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It is no longer a secret that algorithms of all social media channels favor video content over image or plain text update. Besides, video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo remain an all-time favorite for brands and consumers alike. YouTube alone has over 2-billion logged-in monthly users in 2020, with over 500-hours of video content getting uploaded every minute, worldwide.

With such a high volume of video content floating around, the challenges that every brand faces are:

  1. How to produce high-quality videos that stand out?
  2. How to lower the video content creation cost?
  3. How to fast-track the process of video content creation?

The volume of video required by any brand to get heard and the expertise required to ideate/create videos makes it a no-brainer decision to outsource the task to creative agencies. But the challenges only begin from here. Although the problem can be summarized to one, i.e., smooth collaboration; there are multiple reasons for the friction in collaborating effectively.

We have listed the 5 common problems of collaborating for video content creation and its solutions for quick and quality video content:

1. Scope Limitation from Agency

Brand owners get a limited time frame to define the brief and video objectives. Moreover, an even smaller time frame to change the mind, and, with that, the brief. For the sake of a win-win situation for an agency-client relationship, the client gets only a couple of significant iterations at best.

Since the video creation agencies of all sizes handle multiple projects simultaneously, they are likely to limit the time to finalize the brief and the number of iterations they will cater to in a fixed-cost model. Therefore brand marketers need to be clear on their minds; otherwise, the outcome might only fulfill expectations partially.

Solution: Respect agency limitations and be clear what you need from the video.

Spend adequate time with the internal team to define the business needs, brand tone, and key points to be highlighted in the video. The thumb rule of an impactful video is: “one video, one message”.

Do not wait to discuss and get ideas from the agency before defining your brief, have your brief ready, and then discuss the brief with an open mind with the agency. Modify your brief later, if required; this way you are clear in your mind and the chances of you changing the brief halfway through the video creation are very less likely to happen.

If you want the outcome to come close to what you are expecting, it’s more on you to communicate than it is for the creative agency to extract those details from you. When it comes to video briefs, there is nothing called overly delineated. When the brief is clear, there are lesser back and forths, and video collaboration becomes much faster.

2. Complexities Associated with Multiple Stakeholders

The more the stakeholders, the complex the project gets. If you have more than a few stakeholders in your business that all need to approve the video, then the deliverable might move from one desk to another for approval endlessly. It will also become challenging for the person – working as the touch-point from the creative agency – to collect feedback from all stakeholders, make sense of the changes and apply them in the way that it doesn’t sabotage the outcome.

Solution: Distribute ownership of decisions and collaborate at every step of the way.

It is essential to identify the key design reviewers and understand each reviewer’s viewpoint in the design project. There should ideally be only one agency manager and that person should communicate with all the reviewers internally and define their roles in the video design approval process.

When multiple stakeholders are involved, it also becomes very important to finalize the flow of information in the video content and get as many graphical changes done at the storyboard stage.

Simply share the storyboard will all the reviewers in PDF format and seek for their comments, and then consolidated feedback for iterations. If required ask the creative agency to share updated versions of storyboard again for the final go-ahead for animation. If the changes in the video storyboard are small enough to get overlooked, compare the PDF file versions side-by-side to ensure all changes are made, as per the earlier feedbacks.

Having all the changes documented in one place for each revision can also simplify and speed up the collaboration for video content creation. One place for all feedback also gives more context to the motion graphic designers about your expectations, likes, and dislikes.

Deploy online proofing software such as QuickReviewer to make video proofing easy. This way, you will keep all the reviewers on the same page, including even those who just need to act like a focus group.

It will be a good idea to define who has the final say or how you will break the tie with voting in case of multiple decision-makers are involved.

3. A Surprise Surge in Demand for Video Content

Based on the marketing budget and the line-up of marketing events, brands usually anticipate the volume of video content required. While a well-planned marketing team plans a year in advance, most of the other brand plan at least a quarter in advance.

