What should I do before making a video for my business?

aka; help us, help you.

You’ve decided that you’d like to make a video for your business? Amazing, we can help with that! Now, there’s probably one of two starting points here, either you have a fantastic idea / grand plan and want to see it come to life. Or you have no idea what to do, or how to start, and need our help. Both are slightly different starting points.

Making videos for a business is a tricky affair; a really cool video might be really cool, but it doesn’t mean it’ll sell your business in the most creative or influential way. So, whether you have an idea or not; let’s pause for a second, take a few steps back, and answer a few simple questions.

 

1. Consider your target audience - Who is going to watch your film?

Don’t say ‘Everyone’. ‘Everyone’ is the easy answer and unfortunately the worst you can give.
If you’re trying to sell a product or a business, then you know everyone has different tastes (or interests, allergies, shoe sizes, hairstyles). Everyone is different. So who are we talking to here?
What’s your main demographic - Do you want to target and increase sales in that area? Or would you prefer to generate sales from a new, harder to reach audience? 

One video may speak to one audience, but not the other. At times it can be more effective to produce multiple videos tailored to different audiences, than one video that doesn’t particularly suit any of your target markets.

 

2. Think about video distribution - Where is this going?

Is this a social media film (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter?), or a nationwide cinema ad? Perhaps it’s a short film to be played in school workshops, or a company training video. This could even be a good old fashioned YouTube video / advert, right?

There’re more distribution choices than you think. Whatever you’re trying to say in your video, think about how your target audience will watch it.

Distribution methods can define what kind of audience you intend to reach; an audience watching through Youtube, may not be watching on Facebook. (Ok, we know everything is linked, so yes they could well be).

But, it’s still worth thinking about.

Distribution can also affect how you approach different aspects of the video; such as length and budgets (more on these shortly). Think about where you watch videos and how long for. A 60 second cinema trailer may not have the same impact as 20 second video on Instagram. It can all be different, and you need to consider audience interaction. So, if you want to reach the right people, how are they are going to watch it, and can you talk with them?

 

3. Length - How long does it need to be?

A business video does not need to be feature length or even a short film. Chances are, if it’s going on social media or YouTube, then nobody is going to be watching after 90 seconds.There are lots of options here.

A ten second film on Instagram is a cheap and effective way of introducing a product. A sixty second cinema trailer is a great way to grab your audience and tell a story.

A two minute case study is an effective way of introducing and breaking down a narrative.

A longer video doesn’t necessarily mean a better video. Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. The length of a video will give yourself and any video agency you’re working with a great idea on what to aim for when developing and producing the narrative.

 

4. Budget - How much do you want to spend?

It’s true - you can make a film on your own, for very little. But a film with a £5000 budget and shot on a 4K camera, is going to look a lot more polished than the one shot on a smartphone for £100. So, consider how much you’re willing to invest in your next video and be open about your available budget. There isn’t any point of us coming up with a great idea for £30k, when you only have a maximum of a £5k budget. If you’re worried about a production company just spending the budget for the sake of it, ask for options within a budget range, i.e £3-5k, then the control is still in your hands.

Working with a production company means investing money in their time, skills and expertise. We can guide and lead you, on all aspects of production; from creative ideas to delivering the final edit ready for your chosen platform. A good quality video company should come with a wealth of knowledge on all the kit, including lights, lenses, cameras, edit suites, etc, etc... Many of these companies know how to make a pretty video, but not many understand how to produce an effective video for a business, nor do they have a good knowledge of script writing, producing creative concepts or retaining their audience and marketing services, which are key assets that the Rockadove team offer.

This isn’t a blog post about why you should hire us, we promise.But making a good film, particularly to sell a business or a product, does cost money. The simple truth is that you’re investing in your own business - but working with other creatives to help you do so. So it is important to check out video companies’ showreels, ask for examples of their work, and most importantly meet with them to see if they have the knowledge you need, and ask yourself if they’re the types of people you feel comfortable working with?

But remember, an expensive film doesn’t necessarily mean a good film. That’s down to the idea.

So, if you don’t have the money and you want to make a little video your own, then go for it! (As long as the idea is good)

 

5. Time - How long does it take to make a video?

It is a universal truth, that making a video will take a lot longer than you think. Film-making isn’t as simple as pointing a camera, letting it roll, and BOOM you’ve got a film.

Make no mistake, sometimes we wish it could be, as that would make our jobs a lot simpler. But there are dozens of other factors to take; lights, sounds, cutaways, takes, transitions and angles to name a few. So please know, a two minute film will not take two minutes to make. And even after shooting, you need to consider how long it will take to edit and put together. As a general rule, a 1 day shoot might take 2-4 days to editand, like budgets, if you want to make a good film, you need to invest the time.


5. Call to action (CTA) - What do you want me to think?

This is actually the easiest and yet the most important question of all, as it is the driving force behind your film. This is what your entire project should be working towards and summing up.

I just watched your film, what do you want me to think?

Do you want me to buy your product? Or would you like me to take an action? Perhaps you want me to think ‘Wow, this company is super cool!’. The call to action is the soul of any film.

Even if you’re doing an experimental, artistic piece, the CTA is still there at the end.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, figure out what you want them to think, and drive that message home. And trust us, the simpler it is, the more effective your film will be.

And... that’s it, for now.

What should you do before you make a video for your business?

You should ask yourself these questions, that’s what you should do.

If, or when, you approach a production agency, send your answers across, and I promise it will help them greatly in developing a project with you, by focusing everything and making sure you are all on the same page when developing creative ideas.

It’ll even help you - by getting you thinking about what kind of video you want or don’t want, or can or can’t do - then if you decide to make one yourself, then you have a better idea on what to develop and you can start making a fantastic video. As long as the idea is good!

Good luck!

P.S. - Also, it’s near impossible to make a viral film, so please don’t ask. :)

 


Written by Chris James | Camera & Video Editor 

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