In our previous blog posts, we have explored video marketing, the reasons you should strongly consider incorporating it into your wider marketing strategy and also the type of videos you can include in your content toolkit.
Once you have well and truly decided that video is where it’s at, you’ve selected what videos your company would most benefit from and decided to plump for production, either through an agency or in-house, where do you start your planning?
If you’re paying an agency, they can plan the production for you, but if you’re taking on the project in-house, where do you start?
The video production process loosely looks like this:
- production: filming/animation stage/voice recording
This blog post helps you get started with the first three stages.
Creating your brief:
Why are you creating this video in the first place?
First of all, you need to decide why you are creating this video. What message do you want it to send out to your fans, followers and prospective customers? What story do you want it to tell? What action would you like them to take once they have seen the video? What channels would you like the videos to appear on?
Who are you creating this video for?
Who is your target audience for this video? If you have various personas, you’re best choosing one and focussing your video on that.
What format would you like the video to take?
Will the video have one central character? Will you film it using actors or constructing it with animation software? If you are using an animation, will you require a voiceover artist or will you include text on the screen?
Establishing the brief is essential for your creative team so you have something to refer back to later if there are any misunderstandings.
Putting the storyboard together
Once you know the reasons you are creating the video, you can begin the process of developing a storyline.
Each frame can be thought of as an individual scene, just like a play on stage. Each new stage set is a “frame” on the screen.
Decide each frame with a rough summary of the action that takes place during that scene.
You can create a visual representation of each frame using a variety of tools.
This is the fun part!
Low Tech options
Post its, whiteboard + camera, A3 pad and pen and a camera
You can draw out the timeline using a post-it note per scene, or you can opt for sketching out the frames in boxes on a large piece of flipchart paper or a whiteboard.
After you’ve completed your rough sketches, take a photograph of each scene to import into a PowerPoint presentation.
The advantage of using a PowerPoint presentation is that you can neatly display your images on slides and use the Notes function to jot some bullets down summarising the action points in the scene, which can then be printed out for your stakeholders.
High Tech options
Canva, RealtimeBoard and Pexels
Using Canva, you make slides using the presentation template. Using the vast array of stock photos and other assets, even the least artistic marketer can come up with some beautiful visual slides.
If you download the series of images as a .png and extract them from the zip file, they can then be imported into a RealtimeBoard, where you can arrange the slides in order and present as a complete storyboard with explanatory notes. The RealtimeBoard can be exported as a PDF to share with your colleagues.
Pexels’ royalty free stock images can also be a useful tool for creating a visual representation of each frame if you don’t feel confident creating your own.
The reason you need to complete this stage before you go straight to scripting or production is that the team can then discuss and agree the initial storyboard idea before you’ve delved into the commitment of starting production.
Once you’ve agreed the chronology and the action of the video, you can start writing out the script.
By this stage, you will know if your characters are going to talk out loud, whether there will be a narrator or whether all the information will be transmitted via text on the screen.
Separate out your script for each frame.
As well as direct speech and narration, don’t forget to include directions for the actors or for the animator.
If you are using voiceover recordings, you will need to include timing information as well as instructions about how the voice is to sound e.g. happy, sad, jolly, serious etc.