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Why Video Doesn't Work: No Connection, No ROI

Video is all the buzz. You're seeing more and more brands and creators diving into video content. As a video production company, we love this, but video might feel broken for newbies. Oftentimes the first experience results in a failure and long-term setback. That's no good for anyone.

Why doesn't video work, and how might we fix this?

Theres lots to unpack, but for this article, we'll dive into a key part of the process that ensures short- and long-term video success; diagnosing.

When we are tunnel-vision on a trend like video, it can lead to a big miss for what really matters, which is connection.

We begin each project with diagnosis, where we discover stories, goals, and why brands exist, remove hesitation, and step into video-producing territory more confident and clear. This phase is crucial for both parties, as we land on the same page and can have clear objectives to work together. Once we know these objectives, we can begin designing video that meets goals, but also has an audience in mind, along with giving some connective storytelling archetypes to each piece of content. This ensures a more realistic and healthy ROI.

Scenario one: Brand reaches out looking for a videographer to shoot a project, and that videographer sends reel, negotiates rate, and books your date. YAY! That was so easy. Video gets produced and released, and it moves nothing further. It's just a video, and they took the order. The brand is burnt and doesn't want to invest in video since it wastes money and time. The videographer isn't to blame. They followed orders.

Scenario Two: Brand reaches out, discovers a partner who will guide them through a process that invites collaboration, guides your stories, characters, and actions into a plan, and then work together in designing production to delivery for a story that meets goals, connects with an audience and you have clarity on short and long-term usage. This is what a creative partner does.

Ultimately we want our partners to take control of their storytelling. This happens together. So how?

MYELIN: Our Discovery Processtunnel-visioning on a trend like video, it can lead to a big miss for what really matters: connection

At the start of any relationship, we seek trust. Trust is tricky. Good business looks like good dating. It takes time, conversations, and work. When you go slow and steady, you have the opportunity, to be honest, and forward, earning trust. Eventually, a relationship can eventually bloom into the beautiful and fluid marriage we want. We view the great business through this lens. We are in this business for a win-win. It takes time, and everyone has a horror story about some creative who didn't get the job done or a money pit. So how do we avoid the pitfall? Starting with diagnosing before prescribing.

Pitching a great project is an art in itself, and the creative process is tricky. There are several ways to approach this, but we believe a system helps create a consistent client experience and better manage everyone's time. Before a proposal can happen, we have to understand our client's vision, creative boundaries, and establishing rules that make the project a success. We're going to break down how we arrive at a project's pitching process, boiling down client expectations, ideation sessions, and what's essential in our pitches.

Most businesses and brands come to us in two fashions: clients with past experiences or first-timers. Both usually have their skepticism but badly want to see their idea come to the most complete version. We aren't only trying to showcase our quality or body of work but earn their trust by showing we have their best interest in mind. If our clients have a successful campaign around the project we craft, Viman wins and usually encourages a return client and better referrals. We are pitching for win-win scenarios.

At the start of every project, we diagnose our clients. Each brand has its obstacles and phase of growth. So determining this early gives more strategy to the project marketing efforts. We hope to get in tune with the brand, goals, and release timeline and build a healthy relationship. Easing the defense around hiring someone to take a brand's mission and the story is a delicate process. The focus is on asking the right questions, gaining clarity around what's on-brand and off-brand, and offering our professional suggestions to see what sticks and what doesn't.

In this phase, we try to gain enough information to pitch a practical project vs. selling how creative we are. When this is done right, we start earning trust and showing both parties are bought into the project's success. In other terms, this is good client alignment -- diagnosing. From here, we can start forming a healthy prescription.

Several things happen when forming a proposal for our clients. Every time though, we lean on the mentality of "simple executed dynamically." The word simple gets a bad wrap. For each project, we try to establish rules first and then build a story within that. That's where a lot of the questions from our discovery calls come into play—hearing the hurdles, wins, mission, culture, and unique positioning all play a role in a well-crafted project. We see a good video in a format, designing a universe, creating consistency, and focusing on watchability.

Considering everything, we design our proposals with as much emphasis on the process as the idea. We provide clarity to our clients for each step, and its importance, helping us reach the vision. This approach is to earn trust and reduce buyer remorse. Ideas are great, but showcasing process helps gain more trust and, in our opinion, earns clients' investment confidently. Video production can be a significant investment with plenty of uncertainty. So we want to make that decision seem smart, easily achievable, and genuinely an investment rather than a money pit.

At the core of all our proposals, we include an overview, art-direction brief, format breakdown, highlighted process, timeline schedule, mood board, and price options. Some projects are more in-depth, but this is the base level for all. They communicate the project's goals, vision, why we're excited, how the focus is achieved, and give our clients a few ways to move forward. Taking a more practical approach allows us to focus on our relationship with the client, aligning everyone as we progress.

Brewdog x Lamb of God | Ghost Walker Collaboration

A great example of this approach working in our favor was the Lamb of God x Brewdog collaboration film for the AF beer Ghost Walker. At the time, much of BD marketing efforts were loud and punchy with much energy coming from fast paced visuals and upbeat music. This collaboration was about highlighting the uniqueness of Brewdog's care for the Non-Alcoholic (AF) drinking community, partnered with Randy Blythe's love for for AF beers. The match was perfect and the mission was improving the AF experience for others. Brewdog's care for this audience was clear and when we were brought in we took special attention to why this was unique and did our research on the style of lighting and tone that would best compliment this story. Understanding our audiences audience allowed us to shoot an impactful story paired with visuals to match, which aided in a smooth production and post-production process ultimately launching the new beer with a big digital splash. Making the creative beautiful is important, but highlighting how production will be in alignment with the brands goal was where we started. Doing our homework, earning the trust and laying out a clear plan gifted us a smooth and enjoyable working relationship.

When we take on new clients, it's often a considerable investment of time. When we are in this process, we spend a lot of time upfront earning trust. It moves slow, but once you get past this or get a few projects under your belt, things speed up, and you become more fluid. It's better to define this working relationship early than avoidable fixing problems. Both parties invest time and should focus on alignment before moving into the creative goals. Realizing you both want a successful project sounds like common sense. Still, if you don't set those expectations early, it will cause headaches, hurt reputations, and create a long-term ripple effect of defensiveness affecting the creative community and process.

Key Takeaways

  • Video is Storytelling

  • Video Needs to Connect with an Audience

  • Video Needs Objectives

  • Video Partners Diagnose

  • Video with Objectives & Audiences Strengthen ROI

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