Without a doubt, consumers have chosen video as their means of being informed. This article is a high-level look at video production for businesses. From pre-production right through to distribution to social channels.
Without a doubt, consumers have chosen video as their means of being informed. This article is a high-level look at video production for businesses. From pre-production right through to distribution to social channels.
If you have not been using video in your marketing, start preparing now to begin. If you are already using video marketing, you can continuously improve.
As you are about to see, it’s just the way the public loves to find out about things. This topic will follow a logical order. It starts with the latest video marketing statistics first, and video production next.
This discussion will lay the foundation of the process involved in getting your video out to websites, social media channels, even for internal purposes. For those convinced that video works, you can skip to The Video Production How-to Guide. In the guide, all the stages are discussed with helpful downloads to help you with your production.
The subject of video production can go into the stratosphere of science; this is not this article’s purpose. When this article heads into areas beyond the scope of this subject, I will give you links to more information.
Here is what to look forward to.
Realistically there is a time to be a DIY person when producing video since we all walk with cameras in our pockets and a time to call in the professional video production services.
How do you take all of the video marketing statistics and put what you learned into video marketing strategies? It starts with understanding what is involved in video production and getting an audience or your audience to respond to your offer.
You are producing a video to win an audience to choose you over your competitors. Here is the process logically, starting with the list below.
Let’s develop these points further. As you keep reading, you will notice how pre-production sets the tone of the outcome.
Pre-production is the planning stage and is critical. If you do this right, you will keep the cost of video production in check and get the best return on your investment (ROI).
Usually, making a video is part of a marketing strategy. For example, your target audience research should be completed and in hand. Would you please not skip this step, it could be costly if you did. Videos take time, energy and money to craft. Knowing who your video is targeting helps the script-writers, director, videographer, editor, and actors if you should choose that route to capture the spirit of your message. Understanding the psychography and building personas should not be underestimated.
Research can take time and is a profound subject; we won’t cover it here. HubSpot has a tool on how to build personas.
The type of video you produce would be based on several criteria. These are the things you need to do to prepare for success. You are planning and coordinating people, places and things.
It’s best to start with a list of essential questions to clarify your mission.
Let’s get started.
Using a combination of these informative videos effectively makes it possible to develop an audience looking forward to your next video topic.
Where to begin? With your marketing department. I mentioned earlier, business videos are usually produced as part of a marketing campaign.
Your marketing department might be just you. If it’s a team or you, your video market research would reveal how you can help your audience solve an issue or take care of a need; it may be non-profit, getting your audience to donating to a cause.
Scripting is a logical place to start. Scripting shapes your project; it determines your budget, locations, how many cameras, the tone of your information. It tells directors, videographers, actors, editors what to expect. Having this information in your head is only a dream until you put it on paper or a shareable document of some kind. When ideas are down in writing, it comes to life.
An aspect of scripting is storyboarding, telling the story using a sequence of hand-drawn or computer-generated pictures with narratives that depict the entire story. Storyboarding can describe how a scene is shot, for example, whether it’s going to be a headshot, medium or long shot, leaving no doubt in the videographer’s mind. Storyboards can be elaborate or as simple as hand drawings to software costing thousands.
There are other types of scripts, one called the two-column script, which features one column for video and the other for narrative, audio. We will discuss this next.
The two-column script is relatively simple; if you are seeing it, it goes into the video column, and if you are hearing it, it goes into the audio column.
I will elaborate on the two-column script more because I think it’s useful for informational videos generally used for business.
The two-column script starts with a title page. This page keeps all parties organized and also for administrative purposes. Here is what goes on the title page.
The list above will be two columns as shown, like the rest of the script: the description on the left and opposite the appropriate info.
Below the administrative area, the two-column script begins with a header. The header has a VIDEO column on one side and AUDIO on the other.
On the video side, you will want to describe what is happening visually, for example, Long Shot: the character walks towards the camera; this will go into the video column because this is what the audience is seeing. In the left or audio column: Music plays softly. The narrator (VO) speaks in a warm and comforting tone. “Coming home after a long day at the office….” you get the drift. VO or VC is short for “voice-over” and “voice on camera” to save on writing.
