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The Production Process

Sep 10, 2010 12:00 PM, By Don Kreski

Creating online marketing videos.

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A well-produced marketing video on YouTube can help increase traffic to your website and drive you higher on Google search results.

A well-produced marketing video on YouTube can help increase traffic to your website and drive you higher on Google search results.

If you're thinking about creating an online video to promote your business, you've probably asked yourself, "What's the best way to make it happen?"

This month, I'll illustrate the process for you with a project we finished this summer: three short videos for Wireless Computing, a company that manufactures long-range wireless keyboards and mice used for presentations.

I have acted as an outsourced marketing manager for Wireless Computing for several years. We have an aggressive marketing strategy, based on the goal of establishing the company as a major—if admittedly niche—player in a market that includes Microsoft and Apple. Compared to those companies, our budget is quite small, and we need to be very careful about how to allocate it. Still, I thought it was important to hire a professional videographer in order to support the image we had established.

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Encrypted Wireless Keyboards (long range) From Wireless Computing
An example of an online marketing video, which was created for Wireless Computing to help sell long-range wireless keyboards...

I was able to work out a budget we could afford with Wendy Ellis, a freelance writer and videographer I have worked with for many years. Martin Phillips, Wireless Computing's CEO, approved a plan in which Ellis and I would produce the three videos, then load them on YouTube and on

Eight steps

Based on our experience with this project, I would say there are eight key steps in producing a successful online video.

1. Define your goals. The original impetus for the videos came from our search engine partner, Tim Grant of Gamma Partners. "Google considers YouTube a highly credible website, so if you place a video on YouTube and link it back to your own site, that can be very helpful in boosting your natural search results." Grant says. "More importantly, all of the search engines have made a commitment to what they call 'universal search.' They want to display a page with results from different databases: natural search, product search, local search, and videos if videos are available. So you can earn some more real estate on a search results page if you have some YouTube videos.

"The big surprise is that the search engine within YouTube is now used more often than either Yahoo or Bing." Since many people prefer to acquire information from videos rather than other sources, YouTube can help you reach a segment of buyers you may otherwise miss.

2. Define your message. In any marketing campaign, the more successful you are in establishing your product, your service, or your company as different from and better than your competitors, the more successful you will be at closing profitable sales. For Wireless Computing keyboards, the most important differentiators are security through AES encryption, long range, and reliability. Each of those became the theme of one video.

3. Rough out a script. I wrote the first draft of each of our three scripts, working with Phillips to make sure I was accurately describing his products. I turned our efforts over to Ellis, who said my scripts were too long and too detailed for the videos.

"I read the scripts from a different point of view," Ellis says. "My primary concern was the kind of visuals we could use over some of the more detailed parts of each script. The right visual can do a lot to help people understand a detailed technical explanation."

The revised scripts were something of a work in progress, as we changed the text here and there to sound more natural during the production.

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