Video brainstorming sessions can take up hours – or not. Use a decision tree to cut through the seemingly endless possibilities. The aim is to find the right format and channel for the video while taking into consideration many aspects like the purpose of the video content or your budget. But how do you get such a useful tool?
What’s a Video Decision Tree?
A decision tree is a support tool which uses a tree-like graph of possible outcomes and thus helps you make decisions faster and easier. It allows to weigh possible actions against one another based on resource costs, benefits, utility etc. The displayed nodes/answers contain controlled statements and start with a single node. Decision trees can be applied in many different areas. According to the defined rules and conditions, this tool support various processes such as identifying a strategy for achieving goals or finding the best solution. But what needs to be part of such a decision tree for video content?
Hero, Hub and Help Content
Depending on the subject a decision tree can exhibit a diverse structure. In the case of video content a decision tree can be created on the basis of hero content, hub content and help content. We talk about Hero content when a campaign is launched. This type of content refers to the big and forms the top of the iceberg. Normally the content has been processed costly and time consuming, for example, to introduce a new product, company changes or events. The main objective is to achieve the widest possible reach and distribution of the content, to attract public attention and can provide a step-change to your audience growth. Hub content is information that is passed on to existing customers or prime prospects on a regular basis. It ensures stability and support the development of content to provide a fresh perspective to your target group. This type of content should go beyond just self-promotion.
It should aim to build a closer customer relationship and to bring an added value to the target group. Former, but also potential customers should come into contact again. Help content forms the foundation. It includes all content that customers regularly search for when they want to find out about your company. These include, for example, how-to-do instructions. So it’s content that interests customers on an ongoing basis. Help content is also about finding and filling gaps within the information structure as well as to providing necessary information to the audience.
Implementing a Clickable Decision Tree
The simpler the user interface, the better. For our decision tree “Video for the Win” we started programming a clickable website that starts out with the following possibilities for defining the target itself: getting new customers (which means hero content), create a better image fo the brand or company (hub content), customer loyalty (hub content) and support customers (help content).
Additionally to these possibilities, there are further conditions, which affect the channel and the thus the way a video production has to be set up:
- target group (from existing customers up to partner or even the general public)
- budget (starting from doing it by yourself up to have an external partner doing the production)
- timing (1 day, 1 week, 1 month, half a year)
- look & feel of the video production (should it look more freestyle or just as an advertising, is it promotional, a documentary or even a blockbuster)
During all these decisions there are a lot of possible ways to strike, which affects the complexity of the data in the background (see figure 1). However, after answering all these questions, a recommendation for the channel will be provided to use – based on the collected data and specification of all channels.
figure 1: created decision tree in zing tree-backend
Note: There are a few WordPress plugins for implementing a decision tree, most of them are available with more functions in a premium version. We used Zing Tree, which has a visual interface (as shown in figure 1). As data and information is getting more complex, the plugin became slow.
The plugin Decision Tree is designed in a more technical way, which is not very user friendly (because it became confusing at a very early stage).
Each channel has his own rules
New channels and platforms offer a higher visibility and the chance to reach as many people as you want. But it’s getting more complex as every channel has his own specifications and requirements.
In the past a video was produced and published on the few channels. Nowadays the kind of video production is highly influenced by the channel where it will be put on. For example: There are no huge text inserts allowed in Facebook video ads and they have a maximum length. Twitter and Instagram has also their own rules, which is reasonable by the nature of the channel and the users.
So the final recommendation of our website also provides detailed information about specifications of the most common online-platforms for video publishing (figure 2). It can also be downloaded via this link.
figure 2: overview of technical specifications for video content on different channels
How to Brief Your Videographer
Congratulations! You’ve worked your way through the decision tree and finally know what you want. Or at least what you can afford and how long production will take. The next challenge you will face is telling your videographer your plans in a language he understands. “Here’s the idea, make it look cool”, is certainly no way of briefing a creative although you would be surprised how often video teams get instructions like these. It is not easy to put your wishes in words but a videographer cannot read minds, no matter how creative he is. Please always make sure you provide him with a proper briefing. Which means you’ll have to put in the work up front (sorry).
One of the best free templates out there is being provided by Studio Binder, you can download it here. Providing your video guy with this kind of information will lead to faster and better results. Isn’t that, what we all want in the end? Have fun producing great video content!
Huber, S. (2016, July 6). Video-Strategie für Unternehmen: Hub, Help und Hero Content [Blog]. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from https://how2.expert/blog/hub-help-hero.html
Think with Google. (2015, Oktober). Schedule your content. [Blog] from https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/youtube/schedule-your-content/
Timson, E. (2016, August 9). Help hub hero: a guid to segmenting your content marketing [Blog]. from https://www.businesswest.co.uk/blog/help-hub-hero-guide-segmenting-your-content-marketing