The screenplay script is a hybrid of video scripts and can be used for informational videos with some adjustments. Screenplays script are better left to professionals. These scripts have info like Action paragraph, character names, Shot/graphics/music/FX, Slugs or screen heading, Parenthetical, Narrator, Voice-over. The two-column scripts have similar features, just less formatted or traditional, and it will get the job done.
(You can find more on screenplays here https://www.linkedin.com/learning/video-script-writing/welcome)
Brainstorm ideas. Brainstorming could be lots of fun. You are entering the world of creatives where viral videos are formed or at least shearable ones while keeping your message intact.
Coming up with ideas is where your team gets to play. Failure is allowed.
Criticism is not allowed in these sessions. If you enable critics here, you will stifle the creative flow. I want to share something with you by Seth Godin, Creativity at Work: A Short Course from Seth Godin. Seth explains what is needed to get new and revolutionary ideas on paper.
Determine the intent of your video, and that will tell you what type of video you are producing. Are you training, motivating, informing?
It’s not a movie you are producing which falls under cinematography. Most Marketing videos fall under informational. You may be promoting an event, sale, offer. There is a list of some types of videos used in business above.
What is the intent of your video? is the million-dollar questions. Get this one right and align your production. You will put your investment back into your pocket and some.
The intent is why you are creating the video in the first place. So let talk about what you want your audience to do?
Experience has shown audiences to have very short attention spans until you capture it. Your brainstorming should have come up with an attention-catching intro that visually captures your audience’s attention. I say visuals first because, if you have noticed, most social media channels have sound turned off and allows the viewers to turn it on.
So let us say you now have your audience’s attention. You have seconds to state who you are and point to the solution to the persona’s pain point.
You will have to gain your audience’s trust first; it’s the only way they will consider your offer. Use empathy, emotion, feelings, show you understand, build on the pain and relieve their pain with your solution.
Remember, you are not introducing a new emotion; if you know them well, you will only be showing you feel their pain and here is what solves that pain and make them like new or even better.
The call to action is necessary (CTA). Your audience needs to know how to solve their need or pain point. A little gentle persuasion and not in an ambiguous or vague way is required. Take charge and tell them what to do, “Go to my site and sign up for this special offer.” “Click the link below.” “Join the club.”
The scenario above assumes this is a first touch offer to an audience not familiar with you. Your videos may take longer forms or different subjects depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey.
As you have seen, the list of video categories calls for different approaches. I will deal with those in other upcoming articles. Let’s press on.
By the way, here is my call to action. I was hoping you could use our services and have you running with your next video marketing campaign.
The location of your video is worth considering. Based on your video’s subject, you may want to choose a place that captures the subject’s atmosphere or environment. If you are a bakery, you may want to feature the process of your staff mixing the ingredients and display the finish fresh bread steaming as it comes out from the oven. A closeup of steaming bread plays with senses we have already experienced. Even though it is video, the audience can smell and taste the bread. Now that I’m utterly hungry let’s continue with locations.
If you are a tech company, your atmosphere may reflect that environment. Avoid anything that will distract from your message.
Depending on what you are attempting to accomplish, a location could be as simple as sitting at your desk talking directly to your audience.
If you are looking at locations beyond your office, say outside. There are things to look out for, for example, lighting, noises, traffic, the public. You may have seen shots with people in the background and an on-camera person talking to the camera. This situation could be illegal in certain places to capture someone without consent. Check your lawmakers.
My suggestion is to get a professional to scout a suitable location.
Renting a studio is also a possibility.
We are still in the pre-production stage; stick with me. It’s essential to do the pre-production right.
The cost of video production is the first question on the mind of most chief financial officers (CFO), and that might be you. Believe it, we have already been discussing your budget.
You decide to what extent and what is necessary to accomplish your goal. In many instances, your competition has much to do with the type of video you produced, kind and quality. You may want to match the quality of their productions or higher or take another route they haven’t considered.
You will find it challenging to find a production house to give you a price without getting into the details. Your pre-production planning will help flush out the cost. Let’s see what other considerations are involved in a production budget.
As you know, video production costs can be anywhere from a couple hundred (DIY) to thousands done by professional production houses. There are many factors involved. We all have cameras in our pockets; why should it cost so much? Quality Control. You are paying for quality, experience, expertise and efficiency and an assured outcome.
