Today we’re looking at what you should think about before you get started on making your video. So, before you write the script, before you decide whether you’re going to hire a video company to do it or make it yourself, before you allocate a budget and so on.
Making video is inherently quite an exciting prospect, especially if it’s your first time. But if you bypass these steps and rush headlong into production, you could end up with a video that’s either not very good, doesn’t do what you originally wanted it to do or isn’t suitable for the place it’s going to be shown.
So whether you spend hours working on each of these points, or just make sure you’ve mentioned them to the video company you’re working with, addressing them up front should reduce headaches further down the line.
1. What is the goal of the video?
Now this might seem like a really obvious one and it should be. But every video should have a goal and everything during production should be there to facilitate that goal.
So, do you want to promote a service?
That’s a start but it’s not specific enough… How are you going to show the benefits of this service? Customer testimonial videos are a great way to engage with the viewer on a very human level and they instantly add credibility to your business.
But then what do you want the viewer to do? If you promote your service and get them to buy into it, they need a way of following up on that interest. It’s easy to put a website address at the end of your video, but an address on screen isn’t a link. Using YouTube Buttons you can turn that on screen text into a link, but you want it to look good and part of the scene, so make sure that’s thought about beforehand.
For any goal of your video, promoting a product, gaining new subscribers, making an announcement, make sure you’ve thought about A. the best way to show that and B. a way for the viewer to take action afterwards.
2. Who is the video for?
If you’re making a promotional video this is probably the same as your target market, but not always. Maybe you’re trying to reach a specific group in your target market, or a new type of customer all together.
So for now, we’ll call them your target viewer. So that could be current customers, potential customers, or if you’re not promoting and want to share some information that could be users of a service or staff within an organisation.
What age are they, what type of videos do they usually consume. What are really successful companies doing in their videos, to connect with this group of people? If you’re targeting more corporate-y types, it’s easy to think that you need to make quite a serious, flat video, but not necessarily.
We’re not saying that you have to do something completely crazy to make yourself stand out and risk looking like an idiot. But most people, will appreciate a creative video that is both entertaining to watch and gets the necessary information across.
For example, one of our current projects is working with the lovely people at Edson Electronics. And they needed a step by step video of how to apply their anti-static floor paint.
There’s not really anything specific about the paint application, but to help reduce the amount of after sales support they need to give, they wanted a video to show how easy it is. The brief was:
‘Make watching paint dry, interesting.’
They gave us pretty much free reign creatively as long as we covered the necessary steps. And we think we’re onto something good. We’ll add the video to this post as soon as it’s done, and see if you agree!
So their video was for contractors, who’d been brought in to paint a factory floor, somewhere around the world. It’s no good making a 5 minute step by step video for someone who’s trying to get a job done, so we went for 1:30 and tried to make it as engaging as possible through our use of camera, editing, music and graphics so that they would watch all the way to the end.
3. Where is your video going to be shown?
Now some of this point is a creative consideration, and some of it a technical one. The vast majority of video production, especially for small businesses is going to be for the web. And probably YouTube. So from a technical point of view, it’s not too much of a worry, but, if you’re thinking you might want it to go somewhere else further down the line, on a DVD or even to be used as TV advertising, you need to let your video company know up top.
The technical requirements for TV are different to that of the web, and you don’t want to get into a situation when the videos finished but you can’t use it for everything you want to.
From a creative point of view, if you’re going to be using your video as a Facebook ad, it needs to be really short, and needs to really grab the viewer’s attention. People often say this about YouTube or a video on your homepage. But at least in those situations, the viewer as made the decision to start watching, so they have some sort of interest at least.
In a Facebook ad, you’re trying to stop that person from scrolling! It’s really got to stand out from the rest of the page.
So do some research on whatever medium(s) you’re considering for your video delivery. See what works in existing videos, what doesn’t. See whether you need to cram a load of information into the first 10 seconds, or whether you can take a bit more time and go in depth on what you want to show.
Planning properly before production always makes a much more effective, interesting and engaging video, so give plenty of consideration to each of these points and make sure your video does what you want it to do.