A Tuesday morning in September found me penning an email to my male office colleagues:
“Gentlemen – I kindly ask that you refrain from using the men’s restrooms on the third floor. You might find your actions immortalized on camera forever.”
It seems like an odd request to make, but I assure you I have a good explanation. For a couple of hours, I was about to transform the third floor into our own film studio.
As part of the Customer Success Team, I had a mission: my colleague Ayanna and I wanted to create an in-house video campaign – a series of videos to help guide our clients through their customer lifecycle journey, that we would make and edit ourselves. Customers would receive regular communications to help them get started, expand adoption through their organization, and learn from the successes of other similar clients. We didn’t want a bunch of dry emails. We knew video would be a more relatable, friendly, and fun way for clients to receive the information.
Still, when it comes to actually making a video, the task can suddenly seem daunting. “Don’t you need a professional studio and camera for that?” a teammate mused. The short answer is absolutely not. There are actually only a relatively few basic tools and know-hows you need to have in order to make a compelling video campaign.
The first step was deciding on content. We decided on a 12-month campaign that touched the customer at key points in their lifecycle and provided updates and resources tailored to them (such as new product releases and links to Support). Each month, the customer would get an email with a short 1-2 minute video featuring me speaking directly but informally at the camera about a specific topic. Now, it’s important to highlight the word “informally.” Ayanna and I agreed that we wanted this campaign to feel personal, not over-polished.
Now that we had decided our topics and schedule, our next task was to write the scripts for each topic. Though I had offered to film and edit the videos myself, I was not an expert in scriptwriting. Now, we asked the Marketing team for inspiration. This is where having a centralized video repository helps. They already had some of the material we needed and were happy to help us repurpose footage. Armed with all the necessary items, I then set off to film.
Here’s what you’ll need in terms of setup to do a basic but nice shoot in your own office:
This is very much a trial and error process. You may fumble over your words in front of the camera. It may take you time to establish exactly what schedule of messaging suits your customers best. You may spend 4 hours filming the perfect take, only to play back your footage and discover that your mic picked up somewhat more audio from the nearby restroom than you had anticipated. Oops. But that’s what editing is for.
The point is, you can make an effective in-house video campaign with little or no video experience by using the tools and personnel you already have. With a little patience and help from your colleagues, you can create a campaign that puts your voice in front of the customer at the click of a play button.