Why Do I Need to Create a Documentary?
Documentaries are exploding and a lot of people are asking why. Let’s explore some of the intricacies of why you should create a documentary. A documentary does several things for you either in your profession or in your passion, or perhaps both. When you create a documentary, you are showing the world that you are an expert in an area. In addition, you are promoting awareness in the documentary subject matter. As an added bonus, you are developing relationships with each and every person who views the documentary with two of the strongest bonds that can exist – a visual stamp of you or your company and a shared mutual interest that you have in common with the viewer.
Stepping back one step, what is a documentary? A documentary is a factual representation of a person, process, event, history or other factually accountable instance. Where is the value in a documentary? Let’s say your company does fracking. How do you sell the value of fracking? Or let’s say your organization is opposed to fracking. How do you get that message out to the public? Documentaries are the vehicle you use to send a message and attach your value in that message.
While we are in housekeeping mode, documentaries range anywhere from short film length of 8 to 12 minutes to full-feature length documentaries of 2 hours. Documentaries are about the same to produce as other films segments with an emphasis on fact-checking and research. A short documentary will run about $15,000 and can easily range in excess of $100,000 depending on the documentary type, length, content, shooting variables and distribution.
This type of video is not for the faint of heart, but the payoff can be huge and is why this segment of the film industry is exploding. Whether you are representing your own thoughts or those of your organization, a documentary brings to light any topic where you have personal or professional interest. You have a passion for folding paper and it just so happens that you have a paper company and would like to increase sales. How can a documentary help you do this? Let use an example case study.
Origami: The Lost Art
You have always had an interest in the art of folding paper (Origami). And guess what? If you are folding paper, you are using paper so origami helps your business. You are a bit frustrated though because nobody remembers, much less does origami anymore. So what do you do? You create a documentary – Origami: The Lost Art, with a goal of raising public awareness.
ProShark, as your documentary expert, advises you that, for this topic, it is probably better to keep finished time on the shorter side so we collaborate on the concept and determine that 15 minutes is ideal. Viewers will get a deeper understanding of the value and there is enough content to keep them engaged for this length of time. During our collaboration, we also suggest that you manufacture an origami specific paper that we can promote within the documentary, understanding the sensitivity of promoting within a documentary.
Our documentary is produced and it comes out flawless. It is engaging and compelling. During the production process we determined that we would only state that “special origami paper is best for creating origami objects” and emphasized “special origami paper” without using branding or name. Then we had our SEO team specialize the search terms “origami paper” and “special origami paper” because both were low competition. Before the film was launched, you became #1 for each search term in the major search engines so even without the film you are picking up additional business.
We determined that an organic website campaign with social media, ppc and email campaign promotions suited your documentary best and we also decided that we would submit to the independent film festivals we selected based on film content and entertainment value. We included all of the viral elements in the film and now you have a finished, polished documentary that will cost you about $50,000 all in with promotion and distribution included. From the SEO side you have already seen a percentage uptick in sales from search engine exposure prior to release.
You release with your promotional campaigns. Conservatively, you begin seeing a traffic increase to your site with an emphasis in increased sales of special origami paper. The curve continues upward as exposure to the film draws more people to your site. Special origami paper sales uptick significantly and now you start to see a bleed into your other paper products. You begin your optin campaign to your existing clients along with the new ones and you begin developing deeper relationships. Your sales increase and you have recouped your initial investment in approximately 6 months.
That was the conservative chain of events. If even one or two of the right dominoes fall, then your increase in sales curve becomes much steeper. Let’s say you hit the jackpot and your documentary goes viral. People begin to buy into the fact that origami was indeed a lost art and they begin to pass it on to their friends. We made sure all the elements were in place for this to be a possibility. In the event of a viral pull, your sales increase potentially many times over your original cost.
Aggressive scenario #2. Remember that we submitted to the film festivals. The elements were such that this documentary hit and you won the festival award. This means wide distribution release and significant exposure simply because you produced the film. It was able to win because we did not go for the obvious sale and kept branding out of it, but because we keyed the viewer to search for special origami paper and you are on the front page of the major search engines for this term, your sales increase massively.
These last two depictions are in fact low probability events, but they are possible and you have gained a large amount of exposure along the way. An Origami documentary brings the art of paper folding to the public and one of the side effects of doing this is to make you an expert in the field by association. Because you are doing a film on origami then you are, by default, a subject matter expert by those who view the file and even by those who don’t. By those who don’t? What happens when someone searches for origami and your name comes up? You have now also become more pervasive in the marketplace.
This is a simplistic example, but it is one that illustrates the impact that a documentary can have and it is an argument for why you should create a documentary. We understand you may have a lot of questions before you decide to move forward and we are here to answer. Be sure to contact us and we can begin the process of seeing if a documentary can provide value to you or your organization.