A good case study or testimonial can mean the difference between gaining a new customer or that customer going elsewhere. Video case studies are dynamic and add a level of authenticity that written case studies can’t always match. So what makes a ‘good’ video case study? Here are a few handy tips.
What do you want viewers to think or feel?
This is a question many journalists will ask themselves when writing a feature, but applies here too. It’s an excellent starting point and helps you keep in mind what it is you are actually trying to achieve throughout the whole process.
Do you want viewers to feel reassured by your videos or perhaps intrigued by what is being said? Really think about what you want your potential customers to feel while they are watching the case study videos and keep it front of mind through the whole process.
This seems really obvious, but is worth reiterating as it’s so important. It’s always handy to pull together a briefing document that sets out what you are doing, where you are filming, for how long and what the proposed schedule for the day is. It can always change, but it’s extremely useful on the day of filming.
You can share this document with your case study subjects to help put them at ease. Being on camera needn’t be scary but it’s still daunting for many people – send them the questions beforehand along with some tips and advice.
Choose your case study subjects wisely too – you want someone who can express himself or herself well and seem genuine too. If you are doing more than one case study, try to pick slightly different characters that have different positive experiences.
Make sure you check out the filming location beforehand. This can save you a lot of time and hassle later on, as you may discover the lighting conditions aren’t what you expected, plus you can actually get a feel for what sorts of shots you can get.
Use good equipment
It’s tempting to quickly shoot some footage on your smartphone and just ‘whack it on the website’, but think about the image you’re portraying of your company.
Better equipment, better preparation and a better setup will give you a better end result. That does not mean you need to spend thousands on the latest cameras (although cameras dedicated to filming will obviously be better), you can invest in some budget equipment that will improve your smartphone’s filming capabilities massively.
For example, consider buying a handy tripod that will fit your phone – keeping the camera still is the key to a clear, crisp image. Remember, you’re not trying to remake the Blair Witch Project, so stability is the name of the game here. You can also buy relatively cheap microphones that connect to your smartphone and will improve the audio quality leaps and bounds.
This blog has great advice and a useful list of products that can help you. Ultimately, the best results are undoubtedly those produced by professionals – get in touch with Media Matters if you want to discuss these options.
Keep it snappy
The attention span of website users generally is quite small, so keep your video short to increase the chances people will watch it all.
Thirty to sixty seconds is ideal, but you can go up to two minutes if it’s good stuff. If you have lots to say, consider more than one video.
Be sure to capture some ‘action’ shots or at least some footage that isn’t your case study subject. If you’re at a delivery depot, for example, get some shots of the warehouse and vans coming and going. It might sound ridiculous, but all of this will help keep viewers engaged and the video will feel snappier.
Get to the point
This is directly related to point four really, but deserves its own tip. Try not to go round the houses with your case study video – what is the outcome, result or positive experience you want to communicate? When you know, make sure it is said as soon as possible in the video.
You can even start with this. For example, as an introduction, you might start with “x product has improved our turnover by 10% and made our lives easier” and then go into a little more detail about why that happened. But hopefully you’ve got the viewer hooked.
Don’t worry about directing your case study subject – as long as you get what you need, you can always cut the ‘fluff’ in the editing process.
Scrap the script
Don’t bother with a script. It will just lead to an unauthentic and staid video – and it will be really obvious someone is reading a script.
Far better to film the case study answering the questions a few times so you get some different natural options.
Remember point two – if you prepare and send the questions beforehand, the case study will feel prepared and more relaxed anyway.
Make edits for social media
Another clever way you can maximise the value and use from your film is to make even shorter edits for social media.
These would typically be 5-15 second ‘teasers’ you can post on Facebook or Twitter, or even on a paid-for social media post, that will encourage your target audience to watch the full video on your website.
Call to action
And finally, include a call to action at the end of your video.
However you decide to do it (and it need only be some text at the end of the video), be sure you ask the viewer to do something.
Do you want them to download a brochure, or call a sales rep? Whatever it is, make sure you capitalise on the opportunity to speak to your target audience while they are engaged.
These are just a few tips to help you get started, but if you’d like more information or some professional support with making case study videos, call Media Matters on 01733 371363 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org