October 29, 2010
The principle known as the division of labor argues that when people have sufficient resources available, they begin to specialize in different tasks, allowing more complex and profitable work to be done. The industrial revolution was based on this principle – as machines were provided that reduced the number of farmhands needed to grow crops, jobs requiring mechanics for the maintenance of these machines arose. More people were available to work in factories, which became increasingly specialized, and technology rocketed forward as a result.
In the branding world, the importance of dividing labor among various staff cannot be stressed highly enough. There are specialties for every conceivable task out there, and it is rare that you find someone who can competently handle all of them, much less excel. Further, since excellence sets a good brand apart from others, we must seek out the best specialists whenever possible.
When it comes to producing an online video component, such as a webisode series or informational campaign, it’s time to hire such an expert to ghost-produce your materials. Ghost-production is the development of materials that will go out solely under the brand name, without necessarily attributing the creator in the process. As will be discussed shortly, there are many advantages in this approach for all involved.
Advantage #1 – Specialization
As mentioned above, the power to specialize is a unique and effective thing. It frees one of the need to focus in many directions, allowing him to devote more time and energy to the tasks most needing his exact expertise. S0 the advantage in hiring someone specifically trained to work on the video produced becomes self-evident.
What’s more, video is a process that requires a specialized touch. There are concerns about lighting, quality of image versus likelihood of users’ Internet speeds, issues about the exact perfect length of a video, and so on. While it is true that just about anyone can make and distribute a video with a half-decent digital camera and a YouTube account, there is no argument but that those most familiar and capable with the medium can achieve the greatest results.
Advantage #2 – External Perspective
As in all cases of hiring outside personnel to handle projects related to a brand, the value of a close but still external perspective cannot be overestimated. A ghost producer typically is not an employee of the brand company, but a contractor. They don’t have the intimate personal involvement with the brand, yet they do care for its success because they want to get paid and be recognized as a good partner. So they can make objective assessments that might escape those more directly immersed in the program.
It’s said that no one is a harsher critic than oneself; however, at the same time, no one can deceive like oneself, either. Many people have the tendency to focus on what they perceive as exciting and vital about their brand without noticing the discomfiting facts about it. A ghost producer can provide a bit of perspective and open up fresh ideas that may not otherwise present themselves.
Advantage #3 – Expense Control
Another advantage of the specialization effect is that many professional video producers have their own equipment, or at least access to some. With some careful research, a brand can contract with such a talent and alleviate the need to acquire equipment directly.
Additionally, if the video project is intended to be a short-term effort within the larger context of the brand, it means that the company can acquire talent for the duration of the project and no longer. Rather than hiring someone and going through all the routines required to bring them into employ, the brand can contract their services and then cheerfully part ways at the end with all parties satisfied.
Advantage #4 – Flexibility
There is one concern that is always raised about the ghostwriting or ghost producing process: Why would any creative sort surrender the rights to his work? The answer is for career training and flexibility.
Particularly in the early stages of a producer’s career, anonymity can be a great asset. It allows the creator to gain on-the-job experience without risking his reputations early. Additionally, while he may be justifiably proud of his work when he produces it, he may have a different view later in his career and be more comfortable if those early efforts did not gain as much notice as later ones. Ghost productions therefore allow a comfortable period of adjustment to this career of choice.
Advantage #5 – The Sly Aside
Just as a ghost-producing effort could be a trial run for a budding artist’s career efforts, it can serve equally as a trial run for a hiring process. Hiring several producers over time to make different branding campaigns can save the brand the money of retaining them full time, while allowing the brand to find the style it is most comfortable with before sending that artist an offer of employ. None of this need be stated outright during the campaign, but it is often understood that this might well be the case, and a strong brand will take advantage of the effect.
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to www.BrandSplat.com or visit our blog at ,a href=”http://www.iBrandCasting.com/”>www.iBrandCasting.com