It all starts with a detailed video brief. Or at least it should!
The first step to achieving high quality video content is to make sure you’ve gathered all the information and armed your production company with a detailed brief so that they can begin to understand and answer your needs. A question we’re often asked by prospective clients is – What do you want to know? The answer is – Everything! In reality, the more information we have available to us, the more quickly and efficiently we can achieve your objectives.
So what exactly is it that your production company needs to know?
What is the purpose of your video?
Are you looking to improve brand awareness? Is it to boost sales of a particular product? Are you looking to establish yourself as a thought leader? Whatever it may be, try and distill this objective into a singular focused sentence that you and your production partner can revert back to regularly, to ensure that every decision made will move your project forward to reach this goal. For example, the one sentence objective from one of our tech clients was – Explain the complex security solutions we provide in a simple, bitesize format, that will showcase our expertise and experience.
Who are you talking to?
We’ll talk about this in more detail in Step 2 but the key things you need toconsider are:
• Who do you want to view your video?
• What understanding will they already have of your product/service/brand?
• How do you want them to feel when they watch your video?
• What do you want them to do when they’ve watched your video?
Where will the video live?
Not only may the answer to this impact the content that you should capture but it will also inform exactly how your final files will be delivered. For example YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn videos will all need different file formats and frame sizes. They’ll also likely want different end messaging or call to actions.
Sometimes the smallest detail can unlock a brief, and providing the context to a video is vital.
Give as much background detail to the project as you can.
Sometimes the smallest detail can unlock a brief, and providing the context to a video is vital. Where does it sit within your wider marketing or sales campaign? Have you produced similar videos that have performed well in the past?
Does the video need to serve more than one purpose, for example being used as part of a wider campaign including press advertising and use at a trade show? Providing examples of videos you’ve seen that you really like or really don’t like is very helpful too.
Provide your Brand Guidelines.
We will discuss this in further detail in Step 5 but this is the point at which you should share as much information as possible about your brand with your production partner. Are there different versions of your logo? What is your colour
palette? Do you have a brand tone of voice already established and a brand culture that the video should communicate?
What is your budget?
This might seem like a difficult question to answer – your initial reaction might be to respond with your own question of – Well, what does it cost? The reason it’s useful to have a budget in mind is it will immediately give the production company an indication of what will be feasible in terms of video production and therefore they won’t waste your time (or you theirs) coming back to you with proposals and budgets that would never be achievable. Video production is a bit like building a house. You can construct a nice little house from timber and pop a tin roof on it, or it could be built with bricks, mortar and a traditional slate roof, or you can go all Grand Designs and use lavish materials and equipment. (Not to mention the optional extras that could be added to all three scenarios). The cost implications for each should be obvious.
Here’s an example from a production with one of our clients. They approached us asking for a two minute animated explainer video for a new product they were offering, the project required a very quick turnaround. By getting straight to the budget question and having an open and honest conversation we quickly ascertained that they had a fraction of the budget available for the vision they had in mind. By establishing this upfront we were able to very quickly propose an alternative solution that answered their objective and could be delivered on time and within their budget. Without having this information upfront we would have lost precious, already limited, time on a proposal that, unbeknownst to us, they wouldn’t have been able to commit to and it would have resulted in a lot of back and forth. By having the budget conversation upfront we saved valuable time and were able to propose a solution that worked for everybody.