Drone videos - how and when to use them in your marketing strategy

Video content is on the increase as organisations cotton on to the fact it can aid brand storytelling, as well as significantly increase click through rates and reach where the content is well produced and relevant.

With drone videos also rising in popularity, we asked drone pilot David Fox from SkyFox Photography to give us the low down. David has over 25 years of experience flying model aircraft, and during his service in the RAF as an aircraft mechanic, represented the RAF in the model aircraft championships.


What is a drone?

A drone is any aircraft that is remotely piloted, for the purposes of capturing video footage or still images. They are known by a variety of names, UAV UAS RPAS SUAS SUSA, but it all means the same. By far the most popular drones are multirotors, which consist of 4, 6 or 8 arms and motors, individually controlled to give movement in all directions.


Drones seem to be getting a lot of bad press at the moment. Are there actually any regulations regarding their use?

Drones are like any complex machine. If you use them properly, they are a very useful and versatile tool. If used incorrectly, they can be extremely dangerous. If you're thinking of commissioning a pilot, they should hold a ‘Permit For Aerial Work’ (Pfaw) which is the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) qualification required for commercial drone use. The CAA has issued very specific regulations about when and where drones can be used. They cover safety distances from buildings, vehicles and people, and also maximum altitude and distance from the pilot.


What considerations do you need to make before you hire a drone pilot?

By law, we are required to hold a Pfaw or similar, issued by the CAA. We are also required to have commercial insurance to cover drone flying activities. As there are restrictions on how close drones can fly to people and buildings, considerations should be given to whether a drone flight is a safe or practical way to get the shots you require. Any qualified drone pilot will be able to advise on this.

Reputation is also key. This industry is in relative infancy, so ring around and talk to businesses who have already used commercial drones.

What most people don’t realise is that drones flown outside are usually done by GPS. This means that with no input from the pilot, the aircraft will stay in exactly the same place in the sky, even in wind or turbulence. This makes flying outdoors relatively easy. A fully skilled drone pilot is one that can competently navigate indoors where there is no GPS signal, and the aircraft needs manual control. We recently flew around a glass factory, which was a tough test of my skills!


How can you incorporate drone footage into your marketing strategy?

Having a well shot and edited aerial video can be a useful addition to your marketing armoury. For example, we recently produced an aerial video for Clayton Glass which showcased perfectly the company’s new site. It gave viewers a unique viewpoint of the scale of the building, and the machinery used.

It could well be that you simply need some well placed aerial stills to display a large product or facility. For example, we were recently commissioned by the vicar at Blanchland Abbey to take shots showing the beauty of the Abbey and surrounding countryside.


What next?

If you think that some drone footage or images would showcase your business perfectly, then please visit www.skyfoxphotography.co.uk or give David a call on 07805 750077.