VIDEO PLANNING GUIDE

"I've never made a video before - I wouldn't know where to start!"

Planning a video for the first time can be intimidating, so we have created a guide that you can follow to ensure your video turns out as you planned.

This is where to start when you want to create a high quality, engaging video.

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What’s Your End Goal?

Each video should serve a clear purpose, for you and for your audience. Is it brand awareness, a new product launch, a recruitment drive or a sales promotion?

 

Your goal will determine the best type of video, length of video and distribution channels to choose.

 

What measures of success will you track? If your goal is brand awareness, then track views & engagements. If it’s lead generation, then track clicks & downloads etc.

 

Monitor progress consistently. These metrics will highlight what video content your audience prefers, and help you continuously improve your video marketing strategy.

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Video Ideas – Audience Engagement

Event Videos – these can include behind the scenes preparations, short social videos during the event, vox pops with your guests, and a wrap up video afterwards to share online.

Incorporate User-Generated Content – if possible, ask your audience/clients to record some short social videos that you can share and tag them in. It’s great for engagement and additional reach.

A Day in the Life – of someone on your team, a customer, or your company. These behind the scenes videos always satisfy people’s curiosity.

”Ask Me Anything” – respond to questions from your audience on your social channels.

Special calendar dates relevant to you and your audience e.g. International Women’s Day, World Book Day etc.

Repurpose a popular blog post into a video piece.

Video Ideas – Building Brand Trust

Celebrate Company Milestones – whether it’s your 25th anniversary, winning an award, or being granted an important accreditation, sharing milestones speaks to the quality of your organization.

Introduce Team Members – in an increasingly digital world, communicating the humans behind the company brand is more important than ever, particularly for service-based companies.

Thought Leadership Videos – showcase the expertise of your team and your thoughts on industry trends.

Founders Story – sharing stories around the origin of your company and how it came about is always of interest to audiences.

Case Study videos give concrete examples of the benefits your organization has brought to it’s clients and how this was achieved.

Video Ideas – Drive Website Traffic

Promote Free Resources – videos give concrete examples of the benefits your organization has brought to it’s clients and how this was achieved.

Comment on relevant stories in the news or in your industry – jumping into these conversations shows that your finger is on the pulse, you are proactive and have valuable contributions to share.

Share Your Research – have you undertaken research in your industry? Sharing the most eye-catching results in a short video will help drive interest and traffic to the full report.

Company Culture videos are a great accompaniment for recruitment campaigns and a powerful way to attract strong candidates.

Productivity hacks are hugely helpful videos and extremely popular on YouTube, so why not share advice that would be of particular value to your target audience.

Vlogs – experiment with video rather than text blogs to get your content in front of a difference audience and grow your reach.

Video Ideas – Boost Leads & Sales

Product Demo Videos – people are 78% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it, so show them the benefits it brings and help remove any questions or concerns they have.

Product Promotion Videos – boost special offers, Black Friday sales and other short term promotions with an eye-catching social video that you can also share with your email lists.

Product Reviews & Comparisons – help your audience understand the best option for them, with detailed comparisons and honest reviews of competing products.

Customer Testimonials – People prefer honest feedback rather than adverts, so share your customers stories for maximum authenticity.

FAQ videos – proactively answer the most common questions your audience asks and overcome doubt and objections from the outset. These videos are great for reducing customer support queries too.

Webinars or customer onboarding videos are ideal for more in-depth product functionality and are particularly useful for software solutions.

Who Are You Targeting?

People care about different things. Trying to speak to everyone risks your message resonating with no-one in particular. Tailoring your message to a specific group will ensure it hits the target.

 

So, who is your audience? Are they familiar with your company?

 

What do you want them to know, think, feel and do after watching your video? Is this a single, standalone video, or part of a series?

 

What’s their appetite for video – why waste time creating an 8 minute video if they typically watch less than 2 mins?

 

Getting clarity on these key points is essential before you start filming. And your first step is to write your video script.

Coffe Shop

Writing Your Script

We’re not talking a 120 page Hollywood script, but an outline script will keep your messaging more concise and avoid irrelevant waffle.

