantee a good outcome. Having a high-quality video is helpful for numerous reasons, including drawing traffic to the webpage, increasing the amount of time people spend on the page, and improving your Google search results standing and clickability. It is important, however, that this video content aligns with what is already existing on your website and that it supports your present search engine optimization strategy. You want to improve what you’re already doing, not use video to bring in entirely new or unrelated content.
Part of what makes Google results tick is a webpage’s relevancy. Relevancy is determined by a number of factors, one of which is the amount of time that people spend on said page. By including relevant videos when you can on various pages on your website, people are likely to stick around longer, because there is something that draws them in right away. This can be accomplished both through videos that they have to click to play themselves, or videos that are set up to play automatically when the webpage is opened. The longer that people are engaged with your website content, the higher you will show up in search results, and the more people that will click on your website, and that cycle will continue to hopefully bring you more clients and media attention.
Once you’ve got your videos on your website and have increased your Google search relevancy, there’s one more step you can take to get people clicking on your site. Some Google results that have videos associated with them have a small thumbnail beside them. These are called “video rich snippets” and they can be accomplished with just a little bit of HTML coding. In order to keep it simple, it’s best to have your video directly hosted on your website, though there are workarounds if you have sourced your video from another platform. Then, you must provide Google with the details and sitemap through code, and you’ve got an attractive, spruced-up Google search result.
All of these outlined factors go to show that a well-done video can be a smart move for public relations, as they can provide a clear message, are accessible due to their ability to be posted on multiple channels, and can help improve search engine optimization. So after all that, you’ve decided you want to utilize video content, but how do you go about getting it? Luckily, there is likely a video production company that can provide the services you are needing, whether that be a corporate video for yourself, a video for a client running a non-profit organization, or anything in between.
So, What’s the Cost?
Now, not every video production company is going to offer the exact same services or packages, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs. Whether that be everything from pre-production and scriptwriting to post-production or just a studio package, there should be something out there for you. When you’re doing your research, you will need to decide on a budget. If you have some concerns over cost and getting a return on your investment, that’s okay! Many companies will present their services as a package, rather than individual costs, but hopefully breaking down some of the typical processes and costs can help you quell some of those worries and see just where your money is going.
Understandably, there are a lot of factors and a lot of work that goes into producing a quality video. The first step is known as pre-production, and it entails coming up with a concept or storyline for the video, mapping it out, and creating a script. These are crucial elements of a successful video, as this is where you are going to nail down the target audience and message you are trying to get across. Depending on how much work there is and how many people are involved in the pre-production process, One Market Media suggests that you can typically expect to spend between $75 to 250/hour on this part of the process. Another factor to consider in this pre-production process is enlisting a producer. The producer will essentially act as the project manager, taking on various roles such as coordinating the creative team and setting certain budgets. The rate for the producer will typically fall within that same $75 to 250/hour range.
Once you have established a story, you’ll need to figure out who is going to be in the video. Whether this is actors or voiceovers or presenters, you’re likely going to need somebody to present your content. It is important to note that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a professional who does this if there is somebody from your company who is capable of the job. Naturally, then, the cost of actors can vary greatly, depending on experience, the length of the shoot, and what kind of work they will be doing. The cost can range anywhere from $50/hour to over $500/hour, but this also means that you should be able to find a route that works with your budget. For projects two minutes or less, some voice actors may also offer a flat rate fee between $200 and $500.
Now that you’re ready to start getting to work, the next thing to consider is a director. The cost of this aspect of the shoot can vary, as well, depending on how much involvement they are going to have with the project, their experience, and the size of the shoot. If the shoot is small, there may not be one designated director at all, and rather the crew themselves may work collaboratively to fill that role. If there is one sole director and they are involved in the entire pre-and post-production process, that will inevitably cost more than if the director is only needed the day of the shoot. For small projects, you’ll likely be looking at spending around $75/hour to $250/hour for your director.
Next is the cameraman. The varying cost trend continues here, as it is dependent on the complexity of the shoot and the experience of the cameraman. Simple shoots might not require an extremely experienced and well-known camera person, which can help you stay within budget. Once you know what you’re going to need, you can expect to spend anywhere from $25/hour to $250/hour for a camera person.
After the shoot is done, it’s time to edit. This is where the story you’re trying to tell will really come together. It is important to have good communication with your editor regarding how many rounds of edits you are wanting, or how many rounds of edits they can provide while staying within your budget. Editing will typically cost you between $50/hour and $200/hour.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it can hopefully give you an idea of what costs you’ll be looking at when shopping for a video production package that works for you and your vision and deciding on a budget.
After all this, you’ve hopefully come to the conclusion that you want to start creating video content to support your PR endeavors. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling on your video production. When you’re selecting what video production company you are going to work with, you will want to ensure that the team is willing to work with you collaboratively to turn your vision into a reality. They should be knowledgeable on how to portray the look and feel you want your video to have and how to turn your ideas into a compelling story. Further, look for collaboration that is smooth. The team you’re working with should be well-versed in various online and digital mediums, as this will allow for fluid communication and expertise across platforms. Taking all of this into account, you should be well on your way to creating a successful video!