Above and Beyond – Where Great Video Production Starts
WHY “INTEGRATED” AND “CONVERSION” ARE THE TWO MOST CRITICAL WORDS IN MARKETING TODAY.
Measuring the Value of Video Content Marketing
When advertisers are talking final conversions or first awareness touches, the difference between perfectly on mark and punched off the list can waste 100,000’s of dollars of marketing and years of efforts.
It’s a question as old as the first advertisement chiseled into stone centuries ago: How do I know if I’m getting my money’s worth on advertising and marketing? Late 19th century department store pioneer John Wanamaker perhaps said it best:
These days, you can measure your marketing results. It’s all about the total cost per acquisition (CPA).
What is total cost per acquisition? Marketers are now able to accurately quantify the results of the subcomponents, or primary elements, of individual marketing initiatives in real time, thanks to sophisticated technology systems and what is now comparatively cheap computing power. Today’s attribution technology finally allows us to definitively measure the impact not only of how much did you spent and how much return you received, but also to see into the effectiveness of each influencing component within an integrated advertising campaign.
However, the technology convergence within the communications arena has created another challenge for marketers — an ever-growing universe of devices and platforms where we can engage, or completely miss, connecting with target audiences. Not long ago, we could just prescribe “two print ads, a radio spot, and a couple of :30s for television.” End of media planning discussion. Today, that conversation is never-ending and includes hundreds of independent and interdependent subroutines and effectiveness drivers.
Even with the end to end attributions and marketing metrics dashboards available today, marketing officers are still left with two major dilemmas:
- Who do I choose to develop my marketing and advertising? In-house?
- How much will it cost you, realistically, to achieve the results you need?
The short answer to dilemma one is that a fully-integrated, outside marketing partner can produce more effective advertising and higher ROI than an in-house department can achieve alone, or through buying and coordinating external supplier’s creative, production, and technology services, working in perfect synchrony.
The truth about advertising video
Don’t just take our word for it; this has been a given truth for generations for all brands that have the ability to measure it. Take the word of researchers Silk and Berndt, who conducted the study, “Scale and Scope Effects on Advertising Agency Costs,” to prove it, “An in-house agency sacrifices size-related economies realized by an independent agency serving numerous clients. Use of an outside agency is less costly than operating an in-house agency.”
Because an independent agency buys, staffs, and invests for a number of clients, the cost of specialized talent, technology, and marketing business strategy and intelligence is advantageously leveraged outside-in compared to a company buying and expensing only for itself.
Another major benefit is that only an external, independent agency brings objectivity and an outside perspective to your marketing challenges. A veteran team of specialists also brings their experience solving similar challenges for other clients in other industry sectors. Having done countless seemingly similar strategies and tactics before for other clients, a successful external integrated marketing agency studies the options, helps avoid the mistakes, and confidently knows what will actually work and how to implement it.
It’s more economical to utilize an outside marketing partner once you divide the output by the true costs of both higher ROI and initial advertising development and production. There is no question remaining when marketers multiply the ROI by more bottom line results. Although, advertising cost is only half of the value equation. The performance of that more efficient marketing partner is what determines the final bottom-line value. Performance based on return on advertising investment is the key.
Seriously, think about it. No one who is committed to growing their business wants Low Price/Low Performance. Advertisers need Cost Effective/High Performance. Marketers want the combination of economies of scale, talent that knows how to connect, the nimbleness of the latest technology stacks, as well as, the experiential advantages offered by an external marketing firm. The secret: an agency client partnership allows a company to have the best of both worlds — in-house efficiencies and agency expert effectiveness to ensure you are getting the best VALUE — the most return — for your marketing and advertising investment.
Why is marketing quality often overlooked?
Marketers have grown in their ability to calculate budgets. Although, some now focus on finding lower component costs for video marketing and advertising services. This video production strategy becomes a race to the bottom of advertising results. How do we lower costs when making something? Put less into it. Period. However, if saving $2,500 on video production costs keeps the campaign from attracting half the leads, and also converting 50% less leads that are gained, then how much did the $2,500 savings cost? The trick is not to produce the video for a few bucks less; the trick is getting the video production indexed, trusted by your targets and influencers, and effective at engaging and converting your advertising leads. That’s not achieved by a lower bid that simply puts less into the component parts. Smart marketers know the performance of your individual marketing and advertising decisions drives the total cost per acquisition. Turning budgeted and forecasted marketing numbers into marketing reality is the magic trick.
So, how does that happen? How do you go from marketing budget numbers on paper to my budget creating more advertising and sales results? How do you ensure the advertising return on investment? Is there one more “magic formula?”
