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Video Challenges for Startups (and How to Solve Them)

Video is no longer a game for only the biggest players. What used to require the largest of budgets can now be done on a smartphone. Reaching an audience of millions with your video is possible thanks to the rise of video-first social media platforms. While it is easier than ever to produce and distribute video content, there are still some challenges to overcome. 

Let’s start with the first challenge many startup companies face when trying to explain their product or company.

Our product is hard to explain 

If your elevator pitch is the sort best suited to a ride up the World Trade Centre, taking every bit of that 47 second ride, and you find yourself wishing for a taller building, consider that the answer to your issue cannot be solved by architecture. 

If your product is difficult to distill into a short delivery, the solution may lie in video. Whether it’s showing a particular sequence of events on camera or supporting your spoken words through illustrations, there are several ways video can assist in explaining your product. 

The strength of video in delivering complex messages lies in its multimedia. You can combine images and illustrations with recorded audio and overlay a narration

Keep it short

Video is exciting. You finally get the chance to climb into the director’s chair and make a movie. But resist the urge to go all Stanley Kubrick with a 4 hour masterpiece. You’ll want to keep it far shorter. While video is enjoying a growing popularity among viewers, not all video is viewed equally. 

Shorter videos are popular, with several platforms offering 15, 30, and 60 second video options as the default. And among these short form video viewers, the attention span is even shorter. If you haven’t grabbed their attention in the first three to five seconds of the video, viewers will continue scrolling. 

Show the problem and offer a solution

This concept is illustrated beautifully in infomercials. You need look no further than the overly dramatic scenes posted online for examples of video first showing the problem . This sort of style can have a campy effect and it isn’t for everyone. But the concept is solid. Use the strength of video to illustrate the problem your product solves, then show your product providing the solution.

Skip the intro

In the interest of keeping it short, you’ll want to drop the introduction. This is especially true if you’re posting on a short video platform, such as TikTok or Instagram Stories. You don’t need to say hello or tell people who you are in these videos. You can just get right into it. 

We don’t have the money 

When you think about video, it’s not unreasonable that you would immediately think expensive, as well. While that was certainly true years ago, video has become accessible thanks to the quality of smartphone cameras. They’ve even been used to make Holywood style productions. But don’t worry, you don’t need a million dollar budget to create video. In fact, a video made with a DIY aesthetic and the accompanying lowering of production values, which undeniably helps your bottom line, can also boost your audience. Unlike slickly produced movies and television shows, phone video, especially when handheld, has an immediacy and realness that provides for a closer bond between viewer and videomaker. Just look at the Instagram stories of a favorite actor versus their movie performance. Chances are, you’ll become even more of a fan of that person. Video can do the same for your brand. And that’s good for sales. 

Not everyone is suited to making videos, nor do we all have the time, no matter how much we may want to. Hiring outside talent can eliminate many of the video challenges your company may face. For the lucky few, making videos is what they do all the time. And lucky for you, these people are available for hire. Freelance video makers, or videographers, are able to turn an idea or script into a finished video. Depending on the size of your budget, this video maker may be a one person outfit, or they may bring an entire production crew with them. 

An advertising agency is a good solution if you aren’t sure what you want your video to say, or if your ideas go beyond the capabilities of your in-house talent. 

We don’t have the time 

In an era of doing more with less we are all familiar with being asked to take on another task. And while the idea of incorporating video into your marketing mix may be exciting, it can also bring a feeling of dread when considering the work required to make video happen. 

But it doesn’t have to be difficult. And there are ways to make video that don’t take a whole lot of time. A good starting point, if you’re looking to get into video, is to begin with social media posts. Choosing a platform like Instagram’s Stories function, where the posts expire and disappear after 24 hours, is an easy way to ensure these first, tentative steps aren’t saved for posterity on the internet. Worrying about what people think of your first video years after its made shouldn’t be one of your video challenges.

Whatever you choose, the first video will be the most difficult. And the second will be far easier. Keep making these short, handheld vertical format videos and you will find the process gets easier as you become more comfortable with the camera. Your videos, through practice, will get better, too.  

Outsource it to the experts

Making video and making good video are not the same. And although the barrier to entry has virtually disappeared, there is still a learning curve. It is worth asking whether your business needs to have in-house video talent, or if outsourcing would be preferable. This is a question best answered right after saying “let’s make a video,” as it will determine how your video gets made. Hiring an outside source, whether freelancer or agency, is a great way to not only guarantee a certain level of quality, but also to save time over building the same capabilities in-house. 

Time saving tips

Once you’ve decided to make a video, and who exactly is going to make it, there are steps you can take to make the process run smoothly. Thinking of these things ahead of time will cut down on the number of video challenges you encounter when filming.

Plan ahead to minimize video challenges

Having a plan is always a good idea, especially for something as complex as making a video, which requires several steps before getting a final product. If it’s just yourself and your phone, the plan could be as simple as some notes on a napkin. For anything more involved, you’ll want a video outline and script, as well as ensuring you’ve got a location secured and everybody involved in the process is clear on what’s happening. 

Use templates

From storyboarding and scripting to shooting and editing, there is likely a template already made. These templates can provide helpful structure to your project, while also saving the time required to set up a script document or apply a visual look. 

Keep a consistent style

Once you’ve committed to making more than one video, make sure to keep the same look across your videos. You will be able to reuse visual elements, saving you time, and you will establish a look that can help in your brand building efforts. 

Make your video dreams come true with the team at Dream It Reel.