However, any disruption, good or bad, may call for a sudden surge in video content to be produced. Such surge is quite common in government projects and businesses that have a high reliance on video content or businesses that have video as their product (e.g., e-learning organizations).

Coronavirus outbreak is an undesired disruption that every marketer faced and had to scrap much content and create much more from scratch in a very short period. Such an unraveling situation can create an extra load on creative agencies and even an agile agency might not be able to cater to all of your requests.

Solution: Prioritize topics, look for agile agency-partner, and timely collaborate

When there is a sudden need for additional video content, the brand owners must prioritize and list down the sequence of videos needed, over time. Although most of the creative agencies are scalable and agile, a sudden surge in volume can be challenging. Such a situation calls both parties to work together and help each other at every level.

While the agency needs to accommodate the request, realign resources, and pull in extra hours; the brand owners must be more clear in their brief, limit subjective iterations, provide timely feedback, and avoid sending conflicting or confusing changes. Real-time collaboration between teams and pin-pointing the revisions on the video at its exact second becomes even more critical to speed up the video proofing.

4. Equipment Limitations

For the live shot videos, the equipment used to create videos affects the quality of the final product you receive. Suboptimal video shooting equipment is a lesser anticipated challenge which can become a major concern when you are outsourcing the project. Most agencies usually don’t own the gear to create the videos and often rent equipment creating uncertainty about the tools that will be used on your project.

When a production agency rents unfamiliar equipment, their team might be unaware of how to use it most effectively or may need additional time and training to get well-versed with it. All of these determinants can impact the quality of video production you may experience.

Solution: Evaluate the right agency partner and have a backup plan.

Ask for samples of previous work produced with the same tools and equipment that will be in use for your project. You can make sure that the right gear is being used to create your video and their team has ample hands-on experience of the gear they rent or use.

If, for some reason, the video equipment becomes a problem and the outcome is not as desired than a damage control measure of post-production editing can save the day; especially if the video was of a live event that does not give the rerun option.

Make sure that your agency is equipped to deal with such a scenario and you have your tricks listed to salvage the outcome. There could be simple fixes like sound corrections, text/vector arts overlays, or trimmer/cropping the video from edges. Make sure the feedback to improve the video is provided explicitly and compare the revision side-by-side to review the improvements.

5. Inexperienced and Incompatible Resources

It’s prevalent in creative agencies, big or small, to gather hire freelance professionals from different sources when their in-house team lacks particular skills. The problem gets exacerbated when the freelancers are new and the agency is unaware of their expertise. The external resources are commonly hired based on cost-efficiency, convenience, availability, and expertise; sadly, in that order.

Solution: Demand transparency and collaborate more closely but don’t overstep

Every single project may require professionals from different areas of expertise to come together. They include a scriptwriter, director, animators, illustrators, voice-over artists, and the list goes on. Enquire about the agency’s experience working with freelancers, and how often they have collaborated with external resources. Asking for sample work by freelancing partners separately can help.

If your agency decides to outsource any work, which happens all the time with voice-over artists, the brand marketers must be involved at every step of the way of the video content creation. Although, one must allow the agency-freelancer relationship to work in their own way; however, invest additional mind share in reviewing the work and ask for files to be shared with you for real-time reviewing.

QuickReviewer’s Adobe CC integrations can allow the motion-graphic designers to view the comment you leave in the file straight into Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects.

When the designer makes the changes, he/she can upload the revised version back in the QuickReviewer again for your further review. Such close-knitted design collaboration ensures that the video is turning out to be as per how you’ve envisioned it, irrespective of whether the agency team or their freelancers are doing the job.

Bottomline

Without an iota of doubt, online videos are incredible assets for any business. Most progressive marketers realize that video content is going mainstream and might soon become the primary format of communications. When businesses collaborate on video creation, they generally tend to believe it is going to be reasonably straightforward until they realize it later that it can get complicated.

The bottom line, however, remains simple, i.e., collaborating effectively by identifying and resolving the deadlocks at the right time and at the right stage of the video content creation.

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How to Collaborate Effectively for Design-driven Web Development?