Making sure the in-house video studio team collaborates with the rest of the marketing department is key to ensuring the success of the in-house studio. Video takes many skill sets but oftentimes, video projects are managed separately from other types of marketing initiatives like white papers, blog posts, print ads, emails, social media content, etc. Companies that have invested in an in-house studio understand the importance of video as a part of the overall marketing strategy and therefore the full marketing team should be involved in creating video, not just the video studio staff.
Many companies begin with a small studio staff. Often this is a single studio manager, who is a jack-of-all-things-video. This person shoots and edits videos and has very little support from other members of the internal marketing team. If this is the case, that person needs help. Even with two or three people staffing the studio, often their skills do not meet the needs of a full scale video production. Other internal resources are needed, including project managers, writers, designers, and traffic managers, to name just a few. Below we will go into more detail about these four roles and share why they are integral to video projects.
Project management is key to any initiative. As an experienced project manager myself, I have a keen (and biased) appreciation for the value these team members add to any initiative. Project managers consider the larger picture, dig into the details, and bring everyone together to align on objectives.
Most well-oiled marketing teams have project managers (aka account executives or strategists) responsible for liaising between the creative team and the in-house business partners. This person has an understanding of the objectives and goals of the business partners and also has a broader understanding of the full campaign deliverables that may support the video. Project managers understand project briefs, timelines, milestones, key campaign dates, KPIs, and analytics.
A video studio manager should not be in the position to project manage or strategize at this level. Access to project managers means that video does not live in a vacuum. It means video is a part of a larger business strategy. It means that video is a coordinated and strategic endeavor and not simply a one-off or an afterthought.
Writers are beyond important to video projects. Even the simplest videos need strong messaging to engage and connect with the audience. Crafting key messaging points or a full script ahead of a production day is crucial to capturing the right content on the production day. A studio manager can sometimes fill this role depending on the scope and scale of the project, but I would not bank on it. It is much more effective to have a writer who is deeply embedded in the firm’s brand positioning and messaging so that the story remains consistent across mediums.
Further, after a non-scripted video is filmed and the interviews or conversations are transcribed, a sophisticated writer crafts the script for the video. Again the writer uses their lens to include and feature the messages that matter most for the brand, the campaign, the product, the service. The writing staff should also be responsible for crafting any text that appears in the video in the form of graphics, animations, call outs, or text on screen.
Of note: Writing for video is a distinct discipline and requires an understanding of the visual medium of video. It is different from writing for print where everything is static, the reader sets the pace, and there are no competing visuals in the space. Scripting and writing for video is a whole other challenge, one that we can discuss at a later date. Don’t assume the person who is expert at writing your white papers will be able to write a good video script.
Designing for video is an art. Unlike print or email or static images, videos are dynamic and require movement, motion, and an understanding of cadence and pace — all layering with music and voice. Animated or motion graphics development is often outside the skill set of a studio manager and requires an expert who can bring the brand vision to life.
Even the very simplest of graphics, for example the lower third (or the space typically toward the bottom third of the screen where a speaker’s name and title is revealed) requires a thoughtful design perspective. Does the lower third infringe on closed captioning? Does the lower third reflect the brand look and feel? Is the lower third legible on small screens? These types of considerations make it worthy of a design exercise beyond what a studio manager may be able to provide.
If the team is lucky enough to have a traffic department, by all means make sure they are involved in video projects. Video is a multi-stage, multi-component deliverable that requires, as seen above, different team members, a detailed schedule, and time. When studio managers act as their own traffic department it is almost always a failure. Details are dropped and team members are excluded from the process leading to confusion and worse, a re-shoot or re-edit at the last minute. A repeatable and efficient schedule that is trafficked is an important component to creating effective video.
Implementing an in-house video studio and staffing the space with a sparse or small team is no easy accomplishment. We support any company willing to make that investment in space, equipment and people. This investment falls flat when the company assumes that a studio space plus two or three dedicated team members can produce full-scale videos. Producing video is a team effort and no matter how much the studio manager is a jack-of-all-things-video, we guarantee that the skill set required goes beyond any one or two people.
Tippingpoint Labs has helped many companies become more efficient and effective after investing in an in-house studio space and a small team of people. We understand how the video team needs to liaise with other team members and we understand how to document a process that leads to a streamlined and inclusive approach. Without an effective and repeatable process and the right team in place, not only will the investment not be fully realized, but countless hours and dollars will be wasted while trying to produce effective videos in-house.
This is part two of our series about making the most of an in-house video studio investment. Next up in our series — how to create an efficient in-house video production process.
Want to talk about your company’s in-house video studio? Email us at jcosco – at – tippingpointlabs dot com.