I love that we’re hearing more and more conversations in the arts world about the power of video. How video can propel your arts organization forward by lifting your brand, educating your audiences and encouraging wider reach through enthusiastic (and quickly multiplying) shares.
Having built a business on documenting performance and creating marketing videos for artists, it’s uplifting and life-affirming to hear arts organizations start to prioritize video. But I can’t help but feel there are still so many challenges:
“We don’t have the money in our budget to make more videos.”
“We have such a small staff. Who has the room or the skills to create and post videos everywhere?”
“We only have time for one film shoot a year. All of us are stretched so thin!”
Because we work mainly in the dance field, we are all too familiar with these challenges.
The good news is, there are ways to do more with less. There are methods of planning that can set you up to create so much more content from every video you make! There are strategies to fit months of video-making into one day! There is permission to ease the pressure you feel to always produce the highest quality video! There are people outside your organization who can help!
At Nel Shelby Productions, we talk a lot about using everything you have more often and in more ways than one. But we still don’t see it put into practice as often as we’d like.
Here are the easiest and most cost-effective techniques in getting squeezing the absolute most out of your video.
Re-post your video
We see gorgeous, heart-stopping videos shared by artists all the time. Behind-the-scenes peeks into what happens from dressing room to backstage. Dramatic close-ups of musicians playing their instruments. Highly-produced, well-directed creative films about plays and dances and operas.
Rarely do we see these shared another time, another year or in another context. These videos live on as a reminder of the caliber and strength of your work. Why not share them a second or third or fourth time? Why not throw some money behind them and boost them to new audiences? Why not let your current audiences enjoy the video all over again and remind them to seek out tickets for your season this year?
I think there’s a fear of annoying your loyal audience. Or an obsession with always creating something new (just like the art you make).
If you’re sharing great content, your audience is not going to care how new it is. And you’d be surprised by how many people didn’t catch it the first time and would love to watch it now!
Re-use your footage from video projects in new, creative ways.
We offer all our clients the option to keep the raw footage from their performances on an external drive. We know this footage takes up a ton of space. Some people need to invest in new drives just to hold on to it.
It’s worth it, and here’s why.
Every video you make costs money. Filming a show might be important for maintaining your archives or instructing future dancers or pitching a play to a new venue. That is money well-spent. But you can get more bang for your buck. Once you have footage of your performance (or b-roll from your promo shoot), you can easily grab short excerpts for social media. You can pull a powerful clip for your website.
Clip a segment in iMovie or QuickTime or any video software and there you have it - more video for social. No graphics or major editing needed.
If you do have someone on your team who has editing skills, or you want to pay a little more to your video company upfront, you can add those graphics or make it even more dynamic!
Always, always plan to use your video for more than one purpose!!
Plan for a full season of video assets in one shoot.
Once you have this re-post, re-use concept in mind, you can plan ahead at every video shoot from now on. Now, you’ll be looking for content you can use all season long, not just for one performance or one production.
If you plan ahead with your videographer and editor, you can make a comprehensive plan for selling tickets, fundraising messaging, informational pieces for your website and more. All in one shoot.
We work with Jacob’s Pillow Dance to plan festival marketing videos every year. We have a complete system in place that allows us to quickly create single videos for all 20 theatre performances months in advance of the festival, and we use that same footage to create a full-season reel in different lengths and formats. We discuss the videos we want to make during the summer festival when there’s still snow on the ground. We also discuss b-roll we might want to have in the fall and winter months - videos that would be nice to create in the off-season.
We worked with Limón Dance to create videos for their entire performance season. They used short, compelling videos that felt you were watching the dance onstage for press and promotion. They took footage from the same dances and edited in interviews with dancers to create a meet the company series on social media. They used the full-length dances to share with presenters and funders. They were able to provide high-quality footage to any presenters that wanted to create their own marketing videos… The list goes on. Planning one day of intense production gave them months of material.
It’s easy to dismiss video as too expensive, too time-consuming and too specialized for your organization’s budget or staff. When the impact of video is so great, with the reach and attention paid to moving images at an all-time high, it’s better to strategize than give up.
How can you get the most from every investment you make in video? I bet you can re-share a video today and prove its worth even more than you thought!
Nel Shelby is a dance filmmaker and owner of Nel Shelby Productions, a video company that preserves dance through documentation of live performances and uplifts the arts through marketing reels, documentaries and creative films. Nel Shelby Productions is a proud sponsor of 2017 Digital Marketing Boot Camp for the Arts.
(headshot by Whitney Browne)