How to Produce a Video with Google Docs
The question of how to produce a video with Google Docs may seem like an unfamiliar one. After all, there are so many different tools that you can use to create and produce videos. You can record a video with your cell phone and use simple editing software to get the job done. In some instances, this may be good enough. In other circumstances, it may not be.
So where does Google Docs fit into all of this? Ultimately, I think that Google Docs is an underrated, yet effective way to produce a video. The unfortunate reality, however, is that many people use Google Docs in the wrong way. This is true both when producing a video and collaborating with others on many other projects.
There are plenty of opportunities to leverage Google Docs in your video marketing work.
Because of this, I want to spend this post talking about how to produce a video with Google Docs. Ultimately, Google Docs can be your best friend when creating any type of video. By buying into this premise and implementing the insights and strategies discussed below, you can more easily create all types of awesome videos.
Note: this blog post is not sponsored by Google. I am simply sharing my own opinions about Google Docs and how you can use them in your video marketing work.
Common Uses of Google Docs
If you have a Gmail account, use G Suite for your business, or are simply a Google user, you likely know a lot about Google Docs. An easy way to think of Google Docs is a form of Microsoft Word in the cloud. With Google Docs, you can do everything from easily format text and paragraphs to easily export your Google Docs into different file formats.
Most people create a Google Doc for every project that they’re doing. It’s all too easy. If they have a brainstorm, copy, or blog that they want to expand upon, all they need to do is open a new Google Doc and start writing.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this. However, what works really well is to have a collaborative Google Doc. This is something where multiple people can meet in the Google Doc and brainstorm together. If you have worked at startups or regularly use Google products in your day-to-day work, you may already be doing this.
As I will discuss below, this collaborative nature of Google Docs makes them an especially valuable tool for producing videos. They can be a great way to coordinate a large team and ensure that your many tasks are being accomplished.
Our Use of Google Docs
At Dubb, we frequently use Google Docs in the video creation process. We make long-form produced video content for platforms like YouTube. We also make short-term video content for social media platforms and audio content for our podcast called Connection Loop. Finally, we make instantaneous videos with our own platform to send one-on-one messages.
As you can see, all of us make a ton of videos around here. To make the process so much simpler, we heavily rely on Google Docs. Simply put, we use Google Docs to streamline things and make our lives significantly easier.
Google Docs is especially valuable in our strategy sessions and copywriting work. For instance, when we are drafting emails or landing pages, we create community Google Docs. There, we can see quick drafts of copy and add our input. Better yet, our team members can add their input both during and after we are drafting our copy. Google Docs is really valuable when you are collaborating in real-time, but there is nothing stopping you from using it asynchronously. By having one central hub, we can more easily collaborate and generate the best possible email and landing page copy.
The same is true for video production. We have discovered that we can essentially use the same workflow when we work on our video content.
Ultimately, it is critical to collaborate with your team in the pre-production stage. At the very beginning of any new piece of video content, It is a great way to take your first topic ideas and share them with your team. Both you and your colleagues can vet your early ideas, whether you are coming up with them at the moment or have been thinking about them for some time.
I always invite members of the Dubb team to brainstorm and discuss future topic ideas. Granted, we also use a channel in Slack to discuss topic ideas and everything related to our video content. But having said that, we have found that Google Docs is a great way to communicate in real-time.
Different Ways to Use Google Docs For Video Marketing
There are many different use cases when thinking about how to produce a video with Google Docs. That being said, I am just going to focus on a few of them here. This isn’t an exclusive list, so you’re going to need to experiment for yourself. However, at Dubb, we heavily rely on the following use cases to get the most out of Google Docs.
Creating Rough Scripts
One great example of using Google Docs for video production is creating rough scripts for specific videos. While there are times where we pull out our phones and simply start recording, there are other videos that we plan out in advance. For those videos, we create a shared Google Doc and start generating a rough script. Throughout that process, we develop a few variations of that script. One member of our team completes one pass of the script while another completes their pass and adds their own thoughts.
This is an extremely powerful process. Once the script is written, we can collaborate with team members. Instead of those team members editing the document directly, they can go into Google Docs’ “Suggestion Mode” and then suggest changes.
Ultimately, Suggestion Mode is one of our favorite features in Google Docs. The reason why it is so powerful is that you can not only see writing that someone else did, but you can provide suggestions that they can approve, reject, or even comment on. Using Suggestion Mode prevents others on your team from copying over information and then losing that information quickly. While there are similar features in other pieces of software (most notably, track changes in Microsoft Word), Google Docs makes it extremely easy to encourage and evaluate feedback.
