Successful Video Production Starts With A Plan
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer Internet traffic. So why aren’t businesses cranking out more videos?
The truth is that a lot of companies try to add video to their marketing strategy without having a clear idea of what it takes to make impactful video content or ads on time and within budget. And I’m not just talking about writing the script or finding locations. That’s important too, but savvy marketers and video production managers know that pre-production takes a little more.
Before video production starts
The most important part of video production happens before the camera starts rolling. Before starting any video production project, you should follow these basic steps.
It’s good to have goals. Just like any other type of business planning, you need to define what your goals are. Why are we making this video and how will we measure our success? If your goal is to introduce your brand to new customers, you’ll likely want to use metrics like watch percentage, or view count instead of sales, or conversions. These goals, should also be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and support your business’ overall KPIs.
Know your Audience
Identifying your target audience includes the usual demographics like age and gender, but we need to think more about what is our ideal target interested in, and which platforms are they using. Whether you are using paid ads or organic posts, knowing where, and how to get in front of that audience is key to a good ROI.
Plan the message
Now that we have a clear idea of why we are making a video, and who we’re making it for, we need to think about what the audience should want to do after watching. Is it to click on a link, purchase your product, or simply subscribe to your newsletter? What does the audience need to see or hear in your video to take that action? Determining your message will help define what type of video you need. Do they need to hear a testimonial? A product demonstration?
Define the Scope
Outline the scope with budget, and WRITE IT DOWN. The number one question we get asked is “How much does a video cost?” The answer is, it depends. Video costs can vary widely, from a couple hundred to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why? Because you need to complete steps one through three first and determine what you need to spend to achieve those goals. Writing the scope should cover your video objectives, target audience, core message, budget, and deadline. This is by far the most time-consuming step. You’ll need to consider things such as:
- Who is responsible for script-writing and voiceovers?
- Who is responsible for the storyboard and general idea behind the video?
- If specific locations are to be used, who is responsible for contacting the owner of the location to obtain permission to film there?
- What sort of graphics do you need?
- Do you have the most up-to-date versions of your logos and what are your company colors?
- What formats do you need the video to be produced in?
- Do you have any other special requirements?
It’s time to get into the content of your video by coming up with the concept. Look at other videos around the web that have tackled what you’re covering for inspiration. Look at your competitors and what they’ve done. And draw inspiration from videos you’ve found effective and memorable.
Develop the Script
Write your script or create a storyboard. Some people find writing their script first helps them visualize their storyboard, while others start sketching out the visuals and come up with the script for the story.
Create a List
Make your shot list and schedule. A shot list is the shot-by-shot breakdown of each scene in your storyboard. The schedule is a one-stop-shop for all your production questions and concerns and every team member should have access to it. These documents will help your producer and videographer save you tons of time (and costs) during production.
Choose your locations and visit them
While it may not seem like a huge deal, finding the right location can make an impact on your budget. Studios will already have everything in place and is a controlled environment. Shooting on location, on the other hand, involves travel and if you’re filming outside you’ll have to deal with things like weather. Where you shoot will also determine what equipment you need.
Find Your Actors and Create a Call sheet
Whether you are putting out a casting call for professional actors or using someone in your organization you’ll need to find them and tell them what to do. You need to create a call sheet. A good call sheet will answer all the basic “who, what, where, when, and why” questions at a glance, and is practically invaluable when it comes to keeping organized, calming nerves, and managing expectations.
The Next Steps
Finally, it’s time to start filming, editing, and eventually publishing and promoting your video.
Get Started with your Video
It sounds like a lot, and it is, however videos are not going away. 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. If this list sounds overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, that’s where Red Crow Marketing’s expert video production team can help. We can work with you to develop your goals, identify your audience, focus your message, and create some impressive videos for just about any budget. Contact us today to get started.