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Top 10 Most Effective Steps in Creating Your Best Videos in 2020

Written by Andy Johnston – Video Producer at Expansion Media

To help simplify the video production process in business, I’m going to break it down into 10 digestible steps:

1. Establish the Main Goal for your Video

2. Define Your Target Audience

3. Create Video Production Brief

4. Develop Creative Approach

5. Write a Script

6. Planning & Scheduling 

7. Shoot Your Video!

8. Edit Your Video

9. Distribution

10. Final Thoughts

There are many types of videos that you can make for your business.

  • Company Profile Video
  • Educational Video
  • Brand Video
  • Testimonial
  • Teaser Videos for Social Media
  • Explainer Video
  • Product Video
  • Internal Training Video
  • Promotional Video
  • Live-Streams

Knowing and understanding the type of video you’re making from the start will help you stay focused. We start the video production process by establishing a main goal.

1) Establish Your Main Goal for your Video(s)

Establishing your Main Goal at the very beginning is crucial. It helps your team focus on a common goal throughout the process. View some examples below.

 

  • We want to generate more leads via our social media platforms driving traffic towards our new products.
  • We want to increase conversion rates from our website by showcasing to our customers our unique service offerring.
  • We need to build trust with our current audience by showing a human element via video in our online marketing strategy.
  • We need to educate our market on a particular topic in order to position ourselves as industry leaders.

"It helps your team focus on a common goal throughout the process"

To help you get clear on your main goal, use this guide below which includes example answers.

  • Specific – create a video for social media that generates 10 new sales leads per month
  • Measureable – we increase enquiries via Facebook & LinkedIn by 15%
  • Achievable – Yes, we have an in-house film crew and a Facebook & LinkedIn page
  • Releveant – This will help us achieve our monthly KPI’s
  • Time Based – We need to have a video live by middle of next month

Next step

2) Who is the Target Audience?

The success of your video will come down to how well you understand your target audience.
Connect with your viewer knowing where they sit on your customer journey.

This may seem tedious but understanding your audiences wants, greatest desires, fears and frustrations will enable you to communicate messages more specifically. It will also attract, engage and convert your audience far beyond anything you’ve ever done before.

Research your target audiences behaviours, emotions, pain points, environments and goals.

Download your free customer persona template guide to get started today.

Once you have your main goal for the video and clearly understand your target audience, then you need to complete your video production brief.

Next step…

3) Create your Video Production Brief

The success of your video will come down to how well you understand your target audience.

Creating your VPB (Video Production Brief) is a vital step before starting production. It serves as a clear guide throughout the video production journey.

This is particularly helpful when introducing new team members down the track into the project.

In this step, you will confirm the type of video you are creating along with other important information.

Being specific with the type of video you create helps everyone in the process.

A VPB needs to contain the following:

  • Purpose of Video: already answered above
  • Target Audience: already answered above
  • Core Message: This is te main message you want your audience to receive and understand.
  • Type of Video: Brand video, product video
  • Main Character: Having a ‘main character’ in your video helps the audience
    relate and resonate with the story.
  • Budget: How much money can we spend on this project?
  • Film Crew: Cameraman, lighting guy/gal, video editor, director, coffee-runner…
  • Equipment Used: Knowing what equipment you have from the beginning will
    help with writing the script. This is also to quickly identify what you have and
    what is needed to be obtained.
  • Primary Distribution Platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Secondary Distribution Platforms: YouTube, Instagram
  • Final Delivery Date: Video complete by 30th March

Your VPB exists to help you and your team understand the scope of the project.
It should be as detailed as it needs to be without being overly long.

Download your free video production brief template to get started today.

Next step…

4) Establihing your Creative Approach

The purpose of establishing your creative approach is to seamlessly weave the key elements in your VPB for your target audience. By doing this creatively, your target audience will engage, resonate and respond to your video positively.
Your creative approach is your opportunity to stand out from your competitors.

Check out this great example of a unique creative approach.

