The 3 Main Steps of Video Production: A Short Guide
If you go by the video marketing statistics, and you will find that 99% of marketers intend to continue with video content in their advertising campaigns. That’s because videos help their brands reach greater heights of success. In fact, 84% of people tend to purchase a product or service after they watch a brand’s video.
So, if your brand or business is yet to harness the power of videos, go through this guide and get started. Video production is not a tedious job, unlike what many people think, if you go about it the right way.
Plus, the payoff is huge, as reported by 88% of video marketers who have witnessed positive ROI on video marketing. Videos are not only one of the most engaging content varieties available these days, but also help in evoking emotions like happiness, nostalgia, and hope. Even a minute-long video can send across your marketing message in an attractive manner and help viewers to retain and recall the information better.
So, read on to know how to create a video smartly.
Knowing about the three major steps can help you understand, plan and implement the process better, without blowing your budget. The main steps include:
- Pre-production or the planning phase, which involves mapping out the script and strategy for the video
- Production stage, where the video is shot
- Post-production stage, which involves video editing and addition of effects and music
Now, let’s go through each of these stages in detail:
This step involves mapping out the right plan for the video. Which means, you will be figuring out the main subject or topic of the video, identifying the target audience, and planning the resources you will need for making the video. You should also decide on the duration of the video production period in this stage. Basically, keep the following pointers in mind.
- Set Your Goals
Any form of marketing is pointless unless you have a goal in mind. So, before you learn everything about how to make a video, ask yourself why you are doing it.
It maybe because you want to boost your online visibility and brand awareness or because you wish to connect with the right kind of potential customers. You might also want to make a video so that your target audience understands your products or services better or how the whole thing works. This, in turn, can lead to greater brand engagement. Even, a shock factor can work wonders, like this video shows.
Sharing interesting, informative or fun videos on social media platforms can get you more followers, improve the click-through rate to your website and boost conversions. Your video marketing goal might be to keep loyal customers intrigued as well or to stay on their minds long after they have shopped from you.
No matter what your goal is, make sure you and everyone else involved in the video production process knows about it. And of course, the goals should be SMART, or specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Know Your Target Audience
So, how to create a video with pictures, music or even effects, and make it truly successful? First figure out who will watch it and why. In other words, beyond demographics, you need to understand your target audience’s problems, questions, and interests.
Short online surveys might help you to get an idea about that. You also need analytics tools to study your potential customers’ browsing behavior, the search phrases they use while looking for something you sell and understand their behavior on social media channels. Qualitative studies like focus groups can also help you understand your target audience better.
This will not only help you frame the content of the video, but also the tone. For instance, if you sell baby care products, fun and adorable are elements that you can use in your video. But if you are wondering how to make a video to sell insurance, the tone needs to be serious yet optimistic.
Also, no matter who your target audience is, no one likes hard selling these days. Avoid jargons as much as possible, even if your potential customers are tech-savvy, since not everyone knows everything.
- Prepare and Convey the Core Message Effectively
Once you know your target audience, it is time for you to reflect on the content you will be presenting in the video. Think about what action you want your audience to take after watching the video.
Now, if you are thinking of how to create a YouTube video on computer, remember that the attention span of an average viewer is just a few seconds. So, get your storytelling right, as the Alibaba ad below does, to grab their attention fast and hold it. After all, compared to just plain facts, storytelling is 22 times more memorable. Put simply, your video should revolve around a problem or conflict and show how your product or service solves it. And the faster you get to it, the better it will be for you. Importantly, let the video reflect your brand’s unique personality. Since most people watch countless videos every day, yours is not going to stand out unless it’s different.
Also, don’t assume that everyone knows everything about your brand or product. Explain whatever you need to, but don’t drag on. For instance, if you are a tech company introducing a new app for stock trading, your video can show how exactly to use it.
Make sure your video has a powerful call to action button or link embedded in it. This way, the viewer can take the action required directly from the video and not go anywhere else (which can be a bummer). For example, if you are a fashion outlet, you can embed your e-store’s link or if you are a college that wants candidates to apply, you can embed an Apply Now button that takes them to the application form directly. Keep in mind that tangible benefits like discounts or free samples pull in more crowd. So, if possible, try to insert relevant links in your video that help viewers to enjoy such benefits with a few clicks.
- Arrange the Equipment and Plan the Cast
This part of the video production process involves getting a microphone, camera, and the proper lights in place. Your video needs to look professional, which is why, using a quiet undisturbed place and minimizing background noise is super important. You also need to decide whether to shoot in natural light or use artificial lighting. Accessories like tripods can be of great help too, as they prevent any shaking or blurry images.
The right video editing tools and software are also essential to make images crisp, balance colors and shade, and get a clean output. You also need to know about screens, props, angles, lenses and filters. If this seems like a lot of work or you want to know how to create a video with effects that are unique, you could use video-making tools that help you create professional videos.
As far as casting talent is concerned, consider the type of video you are making and then work on this. The audience should be able to relate to the characters. For instance, choosing the cast for a baby diaper video will be quite different from that of a senior citizen insurance or mother-daughter duo looking for the perfect wedding jewelry. Keep your potential customers’ demographics in mind for this.
