In this guide we are going to look at all the steps involved in a corporate video production strategy and the different processes that make up the strategy.
From working out what the objective is right through to the writing of the production brief and finally hosting the video and putting your strategy into action. We won’t focus on the actual production of the video because we already have our ‘Video Production Guide‘, the steps in our video production guide would slot in nicely to this corporate video production strategy & process guide from step 5 onwards.
Step 1. What do you want your corporate video to achieve, what is the objective?
As with all types of marketing if you don’t know what you need to achieve then you have no direction and any money pumped into it will most likely be wasted. Video is exactly the same, so it’s imperative to develop a strong and clear objective.
In order for you to have arrived at the point of deciding you need some new marketing material, you must have identified a problem that needs resolving or an opportunity that has presented itself, such as the launch of a new product or service.
You might be surprised to read this next bit on a video production blog but it’s important to consider if video is the best way to present your objective. For example, if you’re a takeaway restaurant and have a new menu you will most likely want to print new menus that can be delivered door to door around your local community, whereas if you’re a clothing brand that has released a new line and want to attract a national audience of men and women between the ages of 18 and 30, then an online video marketing campaign is probably going to be the right choice.
Your objective will shape the rest of your corporate video production strategy so I can’t emphasise enough how important this step is.
So, how do you decide on which objective is the most important one for you to develop?
First off, organise a meeting with all the staff members who will be involved. It’s a good idea to have a clear outline of who these people are at this stage because it could de-rail a project if someone involves themself after key decisions have been made and acted upon.
It’s now time to brainstorm what it is you want to achieve in this piece of marketing. In this process you need to consider:
What issues and opportunities your business is facing
- Be granular, list everything, no matter how big or small.
- Look at the strength and weaknesses of your current marketing material.
- Look at how your website is performing.
- Consider your sales targets and if you’re going to hit them.
- What products or services are due to be released in the coming months.
Decide what problem or opportunity is the most important for you to develop now
Once you have a detailed document containing all the findings from above it should be relatively easy to decide which issue you are going to select. Once you have this write it down and throughout the whole of the following processes make sure you always refer back to it to ensure you remain on track.
Can your chosen issue be linked to the broader goals of the company?
The answer to this question should be YES!
Everything that is done within a marketing department should be supporting and ensuring that the companies top level goals are met. If one of these goals is to improve engagement with your target audience on Facebook there is little point in producing marketing material that can be shared on Twitter.
The perfect scenario would be that the issue you have selected improves more than just one metric within the business. For example, the video might be to raise awareness of a new product, now that’s great but in doing so it will have a positive effect on sales and therefore increase profit, so from a video that originally had one job to do it may actually have a huge effect on the businesses overall strategy.
How are you going to measure if your video is successful?
In order to ensure that your video is working well it’s important to select what metrics you are going to monitor once the video goes live. Make sure you are precise and write it down so there can be no confusion down the line.
Video views are not the be all and end all! Make sure you track comments, the number of shares and how long viewers are watching the video, you will garner a lot more information out of this compared to just looking at the view count. Both Vimeo and YouTube offer fantastic analytics and you can learn an awful lot by carefully studying them.
Step 2. Who is your target audience?
Once you have your objective in place it’s now time to understand who your target audience is. You should have a pretty good idea of this already unless you are a new company or are launching a brand new line. If you know everything you can possibly know about your target audience there is no reason for corporate video production to fail. This is because this research will enable you to produce a video that speaks directly to the audience and allows you to share the video in the places your target audience spends most of their time.
There are many ways to research your audience:
- Forums are a great place to find out what questions are being asked about products produced by competitors. Reddit would be one of the main ones to take a look at.
- Interviews with your target audience, whether it’s in-person or via email.
- Social media outreach.
Once you have your researched data it’s time to look through it and pull out some common threads.
Step 3. What is the key message you want to tell your audience?
The main message you want to tell your audience should be fairly clear to you by this stage. But it is important to distill this message down so it is clear and concise. It’s very easy to include too much information so you need to be strict with yourself and only include what is really needed. This is when a series of videos can work extremely well because each video can be highly targeted if you have multiple messages that need to be told.
Step 4. Where are you going to host your new corporate video?
You might have a good idea about this already or you might be looking to the corporate video production team to make suggestions. Some output channels will require a different workflow during the production of the video(s) so it’s important to have a clear idea of this early on in the project. Below are some of the more popular options:
- Your company website – This is an obvious and key place to put your video but it shouldn’t be the only place. You should also carefully consider where on your website the video(s) should go.
- Video sharing sites – Vimeo and YouTube are the two key players. Vimeo is fantastic for B2B as it’s much cleaner than YouTube and you don’t get adverts before, during or after your videos. Also if you pay a small subscription fee you can customise the player so it makes it perfect for embedding in your website. There are various subscription plans which give you a whole host of features including call-to-actions, lead generation, live streaming and audience Q&A. YouTube is the second biggest search engine so is great if you’re selling to the public but you need to work hard for your video as there is so much content being uploaded. This involves keyword research and ensuring the video content is good enough to accumulate high viewing figures and audience engagement.