This list will have no figures attached, but it can guide you on your cost. With the list, you can ask the questions that need asking when hiring a professional. Check with local production houses for prices since different jurisdictions have different pricing.
To avoid budget bloating, you may want to negotiate overtime ahead in case things go over schedule. You may want to negotiate a flat rate.
A good crew will help you save by coordinating production times; for example, if certain actors appear at the beginning of the video and the end, they will shoot the beginning and the end back to back and release the actor after shooting. That scenario works if there are no drastic location changes involve.
With good scheduling, you should be able to spot cost savings.
Let’s see what costs so much. There are different types of video production services. There is what is called ENG services, an industry term for Electronic NewsGathering Services.
You would hire ENG services to shoot a live event. Your company may be receiving an award. Your CEO is making a speech at a conference; then, you would hire an ENG crew. Depending on your budget, it could be one person to three persons on the low end.
A camera person is okay if it is a small event and no other camera crews are working the same event. A three-person team is better because it’s flexible, with two cameras to shoot and an audio person, an area neglected by many. There are many aspects to this type of production enough to write a book on. Let’s move on.
This service is most likely what you will use for making your video for your website, social media or ads. The acronym EFP stands for Electronic Field Production.
EFP services can be one person or come with a crew. A director, assistant director, several cameras(videographers), lighting grips, an audio person, a digital technician to archive the footage.
Critical to video production is scheduling. If the cost of making your video weighs heavily on your mind, scheduling will help flush out the budget.
I want to introduce what Hollywood calls a Stripboard. It brings people, places and things together. The person in charge of this schedule is usually the AD (assistant director).
The stripboard contains the times shooting starts. The stripboard also has what is called a shot list. On strip boards, scenes are described briefly, and the videographer shoots the number of shots designated for that scene. These shots are pre-numbered on the stripboard with the times they are to occur.
Also on the stripboard are things such as which actor appears in what scene, location changes, lunchtime, onset rehearsal, where and when before shooting.
The assistant director keeps track of the times, people, places and things; time is money. The AD also puts together a call sheet that informs all personal when and where they are needed. At times adjustments are required to keep things on schedule. The AD makes the adjustments and tells the crew of changes.
During pre-production is an excellent time to figure out where your video will end up, such as what social media channels it will be going to or a website, or part of in-house training.
Social media channels have different specs (specifications) for the video shown on their channels. For best results, it’s best to follow their guidelines. As the plethora of channels grows, it can be very unclear. A search on Google can net you the information, or you can go to the channels themselves.
At the outset of this guide, I mentioned that video concepts could go into the world of high tech. That is not what this guide is for; it’s a framework to understand the process and get you on your way. I will supply links to more in-depth subjects. So let’s move along.
To put your videos on Facebook and succeed, Facebook has format requirements as other social media channels, and they may be different.
Here is how to read these specs: Video resolution is measured as width by height using pixels as units. Pixels are tiny squares that make up a digital image. For example, a 1920 x 1080 video means the width has 1,920 pixels and the height 1,080 pixels.
Terms such as UHD (Ultra High Definition, 4K, resolution is 4096 x 2160p or 3840 x 2160p). Full HD( High Definition, Full HD 1920 x 1080 / 1080p), HD ( 1280 x 720 / 720p). SD (Standard Definition, WideSD, 720 x 480 ) You may also see this 16:9, which refers to the Aspect Ratio. 16:9 is landscape view, and 9:16 is portrait view, holding your mobile phone upright.
The higher the resolution, the better the video quality. The higher the resolution, the larger the video file size. The larger your video file uploads and downloads take longer, folks with slow internet speeds may have more difficulty viewing.
To view videos shot by cameras online, the videos must first be compressed to make them more exportable and streamable. As a result, you may hear the term Codec used. It stands for compressed/decompress.
“A codec is a compression algorithm that is used to compress the video information at one end using an encoding program, and decompress it at the other end for playbacks, such as in a video player like VLC, or Quicktime, or using a hardware decoder chip inside a DVD player. Basically, it is a piece of software that makes your video readable by your computer, allowing you to play it. Without the correct Codec, you won’t be able to play either the audio or video or both.” More here on Wikipedia.
Another term is the format. The format is a container used to hold together your video, audio, subtitles and metadata. You have seen the extension at the end of the files, .mov, .mp4, .wmv. Also notable are files using an mp3 audio codec and the h264 video codec, or a .avi container might use aac audio with an Xvid video codec.
