With multi-talented team members and better access to recording and editing tools, many companies’ first instinct when planning videos for web or app use is to DIY-it. But just because it can be done in-house, does it mean that it should be? Product-focused videos are notoriously challenging to create yourself, whether they are made up of screen recordings or they are animated.
Let’s dive into three of the reasons why a professional video team could be worth the investment.
Do you want to educate, explain, reach, or engage? Once you’ve figured that out, there’s still the question of what kind of video you’re going to create. Do you need a demo video that shows real interaction with a mobile app or showcases a physical product or, an animated explainer video that introduces your app and communicates abstract ideas, or an App Preview that is optimised for the Apple App Store to increase visibility, spark interest, and drive downloads, or something else?
When creating a DIY video, one of the main technical problems you’ll run into is figuring out how to shoot it. Even if you spend the time to overcome that hurdle and work out the finer details of video production with your potentially-limited in-house skills, you may be left wondering, is the video hitting the mark of what we’re trying to accomplish, or is it just the best we could come up with? When you engage professionals, they can do more than just implement your plan – they can expand on your ideas (and they actually have the ability and time to achieve your vision).
Furthermore, every platform has its own guidelines on length, aspect ratio and, for the Apple App Stores, even content and transitions, so you can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. You don’t want to invest time and money creating a video only to have it rejected by Apple because you didn’t follow their strict guidelines. Professionals make it their job to know the ins and outs of what is required on each platform, so that you can stay focused on the bigger picture.
You have seconds to prove that your video is worth watching. If a video isn’t compelling or easy to follow, viewers will quickly move on.
In our experience, marketers and developers who have months or years of experience with a product often get caught up in wanting to demonstrate all of its features or give a very in-depth explanation of an app. An external video team can bring a fresh perspective, assessing which key aspects to highlight and writing a succinct script that resonates with the viewer and creates intrigue to learn more. The process becomes a collaboration between the product or app team and the experts in creating an engaging video with a compelling script that potential customers or users want to keep watching.
A well-designed script incorporates simple, dynamic language that matches the natural way we speak. Professionals know how to leverage word choice and sentence structure to enable the voice over artist to effectively communicate the appealing aspects of a product or app, and leave a memorable impact on the viewer.
You could buy tools, wood and varnish, watch a few tutorials on YouTube and attempt to make your own dining chairs, but is it worth it? You’ll probably spend more on the tools than it costs for a ready-made set, without the added time and stress. Would you trust your newfound skill enough to sit on the chairs, or allow friends and family to use them?
It’s the same with video. Although engaging professional video services can be an upfront investment, and it seems like you could save your marketing budget by attempting to do it yourself, you will most likely spend far more than you think on software and equipment trying to get it right. And you’ll definitely spend more time. Customers are the most valuable asset to your brand – give them your best.
Professionals can offer clear audio, expert lighting, access to a variety of experienced hand models, actors and voice over artists, script writing, storyboarding, quality music and sound effects, graphics and animation, and specialized filming and editing techniques like incorporating different angles of a subject with strategic timing.
When it comes to app videos, a particular issue is that smartphone screens look very blue on video in an otherwise well-lit indoor setting, but professionals who specialise in recording mobile devices know all of the tricks and techniques required to solve this problem. If you’re shooting a DIY video, you would also have to work out ways to combat glare, shadows and screen reflections – all of which means more time, money and focus away from your business.
Potential customers or users are seeing videos all the time, and they know quality when they see it. Presenting a cheap video solution reflects directly on your product or app. You could inadvertently create the perception that your team is amateur, and can’t offer a creative solution or quality experience.
DIY videos are seen as an appealing cost-saving approach, but product-focused and animated videos are particularly difficult to create, and require well-designed scripts and specialised recording techniques. Whether the video explains your product to website visitors or attracts users to your App store listing, the long term results of presenting yourself as a credible brand or app can have amazing results, from boosting your SEO to increasing visibility with potential customers or users – things that far outweigh the cost of engaging a professional video team.