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SUBMITTED BY Joe Belcher ON Mon, 07/04/2016 - 15:41

By Joe Belcher, CAS VP Marketing & Operations, July 4, 2016
In Collaboration with Video Producer, Michael Stringfield

One of the hardest parts of running a brewery is telling your story in an authentic and consistent way. If you are packaging your product and selling through a distributor, things get even tougher because you have to rely on other people to tell your story consistently and clearly. Faced with this challenge, many craft breweries opt for videos as a means to communicate clearly and scale their message in a controlled and authentic way. With this in mind, numerous breweries have asked me how much they should spend on video production, which company should they use, and what type of content they should produce. Most people see the value of video, but they don’t understand how to do it well. Worse, they are nervous about spending too much money on something that won’t end up the way they want.

Let me quickly tell you that the most expensive component of great video content is capturing the content. Rule number one, audio needs to be perfect. You never notice audio unless it’s not perfect, make sure you supply your video producer with the correct number of interview subjects so they know what type and number of microphones to bring. Professional equipment is critical and worth every penny. Having 2 camera angles provides the editor multiple options in post-production, having proper lighting can separate mediocre interviews from spectacular interviews, and planning weeks in advance when, where, and what you hope to capture will bring efficiency during production and ultimately save you money. EVERY professional out there has content online, and if they don’t, you should ask them for samples. If their role on the videos they supply you is just shooting, then make sure to ask them for samples of something they’ve edited. It’s very important the video producer knows how to do both job jobs in a timely manner. My favorite tip… Length of your video is difficult to predict but I’d strongly suggest keeping it between 1-2 minutes. Cater to the people out there with a shorter attention span.

Another secret I’ve learned is to leverage your industry partners to find the best videographers and editors. We found work done by one of our partners, Orchestra Software (makers of OrchestratedBEER) and asked them who helped develop their video content. We liked what they produced and we’ve always liked how they run their business. Most important, we have always looked up to them for ways to communicate with customers consistently and effectively. They turned us onto their video guy, who ultimately won our services. Thank you, OBEER. Here’s how our ultimate selection went down.

I Knew I Needed A Storyteller

The greatest component in the video production process is the toughest to determine. Finding that storyteller/editor who knows what to ask and how to edit it in great fashion is the key to success. The best storytellers are those who sit you down and ask you all the right questions. Recently, I interviewed several companies to produce a 1-minute promo video to reside on our landing page. I went to each candidate and tried to say as little as possible. The winner, who was recommended by OBEER, asked me all the right questions and simply painted the clearest picture of how we were going to get from beginning to end. Check out the promo video, here.

The main difference between the company we selected and the others I interviewed was that the winner specializes in the production and creation of short, 1-minute promos. He didn’t have to specialize in breweries. The basics apply across all industries. This guy asked tough questions. I knew he was the guy when he made me think about CAS in ways that I hadn’t thought of before. I know our message better than most people, much like you know your brewery better than anyone. However, that doesn’t mean I was communicating our value proposition as clearly as possible. A third party expert can really help in this area.

Create a video that goes beyond showing your brewery and customers having a great time. People want to know who you are. Capturing the right content is critical, but the real magic is finding an editor that can pull it all together in one minute or less. Look for that editor that makes you pause and think differently about yourself – like a good therapist – and that’s who you want to work with.

Additional Resources

First, Craft Beer Consumer Seek Enchantment (White Paper) is a great refresher about what marketing’s role in a company is. I’ve preached about this before and I think it will help you understand its definition and how video can support the essential function. Keep in mind Peter Drucker’s famous quote: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two-and only two-basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs”.

Second, check out Michael Stringfield's portfolio at Enjoy, but look beyond how good they look and sound. See how he tells the story from beginning to end and how that supports the essential marketing function.

This article was created in collaboration with Michael Stringfield who led the way in putting our value proposition into a one-minute video. Michael is a 2-time Emmy award winner that works for NBC Sports and can be reached at