In this step, you will brainstorm potential ideas about the creative direction & execution of your video before writing the script.

Discuss ideas such as:

  • Style: Live action, animation, slideshow
  • Mood: Powerful, playful, uplifting, serious, humorous, dramatic, sad
  • Pace: Fast, moderate, slow
  • Camera Speed: Real time, slow motion, super slow-mo, time lapse
  • Music Genre: Indie, acoustic, rock, funk, electronic, country, percussive

Like any brainstorming session, remove the ceiling! ‘The sky’s the limit’ with how you can tell your story.

A few tips to get you started:

  • Take inspiration from other successful videos
  • Get inspiration from international videos
  • Stepping outside the lines is favoured by the audience
  • Listen to music to help stimulate creativity
  • Be open to recieving ideas from all types of people

Once you have settled on your creative approach, ensure it’s backed up by the video production brief you created.

Next step…

5) Write the Script!

Now there are many ways you can write a script for a video. I will share with you the most effective format to writing a video script for business. It’s called an AV Script (Audio/Visual Script).

AV Scripts combine visual references, narration, dialogue, music, time codes all on a simple document.

  1. Start by creating an AUDIO column which is where you will put only audio cues such as narration, character dialogue, music and sound effects.
  2. Create a VIDEO column parallel to the audio column. Insert and match your visual reference to your audio cues.

Attempt to complete your AUDIO column first. The AUDIO column influences the VIDEO column so focus on your narration and dialogue.

 

What you need to know about script writing in business:

  • Re-writing your 1st & 2nd draft is best practice
  • Asking creative professionals for constructive feedback is recommended
  • Write with your target audience in mind
  • 350 words = approx. 2mins of video
  • Use rough sketches or images to fill in your video column

Feel free to add extra elements into your AV script to suit your team’s needs.
Below is an AV script I modified for our shoot.

Above image an example of a modified AV script with an extra DESCRIPTION column.

Be sure to add in estimated time duration’s to ensure your camera team doesn’t overshoot on the filming day.

Once you’ve got your AV script complete, it’s time to plan and schedule your shoot day.

Next step…

6) Let's Plan & Schedule the shoot

Now it’s time to:

  • Confirm shooting days
  • Scout & confirm locations
  • Confirm camera crew will be available on shooting days
  • Confirm any actors or clients will be available on shooting days
  • Confirm any extra equipment you will need
  • Confirm props and any additional wardrobe will be ready on shooting days
  • Prepare and execute any rehearsals required

All this information needs to be put into a simple Shooting Schedule document.

 

A shooting schedule is a simple breakdown of the vital information everyone needs to know on the day of filming.

It contains, start & end times, lunch times, shooting order throughout the day and is sent to everyone involved. This document is usually sent at least 3-4 days prior to the day of filming depending on the scale of your production.

Take a look at this basic shooting schedule below:

A good Shooting Schedule will have all the logistics answers on day of shooting.

Start by including:

  • Shooting Day & Date
  • Starting times for crew & actors
  • List of locations in shooting order for the day (include address)
  • Time frames per location
  • Main point of contact with phone number
  • Break & lunch time(s)

You can format your shooting schedule however you like by adding as much information as you like. Keep in mind your team needs to be able to read and understand information quickly on this document.

HOT TIP: ONLY SIT-DOWN TO CREATE YOUR SHOOTING SCHEDULE ONCE YOUR LOCATIONS, ACTORS AND CREW HAVE BEEN

CONFIRMED FOR THE SHOOTING DAY.

Once you’ve created your shooting schedule and emailed the team, it’s time to get the cameras rolling.

Next step…

7) Shoot Your Video!

Shooting a video is hard work – there’s no doubt about it. But if you’ve followed all the steps above, the process of capturing your footage will be smoother and more efficient than someone who hasn’t.

The latin phrase, “amat victoria coram” loosely translated means ‘victory loves preparation’. This definitely applies in the world of video production.

If you think you can wing it, pack your bags now. Filming a great video is a creative, measured and flexible process.

