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Breaking the Ice on Video
with Chris Skeggs

October 16, 2023 | By The Dairy
Breaking the Ice on Video <br>with Chris Skeggs

This week, we’re launching our new series of Q&A blogs titled, Breaking the Ice. This new series is designed to put the spotlight on a range of marketing topics to help brands and those breaking into the industry with widening their knowledge of specific areas of interest. Over the coming months, we’ll sit down with different members of our team to uncover their expertise and share their views.

This week, we caught up with our Creative Director, Chris Skeggs, to break the ice on all things video. From his own personal experiences with video marketing to his top tips for telling a story through motion, if you’re looking to incorporate video within your marketing strategy, then this is the blog for you.

First, tell us a bit about yourself and your role at The Dairy

Sure. I’m Chris, Creative Director here at The Dairy. I have creative experience in both agency and global marketing team roles. I’ve been at The Dairy for about six years now. 

Initially recruited as a Senior Designer, I was invited onto the board back in 2021 to take up a more strategic position. Day-to-day, my role hasn’t changed too much since then. I’m still hands-on with Studio work – everything from client rebrands and campaigns through to motion graphics and digital projects. However, I now have a lot more responsibility over the future, and in particular, the creative output of the agency including pitching and proposals. I also work closely with our clients supporting them on a more strategic and multi-channel basis – not just producing creative, but improving both their online and offline brand experiences.

How important do you think video is as part of a brand’s marketing strategy?

Video is hugely important, especially when it’s executed well. It’s been an integral strategy for well over a decade now and I only see it increasing in popularity. With every generation it evolves of-course.

There’s obviously been a trend towards more short form content in recent years but the great thing about any form of video is that it’s so effective both in terms of engagement and accessibility. Everyone has a smartphone these days. Everyone can view and share videos through social. Video is easy to digest and has the power to build an emotional connection with the audience more effectively than other marketing tactics. People often prefer to learn about brands or products through video and as a result, it can really boost conversion rates and leads. There’s loads of statistics to back all this up of-course which admittedly, I don’t have to hand, but I think both subjectively and objectively video is essential for any strategy. 

From your perspective, what makes a great video?

I think there’s several things that make a great video. It depends on the type of video of-course but to begin with, there’s the aesthetics. 

Great editing and production are key. A logical structure, the right music track and a creative approach with smooth transitions and visually impressive graphics will obviously help make it more engaging. But that should never sacrifice the integrity of the messaging. That’s really important. There needs to be clear messaging and a strong call to action. 

However I think the most important aspect of video is storytelling. Whether it’s an explainer, live action or motion graphics, creating some form of story is one of the best ways to keep the audience engaged, especially if it’s relatable and reflects a personal experience that the viewer may have had. 

What types of video content are your favourite to edit?

It really depends on the subject matter to be honest – and my mood! I enjoy working with good quality raw footage. I’m fortunate to work with some exceptional videographers and a very talented copywriting team at The Dairy too, so I know I’ll always get great content. That makes it a lot easier to bring a good story to life. 

That said, I do like a challenge and working with complex motion graphics, illustrations and kinetic typography is always very rewarding. That will often mean learning new techniques, but I think it’s important to keep pushing yourself and improving your skill set.

What’s your process when delivering a video project?

This really depends on what form the video takes. All video work begins with a scoping phase at least, talking with the client to understand the purpose of the project, the audience and their goals. If we’re recording footage from an event or location, we’ll then agree on a shot list. It’s important that I’m on-site leading the creative direction, or at least getting a good feel for the project. 

Our copywriting team will then put an engaging script together and from that we create a storyboard. 

There’s many other considerations as well, but the bulk of the work for me is within the post-production stage. That’s basically the fun part – editing and animating and creating that visual journey. By this point I’m fully immersed in the project and have a good vision of what we want to achieve. 

By breaking the process down into phases we can ensure a coherent project and, most importantly, that the client is satisfied with the end result.

Do you have any advice for brands that are thinking about using more video in their marketing?

Simple really. Go for it! Video is not just about delivering information or educating the consumer about your product or service – It’s much more than that. It helps connect your brand with your audience. It engages your audience and triggers emotions in them which can help to build long-term relationships. 

It’s essential for SEO, for converting leads and for boosting conversion rates. When used correctly, it’s one of the most effective tools for building your brand and increasing sales, which is ultimately the fundamental purpose of any marketing strategy. Most of all, I’d encourage any brand reading this to get in touch with The Dairy. We’d love to help you achieve your vision.

And finally, can you share with us your favourite videos/animations which you’ve worked on or seen?

Not one I can claim to have worked on myself unfortunately! Credit goes to my talented Studio partner Mitch. But I think our Alice in Wonderland themed campaign to encourage visitors to the City of Oxford during the Christmas period, is great. Most importantly, it was a huge success, and the client was really happy with the results. 

I’ve worked on a plethora of video projects over the years – it’s difficult to pick out favourites. I’ve enjoyed working with the confectionery brand, The Treat Kitchen, because it’s such a fun brand. I’ve also enjoyed working on a number of video projects for The British Psychological Society simply due to the diversity of different video styles and the creative freedom I was permitted. However, I’d probably pick out the work I’ve done with Nottingham Forest FC as being top of my list because mixing sports action with typography is always fun and has a powerful impact. I’m also a big Forest fan!

If you’re looking to incorporate video into your brand’s marketing strategy, then get in touch with us today for expert advice and support.

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