Does your insurance video need the professional touch to truly shine?

It is acknowledged that video content is now very much an important part of a company’s marketing mix. It is engaging and a quick and efficient method of communicating sometimes very complex messages. 

Video is being used for ‘explainer videos’, tutorials, product teasers & demos as well as thought leadership. Like all digital media it provides ROI metrics, be that number of views, number of leads/clicks, audience engagement, brand awareness.

Within the insurance sector, where products can be intangible, video (as well as podcasting) is being used effectively as a method of sharing thought leadership allowing topics to be explored that relate to the risks and benefits of products and services being offered. Some are integrating video into their brand creating a programme series in order to develop brand awareness. Both engage with current customers and hook new ones.

Just because I can record a video on my phone, it doesn’t make me Steven Spielberg

Due to advances in technology, over the last 18 months, consumer demand for video content has soared, and so has the demand for mobile video editing tools. However high-end produced video is still edited using professional tools such as Adobe Premiere, Adobe, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro.

This demand has seen some insurance organisations start to have a go at creating their own video content, the challenges being realised are ensuring they get good sound quality and the ability to edit the filmed clips into a polished final piece. A quick look at video posts on LinkedIn illustrates the varying degrees of success companies are having.

What does it take to create a successful video and how much does it cost?

Because on the face of it, it may seem easy to shoot your own video, you can understand why some companies can be reluctant to commission a professionally filmed and edited video due to the perception of cost v ROI. If you weigh this up against lack of engagement, missed opportunity and the brand value loss of a poorly produced and executed video, it might not cost as much as you think.

Cost will depend on a lot of different elements and most of them are inextricably linked. It is not true to say that duration is the over-riding factor. A 30 second ad can be more expensive than a 2-minute promotional video subject to what is involved and needed.

There are generally speaking 5 stages to making a video and what goes into each stage determines overall cost:

  • Planning: developing ideas, creating the storyboard, defining the budget, defining and agreeing the message. Do you need music, voiceover, animations, if so, how many?
  • Pre-production: setting out location, writing scripts, agreeing number of cameras, shots, equipment and use of brand guidelines and number of filming days required.
  • Production: Actual recording days, recording both sound and filming. Whether it is shot indoors/outdoors will also make a difference. How many cameramen are needed (if live action), how complicated are the animations (if animated)?
  • Post-production: Editing to get rid of any mistakes, cut and refine angles/takes. Additional of subtitles. Creation of short promo clips (if required and agreed). Creation of final output in the relevant format for your website, video platforms and social media channels.
  • Distribution: Upload to your social media channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, X, TikTok etc. Then the pre-release promotion of the video which will require work too.

Your agency, in collaboration with you as the one commissioning the film, can ensure that the video fulfils its purpose and ensures that elements such as the use of logos or a branded video sting are correct and that the integrity of the agreed storyboard is maintained. They should take on most of the heavy lifting for you, once the scope of the project has been agreed. You will still be a key part of the project, but not the starring role – the experts will make sure that the final video is the star. Clearly your involvement is required but by leaning on your specialist partners, it allows you to concentrate on the important day-to-day aspects of your job which is another reason people have been hesitant in using video as time needed is seen as an inhibitor.

DIY does no harm or does it?

This is difficult question to answer – and a pragmatic approach would suggest it depends on the nature of the video, the style in which it will be filmed, the amount of editing required and its application.

A quick social media post may be acceptable due to the very transitory nature of the medium and possibly the content but, for more formal ‘talking heads’ interviews on company websites, does the ‘DIY’ approach risk undermining your brand and the video itself?

With the development of AI it is inevitable that many organisations will look to film their own video but where possible working with your agency to support you in this will increase the success of the video. While some platforms such as Vimeo include editing products, your agency should be able to do this relatively quickly and inexpensively saving you resource and time costs in learning how to use software whilst ensuring the final piece is correctly branded and output to the relevant resolutions and dimensions for how you intend to use it.

Research shows that attempts to reduce costs by undertaking your own video production does indeed harm your hard-earned reputation. The results from statistics gathered by Brightcove reported by Stormhunter state that 62% of survey respondees are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor-quality video experience. Furthermore 60% said a poor online video experience would dissuade them from engaging with a brand across all of its social media platforms and 23% would hesitate to purchase from the brand having had a poor-quality video experience.

A blended approach would seem to be the way of having your cake and eating it – by all means shoot your own video if you are working within a budget or time constraints (and make sure you get really good sound quality! as poor sound will sink your project before it is even launched) but lean on your agency to help you with the production and branding as this can help it stand out amongst the thousands of others on LinkedIn.

The time and money needed to produce a quality video that enhances your brand when you use specialists compared to time you will need to dedicate to create something yourself will be money well spent as you will never know how many other videos you create that visitors to your site don’t watch as a result of a bad experience.

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Paul Bailes, Managing Director, Cohesion Design