Companies need video and video is, by far, the most effective way of engaging an audience. Whether you want to create internal corporate videos for your staff members or customer-focused corporate videos for your products and services, you need to have a plan and follow the steps. Here is how you can get started today creating a well-structured, well-conceptualized corporate video production.
1. Creating a Plan
Begin with a thorough plan regarding your video’s core concept. Like any other project, your corporate video is the sum of a multitude of parts. You need to be able to define the different stages of your video production, in addition to the things that you need, your budget, and your audience. These elements would comprise of your video production creative brief. Before you even begin touching your video, ask the following questions:
•Who is this video for? Your core audience is going to inform the tone of your video. Above all else, you need to understand the demographic that you’re reaching out to. For a better understanding, consider creating buyer personas within your target demographics.
•What is your message? If your audience leaves the video with one kernel of knowledge, what should that knowledge be? Make sure your message is very clear; though video is a good way to convey complex information, most corporate videos have to be fairly simple.
•What do you want your audience to do? Once your audience has watched your video, what is it that you want them to do? Make a purchase? Inquire for more information? Your call-to-action is incredibly important and informs the rest of the video.
•What is your budget? Your budget is going to tell you how much money you can spend on each part of the process — and consequently, it’s going to be important for scaling your project as you plan it out.
Once you have answered all of these questions, you can then start to work on the video itself. This will begin with the process of scripting.
2. Scripting Your Video
A video script contains everything that is going to be seen on the video. This includes settings, props, voice-overs, animations, actors, and more. The easiest way to begin a video script is through storyboarding.
A storyboard is a very loose sequence of “scenes” that you want to see in your video. It’s an excellent process for the early stages of brainstorming regarding your project. During your storyboard, you can move scenes around to be more effective, and draw scenes out visually to show what you want to highlight.
At this early stage, you’ll also begin to form the script that you’re going to use — but nothing will be set until the storyboard scenes have been set. From there, you can build out your actual script.
For corporate videos that are consumer-facing, many businesses prefer to hire a professional script writer. Internal corporate videos may be more “loosely” scripted, depending on the desired goals.
Your script needs to consider the concepts that you planned out in the first step. It has to consider the audience that it’s speaking to and speak with a tone that matches your voice and your brand identity. Your script is very important: it will control the actual production, including which actors are cast, which narrators are hired, and which scenes are filmed.
During the stage of pre-production, you’re going to be setting everything up for the actual filming process. Pre-production is one of the most important parts of a production, because it ensures that everything else goes smoothly. When you’re actively in production — actively filming — everything is going to cost you quite a lot per minute. If you don’t have everything in place, you’ll swiftly go over budget.
During pre-production, you will:
•Hire actors and voice actors. If you’re working with a professional production company, they may handle this for you. Otherwise, you may need to recruit and hold auditions.
•Get equipment. Again, a production company will already have equipment, but otherwise you can choose to lease equipment from a store. Leased equipment is expensive, so you will want to lease the equipment for only as long as absolutely necessary.
•Apply for permits. If you’re shooting in areas that are in public, you’ll often need permits to shoot within the area. These aren’t hard to get but there can be wait lists and fees attached.
•Take test shots. Test lighting and technology in specific areas, including the microphones. Sound is often the hardest to capture, and you may decide to instead record lines later on.
•Rent sets. If you’re going to be shooting in an indoor set, you may need to find and rent that set beforehand. If you’re in an area that does many commercial shoots, this could be trivial. If you aren’t, you may need to do a little extra work.
Only once everything is in place will you actually begin shooting. Once the pre-production has been done, you can go over your script once again, and then you can begin the process of filming and editing.
4. Filming and Editing
Filming a project usually goes quite quickly. You may choose to film your project chronologically or instead by environment; if your first shot and your last shot are both in the same office, for instance, it makes more sense to film both office scenes. During the process of filming, your goal is not only to get the scenes perfect, but also to capture as much material as possible.
You should shoot shots multiple times and with multiple strategies, as much as possible. You may also want to shoot things like establishing scenes and background scenes; these become B-roll footage that you can use if you need it. Your goal is to use the equipment once and not to have to rent the equipment out again, especially if you’re handling the entire project internally. Thus, the more material you have, the better.
Having more material is important because of the editing process. During the editing process, all of this film will be stitched together. Though you do have a script, sometimes scenes will be flipped around or you will find that scenes work better in a different way. Having more material means that it’s far easier for your editor to put the scenes together in a professional, clean way.
It’s easy for an editor to take the sound from one clip and layer it onto the video from another clip, provided that they have those materials. However, if the materials just aren’t there, then they may need a reshoot. Doing a reshoot is a costly enterprise and it’s generally one to be avoided if at all possible.
5. Distributing Your Video
Finally, once your corporate video has been shot and fully edited, it’s time for distribution. Distributing your video should have also been part of your initial plan, as you need to know the best way to reach your core audience. Corporate videos might be distributed through internal corporate email and through intranets.
Distributing videos to customers is often more difficult. There are a few channels that you can consider:
•On your company website. This creates a pillar of content that can draw customers in, however it has the disadvantage of being more difficult to promote. Users need to find and view your website to view your videos.
•On your social media. Social media is one of the easiest ways to distribute video today, and one of the most effective. However, different marketing strategies are needed for different types of social media platform. YouTube is an excellent place to post video, but videos often need to be shared off platform to become popular. Facebook is a good way to promote some types of video — such as DIY and hobby videos — but commercials don’t do as well.•On paid advertising sites. Corporate videos can be shown as commercials through advertising networks, such as the paid advertising videos that show up in the corner of websites or between other YouTube videos. Paid advertising is expensive — compared to social media, which is free — but it can yield some fairly decent results.
•On television or other traditional venues. Finally, corporate videos can be shared through traditional media channels such as television. However, this is usually the most expensive option, and it doesn’t give you a way to narrow down your audience demographics. With online advertising, you can choose to show your videos only to your core audience. With television audiences, it will be anyone watching that particular station. This is usually best for local businesses in tightly-knit communities.
These are the five stages of creating a professional corporate video, but all of them should be a part of your initial plan. Creating a thorough plan for your corporate video strategy is absolutely essential — and at any time you find yourself deviating from the schedule, it’s time to rethink, revise, and strategize. Corporate video projects can be difficult to handle at the outset, but overtime the process will become faster and more intuitive.