- Don’t Ignore the Details
In other words, plan the logistics of producing the video. Decide how you intend to stick to deadlines and your budget. This might impact your core message, the kind of tools and cast you will use, as well as your marketing goals.
Also keep in mind that your video strategy will be evolving with time. So, decide on how the content will be used and repurposed to maximize investment returns.
For instance, if you are into selling furniture, your first video might show a young couple moving into a new house and settling in. The next video might show them needing nursery furniture for a baby. The third video might show their elderly parents living with them and loving your rocking chair! You get the drift, right? Adding a few characters and taking the storyline forward can be a smart video production and marketing strategy. So, you need to think ahead.
- Put Together a Production Brief
A proper brief will make the production process easy and keep everyone involved well-informed about each step. Create a brief that covers your target audience, ultimate goals, core message, timeline and budget. Make sure you zero in on a specific creative approach. This means, you need to know what elements your video will include, which aspects need to be highlighted, and how the overall presentation will go. A smart way to make it happen is by checking out what your competitors are doing and figuring out what will work for you and what will not. Remember that everything you do should contribute to a positive ROI.
- Get the Script and Storyboard Ready
Your script needs to be creative but also meaningful and crisp. Keep the actors in mind, so that the script can match their voice, tone and style. The language you use should be easy and natural, so that the video can engage viewers instantly. If your video involves different locations or actions, make sure your script reflects that and transitions from one scene to another smoothly. And keep it short and simple. Don’t let narration take over visuals. Don’t waste unnecessary words in places where images can do all the talking.
Creating a storyboard is essential as you will be able to picturize how you will shoot the video finally. Basically, it will help align your visuals with the script. With the help of a storyboard, you can plan the lighting, framing, coloring, location of each subject, things you need to animate, and so on. You can hunt the internet for references like images and screenshots, so that you know how your video will look like.
- Zero in on Filming Locations
Unless it involves motion graphics or animation, your video will need one or more locations for the shoot to happen. Sometimes, a quiet space with a simple backdrop will do the trick. And if you are going for outdoor shooting, make sure you have all the permissions or bookings you need in advance. Make sure the locations complement your core message, cast and marketing objectives.
The production stage involves the original filming of the video. Now that you have mapped out a video shooting schedule and have a clear idea of the duration, just ensure that things run as planned.
- Set Up Camera and Lights
How to create a video with pictures that rock? Make sure you have enough time in hand so you can light up all the shoot settings the way you want. Take the light and camera setup time into account when scheduling your shoot. The time that goes into this procedure will completely depend on the number of locations you have chosen and the number of shots you need.
Know when to shoot if you are banking on natural light and what kinds of sources to use if you are using artificial lights. For instance, outdoor shots look best right after sunrise and just before sunset.
- Direct the Talent
This is critical because the way your cast delivers the script will have a major influence on the video’s style, dynamic, audience appeal, and speed. It does not really matter whether you are working with experienced or amateur actors, everyone needs a bit of handholding now and then. Most importantly, keep your objectives in mind and share the same with the actors.
This stage is super important if you are wondering how to create a video with pictures and music and effects. You will need to edit the video to fit the desired length, record voiceover, color the video, and add special effects and music. For this, you should use the best possible online video editor.
Start with cutting the clips down and getting only the essential parts. Then group all the clips and organize footage. Make sure image transitions look natural and eliminate any strange pauses. If your video requires a voiceover, you need not do it yourself.
The tool can help add voiceovers to videos and even add all the different effects and music without any hassle. Wondering how to create a video with animation? This tool has the option to add animated text, special effects, and graphics to the video.
In the post-production stage, a smart way to gauge how well your video will do is by conducting a market research study. You can show the video to a small panel of people who are potential buyers to get their feedback. This will help you improve on the video if required. You can also shoot two different videos and ask them to compare and give you an answer.
• A video is an important arsenal of your marketing tool kit – Marketers have confirmed that using videos have boosted sales and helped offer better understanding of their products and services to customers. Hence make sure you invest in video marketing.
• Have a clear video strategy in mind – Do not just jump in to make a video without having a proper video marketing strategy in place (which covers the questions of why, who, when and how). Keep your central message loud and clear throughout the whole production process and stick to your objective.
• Always plan your production process – If you want to stick to your budget and timeline, be thorough in your pre-production process. Planning is key to the whole process and will help you produce a great video.
Bottom line: Follow the Video Production Process to the T
So, whether you opt to produce a video with your internal team or outsource the production, make sure you have a proper video production process defined. This will help your team account for the different variables of your whole project.
Also Read: Why Great Brand Stories Need Videos
Even though videos can be overwhelming to produce, the results are totally worth it. No wonder video marketing has become a part of every brand nowadays. Hopefully this guide will help you understand the process better and create better videos for your marketing campaigns. If you follow all the steps described above, you should be able to generate a decent video that your viewers will be compelled to see and share.