Five Video Production Lessons from the Craft Coffee Movement

Just up the road from the Explainify offices is a café called Onyx. Onyx is a coffee lover's fantasy. As part of the craft goods movement, Onyx focuses on making the highest quality items ethically, uniquely, and locally.

While Onyx does have your standard airpots full of coffee, the baristas would rather brew yours to order, using one of countless manual brew methods: pour-over, immersion pot, mad-scientist siphons – the works! A cup of Onyx coffee will cost you about 5 bucks and will take close to 10 minutes to prepare… all for about 12 ounces of the stuff. And it's totally worth it.

It's this same craft-goods philosophy that informs high-quality video production. In quite a few ways, great videos are like a finely crafted cup of joe.

What lessons from the craft coffee movement can you apply to your video process?

Good videos take time and effort.

Like I said earlier, a lot of thought goes into that cup of single-origin, pour-over brew. From sourcing the beans, to roasting them, to determining the best brew method, grind, and temperature, the entire process took a lot of planning, creativity, and effort. When you understand just how much work went into making that cup, you really pay attention to the flavor and the aroma. Drinking coffee becomes less of a reflex and more of an experience. A ritual.

In the same way, you should approach each video with the appropriate care and depth of insight. From researching your business, to writing your script, to storyboarding your visuals, a great producer treats the production process as a craft: as something worth doing thoroughly and well, with full attention and passion. Videos aren't just marketing tools to be utilized, to take up space on your landing page; they're works of art to be enjoyed.

Good videos are made specifically for you.

If you're in a hurry, it can be downright frustrating to wait the 5-10 minutes necessary to get a cup of manually-brewed coffee. But there's something immensely gratifying about knowing that the cup of coffee in your hands was made just for you. The sheer expertise and care required make a cup of coffee like this is special.

The best producers make every single video from scratch. Sure, they've got the talent, process, basic strategies, and other raw materials in place to produce video consistently, but they approach each project as though it's the only one they've ever worked on. Every script, every sketch, every style frame is a unique production. A video made from a template can't tell your brand's story as well as a video with all the components especially designed.

Good videos refresh and delight.

When you know the time, effort, care, and expertise that went into making your cup of coffee, you treat it a bit differently. You dip your nose into the cup and get a good whiff. You (heaven forbid) add cream and sugar. Perhaps you even take a moment to sit down. This cup of coffee refreshes you and wakes you up – not just because of the caffeine, but because of the awareness that comes when you slow down and enjoy something.

What on earth does this have to do with video? Well, if you've included a really good 90-second video on your page, you've given your audience an opportunity to stop, watch your video, and pay attention. People are delighted by good video, so they're delighted to give you that extra time and consideration.

Your audience is bombarded by more messages, ads, and products than the human brain could ever comprehend. By offering them something really special, you're giving them a moment of warm shelter from the marketing storm.

Good videos are worth paying a little more for.

As I said earlier, you'll pay a few dollars more for a truly great cup of coffee. It's worth springing for that quality cup every once in a while, because it will wow you.

Sure, you can create a marketing video on a shoestring budget. But if you're serious about a solid marketing video strategy, with stunning visuals, strong storytelling, and compelling animation, then it's worth paying a bit more for your video. It will wow people, and that positive association will make your audience that much more likely to purchase your product or service.

But you're probably not drinking pour-overs every day.

If you drank a hand-crafted cup of coffee every day, you'd quickly break the bank. Sometimes, a cup of gas station or break room coffee gets the job done. Manually-brewed coffee is great for that rare occasion when you want to treat yourself, but what do you do when you don't have the budget to spend on a $20,000 marketing video?

You have to be judicious in your video spending. For the videos that will be seen by the most people and promoted the most heavily, it's probably worth splurging, but there are other, less expensive ways that you can flesh out your video marketing efforts every day.

Maybe you could film interviews with members of your team or testimonials from your clients/customers. Perhaps you could film a live-action or screencast tutorial of your product or service to add value to your marketing efforts.You can promote these videos through your blog, website, social media channels, e-mail, everything at your disposal. This frees you up to save big budgets for where they matter most.

Why spend over 1,000 words telling you why good video is like good coffee?

Because a good analogy, like a good video, might help you see the video production process in a new light. By asking you to associate video production with the sights, smells, and tastes in a high-end coffee shop, I'm helping you to understand what video producers do from a fresh perspective. Good online marketing videos are craft goods, and they're worth the care, quality, and cost.

So wake up and smell the coffee.

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