Videos have always been an important part of Bazaarvoice culture. I sat down with Andy Petruzzo, our in-house video producer, to chat about why marketers should consider adding a video producer to their team.
How does having an in-house video producer benefit a company?
It fulfills several needs – obviously you want to be doing things like product demos and interviews. The potential for video to drive traffic is clear. There are stories that we want to tell about our products/platform, and video is a great way to do it.
From a cultural perspective, there are huge benefits. The other part of my job is to support culture internally with video. Events like our Bazaarvoice Film Festival offer insight into many different personalities and talents within the company that might otherwise be locked away behind cubicle walls. Also, because I document so many of Bazaarvoice’s events, I’ve become sort of a de-facto company historian (along with our great volunteer photographers, Oliver Wong and Nishant Pithia).
In supporting culture, there’s also a less-sexy need for video recording and distribution – things like training sessions, benefits presentations, speaker series, or other important company messages can be disseminated through video.
In addition to producing content, I provide a resource that’s not unlike an IT department in some ways – people need videos embedded into their presentations, screen captures, screen grabs, YouTube videos downloaded, scenes from DVDs ripped, messages to investors recorded, MP3s of presentations for people to jog to – I become a catch-all for tactical things like that.
What kind of projects do you work on during a typical week?
One of the great things about my job is that the type and scope of the projects I work on vary a lot. I am unique in our marketing department in the sense that I report to the Creative Director, attend staff meetings, and spend a good portion of my time working on marketing campaigns, but I also report directly to Brant Barton (Chief Innovation Officer & co-founder) for all things culture. This creates a situation where almost every video is a new challenge that might be for five people or five hundred people.
What qualities and skills should companies look for when hiring video producers?
Because the job is so multi-faceted, a person with a variety of technical and creative skills is necessary. Many times I act as a one-man production team. My particular skill set is in nuts and bolts video production – cameras, sound recording, lighting, directing, writing, and editing. The nature of our business also dictates that I do videos that have no live-action and are entirely motion graphics or animated screenshots. At Bazaarvoice, we have another video producer, Steve Sowrey, who exclusively works in this area. Our clients may know his work from virtually every video on our Spark portal.
How do you approach content differently depending on whether it’s for an internal or external audience?
In a perfect world, your site and YouTube channel could be littered with inside jokes and fringe comedy, but at the end of the day, this is a business (albeit a fun one). But we do try to keep the external facing videos entertaining – to offer some glimpse of the company culture through our creative output.
Which video would you show our blog readers so they can get a sense of your best work?
I made a video that played at our sixth anniversary All Hands in May – it’s a year in the life of Bazaarvoice, May 2010 to May 2011. Hopefully this video gives you some sense of how cool it is to work here.