Good Video: Planning

Last week we have discussed the importance of understanding the video and how people use variety of things together to create an ambience that pulls a viewer in (alongside some examples). What I want to bring up today is even more important, yet rarely discussed and widely ignored by people who are starting out: planning.

Before we start, let me address one issue, there is nothing wrong with improvisation and the “spirit of the moment”, but those will come way easier when you have planned before. The idea is brutally simple if you have planned for most of the video already, the unexpected moments are much easier to deal with. Whether it is a spark of creative energy or equipment malfunction.

Let’s tackle them step by step:

  1. Message and feeling

Now I am going to sound like a broken record yet once more: “CHECK YOUR AUDIENCE & WHAT MESSAGE THEY RESPOND TO?”. This includes any stats, info, pen portraits, season, feeling, client’s wishes and so on. Not to sound ominous, but if you at least don’t keep this in mind, you will fail.

So, with Christmas advertising long done and launched we are focusing on other things coming up. Mostly, the spring and summer stuff, but let’s pause on Christmas. Jolly seasons can be one of the toughest shoots you will ever do (especially if you are shooting outside). At this time you need to convey a certain feeling and the cheer of the world. Despite how good it looks at the end trust me it can be a gruelling experience. The weather has to become your friend not your enemy. Let’s be honest don’t you think Christmas as soon as you see snow (just look at John Lewis Snowman advert OOH gets me every time).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU

  1. Script & Strips (reel, comic, line or whatever else people call it)

No here is a fun thing, to me this is “chicken and the egg” situation, which comes first. I prefer to have a script first, so I roughly understand what shots to use, how to position the characters better etc. Some people are the opposite, do the scenes first figure out the moves later. My advice is start using my way, because generally it is easier (and it is the right way).

Here is a rough mock-up I did for one of mine “free time” projects.

Scene 1: Car Upside down after a crush. Screaching sounds and a man in pain.

Car upside down

Scene 2: Flash back to how we got there. Two young lads walking to a car discussing the night after a couple of drinks.

Walk to the car

Scene 3: Following the car from the back (3rd person view). The driver (one of the friends) gets annoyed with a car in front for obbeying the speed limits.

Swerve

Scene 4: After the crush is repeated quickly we cut to a hospital corridor where one of the guys is summoning the courage to go inside the hospital room.

Scene Hospital Corridor

Scene 5: When he finally enters, viewer sees a guy in a wheel chair looking out of the window. Close up to the lips and chin of the guy who walked in.

“Hi, I am … sorry”

Inside patient room

Scene 6: Cut to black, logo and slogan appear (dead silence)

  1. Equipment

Now I am first in line of people who will say you can shoot a great video on your iPad. However, for some projects this may simply not be enough. So, before you venture out there, plan what will you take and when will you use it.

  1. Actors, products, places

Now here is where all the preparation comes in. If you have worked hard on stage 2, this will be easy, as you will have a very clear idea of what to do next. This will include all the locations and what people have to look like. Of course, you will rarely be able to find exactly what you were looking for, but at least you will come close because of the work done.

Now actors, as you grow you will be able to hire models, actors etc., but for now try to stick to your friends or aspiring “Instagrammers” (yes very easy to find there and cheap). When looking for actors make sure you know what you want them to look like and what role to play. Maybe give them examples or even exercises to do. If it is a lady, make sure to specify the make-up too. Will save loads of time.

Products, well, relatively simple. Make sure you ask your client for at least 3 samples of whatever you will be shooting. Additionally you might want to learn a few  “fake” product tricks (Please let me now in comments and I will either write a blog about it or message you directly).

  1. Shoot dates (organising people and weather)

Now we come to the painful bit, making sure everyone and everything is available. Now in the full professional shoot that wouldn’t be a problem you hire actors and models, you say they come. But unfortunately, you are not there yet. So my advice prepare a week in advance and make sure (during the week) everyone sticks to the plan.

The worst moment is when you have to shoot in a particular weather. Unless you know your way around AfterEffects & PremierePro (or powerful enough alternatives), you will need to wait. This especially puts more pressure on you and your crew, as everyone has to be available as soon as the rain, snow etc. hits.