The marketing value equation
How can you ensure your company gets the most bang for its budget? How will you increase results? How can you identify the best value when researching a marketing partner that claims they offer you the best opportunity to achieve, even exceed, your goals?
You already know peer-reviewed research has shown the economies of scale and the benefits of an external, objective, integrated marketing partner. Who wouldn’t want the best talent and tech on the job? The secret sauce is finding the right full-capability, cross-discipline, fully-integrated firm for your brand. The key to finding the right integrated marketing agency is discovering one that checks every marketing box. They must be technology agnostic, as well as tactic, channel, and strategy agnostic. To do that, you will need to find a new breed integrated marketing agency that does it all under one roof: marketing and advertising strategy, communications, sales optimization and promotion, sociographic targeting, strategic planning, market, consumer, or product research, print, photo, video, digital, full stack coding and development, E-commerce, event production, AI, AR, and VR… and whatever else shows up next week that collects your targets in new channels.
The new method creates more conversions
For many reasons, a top integrated marketing firm will be more successful at producing effective, high-quality, and sustainable video engagement more efficiently. It’s now a foundational element in content marketing campaign conversion results. It’s simply more efficient when produced in stride and in sync with the marketing campaign that defines it and allows for the engagement and conversion power of progressive messaging within marketing funnels.
The new method of integrated campaign development by integrated agencies can’t be compared to an independent provider or in-house staff that must hire a myriad of outside contractors, or simply do without the indexing, the emotional connectivity, and the authentic progressive messaging momentum it takes to connect and convert advertising and sales leads.
The fully integrated advertising and marketing agency provides:
• A more comprehensive strategic approach to drive ROI
• Faster, more efficient project completion rates
• Consistent processes honed over time to squeeze conversions
• Scope and scale of creative, strategy, and tech to leverage existing resources
• A seasoned, synergistic team of super-talented creative professionals
• Economic advantages of cost containment by leveraging fixed costs over many clients
• Coherent “one-stop-shop” approach for clients
• Scientific research methods to optimize targeting audience segments
• Marketing business intelligence outside-in thinking that introduces fresh insight
Finally, we come to the most important key to ensuring value, performance, and return on investment for marketing and advertising — conversions. Are you ready? Wait for it… there is no magic formula. Sales and advertising conversions are driven from advertising and brand positioning working together. Conversions are the most important key and yet, often hard to define. Oh, lots of agencies claim to have the it. For that matter, many companies claim to be either “committed to” or “dedicated to” “quality.” Google says that more than 600,000,000 businesses claim one or the other, or both, on the Internet. If that was even 10% true, there would be no dissatisfied customers — ever.
How can you determine if an external agency can actually deliver the quality and conversions they claim? At FabCom, we make it easy. We guarantee quality performance. We have for decades. When we engineer a strategic marketing plan for a client, we back it with a guarantee of performance and ROI quality. It’s this simple: if you fully implement the strategy with our guidance and do not achieve the agreed-upon financial goals detailed in the strategy, FabCom will refund the cost of the strategy.
We guarantee the quality of the thinking, research, creative concepts, execution, and technological expertise works synergistically to meet your goals.
Integrated Marketing Includes Top Quality Video Production
The past decade has seen tremendous evolution in the quality and advertising conversion impact of online video. 360-degree video, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and conventional video production with Visual Effects, especially in combination with Artificial Intelligence, has taken marketing videos designed to connect genuine leads on a personal level to new heights. Top integrated marketing agencies have assembled and developed the best pros and acquired the best technology available, all under one roof and driven by the accountability to marketing results.
Video-centric lead generation campaign
A well-recognized technology university needed a sales-style online demonstration video to help convert online leads to their online learning platform for students. It’s the main portal where students keep their profile and connect with professors, classes, and other students. The university asked the agency to develop a “how-to” video demonstration to educate prospective students on the unique empowering attributes of the application that helps students decide if online education is right for them.
The video production case study
To keep the scope and costs at the determined budget, paid hours were exhausted by completing the first version of the online demonstration video through the work of a small dedicated team of video production ninjas. The specification was fulfilled, as requested by the client and within budget. The agency actually developed two separate video demos. For the purpose of this case study, it helped demonstrate how the specs established for the video (driven solely based on budgets available) didn’t generate the engagement required to nurture a purchase as intensely emotional as a college degree.