- Social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, I could go on but hopefully, you get the idea. There are so many social media outlets but put the video where your target audience spends their time. You should have gathered this data during the research stage. If you’re producing for Instagram you might want to consider delivering the video in a 1:1 ratio and if it’s for mobile you might want to consider producing the video in a vertical format like 9:16 because this is how phones are viewed for the majority of the time.
- Blogs – If you’re corporate video is training based you might want to consider trying to get it included in third party blogs as this can be a great way to get more exposure.
- If the videos are for internal use then include the tech specs for your business’s intranet as they tend to require a specific type and size of the file.
Step 5. It’s now time to write the production brief
The production brief is an extremely important document and the more detailed it is the better. In fact, you should really include all of your findings from the previous steps so the corporate video production companies reading it can get a really good grasp of what it is you want to achieve. Here is a breakdown of what to include:
- Introduce your company and it’s ethos.
- Set out your goals that need to be achieved.
- Set out your target audience. Demographics etc.
- Set out what type of video you want and whether it’s a series of videos or not. A series is always better than a one-off as online marketing really works when you can keep your audience engaged over a long period of time.
- Include where the videos will be used as this will have an impact on the production.
- Include any timeframes and an approximate budget if you can. Tip: If you are asking of a quote at this stage ask for a cost breakdown as it will give you more information to compare.
- If there is anything you are unsure of including it in the brief as well. The video production/marketing industry is a very friendly one and we all want to produce the best work we can for you so we’re always happy to help.
It can be a great idea to ask the production companies to set out two different ideas for the same video. If you have a strong idea of what you want, of course, ask them to put together a proposal for that but also ask them to propose an idea that they think up as you might be surprised by the outcome. A production company will have a very different point of view so they might come up with something completely different that would work very well.
Step 6. How will your production brief come to life on screen, what is the creative treatment?
The creative treatment is what a video production company will send back to you once they have read your brief and thought up some ideas.
Within this document a production company will outline their idea, this could include a written treatment, a proposed shot list, mocked-up storyboards if the concept is too complicated to explain through text alone. A breakdown of costs and an approximated timetable of work should also be included.
A lot of companies will include a short bio about themselves which should help you pick out the differences between how each of the companies work and their ethos. See how they approach a project, see if they put a strong emphasis on communication and forming relationships with clients. This is very important because the more communication there is throughout production will result in a much better end product. It’s also important to be able to get on with the production team, there will be a lot of communication throughout the project and it helps during the filming and editing if everyone is relaxed and enjoying themselves.
Step 7. Storyboards and script writing
Once you have identified the right production company and the idea has been signed off by all parties involved the proffering team will love on to script writing and storyboards. These two processes are where the video really starts to come to life, the storyboards will show you what the final video will look like and the script will nail down the messaging.
During this stage, if there is something you are unsure of or don’t like it’s important to bring it up and this will shape the rest of the project. Don’t be afraid to question as a good conversation and brainstorm will most likely resolve the issue and form a more positive outcome.
Step 8. The corporate video production process in a nutshell
Once all the planning has been done it’s time for production to begin. This is a very exciting time of the project as all of the hard work that has been done in pre-production will start to come to life. Here is a simplified timetable of what happens next:
- Casting if actors are required.
- Locations are confirmed and booked.
- A shooting timetable is drawn up.
- Crew lists will be compiled
- The shoot – an average day will start with a lot of setup. It may seem it takes a long time but lighting and shot framing is a time consuming progress because it’s imperative to get right.
- Shooting the different shots. Sometimes it makes to more sense to film the video in a different order to how the final video will play so don’t be concerned if this happened. The production team will know what they are doing! With the help of proper video editing software for Windows or Mac they will produce a high-quality product for you.
- Once the shoot wraps the post-production stage begins.
- The production company will produce a working cut which will be fairly rough. The purpose of this first cut is to get the messaging right. Once that is done then the prettifying begins and the final video begins to take shape
- If a voiceover is required it will be recorded.
- Music will be selected and you should have a selection to choose from.
- The video(s) will be exported and delivered to you in the appropriate formats.
Step 9. It’s now time to put your corporate video production strategy into action!
When the video is finished it’s time to actively include it in your marketing strategy. Don’t forget to monitor it. If you do this you will be able to tweak the metadata to give it the best possible chance to succeed. Remember to shout about it, share it on your social media channels, email it out to email lists you might have. Ask others to share it and include it in their blogs. It’s important to remember that the production of the video is only part of the video marketing process!
By Will Beare, video content producer and storyteller, Echo Video