To sum up this week’s video idea there are three words: “Plan for everything”. If do your planning in advance you will free up so much time to improvise and add a few different angles to your shoot that you might have not thought of doing before.

This is it for video advice this week, but look out for next week’s blog on actual shooting and editing to make your final video shine.

How to copywrite for Winning Email

Intro picture (Keyboard)

 

Ever asked yourself ‘Why don’t I find myself writing and crafting enough email?

Some of you may give excuses such as:

  • Email’s dead – it doesn’t convert at all!”
  • I’m terrible at writing.”
  • My copywriter or digital marketer handles that.”
  • “Can’t be asked with all I’ve got on the plate.”

 

Regardless of the misconceptions of email marketing being traditional and downright overused, this marketing channel still matters for online campaigns and outreach.

Hope you’re still reading B2B and B2C marketers?

Yes, email is a popular method of keeping in touch with your fans, potentials and retained subscribers in business.

No one ever disputes that.

However, the art of creating great email with impact relies on your ability to understand your audience, tone of voice and embracing the passion of written language.

For all buzzing marketers, entrepreneurs or C-Level executives; here are some helpful tips on copywriting for winning email:

 

Too much text and you’ve lost them

Email copywriting isn’t easy for excited marketers.

One of the greatest mistakes is bombarding your final recipient with a gazillion rows of text and font sizes.

Text and handwriting

Whether it’s your latest blog release, seasonal offer or company update, too much text drains out the attention span to 0 in this aesthetically visual world of today.

Although you wish to keep the reader sufficiently informed, every great email marketer must master breaking down and summarising text for the best retention possible.

 

People are receiving and reading emails endlessly everyday.

Off smartphones when getting out of bed, on cramped public transport, and even off computer screens just 10-15 mins before lunch breaks.

What makes your email any different?

How can you make your final message shorter and succinct?

 

Ask yourself these 2 questions and ensure the text quantity is enjoyable for a happier, retained subscriber.

 

Understand your audience and tone of voice

Who’s your fan or customer?

Do you consider their wants, needs and aspirations?

How do you address them?

TOV

 

Once you’ve answered these questions according to your knowledge, you’ve cracked only 50% of planning successful email copywriting.

The other 50% is consistent execution of this amongst your targeted email database.

If you’re in B2B, you’ll be dealing with a specific number of professional individuals subscribed or contacting you for 3 reasons:

  • Industry news
  • Client liaison
  • Ongoing business development.

 

For this reason, keep the email copy straightforward, contextually goal-orientated and mutually beneficial for greater engagement.

 

For B2C companies and brands, your email copy and tone-of-voice should be friendly, product or service-focused within a scenario, and spark an emotional response upon leading towards your call-to-action.

This way, both clients, customers and fans acknowledge you’ve considered them first when crafting your email text, and with favourable results and patience; they’ll be engaged with positive expectations of your email outreach.

 

Always proof-read and contextualise

Like any other important piece of literary work you’ve written – proof-reading into context is vital for any winning email copy.

Treat every word and punctuation usage with vigilance as you would stepping across a rushing river on a vertically-led, dispersed rock path.

Every email campaign’s copy for your marketing outreach must be organised and follow a story-like rhythm.

Why is that?

Your final reader needs seduction from your email language so much that it becomes an enjoyable, attractive flow from start to proposed action.

Moreover, your language represents your business’ care into email – make the copy their pleasure to read and act!

 

Never forget your final goal

Whether you’re a non-for-profit to a profit-based business, your email has a task to achieve.

Some may be the best copywriters in town and spark unforgettable chemistry everyone marvels over with words, writing style and great context.

Yet, if you don’t make your end-goal clear and authoritative during the email’s latter stages; the efforts will have gone all to waste.

People always ask even before reading ‘What’s the catch or purpose of this?’

Even your loyal customers and clients too.

Subscriptions, downloads, social media follows, click for shop discounts – these are all key examples of common call-to-actions assisting your final goal.

Make your copy worth their eye-squinting, brain-processing and time for a favourable, higher chance of marketing conversion.

 

Try these simple yet crucial rules for 2 weeks and comment back below on any progress you’ve noticed for email success.

Happy email copywriting for 2019!