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A guide for creating video content

As a marketing medium, video content is becoming increasingly popular across all platforms. Not only do most social media platform algorithms favour video content but apps are being created with their primary content being short-form videos – and it’s no wonder when there is predicted to be 48 billion digital video viewers in the world by the end of 2023.

So, how can you make sure the video content you’re making hits the mark and doesn’t leave you putting vast effort in for little outcome? Well, you’ve come to the right place. As an agency, we recently won The Best use of Social Media award at The Drum awards and the Silver award in the 2022 B2B Marketing Awards for Best Use of Social Media or Influencer – for this campaign the team filmed trade influencers taking part in various challenges in order to promote key product messages for our client, Bosch Professional. Meaning not only do we know how to put together some award-winning video content, but we know how to have a great time doing it. So, here are our top tips for creating video content;

Initial planning stages

Start as you mean to go on…. get organised. Before you begin dreaming about big production ideas and thinking about what will be on camera, you need to be thinking about your objectives and expected outcomes for the project. This core information will be what drives the decisions you’ll need to make for your project.

Be sure you know what you're hoping to achieve with this video: are you promoting a new product/service, spreading a new campaign message or simply looking to increase your brand’s recognition? Having a clear objective and purpose is essential to making effective content from the outset.

Another consideration to bear in mind, is which platform it will be featured on. This is important as different platforms have certain limitations as to how long a video can be and what dimension the video needs to be in. TikToks can only be a maximum of three minutes long, whereas YouTube video can only be longer than 15 minutes if you’re a verified account.  

In addition, choosing a platform will have a lot to do with the type of audience you’re looking to capture. And once you’ve chosen your platform, you can then begin to think about scripts, whether or not you need a voiceover and many other elements that will actually feature in your video.

Details are crucial

Everything from storyboarding, scripts and props need to be carefully thought about and delegated to your team. During this stage of planning, Excel is your best friend. We find that creating a master Excel document where each key piece of planning can be separated out into tabs is beneficial when a team is working on a single shoot. Tasks can be easily delegated and monitored, while having all necessary information quick to hand. This also helps you to keep to an overall budget. Starting with your budget and working backwards means that you’re less likely to overspend on unnecessary equipment, time and props.

One tab we particularly love to use is the shot list. It’s a tab where you can break your scenes down into details of what’s needed for each shot and frame. Here, you can also assign tasks and responsibilities to each person. For example, in our #ReadyForAnything video, one of the challenges required the use of fish tank, so in this part of the shot list, the responsibility of finding and purchasing a fish tank was assigned to a certain member of the team. This not only allows you to manage the pre-shoot planning effectively, but it also clearly outlines what props, scenery and frames need to be caught during the actual day.

Legal paperwork

It’s tempting to get caught up in all the fun creativity of video shoots, however, your legal forms must not be forgotten! Make sure you prioritise getting the essential paperwork done early so you can get back to the fun parts. To make it easier, here is a super-quick checklist of the key legal forms you’ll need to tick off for each shoot.

  • Risk assessments – A form that highlights all the potential risks on the day and what you’re doing to prevent the risk from happening.
  • Call sheets – A list which states the order of events happening on the day.
  • Model release forms – These forms are where those who will be on camera give legal permission to be filmed and used in the various content you have planned.

Editing

Editing should be thought about all the way through the video process. While you’re thinking about what you want the camera to capture, consider things such as how each shot will transition, any specific words or imagery that need to appear on the screen or any sounds effects that will need to be added.

On the actual day, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by participants needs or extra ideas on the day, but always keep in mind how much footage you’re going to need to shift through and how much time this is realistically going to take. When cutting between shots, or re-filming certain parts, make sure you think about how easy it’s going to be to piece two bits of film together.

Once the actual shoot is over, it’s time to carefully select which shots will make it into the final video. If you have 12 hours of footage from four cameras, now is time to be refer back to your shot list, to check what angles were you hoping for in this shot. It’s your pre-planning that will help you prioritise the footage.

We recommend using Vimeo to share draft versions as it is a great platform for making time-marked amends – which means providing and receiving feedback is a smoother process.

On the day!

Be prepared for the filming process to take a while. Even the best actors and actresses need time to warm up – that’s why we all love the bloopers! If you’re outside, make sure everyone is well prepared for the weather. And be sure to have plenty of food and drink for the whole team as well as those on camera – a happy team are a full and hydrated team.

More importantly, be prepared for some things not to  go to plan. You need to be able to think on your feet and adapt to all different kind of situations. Just keep calm and think about how to resolve any problems efficiently. For example, just before we were due to film the #ReadyForAnything content, Storm Eunice hit the UK. We could have postponed filming – but that could have caused a logistical nightmare. However, the team were quick to adjust their plans and make arrangements so that they would be able to film some of the content indoors. Fortunately, during the day, the weather cleared up meaning the rest of the content was able to be filmed outdoors.

During the filming, check your shots. Are there any spare coffee cups laying around that could be in shot? Water bottles that could be moved an inch to the left? It’s these small details that really can make the difference to the quality of the video.

And, of course, don’t forget to have fun! If you keep everyone smiling and having a great time, there’s no doubt that the atmosphere will radiate through the camera and onto the screens to your audience.

If you’re looking for an award-winning team to film your next piece of video content, contact Rachel Arquati today for more information.

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