Six mistakes fitness businesses make when commissioning video production

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Video isn’t magic…sorry to break it to you.

The truth is, just because you’ve made a video doesn’t mean you’ll magically “voodoo” new business out of thin air.

If you’re feeling an urgency to create videos for your fitness business to improve marketing, sales, or retention, then this post is for you.

It’s my goal with this post to make sure you make videos for the right reasons and not just to tick a box or satisfy a quota.

Spotting the mistakes before you make them is the secret to commissioning fitness video projects that meet your budget, deadline and expectations.

So if you want to make your video projects a success without the stress, watch out for these common mistakes.


Requesting quotes without a video brief

People with little to no experience commissioning video often make this mistake. You’re keen to get going, but you have no idea how much video production costs, so the logical first step is to research costs.

The trouble is, every video project is unique and with so many variables, it’s difficult for any videographer or production company to quote accurately without a brief.

Any experienced video team will be reluctant to quote without a brief because the lack of information means scope creep is inevitable.

And if you do select your video partners based on an early estimate without briefing them correctly, you’re going to encounter problems down the line.

If your project requirements change significantly after agreeing a quote (which they will without a brief – it’s called scope creep), your videographer may want to renegotiate if the project has changed. And if you can’t work together to agree on a budget you could be left without a video expert and on the hunt for last minute quotes again.

Typically this happens with only weeks to go before the planned shoot, leaving whoever steps into make it happen a little uneasy to say the least because they’ve not been involved in pre-production to agree on execution.


Skipping pre-production

If you want your video projects to deliver on budget, time and expectations you can’t skip pre-production. It’s easy to assume that expensive cameras and equipment will make anything look good. The truth is a lot of though and planing is required to make any worthwhile video. If you’re new to commissioning video and don’t know where to start, ask your video team to work with you to plan your project. You’ll find that their experience will help you to make decisions faster and generate ideas that you may not have though of.


No one is assigned as project lead, or there are too many people involved in decision making

Video production is a bit of a dark art – it’s technical, there’s weird jargon and a lot of expensive looking equipment. So it’s no surprise that marketing teams find it more comfortable and convenient to share responsibility for it’s success than elect a decision maker.

This is common with businesses who are experimenting with video for the first time, or don’t know how to plan or managing video projects confidently.

When there’s no dedicated decision maker, everyone wants to be a decision maker and that creates confusion, frustration and communication issues.

If you want your video projects to meet deadlines, budgets and expectations then you have to assign a decision maker to every project. That person needs to create the brief and make all decisions throughout the project without opposition.


Your competitor has a [insert here] video so you want to make one too

Copying your competitors seems like an essential marketing move to avoid losing ground. However, if they’ve got a strategy in place for which their video serves, you’re just trying to compete on a superficial level.

If you’re planning to make any video, or any piece of content for your business for that matter, then the first step is to do a P.R.O Qualifier.

This makes sure you only create content for the right reason and increases your chances of making something that matters and serves a purpose.


So what is the P.R.O Qualifier?


P = Purpose. What’s the focus and actionable result of the video. (What do you want the audience to do?)

R = Reason. What’s the reasoning or driving force behind making the video. (Why bother?)

O = Objective. What’s the quantifiable objective, metric or target you’re planning to achieve with the video. (What’s the goal?)


If you can’t establish the P.R.O then you probably shouldn’t make the video, or go ahead knowing that it will have little impact on your business goals.


Commissioning videos one-at-a-time

This is the most in efficient and uneconomical way to commission any video production. Businesses with limited marketing budgets and inexperience commissioning video often try and rush the process or save money by scaling down projects.

While there’s usually one main video at the heart of every project, there are always opportunities to splinter off or create other pieces of content in the process. For example, an ‘about us’ video might feature testimonials, that can be used as stand alone pieces of content to help improve sales, or extended interviews with your team members can be turned into Q and A videos.

Planning content acquisition for any project is the key to unlocking more content opportunities to create multiple videos. This will give you more bang for your buck.



The video you want to create has a limited lifespan or only short term use

Let’s take fitness events as an example for this. Business who create fitness events are always in a rush to create a post event video to share on social media.

These ‘ look what you missed out videos’ are designed to ride out the wave of post event excitement as long as possible. But why bother?

Unless the video is designed to promote advance ticket sales for the next event, then it’s better to delay post-production. Taking the time to review the content and decision a production strategy will be far more beneficial in the long term.

As I said earlier in this post, while there’s usually one main video at the heart of every project, there are always opportunities to splinter off or create other pieces of content in the process.

If your aim is to create video in an efficient and economical way, long term strategy has to trump short term gratification.

Evaluating the success of your video based on vanity metrics such as likes and shares isn’t a true measure of performance.


In conclusion…


Because video has become quicker and easier to produce on mobile phones, video has become a throwaway commodity. A lot of cumulative time and effort is going into creating masses of content with very little long-term value.

Until recently that’s been the game. Create a lot of content, then spray and pray that some sticks. Inevitably some does because somewhere in the mix, real value is shared.

If you haven’t already noticed, social media channels are becoming dominated by video and there’s more noise. It’s never been easier (or cheaper) to make bad videos.

This means that it’s more important than ever for fitness businesses to be more strategic and less spontaneous with video production, if they want their video efforts to pay off long term.

Going into 2020, the games changed – less is more. The widely agreed strategy is to produce fewer pieces of high value content that have a longer lifespan and more net impact.

Why? Because social media platforms are rewarding time on platform, engagement and session duration. Vanity metrics have had their day.

It used to be text, then images and now you’re fighting for the attention of your audience with video. But attention spans are shortening and audiences expect more curated content to their tastes.

Video is still the best way for fitness businesses to grab attention and keep it, so give it the attention it deserves. Investing in video doesn’t just mean money. If you want to do it right you need to invest your time, resources and attention into pre-production instead of trying to cut corners.