The first client-controlled version, which was made for the minimal budget allocated, just seemed flat, not exciting, and definitely not differentiating. The conundrum: most colleges leverage the same learning platform, therefore, differentiating this online learning program over others is the key to driving preference. The first link below is the video created to the exact original spec, fulfilled based on what was provided by the client.
First version (meets random spec and budget)
The original spec for the video did not fulfill the requirements and output of a superior quality brand, nor did it anchor the ability to convert the leads to the online programs. After exhausting the budget and allocating the four-person production team that consisted of two full-time, highly-qualified video specialists, the end result was a waste. Unhappy with the results of the client-directed video and knowing greater things were possible when you let a full team of creatives loose on a project, FabCom invested into the clients work to “sweeten” the video to the national quality levels. We injected FabCom juice to increase engagement and promote connection. The brand progressed to this requirement by the agency assigning a 13-person cross-discipline, integrated team on the project to deliver the final video demo. If you look at it from a math perspective, 13 cross-disciplined talents can produce so much more than a team of four.
Sizing up quality video production
Below is the “FabComized” version (our collaborative, iterative process with all required skills represented by a separate talent who is a top-notch expert in each production discipline). The link below represents the final superior quality, differentiating video. As you compare the videos, notice how the agency version was created to the level required to connect and transcend the clutter of all other brands leveraging the same learning platform. As an integrated agency, the focus is not on one video: it’s to progressively deliver on the brand promise and to create difference and preference for our best targets above all others. Utilizing video as a piece of the whole brand promise becomes the “secret” to converting more sales and advertising leads.
In addition, it is important to note the 13-person team, once deployed, produced the second video in less total hours than a four-person team trying to produce all the cross-discipline skills required. It simply takes longer for a four-person team to create something compared to 13 specialists working together with quadruple the skills to complete the project. The only difference is an integrated agency approach compared to a silo video production team. For example, a camera guy doesn’t write, color-correct, or animate the video he films. While he may have some of those skills, he isn’t an expert in every field needed to create an engaging video.
The hidden elements of creating effective marketing videos
Clearly, the quality reflected in the second version of this video created with the integrated agency team’s method is vastly improved, as is the engagement and appeal of the lead generation and conversion tactics. Once the fully-integrated, advertising-driven video production team added these methods and processes, shown below, the technology and incredible creativity of the talent to leverage the project to the next level.
- Added 3D animation and motion graphics to otherwise static screenshots of the Canvas interface and the provided content that was specified as included or provided in the original scope. This was accomplished by painstakingly separating all static page elements for every Canvas screen and creating all missing elements to connect viewers from scratch to fill the missing Canvas profile elements.All names and years were meticulously retouched in full motion graphics in 49 instances from all pages to eliminate identifiers and make the video relevant for years more to come instead of just one or two.
- All names and years were meticulously retouched in full-motion graphics in 49 instances from all pages to eliminate identifiers and make the video relevant for years to come instead of just one or two. Color correction and custom LUTs to accurately create symmetry of color and contrast between scenes protecting visual continuity so the final product looks professional and planned, not pieced together.
- Page elements were dynamically animated with SPECIAL EFFECTS to highlight important features to attract the focus of the viewer’s eye.
- Camera animation was keyframed to give the sense of a seemingly fly-through into the transitions to bring the viewer into the page and subliminally pique their interest rather than having them want to flip to the next.
- 3D layering and 4D lighting effects, including tracking to corresponding elements in scale, which gives the viewer a sense of depth and engagement with the actual “product” to make users feel as if they are inside the page rather than looking at it.
- Custom emotionally-unique and resonating simulations with tens of thousands of particles gives life to otherwise impossible concepts to communicate in seconds with flocking birds spelling out branded buzzwords in the sky.
- CGI environmental design and creation allows for beautiful, cinematic shots not available through the lens of a camera.
- 3D extrusion of objects to create depth and ray traced rendering to optimize shadows and reflections giving real world accurate effects expected by today’s modern person.
- Color correction and custom LUTs to accurately create symmetry of color and contrast between scenes protecting visual continuity so the final product looks professional and planned, not pieced together.
- Critical focus on the “perfect” brand voice and cadence for this particular piece. Inclusive of an iterative process selecting through live test reads for weeks, the right professional voice talent from over 100 incredibly talented, working artists, including read-throughs, reviews, callbacks, final callbacks, and final talent selection.
- Versioning the final voice-over talent script with micro changes in cadence, tone, pronunciations, and emphasis to get the copy/feeling just right, and over 10 studio takes working directly with the talent to develop the perfect inflection and emotion from their voice.