Audio is measured in sample rate. For example, the best audio sample rate for video is 48kHz; kHz means Kilohertz; it’s standard.
A good codec for good quality video compression is the H264 Codec. This Codec is widely supported.
If you stick with the recommendations of the destination’s social media channels, you should get good results.
(show social media specs)
Video Production is the process of shooting a video instead of pre-production, which is the planning stage and post-production, the editing and preparation for hosting.
You may want to add anything on this list that makes for good planning to your pre-production list.
At the end of the day, what are you going to get? Are you going to get a drive with your files on it or multiple drives? A copy? Who is going to make the backups? Where are you going to store them?
We recommend four or five copies; stuff can go wrong. Don’t trust one hard drive. Use cloud storage.
I’m pretty sure you have a cell phone that shoots video. If you are using your cell to shoot 4K, shoot 4k throughout; if you are shooting HD, do the same, don’t mix formats. Modern mobile phones can shoot both 4k and HD.
You have shot tons of videos. The only difference here is you are going to piece together many shots to form one story. Your script will guide you through the process. Before you shoot, here are a few considerations.
Do multiple takes. It gives the editor choices when editing a scene. One variation where the performance wasn’t quite what it should be can look inconsistent and wreak havoc if you don’t have others shots to choose from. Give the editor choices.
Special software is used along with skilled human storytellers.
Adobe Premiere Pro is a program used by many professionals, Apple’s Final Cut, and more. If you are a DIY person, you can find free video editing software, but you won’t get the quality that the movie industry has us used to.
Editing calls for organizations. Putting the footage into bins or folders and understanding the scenes, and creating sequences.
The script can come into play. The editor may not be the one shooting the video. Editors are organized people familiar with all the footage and can find any shot, clip, a sequence in seconds. Here is where good meta tags, scene, and shot numbering comes in handy. A director and well-written scripts help.
If you are hiring an editor, Trust their professional opinions; they have spent a lot of time at this and are usually more than mechanics. Good editors tell excellent story.
In some cases, a scene is shot from many different angles when using two cameras. Various shots tell other stories within the same scene. For example, wide shots may tell the story of the character in their environment or the relationship of two people or things.
Medium shots usually tell the main story, and closeup shots allow editors to focus on details like emotion. So the editor takes all of this into consideration.
There are things like rendering footage, exporting, errors & crashes; yes, they do happen but are sorted out. The point here is to allow time in your budget for these processes.
Another part of the editing is sound. The editor puts audio in its place but did you know there is a whole other side to audio called sound design.
Sound is your second sense, and it plays a significant role in summoning emotion. All movies you watch have a special department for sound design.
Virtual reality is now coming on the world stage, and technologists are designing headsets and sound systems to put the audience in the middle of the action. Keep an eye open for this one.
Color is emotion; it too can make or break a scene. Color is used to create the mood of a scene. Here is a scenario. You are shooting outside and shooting for a few hours; the natural light has changed since you began shooting, making a notable difference in the footage shot earlier; what do you do? Putting the clips together, you will immediately notice color tone as you move from one clip to another. Here is where you may want to use color correction. Once again, if you are using low-grade editing programs, you may not have the luxury of a fix. You could, however, move the editing to a more robust program like Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut or call in professional editing services to do it right.
In your pre-production planning, we dealt with video formats and specs for distribution. If you head up to that section, you will find downloadable information.
Here is a chart of the most popular video viewing channels.
Video is one of the most successful ways to tell your story, build awareness, instruct, and so much more. While more people are watching videos than ever before, getting your video in front of people looking for your services can pose a challenge.
Having a good marketing strategy pays off—marketing zeros in on your audience, put your content in front of their eyes. If your video is crafted to help solve for your audience, your success begins if it reaches them.
Evanson Presents will find you your audience and create a program to help build and nurture your audience. We feel investing in your audience is the best marketing strategy. Explore the possibility. Call us.
I hope that this article offered value to your understanding of the video production process.
The subjects addressed here are meant to be a high-level overview of the steps to a successful project.
The next and final step of your project, after the distribution, is marketing and analyzing your audience’s response.
Investing in video or any form of content marketing means being the solution to someone’s concerns.