 

Break your video script down into these 3 main sections:

Hook - Content - Call To Action

 

A strong hook is essential for getting your audience's attention. It should be short & to the point, letting them know what they can expect to learn from your video. Phrases like "Are you thinking about...." or "Want to know how to....." are a good place to start.

 

The content section is for your key messages. Again, keep your sentences concise and your tone conversational.

 

Write for one individual who represents your target audience. Picture them. How would you speak if you were face to face?

Couples Therapy

What keywords are you hoping to rank for? What keywords are your audience likely to use when searching? Pepper your script with these relevant keywords to help search engines discover your videos and present them to the right audience.

 

Read your script aloud – does it sound forced? Stilted? Too wordy? If so, refine it and share it with colleagues for a second opinion.

 

Remember to leave space for your audience to absorb the message, and for the speaker to breathe!

 

Call To Action – what do you want to audience to do next? Include a strong, clear CTA either verbally or in text on screen. Don’t always leave this to the final seconds of your video but include it earlier to maximise the impact and repeat again at the end.

PRO TIP

 

Every 60 seconds of video

• 150 words, spoken at normal pace

• 170 words, spoken at face pace

• 120 words, spoken at slow pace

Compelling Visuals

Get your audience interested in your products, people, places, and experiences by bringing them to life on screen.

 

Today, you can record excellent quality video using your smartphone camera, but knowing what footage to shoot is key to your video’s success.

 

So what are the visual building blocks for your video? What are the essential shots & how much footage do you need?

 

Use the ‘Shotlist Generator’ on the Video Sherpa App to understand the exact number and mix of shots you will need for a particular video.

 

Start with your interview pieces. A solid colour wall, or unfussy background is best for recording your main interviews.

 

Filming on location in a relevant office space, factory floor etc is great, but be aware of any background clutter that will draw the eye and distract your audience.

Trendy Young Man

Once you have your main interview pieces recorded, it’s time to flesh out your story with a mix of background (b-roll) footage.

 

B-roll is essential for stitching your story together, illustrating what your interviewee is speaking about.

 

You need the right mix of wide shots, mid shots and close-ups to keep your audience interested and engaged.

Following tried-and-tested filming sequences, like ‘The 5 Shot Rule’, make it easier for everyone to shoot plenty of great b-roll content.

 

Take a look at our short tutorial video on The 5 Shot Rule.

Inspecting a Ring

Mood Music

Music is an important consideration for every video. The soundtrack you pick adds to the visual storytelling and influences what your audience will think, feel and do after watching your video.

 

Pick a video that has impressed you. Now, watch it with the sound off to understand just how influential the music can be.

 

It’s worth thinking about music early in the planning process. Are you going for an upbeat, joyful tone or a more serious mood? Do you want the music to play a prominent role, or be a more subtle element.

 

Where will you source this music? Adding unlicensed music to you videos can result in your videos getting blocked, YouTube suspending your channel or even legal action.

 

Video Sherpa provides a library of licensed music for it’s clients and there are also a number of royalty-free music libraries that you can access online like bensound.com or epidemicsound.com

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Practicalities

LOCATION: Consider the suitability of where you will record your footage – is it easily accessible, will it be too noisy for interviews? Always have a plan B ready in case your plan A go awry.

 

SOUND: Whether filming indoors or outdoors, you need to be aware of the background noises that could be picked up during filming – traffic, alarms, wind, machinery, coffee makers! Always use a microphone for interviews and do a sound check in advance. Be aware of the rustle that can come from scarves, jewellery or the mic rubbing off clothing.

 

Poor sound is very hard to fix, so take the time to get it right first time.

 

PERMISSIONS: If you are filming with members of the public, and interviewing them on camera, they should sign a ‘Release Form’ giving permission to use their image in your video. It’s a simple, one-page document – you’ll find plenty of free templates online specific to your country.

Signing Contract

Putting it all Together

Now that you have considered all the key aspects that go into making your video a success, lets summarise this in one document that can be shared among the team.

 

It’s vital to do this before filming begins – everyone needs to understand the goal, the footage that’s required and the timeline for the video project.

 

A lack of planning upfront often results in a project going off-brief or falling short of what is needed. Getting the plan approved by whomever has final sign-off is also important. Any confusion around the goal or brief at this stage can lead to costly re-shoots, delays and missed opportunities

Business Meeting