Tell the right story and create video that wows

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As a team of avid readers and writers, we often discuss the importance of good copy here on The Giles Agency Feed – but business communication comprises far more than the written word.

Professional comms facilitate the act of conveying your message to your team, your colleagues, your clients, your audience. Clear communication is the difference between success and failure, and forms the very core of all the output you produce.

Nowhere is this more true than in video comms. Clear communication of all kinds shapes the entire process of video production, from the initial brief all the way through the stages of storyboarding, scripting, filming, editing, and promotion.

With this in mind, here are a few of our tips and tricks on how to produce video content you can be truly proud of, and that hits – and even exceeds – all of your goals.

Don’t rush the video brief. A clear, concise video brief defines exactly what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to achieve it. What’s the purpose of your video – are you trying to improve brand awareness? Sell a particular product? Motivate your customers to take a specific action? How are you going to promote your content? Before you even think about the visual aspects of your video, ensure you’ve pinned down the inherent purpose of this project. Why, exactly, have you opted to produce this video – and what would success look like?

Choose your message. Rather than jumping straight in to what your script will say, first you must define exactly what you want the viewer to take away from your video. For example, perhaps you’re announcing a new product. What is it you want your video to communicate, and what shots would you like to include? Or perhaps you’re interviewing a bigwig at your company, and need to define the appropriate setting and scope for your video. This step takes your message and transforms it into a general story.

Put together a detailed script. In combination with the previous steps, the script defines the entire product: it helps you select the visual clips you need, the content you need, the length and pacing of the piece, and the clarity of your message. Your script should speak directly to your audience, hit all of your key objectives, but be sensitive to tone and purpose; while there is room for aggressively sales-y content, for instance, this is likely inappropriate if you’re asking customers to connect more deeply with your brand, but more relevant if you’re announcing a new product. This is when you should define the length of your video. While many suggest keeping videos short and sweet, this is again dependent on purpose (while an advert will suffer if it’s 10 minutes long, a training seminar or documentary-style piece may benefit from being longer).

Choose the right people for the job. This should obviously be considered from step one, but is especially important when working with visual media, where there’s more room for personal taste and interpretation. Your choice of designer, videographer, or editor will ultimately play a huge role in the end product you receive. For example, say you’re after an illustration of a dog. Which would you expect to receive?

As this shows, what you picture in your head isn’t necessarily what other people picture – highlighting the importance of crystal clear communication! Always use mood boards and visual examples to clarify your expectations. With this in mind…

Define your aesthetic and style. Be as clear and detailed as possible, and use examples. This should draw from your company’s style guide and visual identity, and should remain consistent with all of your other output.

Share the product and ask for criticism. The more eyes that watch your video and the more comments you get, the less likely it is that you’ll let a silly errr slip through to the final piece. However, ensure you’re seeking critique from the relevant people; if you ask an office of 500 people to let you know their thoughts, you’ll likely be overwhelmed. Ensure your reviewers are aware of the piece’s purpose, and are fully up-to-speed on your company’s style and identity. Also set expectations accordingly; it’s likely no longer possible to change the talent or concept at this late stage, for example, but you can slow down frames where subtitles are hard to read.

Of course, numerous steps are missing from this brief round-up: creating a video is an involved process, after all, and this post deals more with approaching the project than storyboarding, capturing the shots, and editing your masterpiece.

However, good communication and cooperation lie at the core of all good comms, so start with these values in mind and you’re far more likely to see success. If you’re looking for professional development courses to improve or clarify your office communication, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re confident we have just the course for you.

If you have tips to add, please do leave them in the comments.