Working with, not just for, clients
In the 8 short years since I moved to focussing purely on 'corporate' video work, the video marketing world has simply ballooned. Not a day goes by that there aren't more upward trending stats, more advocates, more success stories.
The volume of video being created by businesses of all sizes is reflected in our own figures on the retention of customers and the portfolio of the work we're being asked to do.
I remember thinking when I moved out of the wedding market and into the b2b
space that 'at least there will more than 1 transaction per customer'. However in the early days, there wasn't. It was predominantly one company overview then goodbye, but this was understandable. Yes, there were customers who needed semi-regular event work - many of whom continue to this day - but there's not a lot of creative or marketing value to add from my perspective when filming e.g. a seminar. It's just about turning up on time, with the right gear, and getting the basics right. What is important to us is trying to be one step ahead by e.g. reserving the likely event dates well in advance by checking client websites or looking at booking patterns.
In terms of promotional video work, the rise of content marketing has shown the importance of relationships with clients - moving past the 'transactional' to be a trusted supplier. We've certainly seen that, with many more ongoing video content programmes - and not just for larger businesses. Instrumental to the success of these engagements is getting under the skin of our clients and having a 'marketing hat' on. I think one of the best illustrations of this is the client who has been with us nearly 4 years, growing rapidly through that time. Internally, staff have come and gone, suppliers and even marketing managers, but they have continued to feel they can rely on us to be on the right wavelength and make the process of 'doing video' relatively painless.
We have discussions with marketing managers about new websites and how video might relate to that. How to turn one requirement for a video into an opportunity to do more than one with greater reach or better targeting. How a recent survey showed that keeping videos under 3 minutes is not the hard rule that it once was. How the move to new premises gave an opportunity to refresh the content with something much more aligned to the current position of the business. How using one visit to the client's office for a seminar shoot also leant itself to getting B-roll footage for inclusion in the corporate video, rather then coming back on a second day at additional expense.
By building relationships with our clients we are emotionally and creatively invested in their video journey. For them, it fosters new opportunities for content, offers economies, and allows us to be more responsive to short notice requirements.
As businesses increasingly outsource specialisms, I’d like to think that videography / video production – whatever you want to call it – should be given more of an equal footing. The inexorable rise of video as a marketing tool means that relationships with these suppliers are as important as with designers, web providers, marketing consultants etc.
Eight years ago we were being introduced on location as ‘the videographer”. Nowadays it’s more likely to be “our videographer”. I think that must mean we’re doing something right.