As part of our new VidOps blog series, What Businesses Need to Know, we’re drawing back the curtain for a transparent look at how video production works for commercial businesses.
This week: the fundamentals of video content planning.
How would you feel if you were asked to plan video content for your marketing strategy? Excited to flex your creative muscles? Giddy with anticipation at the high-performing ROI?
Or completely overwhelmed?
Don’t worry, it’s not just you - many marketers and stakeholders feel the same way.
It can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint exactly how a video can cut through the noise and clearly communicate with your audience. Many decision-makers stay stock still because they just aren’t sure where to begin.
As a commercial video production company, steering businesses towards video content success is the reason we get up in the morning.
We’re dedicated to showing that video production doesn’t need to be scary.
We want to give you the tools needed to create engaging and effective video content that will generate the leads and awareness you deserve!
When you’ve committed to the planning stages and are willing to put in a little legwork, you’ll find that the stages that follow are a breeze - you might actually have some fun with it!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re producing in-house or outsourcing your video to a content creation agency, you’re going to need a clear strategy.
So with that in mind, we’re laying out the fundamentals of video content planning step-by-step, so that you can get ahead of the game.
Company Objectives & Goals
This is the most important starting point for your video content. The first step to developing the creative content is having a complete understanding of how it aligns with your company as a whole (none of this should be new information if you work in marketing!)
Analysing your business, utilising your recent metrics, understanding your brand USPs, measuring your output and the ROI are the building blocks of any content strategy and it is no different when it comes to video.
At VidOps, we always want to know exactly what you are looking to achieve with your visual content. There’s no ‘one-size fits all’ in video production, so we can isolate exactly which of our services you will need, and what type of content will prove most effective.
This should be the approach you apply to your own strategy too!
Before generating your creative ideas for a video, it helps to begin with a one-sentence objective for your video, describing exactly what you want to communicate, in its simplest form.
- An HR video that breaks down contract benefits for new starters
- A testimonial video that shows how easy it is to integrate your product into a current workflow.
- A 1-minute animation explaining how your service works, to distribute on social media and your landing page.
Take that initial sentence of what you wanted in a video, and try to make it SMART. This means elaborating on your goal to make it:
By fleshing out your core message with these critical details, you’ll have a workable goal in place.
Establishing these very clear goals and maintaining an awareness of how you will measure your success will not only help narrow down your concept - you’ll have a clearer picture of your budget and the time it will take to produce.
Next up is really getting to grips with who your target audience is.
Are you hoping to appeal to business stakeholders? Gen Z consumers? New parents?
Whoever you are seeking out, you need to do your research. Make use of your company buyer personas, and go into real detail about their behaviours.
- What tone of voice do they respond to? Formal or informal? Funny or inspiring?
- Where are they watching your video?
- What information are they seeking?
- What pain points do they need solutions for?
If you’ve recently run some market research or had some insightful testimonials, you should absolutely use these to your advantage.
Understanding what your target audience is looking for can help inform your distribution channels, the style choices, and the narrative tone you’re hoping to achieve with your video.
In an ideal world, this will lead to some early creative ideas flowing, but at the very least, it will give you some insight into who you can look to for inspiration. This takes us to our next point...
To master a skill, you need to immerse yourself in it and learn from those around you - and this is absolutely true when creating video content.
Inspiration can and will come from anywhere.
We’ve had previous VidOps clients put forward music videos, or recent award-winning films, as well as competitor content or inspirational commercials from big brands.
It’s always easier to have a jumping-off point and knowing your audience inside and out will help you seek out content that they’re responding to.
This in turn, allows you to analyse exactly what they’re enjoying and will leave you bursting with creative ideas.
Arming yourself with some idea of what others have to say, and how they’ve achieved their goals is the perfect place to start, with the added benefit of easing communication between your team and the production crew - so you can ensure you get what you want.
This seems self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised by how people can lose sight of their own vision in the creative process.
When looking at the market and how others are using visual content, it can sometimes be tempting to overhaul your brand completely to try and invoke the same reaction.
But the reason your brand is successful is that it is uniquely yours.
If you’re a small B2C company with a reputation for fun, colourful branding, don’t dampen it down if you’re producing a video for potential investors. If you’re a slick, minimalist start-up known for your technical prowess, showcase it!
Your business ethos, team dynamic, and brand personality are hugely important in visual content. You will do yourself a disservice if you try too hard to fit into a box.
Narrowing down your brand and the key to your company's success is integral in establishing the tone of voice and direction of your video.
You should begin to consider exactly how you want to showcase your brand narrative. You might start thinking about animation services, instead of traditional videography. Maybe you’ll want to showcase a day in the life of a member of staff, or even bring in your CEO for an interview.
When you support your creative ideas with an authentic dedication to brand storytelling, you can’t fail to invoke a reaction in your audience.
And here we are!
You’ve worked hard on your company analysis, established measurable goals, spent weeks finding inspiration and you know exactly the tone you’ll use and emotion you’ll invoke to support your brand.
Now’s the time to come up with your concept.
It may seem like a lot of work to get to this point, but we’ve found that businesses who are prepared and know exactly what they want to achieve, bring more creativity to the table.
There’s a chance that the concept you develop is essentially what you had pictured in the first place, but you may be surprised at the ideas that follow.
The concept for your video can be as detailed as you like, but with all of the work you’ve done to get here, you’re likely to have a very clear idea of what you want. If you still don’t, you at least have detailed goals, an overall idea of tone and narrative, a reasonable budget, and clear deadlines.
If you were to present these to an external video production company or creative freelancers, you’d be in an excellent starting position, with established expectations.
How Can VidOps Help?
Like most content creation agencies, we produce high-quality visual content for businesses.
What sets us apart from others is our dedication to creating the right video for your business.
At VidOps, we’ve helped companies across the globe create effective and results-driven video content by using the steps we’ve detailed here.
Our team isn't just a business team, we’re content creators too, so you can always rest assured that we’re steering you in the right direction based on your company goals and branding, coupled with our extensive industry experience.
Our free initial consultation service will ensure that each of the above points have been addressed, and used to inform the creative concept and brief for your content. This means that you’re involved in every step of the development process, and have complete control over your project.
Planning and strategy are the keys to successful content that will engage new audiences and drive the results you’re looking for. It’s not just the start of your video content, it's arguably the most important step.
By delving into the strengths of your business, the audiences you need to be reaching, and backing them up with measurable results, you’re building the starting platform for a successful video.
We’ve seen firsthand how in-depth prep has kickstarted the creative process, and how it can effectively streamline the entire production. Don't get caught out by trying to get ahead of yourself; leave plenty of time to establish exactly what you need, and save yourself difficulties in the long run.