Blog | March 13, 2018

Get More Value From Video Content by Recycling It

by Chad Lott in Content Marketing

To learn more about how Webdam and Sightworthy can get more value and engagement from your videos, check out our webinar: How to Make Engaging Videos at Newscycle Speed.

Some of the greatest film directors are masters of reusing old footage. For example, when Ridley Scott recut the ending of Blade Runner, he used footage Stanley Kubrick shot for The Shining. The final sequence needed an extended shot of a mountainous region. Scott recalled Kubrick “must’ve done a blanket shoot of every peak in Montana for The Shining using the best helicopter crew.”

For the opening sequence in John Wayne’s final film, The Shootist, director Ron Howard used footage from some of Wayne’s most famous films: Red River, Hondo, Rio Bravo and El Dorado.

Brands, like Oscar-winning directors, can tell fresh stories with recycled content. This gets more value from work that’s already been produced. And it allows marketers to affordably experiment with video on social media platforms like Facebook, where it has the highest organic conversion rates of any content type.   

Unfortunately, most marketing teams don’t have Hollywood budgets for editors. Video editing services like Sightworthy, and digital asset management (DAM) systems like Webdam, can take their place.

Existing video assets are gold

A good editor can turn raw footage, or even stale content that isn’t attracting eyeballs, into short videos that get attention. You probably have the content, you just need the editor. Sightworthy helps scalably produce short-form video by employing a broad network of editors and the content you already have.

One of Sightworthy’s clients, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, recycled an old long-form video that received an abysmal 220 views on YouTube. An editor cut it into several 20 to 30-second videos. After testing different versions, the final edit pulled in over a million views on Instagram.

Another client, FindSpark, created a video to attract young professionals to sign up for its job finding services. After three years, the video scored 22 signups. A Sightworthy editor turned it into a Snapchat ad. It pulled in 200 signups in a few days. This 800% increase was achieved with existing footage.

Go beyond the explainer video

Brands can afford to think about using video differently if they have low-cost video production. Long-form videos can be recycled with updated product screenshots for announcing upgrades. Curate them over time to tell a story of constant improvement.

Instructional videos can be trimmed into shorter clips to demonstrate the advantages of the product. Focus on stand out features. This is essentially what Apple’s “Shot on an iPhone” campaign is about. It makes the case for the entire phone by showcasing its excellent camera.

Many companies rely heavily on customer testimonials and case studies. Instead of sending out a crew to record them, just give a customer a camera and get a fast, personal looking piece in the can. Add in some B-roll from other projects and promote it with Facebook video ads.

Capitalize on events in real time

When exciting events are unfolding, people reach for their phones. They want to share their opinions and find out what other people think, often with video. Brands have the same opportunity.

NASA does a great job of tapping into cultural events with short video. During the August 2017 eclipse, they put out a video about eye safety. It earned over 1.4 million views and received over 2,000 comments. That’s great engagement and it just might have saved someone’s vision.

Netflix employed a short-video strategy to promote the fourth season of their hit series, Orange is the New Black. The videos ran on Instagram and featured characters from the show. They were released just before the season launched, earning over 29.2M views, 12.2M engagements, 69M reach and 160M impressions.

Many brands don’t think they have the resources to get videos together in time. But on-demand editing allows brands to have an authentic voice, in the moment. Stories can be created with user-generated content (UGC) or an organization’s own footage. In fact, many of NASA’s most viewed videos are made with footage captured by the International Space Station, which they would’ve recorded anyway.

Give your team access

Once you have great video content, the next challenge is getting it to the people who need it. The first step is to get it to a centralized, accessible location. Unfortunately, in most organizations, video content, and creative content of all kinds, is locked up in local machines, network servers and cloud storage.

These systems are useful, but they’re built for storage rather than access and discoverability. And most don’t account for people outside the organization: agencies, retailers, partners, and the rest who want to make use of assets.

With traditional storage systems, it often means a few insiders hold the keys to the kingdom. And that’s who people go to when they need something. Usually it’s a creative services team or agency fielding all the “can you share that video with me?” emails. The advantage of a DAM, like Webdam, is it makes things accessible and easy for people to find what they’re looking for themselves.

Make assets easy to find

Even with DAM, If the structures and hierarchies used to organize content are inconsistent, assets will get lost. Disorganization is usually caused by a lack of direction. People store files using whatever personal method suits them, giving little thought to others. The end result is an unsearchable mess.

The solution is to establish consistent, common sense naming hierarchies, or taxonomies, and apply them to file names, folder structures and tags. Taxonomies can also be applied to your metadata (the information that makes creative assets searchable) and search keywords.

The trick with setting a scheme for metadata is to use terms audiences will actually use to search for them, and keep them consistent. Using video as an example, you might use the date of the shoot, name of on camera talent, or the type of footage (B-roll, interview, etc.).

Publish from one location

One of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, for video is getting it to all the channels where it can connect with audiences. DAM offers a big help by providing a central place to store it and time saving tools to share it.

DAM can streamline distribution of video content to social channels. Integrations with Twitter, Facebook and Hootsuite let you post content directly from the source. Most DAMs provide a published API. If a connection doesn’t exist, it can be created.

Embeddable links can be used to display videos in fixed locations, like websites or YouTube channels. Simply place an embed code where you want the video to play. To change it, update the source and new content will be displayed everywhere you’ve used the embed code.

Do it all with Webdam + Sightworthy

Sightworthy can do most of the heavy editing, but sometimes you just need to make a quick copy update, or convert a file to a different format. Webdam has simple editing tools that allow changes to be made by just about anyone.

Since most of us shoot video on our phones, and edit them for personal use, we’re comfortable doing these things on our own. In fact, most of the 100 million hours of video watched every single day are made by normal people. Video doesn’t have to be super slick to connect with someone. It just needs to be authentic, interesting and ready to watch on the platforms they prefer.

To learn more about how Webdam and Sightworthy can get more value and engagement from your videos, check out our webinar: How to Make Engaging Videos at Newscycle Speed.


The Author

Chad Lott

Chad Lott

Chad is the Senior Copywriter at Webdam. He spends all of his free time reading old books and watching cult films.

View all posts by Chad