When one video is not enough.

Many people come to us asking for a video when what they really need are many videos or a video content strategy and production calendar. In this article, executive producer Eric Wolfram breaks down the thinking behind deciding if one video is enough.

One Video vs Many Videos and The Flexibility Trade-Offs

A Swiss army knife contains many tools in one but each tool is less efficient than their stand-alone counterparts. So when is it okay for a single video to have many audiences and purposes when you’re producing a video? For instance, can your video sell to consumers and inform your distributors at the same time? Short Answer: Maybe.

When One Video Doesn’t Work

These are the trade-offs when making a video flexible. Combining objectives creates a larger set of requirements which sometimes conflict with each other. The ultimate results can be more complex, longer, and increase the costs. However, when the value of a flexible general video makes the added complexity or costs worth it, then one video may be better than several.

When One Video Works

So when can one video serve many goals? If the answer to any of the following is “no”, then a general video will have a higher chance of failure. If the answers are mostly “yes”, then the multi-tasking video may be justified, meaning one general purpose video may be successful.

Is suboptimal messaging good enough?

Sometimes you just want to get the word out there. Then a general video is good enough. However, when you need to get into the details, when you have many nuaunced things to say, or when your audiences need specific answers and not just the overview — it’s time to create more videos. 

Is the messaging stable

If you think that the messaging will be the same over time, then that’s a sign that a general video will be good enough for your purposes. On the other hand, if things are constantly changing, a more modular content stratagy will probably suit you better. 

Are the viewer requirements similar?

Do your various audiences want to know similar things? If so, a general video is likely to work. If you have different segments or different types of audiences who want to know different things, then you might be asking too much from a single video message. 

Can the message be modularized in the finished video?

Does the value of a general video justify the messaging tradeoffs?

The Flexibility Trade-Offs and You

Making better strategic decisions and knowing when to combine messaging or when to make separate specifications and a more modular video production schedule will help you avert disastrous results that serve neither purpose well. Remember the idiom: When you make your video a “jack of all trades”, it might end up being “master of none”.