This blog is part 2 of our series Sell With Video. After going over the video marketing strategy in the first part, we will now explain how production works and what you should pay attention to.

After figuring out the strategy, you should know who will watch your video, where it will be displayed, and what you are trying to accomplish with it. But before you start developing the actual idea for the video, there are still two (equally) important decisions you have to make – setting the budget and finding the right partner to do the video production for you.

Depending on the budget you are ready to invest in your video, you will have to decide to make the video yourself, hire a freelancer to help you out, or outsource the whole thing to a professional video production company or an agency. We explained the difference between them here.

If you end up hiring an agency to do everything for you (like we do for our clients), the rest of this blog probably won’t be a lot of use to you, as you will already be paying professionals to do it for you. But in case you end up producing your video, here are some tips we learned working on commercial video production for many different clients.

SCRIPTING

The first thing you do is look back at the strategy and figure out what your video should look like. For example, let’s say we are creating a video commercial for the awareness stage of our funnel. We don’t want to start explaining too much about how the solution works, but rather think of an appealing story with a problem and our product being the hero of it. On the other hand, for the consideration stage, we want our script to include explanations of all the best features of our product and demonstrate its use in a real environment.

Please know it’s tough to write about »the rules« for scripting in such a broad way because they don’t always apply to all projects. In general, you want to follow these four tips for your video script:

– pick the protagonist(s) your audience can relate to,

– describe the pain/ conflict/ problem they are experiencing,

– introduce your product/ the solution by helping the protagonist overcome their problem,

– explain how the product is solving this conflict.

STORYBOARDING

After you finish with the script, it’s time to visualize the shots. Knowing what kind of shots you want is essential, and it’s best done with a storyboard. Sketch up the idea you had and know exactly how should the protagonists and products be captured. Even if your video doesn’t require actors, you can still visualize other elements like where the text is placed or anything else that will be visible alongside your product. Especially in digital marketing, where we have to plan for different types of content for different platforms, it’s beneficial to have sketches of the shots you want to create. We even made our storyboard template to make the visualization as easy as possible – check it out.

PREPRODUCTION

Once you have the script and storyboard ready, create a list of everything you need to make it happen. Does your script play out in different locations? Find them. Need actors? Cast them. From prop to set design, you should get everything from your list ready because you want all of your energy focused on getting the best possible shots on the day of the shooting. And since the video will, later on, represent your brand in front of millions of potential customers online, you should put in your best effort every step of the day – even in preproduction.

The last thing you should do before the shooting day is create a schedule, especially if you plan to shoot in different locations and involve more people. You want to plan out the time you need to set the lights and cameras, the time you have to capture desired shots, and then pack everything up before moving to the following location. Don’t also forget to include meal breaks and transport between locations.

SHOOTING

Here comes the shooting day. Have multiple copies of the script, shot list, and storyboard ready for everybody who might need them. We’re not going to be breaking down the exact shooting process, but here are few things to pay attention to:

– good lighting of the scene, actors, and products

– clean audio recordings, with the least background noise possible,

– if you are shooting a physical product, make sure it’s in peak condition (have plenty of backups too)

– if possible, always get multiple takes of the same shot.

POST-PRODUCTION

After you finish your shooting, it’s time to start with the post-production of the video. There’s a big chance that whoever you’ll hire for help will take care of the editing for you, but we’ll still walk you through the process and highlight the parts you should pay extra attention to.

Once the best takes are selected and shots edited in a sequence based on the script/storyboard, focus on how your product looks. If you notice any flaws in the product or the packaging, try retouching them to fix that. Another important thing is the music selection and audio mixing – if there’s a dialogue, make sure it’s audible, with background audio effects helping set the mood but not taking the focus off the actor and his voice. Remember that the music you choose will heavily affect the video, so pick a song the audience will relate to and fit the story. Also, make sure the license you get with your music covers the channels you will use.

Another essential task in post-production is color correction and grading. Unlike feature films or music videos, you want your commercial look to be neutral and accurate colors. Then, you use the so-called »power windows« to highlight the part of the screen you want the most focus on (usually, where the product is).

Producing a video, especially if you are not a professional in this field, might seem like an impossible task. But if you do it right, it can impact your business on many different levels. Establish a solid strategy for yourself, with clear goals on what you are trying to accomplish with the video, then do it. It’s as easy. If you can, hire somebody to help you out – your budget will determine how much help you can expect from the person or company you are hiring, but at the very least, get somebody with lights and a camera.

If you’d like our help with your project, don’t hesitate to schedule your videocall here.