The promotional video is a very important and useful marketing tool in today’s age. A well-produced and targeted video can easily help a company achieve a variety of different goals. The creation of promotional videos can be broken down into three simple categories: pre-production, production, and post-production. Understanding and implementing the steps in each of these categories will help you create a successful and professional promotional video.
1. It’s All About the Brief
The creative brief is what really helps you lay out your overall strategy and the intended outcomes regarding your promotional video. Upon finishing your creative brief you should have a solid grasp on what you’re doing and why. There are a few key questions that make up a creative brief. Answer the questions below to get started on your very own promotional video.
What is your core objective? (Why are you making this?)
What is your core message? (What should viewers take away?)
Who is your target audience? (Age? Gender? Interests?)
How can you reach your target audience? (TV? YouTube? Facebook?)
2. Lock that Script Down
Be sure to finish writing your script before you begin the production process. Make sure all your information is as current and up-to-date as possible before you begin shooting. You never want to find yourself in the situation where your finished promotional video is outdated before it even gets out. Double and triple check everything, does your script line up with your goal? Are there possible negative effects to take into account? Remember, it’s much easier, not to mention less expensive, to make changes in pre-production rather than on set.
3. Break out the Crayons, it’s Coloring Time
A storyboard is basically a rough sketch or mock-up of each frame you plan to have in the video. When you’re all finished, the storyboard should resemble something like a comic book panel. Creating a storyboard will help you plan and better understand the overall flow of your video (the “who says what” and the “where and when is it said”). A finished storyboard will act as a roadmap for creating an organized promotional video. It can also help you highlight areas of your production that may be lacking or a bit overloaded and in need of some changes before shooting. In the end, just remember we’re not all Rembrandts and this isn’t going up in a museum, well maybe the fridge in the break room. Stick figures are welcome.
4. The Voice
Are you planning on using your own staff or hiring a professional spokesperson to be in your production? Each has its own pros and cons and ultimately the decision will come down to you and your objectives. Your staff will better understand the ins and outs of your business and what makes it tick, though they may not be comfortable in the spotlight. No matter if it’s your CEO or an intern be sure to never cast anyone who isn’t comfortable on camera. If you are unsure of how your prospective star will come across you can always shoot a quick test using whatever you have available and review the footage to help you make your decision. Take the time to find the right voice, they are the ones entrusted with delivering your message and you want it to be delivered in the best way possible.
5. Knowledge is Power
If you don’t plan on hiring out your production to a professional company, your going to want to make sure you have some knowledge of your own in production strategies. You will need to address things like length, lighting, transitions, and scenery to name a few. There is a wealth of information available online for free so take some time and do your homework if you plan on going it alone. When in doubt ask for help, there are plenty of forums online that would be happy to help you through any predicament you may be having.
6. Lights, Camera, Action
The quality of the equipment you use can make or break your promotional video. Even if you have the best cast and story around producing with cheap equipment will turn a great video into a horrible one. You don’t have to spend a boatload on purchasing top of the line cameras and lighting but you should do your research and talk to some professionals in order to get a grasp on what gear will work best for your video and your budget.
7. Make it Pop
Great promotional videos are not sent straight from the camera to the audience. There is a significant amount of editing and retouching that will need to be done before your video is ready to hit the road. Editing is one of the most important parts of creating a promotional video. All your footage will be irrelevant you cant figure out how to cut and organize it (with a healthy dose of pizzazz). Do not hesitate to get professional help if you don’t have any in-house. Again, if you decide to take this on solo there is a lot of free software and web tutorials available online to help you out.
8. STOP, Channel Time
Your completed creative brief will help you answer the question of channel distribution. You need to decide how you plan on reaching your target market. Will your video air on TV? Maybe a podcast is more your speed? Viral marketing is also an option and it can be one of the most effective ways to impress your clients and get their attention. Be sure to utilize outlets like YouTube and the various forms of social media when you start your distribution.
Promotional videos are becoming one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach and communicate with their customers. No matter what your field or area of operation is creating a professional promotional video can help your business grow and help ensure your company’s message is respected and received by all your customers.