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Video production: Behind the scenes

14th February 2018

Video has fast become the format of choice for content. Largely driven by the social media powerhouses (notably Facebook) preference for it. And so brands are creating more video form content than ever before.
However, the success of any video is dependent on the work that goes on behind the scenes. And so we thought we’d share with you the areas to focus on in order to create the best performing video possible.
To the first point, and amazingly one that is often overlooked – you first need to be clear on just what is it you are you trying to achieve with a video. And no, creating a video because it’s the thing to be doing isn’t a strong enough reason.

1. Objective of the video

As with any piece of content you plan to create, there must be an objective tied to it. Is it to raise awareness? Teach employees about a new service? Or to convert leads? The objective of your video will of course relay back to your marketing and business objectives.
Be clear as to what your video needs to achieve, as this will inform everything else that’s to follow.

2. Understand your audience

Ok. Now that you know the reason for your video, next thing you need to know a bit more about is the audience it’s for.
From your audience research, you are looking for insights – Insights into their behaviour, their problems, what they want, etc.
Identifying audience insights will help shape the message of the video, but you also need to know how best to reach your audience – to help create the distribution strategy and so also the format of your video.
For example, the objective of your video, and the message of the video might mean Facebook is a good channel to use. Therefore the video will need to be optimised accordingly for this specific platform.
And so for example, we know on Facebook, videos 15 seconds or less in length perform best. And most videos are watched on average for 3 seconds. Therefore the key message/takeaway must be within the first 3 seconds, and there’s no point in having a video longer than 15 seconds in length.
We also know that organic reach on Facebook is almost non-existent. Therefore paid advertising must be used to reach the desired audience. Which depending on whether the objective of the video is awareness, or clicks to a website for action, will dictate the dimensions of the video for the specific ad type. Knowing all of this from the onset will save many a headache later down the line.
All too often, brands can get caught up in the execution of the video, and fail to have a distribution strategy in place. Resulting in the target audience simply not seeing the video. Meaning the objective of the video isn’t achieved. And money and time is wasted.

When it comes to Strategy Vs Execution – Strategy wins.

McKinsey & Company

3. The message of the video

Right, so we’re getting closer to the fun bit – the creative approach. But before that, it’s about nailing the message of the video.
This is the space between, or actually more so the bit where what you the brand wants to say (objective) and what the audience wants to hear (insight), overlap each other – the sweet spot. In this space is where you’ll find your videos message.

4. The brief

Points 1-3 are the main questions you need to provide answers for. These are really important parts of a video production brief. And that’s the stage we’re at now. Creating a brief from which the creative approach is developed.
To be clear, the message of the video you identified in stage 3 isn’t your creative approach. Remember, the message is what you want to say, and want your audience wants to hear. But it’s the way the message is told where the creative magic is required.
In addition to the information from points 1-3, the brief should also include: the timings of the project, deadline, available budget, available resources / locations etc.

5. The creative approach

Armed with a tight and well thought out brief, this is when you’ll now look to employ the services of a creative/production agency. Unless you’ve got creative capabilities in-house.
An agency will come up with the creative approach – how that message is packaged. And in doing so they will advise on such things as the type of video (animation, filming etc), the length of video, and the style (colour etc) of video, as well as all the different formats required.

Other important bits

In an attempt to keep this post short and quick to read, below are a number of other things that’ll help ensure everything runs smoothly.
And of course, give us a shout if there’s anything you’d like to discuss with us about your next video project.

Final video pointers:

1. Storyboards are a must when it comes to videos. They ensure the capture of filmed content is efficient, and less time is spent editing in post-production. They also keep amends to a minimum for animators, with everything having been signed off on the storyboard – again making for a streamlined approach.
2. Have a script in place before animating. It’s far easier to animate to a script, then trying to write a script to fit an animation.
3. If shooting interviews, ensure the interviewees are well prepped on the questions to be asked. This will significantly cut down on shooting time, and give the interviewee confidence when on camera. It’s amazing the effect lights and cameras can have on even the most confident of people!
4. Re-purpose your video. Once you’re video has achieved it’s initial objective, look for ways to further leverage this asset. If you hadn’t already done so, you could create shorter edits to be used on social. Use it as part of another piece of content – perhaps a blog post? Or you could use it internally? Just be sure that when you do repurpose it, you are doing it for a reason – it is still aiming to achieve an objective.


We can’t emphasise enough just how important strategy is for the success of a video. This upfront thinking informs every element of video production, and gives your video every chance of success.
Now then, is the time for you to think of your wider video strategy, and then from that the individual strategy for your next video project. Which of course, we’d love to help you with.
Until next time…


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