Click here to grab your ‘Cinematic Video Production Techniques’ guide. – Level: Intermediate

Click here to grab your ‘Low-to-No Budget Video Production Techniques’ guide – Level: Beginner

Hot tips to nailing your business video shoot:

  • Get a good night’s rest the night before
  • Arrive 15mins early to your 1st location
  • Ensure food & water is available throughout the shoot.
  • Shoot creative B-Roll (non-dialogue footage of objects, people, buildings relating to your video which will be used in the edit)
  • Stick to the schedule but don’t be afraid to change it on the day
  • Work as a team. Great videos usually have great teams working on them.

Once you’ve completed your video shoot, it’s time to move on into post-production.

Next step…

8) Editing Your Video

This is where the story comes together. The video editor will use computer editing software to examine hours worth of footage and select the best takes to use in the final video. In the edit phase is where you combine the music elements with the visual elements which creates your final video.

While the editing craft takes years to master, here are a few pointers to get you started in the right direction.

Our Editing Approach

  • Often, ‘less is more’. In a scene, make sure you have enough information to tell your story though not too much where it becomes boring.
  • Music is powerful when combined with video. Attempt to edit your visuals in sync with the soundtrack’s melody or percussive beat. When done correctly, it enhances viewer’s engagement significantly.
  • Visual effects & titles are there to complement the story, not distract the viewer – use them wisely.
  • Get your trusted friends and colleaues to watch your 1st edit and provide honest feedback – then listen to them!
Click here to grab your ‘Best Practices in Video Editing in 2020’ guide. – Level: Intermediate

Once you are happy with your final edit, ensure you format it and export it correctly for it’s various usages.

Learn more about video exporting, formating & hosting here.

Next step…

9) Distribute & Promote Your Video

You’ve hit the final stage. You’ve completed the edit, everyone on your team is happy, it’s time to post this to
your primary & secondary platforms. Ensure your VPB (Video Production Brief) is at hand during this stage.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Website
  • LinkedIn
  • Emails
  • Blogs

There are many platforms to distribute your video. There are multiple ways to get eye balls on your video.

  • Post & boost via social media
  • Incorporating your video into your email campaign
  • Using your SEO to optimise your video for relevant search keywords
  • Reaching out to relevant key influencers to help promote your video
  • TV or cinema ad campaigns
HOT TIP: POST A TEASER LENGTH VERSION TO SOCIAL MEDIA WITH A LINK TO A FULL VERSION ON YOUR WEBSITE.

THIS WILL ENCOURAGE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE WHICH WILL INCREASE LEAD GENERATION.

10) Final Thoughts

and bonus tips…

Video production can become very time consuming. Often, people are naive when approaching video production in business. This results in poor video quality and can easily discourage your team, deter potential customers and affect the brand. If the stakes are high, request to bring in a professional video production team. Otherwise, give it a good shot! All the best!

Now you understand what it takes to make a good video for your business. It’s time to get your hands dirty and dive into your video production project. Enjoy!

 

Bonus tips:

  • Be ‘over-prepared’ on the day of filming.
  • A good mindset to have when scheduling your shoot is to cover details you normally wouldn’t.
  • Aim high but know when to move on to the next shot during production.
  • Be open to feedback. Your mistakes and shortcomings are an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Consistency is key. Making one amazing video will help your business. Making them consistently will ensure you have a better chance of fulfilling your marketing objectives.
  • And finally….enjoy it!

Grab the Full Video Production Process PDF guide below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Johnston is a Melbourne based video producer/director. He has successfully produced 100’s of videos for social media, TV, websites, video brochures & presentations for businesses across Australia. Over this time, he has learned how to effectively create high quality video for various audiences in a timely and cost-effective manner.

He is passionate about storytelling and believes that businesses can leverage off creative storytelling to enhance their marketing & communication efforts.  

Andy works closely with small to large sized business owners, marketing managers, various creative department-heads and assists other video producers/directors bring their ideas to life.