Better yet, everything is saved automatically within Google Docs. There’s no need to make sure that you are constantly saving your draft. Google Docs gives you the confidence that your work won’t be lost forever. Instead of this, Google Docs makes it extremely easy to review the document’s history. All it takes is a few clicks to review or work off of an old draft.
Essentially, Google Docs is a great tool throughout the entire pre-production process. Whenever our team at Dubb is meeting, I like to have a Google Doc open. I can do everything from writing down key takeaways to live-transcribing important points made by my colleagues. After the meeting is over, we can always go back and consult our notes. This not only helps us save time, but it can keep us on track if we are veering off course.
Using Google Docs When Editing
Google Docs is also a helpful tool when you are editing your video content.
When you are in the editing process, there may be different rough drafts circulating amongst your team. These different versions of the video may have their advantages and disadvantages, yet you and your colleagues are going to need to decide on a final version.
In these situations, it is helpful to work off of a community Google Doc. With this Google Doc, you can paste all of the links to those rough drafts. If you are using Dubb.com to share links to your videos, one thing that your colleagues can immediately do is create a video reply right from the Dubb page. This is especially useful if they have detailed thoughts that would take some time to type in the Google Doc. Instead of spending time typing out a detailed response, they can record a quick video reply on their phone. From there, they can insert the Dubb link into the comments. That way, you and the rest of your colleagues can watch the video and get some helpful context as to why that individual left that comment.
In the end, using video replies can avoid tons of back and forth. For as great as Google Docs can be during the video editing process, it can be easier to simply record a video with your thoughts, commentary, and insights. If you want to do that instead of type out a long (or even short) response, don’t hesitate to do so. Go ahead and grab a free account at Dubb.com if you are interested in learning more.
If you are going to use text comments when editing your video content, however, make sure that they are clear. Comments are similar to emails or SMS messages in that they can be easily misinterpreted. While you may think your comment is extremely clear, one of your colleagues may be utterly confused.
This is why it is so important to provide more context when you are using text comments. When doing this, don’t hesitate to include visual aids. Things like images, diagrams, and PDFs can go a long way in clarifying your comments. Including them helps your colleagues read and research the information that you put in your content.
Using Google Docs To Distribute Your Video
Once you have finished editing your video, you haven’t quite yet reached the finish line. As all creators recognize, you need to strategically distribute your video. If no one is actually watching your video content, you are going to have an extremely difficult time achieving your video marketing goals.
While you may already have an effective process of getting your video content out into the world, you’ll be happy to hear that Google Docs can be a treasured asset. Specifically, Google Docs can be extremely useful for organizing the different assets that you have. For instance, if you have a colleague that handles the distribution of your video content, they can find significant value in Google Docs. Using Google Docs, they can easily organize the assets that they will use to share on all types of social media platforms.
So if you have a team member that plans to post a specific video to Instagram and TikTok, for example, he or she can use Google Docs to stay organized. Better yet, by using a shared document, you and your colleagues can see the status of your team member’s work and whether he or she is having any issues. This may seem like a not-so-consequential feature, but using Google Docs in this way can make your lives easier. In other words, you’re able to stay on the same page and manage expectations when completing your work.
Replacing Meetings with Google Docs
This final use case goes one step further. When planning out video content or just general business collaboration, we sometimes opt for Google Docs instead of a full-fledged meeting.
Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons why Google Docs has disrupted Microsoft Word. Having said that, I think the primary reason is collaboration. Using Google Docs, it is tremendously easy to work with others on basically any type of task.
Because of this, don’t hesitate to use these tools. Feel free to get multiple people in a Google Doc when you are on a Zoom call. You can even use a Google Doc instead of a Zoom call. You can have everyone meet up in a Google Doc and watch what it’s like to collaboratively write something.
When you do this, you or your colleagues can build out sections of the Google Doc. They can do things like add bullets in a brainstorm or settle on the next steps when developing a new product or service. Whatever business you need to discuss, you can likely do so simultaneously (or asynchronously) on a Google Doc. The amount of information that you can get within a collaborative Google Doc is really amazing.
Going Forward to Produce a Video with Google Docs
So ultimately, this question of how to produce a video with Google Docs is a relatively straightforward one. I believe that Google Docs is an awesome tool and an excellent way to produce videos. Granted, it isn’t the only tool that we use at Dubb. We particularly like Asana, as it is a great project management tool. But putting that aside, we have found Google Docs to be at the center of all of our workflows. It can be a great idea to make it the center of your own workflows.
If you would like to learn more about how to use Google Docs, don’t hesitate to visit Google Support. You can also contact us if you want to learn more about the points made in this article or how Dubb can help you with all of your video marketing work. Click here to contact us and click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial of Dubb.
Originally posted at Dubb on November 2020.