How to plan your video
Before you pick up your camera, sit down and first have a think. What is the aim of your video? Is it to raise awareness, inform, entertain, to encourage your audience to buy? This will dictate the style of video, your content and tone. Don’t start the camera rolling until you have carefully targeted the video and know exactly; what you’re going to shoot, why, and how you’re going to measure the results. Otherwise, you’re probably going to waste your time and money.
Try to keep in mind your target audience. Who are you trying to appeal to? Do a little research to find out what they like, what might appeal to them, the styles of video, length, where they watch etc. It’s no good making a video that you think is amazing if it doesn’t appeal to your target audience!
Try watching some videos on a similar topic, or even better, what your competitors are doing. Do you think the videos work? Did they capture and keep your attention? Did you identify and take away their key messages? How did the video make you feel? Why?
What’s the message you’re trying to convey to your viewer? The wording of your video is again important and should be written with your target audience in mind. Remember if you are writing the content yourself to read it through out loud; the way we read and the way we speak aloud is different and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get tongue tied or how different things sound out loud. It’s also important to remember that 140 words on a script equals to about a minute of video time when reading out loud. Generally the shorter a video is the better, but again it can depends on the style, content and audience.
The Big Picture
Once you’ve decided on the style, tone and ideal length of your video and come up with a great idea for it, you’ll need to try and picture it from beginning to end. A lot of people trip up by not being able to convert a great idea into how its going to look shot by shot as a video.
Budget and Deadline
Unfortunately, your ideas are also limited to the amount of time and money you have to turn them into reality! You might have a brilliant idea but if there is not enough in the budget to hire the location you want, some props, actors or if there’s not enough time to organise, shoot and edit it all it might have to be scaled down, altered or even shelved for now.
Storyboard or Written Visuals
If you have stakeholders or management that need to sign off on projects you might now need to write up some written visuals or create a storyboard. There are some websites and apps that can help you create simple storyboards but as long as you can get your idea across that’s all that matters! We do always go by the saying of “Too many cooks can spoil the broth” and it’s very true in this sense. Don’t involve too make stakeholders in a video project, you don’t need to show it to every single person in the company!
You’ll next need to allocate equipment, time and people to shoot the video. Do you own your own kit or do you need to hire some? Do they have what you want available on that day? Who do you need on the shoot? Are they available? If it’s simple you might just need a presenter and someone to record the video and sound. If it’s complex you might need a producer, director, a camera man, a sound operator, a lighting operator, a floor manager, a make up artist and the most important of all…. a tea and coffee maker!
The most important thing is to schedule time. If you want to reach that deadline you have to be realistic about how much time things take. It takes time to plan, time to schedule, time to shoot and time to edit. It also takes time to make changes! Have all your management or stakeholders seen the video and given their feedback? It’s not fun when you finally think the video is done and then someone else has more comments and changes.
Preparing for the shoot
Have you got the right kit for the job. Have you packed and checked everything? (Batteries fully charged? Brought the charger too? Umbrella?) Have you tried to cover all possible problems and situations that might occur? (Asked permission to shoot in locations, brought extra’s release forms, got a plan B if the presenter doesn’t turn up?)
This is the day all of your hard work so far culminates to, best reserved for our other next blog here.
We understand why you might be tempted to produce your own video rather than pay for a company like us to do it. It is still vital to look at how you want your business to be portrayed to your target audience. I would like to believe that your business deserves more than what an amateur can produce. Why would you spend 5 or 6 days producing a video that may not work when it isn’t what your company does? That’s time you could be working with your customers, chasing new leads or refining your own processes. You wouldn’t have a go at building your own house would you? No, you would bring in an expert and a team of people who know what they’re doing.
However, if you are going to give it a go yourself, please ask us for some advice, we are always happy to help!