Uttering the phrase “Have we thought about having some videos made?” during a meeting with colleagues can be like opening Pandora’s Box.
Video, despite now being everywhere you look (Google anything and you’ll likely see videos appear at the top of the page now) it’s still The Big Unknown for many.
But video production is no dark art, and the power of video for your business is available to all. For many people, it’s just knowing where they need to start.
A great video starts with a great brief
The place any great video project starts is with a great brief. This is the very first step – get this right and expect the video production company you work with to come back to you with a video that ticks every single box…and then some.
But getting the brief right does require an understanding of what you want to get out the other side.
So, in this blog post, we’re explaining how to form a brief for a video agency to work from. Understandably, not every business will be able to write a full, detailed brief before a project. You’ll expect the video company to have some input with regards ideas.
But hopefully, if you follow the guidance in this blog post as much as you can, you should be able to formulate a brief that your video agency can work from.
Notably, a solid brief has one other major benefit, too…
‘How much will my video cost?’
Getting the brief down also helps a video production company answer the question ‘how much for…?’ Because as any video agency will tell you, it’s almost impossible to provide an accurate quote for a video for your business. Until, that is, there’s some kind of brief to work from.
As it happens, at Stada Media we’re asked this question on at least a weekly basis.
And whilst some companies you speak to will have a rate card for cameramen, editors, a sound guy and so on, in truth even then it’s still very difficult to provide an accurate quote for a video project.
So: great brief = an accurate project quote, and, ultimately, a better video. But what do you need to think about when creating a video brief?
1. What’s the purpose of your video and what are your key messages?
Are you trying to sell your product or service, do some brand building, inspire and inform your staff, or something else? What is it that made you think you needed video in the first place?
Do you want one video for your business – or, with multiple messages – could it be more effective having two or more?
Pinning down the purpose of the video early on may seem like common sense, but it’s very easy to lose sight of the purpose by getting lost in cool concepts.
2. What platform will your video be shown on?
Is your video for a landing page on your website or for your social media channels? Will it be shown to a large group of people at an event setting, or will it take the form of a TV advert?
The format of the video and the platform it ends up on are very important when it comes to concept and budget. A small scale corporate video shoot will differ greatly in price and scale of production to a national TV commercial.
3. What will the video production need to include?
It’s worthwhile considering what the juicy innards of your video will compose of. This includes things like:
– Script/voice over
Anything that you envisage being a consideration will go towards building a more accurate idea of price and a more streamlined process. The more detail you can give to the people making a video for your business, the more likely it is that there won’t be any surprises further down the line.
For example, if you mention that there are two locations (your offices in Leeds and your offices in London), then we know immediately that there’ll be at least two filming days to add to the quote. If you say that you’d like two actors to perform a scripted TV advert, then we know that we’ve got to think about the actors hire costs and expenses. Plus, the time dedicated to writing the script, the sound and camera equipment to capture the actors correctly… The list goes on and on. If there’s anything you think is relevant, chuck it into your initial communication.
4. Who is the audience for the video?
Video production companies will try to tailor your video to suit your audience. If you sell gardening tools, it’s unlikely they’ll suggest an edgy, MTV style way of filming and editing. Letting them know your key demographic will influence the stylistic decisions that both you and the video production company make.
You may have one idea of style, but ultimately they’ll want to create the most effective video for your business. So, they might suggest another which fits better with your key messages and audience. Letting them know early who they’re aiming at will mean you don’t receive a video that’s age/sex inappropriate. All the better really!
5. Who’s involved in the sign-off?
One of the things that surprisingly takes the most time, is the distance between the screening of the first edit and the delivery of the final video. The more people are involved in the sign-off process, the slower the process runs. If we could suggest anything, it would be to have a hierarchy in place when it comes to suggesting re-edits and revisions. As the saying goes, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.
This one also ties in with number three and number four: The more clear everyone is on the direction of the video before anything is filmed or edited, the more chance the video has of being a success within the company that’s commissioning it.
If the head of marketing has been liaising with the production company throughout the process… But then the heads of social media and communications get involved in the late stages, suddenly it starts to get a bit confusing.
Supply the video production company with a breakdown of who is responsible for what within your team. Here’s an example: “Lucy, Marketing Liaison, will be your main point of contact. Andrea, Marketing Assistant, is who you’ll contact for images, logos and other things you might need. Andrew, Head of Marketing, is responsible for the sign off at all stages. Michael, CEO, might dip in at the end just to make sure everything’s okay.” This avoids any potentially confusing and time-consuming miscommunication later on.
….Is that all???
And with that, you should have a good idea of what to include in your brief, which can then form your initial contact with video production companies.
It’s all quite simple really. Though it may seem intimidating to think up a whole video before you’ve even spoken to anyone about the cost, it will save a lot of time in the long run, for both parties. If you know what kind of video you want, but you have no idea of the content, then be honest about that. The video company will come back to you with ideas and budgets to choose from.
Any information that you can provide is a positive thing, no matter how small. You’ll go into it knowing the brief and the budget inside out, which can only help to make the process more enjoyable for you.
Want to know more about video for your business? Speak to the Stada Media team today (we’ll even help you with the brief!) about your next video project!