You Need a Video Content Development Guide.
We are frequently contacted by apologetic clients who admit they’re intimidated by the production process or don’t know how to get started with creating a video. We spend a lot of time coaching people on video content development and how to ensure their investment helps achieve their business goals.
Wait. Goals? Yes, sometimes we learn early in a project a client isn’t sure what the objective of the project is–they just know they need a video. So, here’s the deal: We’ll admit there’s a bit of magic in creating effective videos, but there’s also a heavy dose of science. We can make a unicorn appear for you with seven hours’ notice, but it’s risky. Really, there’s a proven process we’d prefer to use.
So much of our creative recommendations are based on the thinking our clients do before we enter the picture. Understanding objectives, how a video fits into the marketing plan, and the plan for distribution helps us recommend the most effective technical and creative approaches.
Wait. Plan? Yes, as we’ve said many times before, we love a good roadmap. When our clients don’t have one, we recommend using this outline to organize video content development:
Devising a strategy is the most-overlooked phase in developing effective video, which is why so much content looks like it does out there. Most videos are created without efficacy in mind from the start. At the very least, define your objectives. What do you want to change, influence, promote, grow or engage? Who are you hoping will take those actions? What are their demographics? The more specific the better. What resources do you have to offer? That not only includes your budget, but also your experts, partners and other stakeholders who will help your project. How will you measure success?
From there, we may collaborate on your rationale statement and/or a more involved creative brief. This document summarizes the information we have at the outset of the project, ensures we have all the information available to us, and it helps inform what kind of discovery is yet to be done– ultimately impacting the recommended creative approach and script.
Wait. A script? Yes, we write a script; and in the case of unscripted narrative, we write an outline. You want a roadmap on this adventure, right? We think about voice, tone, and other linguistic devices to further target your audience and communicate your objectives.
Upon script approval, we get to work. This is where the all the nuances of video content creation matter: pre-production, camera, lighting, audio, direction, production, editing, music, color grading and graphics. Not only that, but we take on the technological challenges of storing, moving, reviewing, transcoding and delivering video content as well. We handle all these tasks while staying laser-focused on your objectives and monitoring brand standards. (Your legal and compliance departments will appreciate us, too.)
You’re familiar with the philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Think about that with your video content. There’s a lot of noise out there, and it takes real thinking and commitment to your plan to get things seen. Your objectives, audience and budget will inform your distribution strategy and should always support your marketing plan.
Regardless of the tactics you’ve employed, it’s always a good rule to measure performance during a campaign and adjust if you’re able. When your campaign concludes, review the analytics to measure performance. There is always a lesson to be learned about your audience or the ever-changing landscape of social media algorithms when pushing a video as a critical component of your marketing campaign. We never want a client to feel the need to apologize because they don’t know where to start. We, too, get caught in the excitement of brainstorming the fun, creative approaches before checking them against the hard facts. But don’t get distracted too early in the process. The bottom line is a sound strategy and a plan ARE what makes the creativity piece fun, and they ultimately move the needle closer to achieving your objective.