- Music selection and editing was a critically integrated process. Finding the right music to accompany the video and voice over which together creates a symphony of inclusion over the new wider-targeted audiences that harmonizes together. Music and audio mix, optimization, EQ, and compression were optimized by sound artists that are among the finest in the country to make the sound powerful yet clear to seamlessly accompany the video.
- Tech, method, and talent is the key
Compare the four-person team to the fully integrated agency production team below. This effort was extended by the agency in order to help the company move forward with the mixed online cohorts without cannibalizing the existing positioning and messaging, but instead extending the brand into the new space and including the new cohorts.
Let’s take a look at what incorporates a cross-disciplined video production team. These talents are seasoned exerts at the highest level of talent and experience available in the Southwestern US.
In the same time period, see what a cross discipline agency team can accomplish compared to the four-person video team.
Bottom line — compare the videos in the links provided links. The first video is the same voice, same provided content, and same length that is the result of matching the specifications by assigning it to a dedicated four-person production team. Then, compare what a collaborative, iterative cross-disciplined, advertising video team can produce when the focus is only to deliver what needs to be accomplished to create difference, preference, and conversions. It takes advertising champs to achieve the proverbial advertising quality that results in conversions and increased ROI.
Video production results
This Advertising Case Study details the added value of 13 DIFFERENT talents added to the project, provided by the agency professionals from an integrated, multi-disciplined video production team. The detailed differences between one superior quality marketing-centric video and a video of the same length delivered (that also fits the spec), that was created without this level of team talent, methods, and technology delivered for the same budget to the client. The difference is not in the spec, it’s in the team, talents, and methods leveraged. Advertising results are always about the differences in the how, not the what that’s being produced.
After completing the original spec, the initial version moved too slowly to connect to the psychographics of the targets. Additionally, the cadence was not fast enough to match the brand voice. Therefore, the agency added twice the footage in the same seconds. Why? In order to hit a brand resonation that will be effective for the video’s intended use of creating advertising preference and conversions.
The equipment and software difference was also doubled down into the project once the original budget was exhausted, delivering the work to the original specification and direction. As the agency completed the first cuts, the project was left with too much stock photography for a unique communication that would create difference and preference.
Therefore, utilizing the seasoned video professional talents added to the project for the second cut (delivered for the same budget), the agency shot 15 additional original scenes and intermixed them with 16 stock shots. Each scene was cast to a targeted cohort of the new wider cohorts of the brand in and around the environments and urban lifestyles and mapped to each of the targeted product segmentation roll ups. This created a unique piece of content to appeal to those most interested in the university’s indexed programmatic disciplines.
Video that feels and works like the big brands
What is critical to note here, based on the equipment, talent, and methods being the same as the top stock photography in the nation, FabCom was able to combine the stock and original shots together in such a way as to extend the reach of the brand nationally, inclusive of many targeted subcultures in stride, and within the timeline and budget. Why is this important? Only an agency or firm that has all the same type of top-notch professional level tech, talent, and methods IN HOUSE and OWNED could afford, from a cost and time standpoint, to deliver a level of video on par with the big brands.
We hope you have enjoyed the details behind some of the individual drivers of advertising video that converts. This advertising case study is a visual display, broken down tactically in line-item format to show the massive difference of ingredients. It’s important to note the strategic differences of having an integrated marketing and advertising agency create the video marketing compared to a stand-alone video team.
The spec and budget are not the purpose. Having a long-term partner who will see the shortfall and invest in the work to maximize the ROI within funnel marketing for the most conversions, with the resources available, is the critical mission.
The emphasis on uniquely engaging content such as top-quality video that matches brand strategy as the key driver of advertising conversions is exponentially different than traditional marketing processes and innately powerful to inbound marketing funnels. Why? It’s the performance of many individual marketing tactics and the momentums of many elements culminated into specific drivers for today’s multichannel, multi-screen video-centric world that helps influence targets progress within an inbound marketing funnel for effective advertising. It is critical that certain elements of the integrated marketing funnel be great, not just good.
The strategies and tactics need to hit the bull’s-eye — not the edge of the targets. The creative works need only to serve the needs of the funnel progressions to conversion, not the opinions of the creators.
Marketing professionals can hit spec and budget on videos and waste all the marketing, sales, and advertising efforts within the marketing funnel. If the budget and spec created before the real needs of creating an original video can be seen, they can fall woefully short of what was required.
In order to ensure your marketing ROI, it is critical to see and know those moments of truth and invest into the right tactics, strategic methods, and fully integrated marketing teams to assure the ROI of all other up-line advertising and downline marketing conversion and sales efforts.