Video production has become the number one marketing tool for business in 2020.
Actually – it already was before then, but 2020 is the year when video production asserted itself and everybody finally woke up and realised what an amazing tool it is. After all, this was the year when business discovered that it had to reach people in their homes like never before, and video became almost the only way to communicate with customers.
Video production can result in many different outcomes – live streaming, advertisements, broadcasting events, video chat, video conferencing – and so on. All these require planning and production.
However, for the purposes of this article, we are looking at video production that will result in a planned, recorded film to be used for marketing – whether that is TV broadcast, website or social media.
1. Plan your video message
This first step actually goes hand in hand with step two (below) but we have to begin somewhere, so here we are.
What is the purpose of the video? We don’t mean something as all-encompassing as “marketing” – you need to get specific about your intended outcome.
It may be “reach 10,000 new viewers”, “generate 2,500 sales leads for x product”, or even “get 5,000 new Facebook subscribers”.
Whatever it is, you need to know your desired outcome. If you don’t you will never know if the video was a success or not. In other words, you need to define your metrics.
Your video should also only carry one message – so what exactly is it? Whether the final video runs for 30 seconds or 2 minutes, there will not be room for multiple messages, so settle on what yours will be and never lose sight of that when planning later on.
2. Understand your target market
This is really a part of step one, but we have separated it to emphasise the point.
Who are you trying to reach with your message? Do you understand the way your target market interacts with video currently? With social media?
What messages are they currently responding to and which ones (and which companies) are they currently engaging with?
Which videos and messages are they ignoring?
To put it another way – do your research and understand your target market so that you know your video, when produced, will work as intended and create the result you are aiming for.
It’s disheartening to put time, effort and money into a video project only to be disappointed by the lack of result (or at least, lack of the result you hoped for).
If you plan you result and plan your video correctly, you have a much greater chance of success.
3. Write your production brief for your video
Once you have collected all your data and made your decisions, you can finally bring it all together.
Write a production brief for your video – this will summarise everything to date and make sure that everyone is on the same page moving forward.
This will summarise the purpose of the video, the expected results, the target audience, the metrics to be used for measuring success, the core message, budget, deadlines and any other information that needs to be shared with everyone who will be involved.
It should also explain your brand, image, style and any aspect of your business that will affect the creative planning (colour palette, font, your style book etc).
It should also describe the final deliverables required (you may need different versions of the video for different uses, such as website, presentation and social media).
This production brief will be the ultimate reference for everyone working on this video – from creative writers, to the videographer to the editing and graphics team.
4. Plan and write your video
Starting with your production brief, this is where you can begin to get creative.
It is also the first point where you may need to hire someone external, if it is not something you can handle yourself, or if your marketing team doesn’t have the relevant skills.
If you are new to video production, then outsourcing at this stage is often preferable, but whether you choose this route or you are a creative yourself, this is where the story for the video is born – and from it, the script.
The plot and script for the video will depend on all the elements we have previously discussed – the message, the target market and what engages them. This will affect the style of the video (serious, humorous, fictional, talking head etc).
Your prior research is important as this will inform you what will most engage the largest target audience. You can take inspiration from others’ videos but not copy. Your production needs to be unique enough to be identified with you and no one else.
Once the story is defined then you can draft, read and edit your script until you have a working item. If you are doing this yourself, get others involved and collaborate – brainstorming ideas and trying out different wording until a consensus is reached that meets all the requirements of your production brief.
5. Storyboard your video production
Before shooting, you will need to storyboard your script. You do not need to be an artist to do this – the purpose of the storyboard is to roughly visualise key shots in the video so that the videographer knows what you have in mind. You can even create a storyboard using stock images or footage from the internet, or just rough draw on paper. Anything that works to convey mood, lighting or a particular scene.
A script defines the action, words and events; a storyboard defines the style, look and most important visuals.
The two together explain the vision.
A storyboard is not always essential but can help to clarify certain elements that may otherwise be open to interpretation.
6. Shooting your video – get a videographer!
Well – we’re almost at shooting the video – but not quite yet. Much like a shot list for a photoshoot, you will need to plan the shoot before filming starts.
You need to create a list of requirements for the actual shooting itself. If the video is one person talking to camera (talking head) then this list will be quite short, but will still need to cover lighting (therefore possibly time of day), camera equipment, videographer, hair and makeup stylist if needed, and so on.
A video that involves outdoor location shooting, action, multiple actors and so on will involve more and more planning. Think just of casting, rehearsal, costumes, food provision, permissions for locations, adverse weather planning if outdoors and you can see that this project suddenly becomes much larger.
Often, the simplest approach is to hire a videographer or team to handle the planning and filming; this offloads a lot of headache over to professionals and allows you to get on with running your business.
Planning and shooting are laborious and involved – anything more than the simplest shoots and it is usually far more cost-effective to hand this off to a professional. And even the shortest, seemingly easiest shoots will benefit from expert hands – composition, lighting, and editing (see post production) require experience to do well.
With a good script, a storyboard and a well written production brief, a professional videographer and their team will bring your vision to life in a way that only a professional can.
7. Post production of your video
Once shooting is complete, the work has not ended yet.
Post production means taking the video footage and editing it into the final composition. This often involves altering lighting, cropping and zooming the film images and is a skilled professional job in and of itself.
Even if you have managed to get this far by doing everything yourself – unless you are an experienced editor (in which case – why are you reading this?) then outsource this step.
Aside from the raw footage, post production is the process that will most affect the look of the final video and determine how professional (or not) it looks.
Editing takes time, experience and professional software.
Aside from the final editing cuts (and you may want two or three, remember) post production also includes graphics and titles overlays, layering audio (music) and any voiceover work, and then putting this all together into one amazing visual display.
Having this done professionally will hugely benefit your final outcomes and make the difference between success and failure of your objectives for making the video in the first place.
Happily, if you have outsourced the filming to a videographer and their team, you will usually find that post production is also done for you as a matter of course – some services even include it as a part of the package (watch out though – some will charge extra).
8. Distribute your video production
Finally – at last – your video is complete.
It should be in all the cuts you required (full video, 30 second overview, or anything else you planned) and these should all be in the various formats you need for your different broadcast platforms.
So go ahead – distribute / upload / email / post and remember to keep an eye on the results! Now is the time to start collecting the data which will determine if your objectives are realised and how successful your video is.
And – assuming a success – it’s probably time to start planning your next one.
Whatever your previous thoughts or experience, video is no longer outside of your budget – whatever your budget might be!
High-quality video production no longer means high-priced!
Splento have a full range of video services from supply of a videographer, separate editing and post production, right through to complete production services.
Whatever stage you are at with your video planning and creation – contact Splento today for knowledgeable, helpful advice and direction. You may or may not decide to make use of our services, but either way, you will be better informed about your project after speaking with us.
Rather than scale pricing as your order size increases, Splento has scaled their entire video production process instead, so that lower prices are available for everyone – regardless of the size of the order or length of video you require.
We produce your fully edited video within 48 hours (guaranteed), and all for a fixed rate of just £149 ($299) per hour, which means we can guarantee our services will fit your budget too.
What is still true, however, is that a poorly made video will do your company more harm than good, so wherever you go, find a visual media company you can trust, with a track record and a portfolio you can see for yourself.
We hope you found this article useful – and when you take a moment to stop, and start to think about it, you will realise that video marketing will help your business.
If you need help with how to find the best corporate videographer, just ask Splento.
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