Many people mistakenly believe that the most important part of creating video content is the production phase. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read any video production tips and you’ll find that what happens during the pre-production phase has a profound effect on the results of the entire project.
Pre-production is that phase before the camera starts rolling. It is the planning and budgeting stage where all the most important decisions are made. Not paying diligent attention to this stage of the project can cause you to break your budget and will usually impact the end result.
The following video pre-production tips will help you get better results:
- Narrow down on your target audience
Defining your target audience is the first step towards making more targeted videos.
This is much more than deciding that customer X would like to see B type of content. It is a complex process that involves building personas to identify different types of customers. This helps you create more effective content for different groups.
- Define your message
Knowing who your target audience is, is just as important as determining what you will tell them. It is important to remember that consumers today have a short attention span. The average is about 8.5 seconds. Many prefer shorter videos. It is therefore important to get your message across in the shortest time possible. We advise to keep the duration between 30 to 120-seconds.
Determine what effect you want the video to have and what type of response you want from the target audience. Your message should be tailored towards a specific goal to be effective.
- Determine how much you will spend
Working without a defined budget can result in a catastrophe for your company’s finances. Video production can be expensive as well as cost effective. It all depends on the requirements of the project and the solutions the video production company can offer. Having a budget to guide the production process will help you to manage expectations and keep expenses at a minimum.
Choose an experienced production company to guide you through the budgeting process. They will help you set a realistic budget and help you avoid unnecessary expenses. Be sure to get a detailed budget breakdown in the proposal so you know the scope of the project and where your money is being spent in order to avoid overages. Many companies will add in costs after the project costs so be weary of this and choose your production partner wisely.
- Finalize the script
Even if months have been spent working on the script, it is worth going through it over and over again until it meets your standards. Re-working the script during production can result in an inflated budget. It is best to re-write the script and have it finalized before moving on to the next stage.
- Decide on how long you want the feature to be
This is one of the most important video production tips. The decision on length should be based on metrics such as conversion rates. There is a direct correlation between the length of videos and viewer drop-off. Studies show that the optimal length for online videos is about 2 minutes. For social media it is recommended to create 10 to 30 second pieces of content. You should therefore avoid making a feature that goes beyond the two-minute mark. Shorter videos are more effective.
It always good to strategize a longer piece of content and versioning it off for different purposes and platforms i.e. website, social media, sales meetings etc. This is how you can maximize the use and value of the content you create. A good video production company will guide you with this strategy.
- Use a storyboard
Storyboards give a visual guide on the content and flow of the video. Some may say that this is unnecessary since the script is also available. However, the storyboard is just as invaluable. It helps to visualize the entire shoot before it actually happens. This makes it possible to adjust the story if necessary before wasting time and money on shooting it.
Storyboards are even more important with animation projects because they help show what needs to be visualized and the duration for each scene. The storyboard is often put into a videoboard to timeout everything before animation begins.
The sooner you start making use of videos for marketing, the better. Apply the above video production tips for better results.