Plan for a successful video
If, like most people, you have watched at least one
James Bond movie then the chances are you’ll
remember the elaborate, high concept pre-title
sequence. In many respects the success of a Bond
movie rests on the impact of the introduction. When
you’re creating a promotional video the principles
remain largely the same – you’ve got to engage from
the get go. There’s only one small snag, Bond gets 10
minutes; at best you’ve got 15 seconds.
It is estimated that video will account for 80% of
global Internet traffic by 2019. This figure is not
surprising, especially when you consider that videos
are 6 times more likely to be shared than photos and
that 6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms
to live TV.
We are bombarded with information of a seismic
scale on a daily basis; the constant stream of data
we’re processing is vast. With such constraints on
our time we are looking for the remarkable, the
memorable, the message that speaks to us directly.
Video content is more likely to engage and ignite
on an emotional level. So, if you are serious about
content marketing, you must be serious about video.
Start with a plan
Whilst brands are embracing video on an everincreasing
scale, the quality of many of these
productions leaves a lot to be desired. This can be
attributed largely to a lack of planning. The net result
is a diluted brand message, leading to a lower quality
perception, which is both potentially damaging and
a missed opportunity. To avoid this pitfall at all costs
you must start with a plan.
It has become fashionable to talk about “brand
storytelling” but storytelling is nothing new,
successful brands have always communicated
their story. The difference in today’s market is that
many brands are competing in a cluttered market
against similar brands for a finite share of business.
Therefore, your brand narrative is the key to your
video standing out from the crowd and this is where
your plan must start.
Let’s assume that you are launching a product and
you’d like to promote this important development
via video. It’s no use deciding that you’d like to make
a video without first asking yourself a few simple
questions, for example... Why have we developed
this product? Who is it for? Why are we launching
it now? What are the unique benefits? Write a brief
to clarify in your own mind what the reason for this
video is and include your desired outcome.
Join the dots
Watch any successful promotional video and you can
guarantee that it will have been the result of 60%
planning and 40% production. You must bring your
narrative to life by creating a storyboard for your
video, if you are using an external company (you
should be - I would say that wouldn’t I?) then they
can help you with this. At the very least you should
be compiling a list of required shots/sequences.
You may well need a script to accompany your
storyboard and this will require careful attention,
it is wise to ask other people to read it if you are
writing it yourself.
Consider the components that will make up your
video – where are you shooting it, who is featuring
in it, what products will you need, do you need props,
are there any partners whose products you will need
etc? These are all things that you will have to factor
in before you write your brief.
Leave nothing to chance. Whatever location you are
filming at check the area for suitability, look for any
obstructions that may be in the line of the camera,
if you’re outdoors consider where the sun will be at
that particular time. If you’re indoors consider the
lighting, don’t assume that just because a room has
lots of windows it will be fine, in some cases too
much natural light can be problematic. If your shoot
could be interrupted by bad weather make sure
you have a plan B. For obvious reasons you must
also carry out a risk assessment and have adequate
We’ll assume that you won’t be hiring actors and that
you, your colleagues, a client or all will be starring
in the video. In this circumstance you have two preproduction
musts – get them involved at script stage
and maintain an atmosphere of calm throughout.
This may seem obvious but come the day of the shoot
it will make perfect sense and could be the difference
between success and failure. That Sales Director
who has a ready-made answer for everything is sure
going to freeze in front of the camera unless they’ve
been well briefed from the start.
You might decide that you’d like your video
to appear unscripted. Don’t be fooled into the trap
of thinking that you don’t need to go through
normal pre production planning, if anything your
planning needs to be even more watertight to achieve
It’s a wrap
It’s worth noting that your brand is 53 times more
likely show up first on Google if you have video
embedded on your website. Video allows you to
increase the time spent by visitors on your site.
Thus, longer exposure builds trust and signals to
search engines that your site has good content. The
better quality the video the longer people will spend
on your site.
No matter where you are in your brand journey,
video should be a serious consideration
in your overall brand
strategy. Rise above
the ordinary, time is
money; spending a bit
more at the beginning
of a project will prevent
you from potentially
wasting it through a
lack of planning.