Go to any company website or log on to your favorite social platform and poke around for five seconds. I guarantee you will run into at least one branded video. We are seeing more videos than ever, and for good reason. According to Cisco’s VNI Forecast, video will account for 79% of internet traffic by 2020!
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you’ve chosen to create video for your company in 2017. You’ve got a budget, and you’re ready to go. But how best to make use of it? How do you go from nothing to something? When it comes to branded video the old adage of, “prior planning prevents piss poor performance,” rings loud and clear. Don’t panic, let’s take a step back and look at some of the ways you can make sure your commitment to video gets started properly.
Mark Your Calendar
If you’re like me your calendar is filled with appointments, meetings, and plans. Get your head out of the day-to-day and look at what is happening down the road. Have a high profile conference coming up? Are there going to be clients at this event? You could create a testimonial video with select clients and attendees. Set up a studio in a spare room and capture as many interviews as you can. Or put on your press hat and bring a cameraman for some roving reporting around industry questions. Have access to keynote speakers? A quick one-on-one after their delivery could provide valuable content for your newsletter and social channels.
Or maybe you have a new product launch coming up, and it’s debuting at a trade show. Need a video to use at your booth? An outreach piece for investors? Should you interview the CTO, produce an animated explainer, or spend some time filming in the lab or assembly line? It depends on your product, your audience, and the context in which your video will be seen.
Often a good place to start is watching sample videos. Have your team collect links to videos they like, then hold a brainstorming session and write down every suggestion someone comes up with. Yes, even the crazy ones! But do try to keep audience and context in mind. An investor video shown in the boardroom is different than a piece you’d use in your paid search campaign. Think about the visuals you’d like to have in the video. Is it a product video? What are the advantages of this product, and how can we show this visually? If it’s a customer testimonial, think about the unique ways this customer uses your product. How does their story bring your product to life, how does it make them successful? What questions can you ask that will bring out some color or personality? How can you make your video look and sound different than what’s expected? Write down those ideas, and keep them fresh.
Get it Produced
As you start to conceptualize your video, look at your budget. Make sure that is supports the type of video you want to make. There’s nothing worse than getting to the day of production only to realize that your budget did not allow you the wiggle room to create the video you want.
You need to understand the logistics of your shoot very closely, every single thing affects your budget. Are you using your own team and gear? Or hiring a crew and renting equipment? Will you need just a single cam, or 2, or more? What sort of support do you need for the camera? Are you shooting nearby, or do you have you fly your team somewhere? Pin all of these costs down upfront, be honest with yourself and create a budget that is in line with the video you are hoping to produce.
Once you have all of the logistics handled, then you can jump into the nitty gritty of the shoot by creating a production outline. Think of the production outline as your guideline to the upcoming shoot. It contains at a glance everything related to the upcoming video: concept, timeline for production, contact numbers, messaging, desired b-roll. Remember to share it with your peers and make sure everyone is on the same page…literally!
Now that you have you everything you need to start shooting, the next step is to do it! Get out there and stick to your plan…but keep your eyes (and ears) open for the unplanned nuances that can make or break your shoot.
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