Marketing Video: Proceed With Caution

Question: When is the right time to begin marketing my motion work and putting videos on my website, as opposed to sharing it on my blog or social media?

Venturing into a new medium such as video is exciting and inspiring. So, when our photographers first started adding video to their capabilities, we made sure to have extensive discussions with them about how to go about this.

We explained that this was a new frontier of sorts and they needed to determine if and how it would fit into their current business models. Ultimately, some chose to add it to their capabilities and others chose to find directors of photography they could partner with as the need arose. Either way, each of them created a new process for how they could offer video to their clients.

The Process Evolves

At the time, we believed there was a short window for experimentation for both photographers and clients. Clients were still working out how they could use video, agencies were working out the creative options and photographers were working out the execution process. We assumed correctly that everyone was a little bit more forgiving at this time and would be open to experimentation. Doing so allowed for everyone to spend some much-needed time sorting out details and developing a work flow for the future.

Quickly, though, the window closed. Photographers became savvier, received more production experience and made a name for themselves as videographers. Clients understood the value of adding video to a photo shoot and agencies helped educate them on creative uses for it that made it that much more exciting to consider.

And, just as importantly, art buyers began developing criteria for hiring a photographer to shoot video. They needed to make sure the video product was just as high-end as the photography product. And they needed to make sure the process was buttoned up, professional and on par with what the photographer would provide if it were just a photo shoot. There was no more experimenting.

We knew this because of the type of questions the art buyers were asking, and by the requests to hire production companies to aid with production. Shooting video no longer became an add-on; it became an integral part of the production and needed to be handled accordingly. Budgets were being allocated toward video and with that came attention to the details.

Share With Care

It is for all of these reasons that I would caution you: Just as is the case with your photography, I wouldn’t share any new work via social media or your own website that isn’t completely representative of your capabilities. Buyers and clients are savvy about the process. They have specific ideas of what they require on a shoot. They drive the process with a new level of understanding. If you share a video that doesn’t represent you to the best of your abilities, it will do you more harm than good.

My advice to you is to share your video with colleagues and trusted friends within the industry first to get feedback. Make edits. Consider more edits. And then edit again. When it showcases your vision in the best light and communicates your understanding of the process and the value you can bring to a project, then add it to your website and share it via social media.

The Marketing Lab marketing video photographer david martinez rockaway

© David Martinez

About Heather

Heather Elder represents 9 commercial photographers, hosts an industry blog and stock inspiration site as well as consults with a variety of photographers nationwide. She graduated from Boston University and started her career at an advertising agency on the east coast where she worked as an account executive. It was while working on the Polaroid account that she realized her interest in photography. She left the ad agency to become an agent and producer for a Boston based photographer where she used her agency background to develop her own business style. Heather Elder Represents

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