5 questions to help you plan your video project

Whether you’re creating your own video content or looking to commission work from a production company, producing a video can be a big commitment. Before you leap in both feet first it pays to take a step back and think about what you’re actually trying to achieve. Here’s a few simple questions to ask yourself to make sure you get off to a good start:

Q1: Who is the audience for your video?

Who is the audience for your video?

Identifying your audience is fundamental to an effective video but it’s amazing how many times it’s ignored in practice. A video for a general audience looks very different from one made for an audience with specialist knowledge of the subject. Is the audience your existing customers, new customers, colleagues, employees? Are they already familiar with your brand, your products and services? The audience you have in mind for your video should influence the decisions you make over style and content.

Q2: How will they watch the video?

The majority of online videos are usually watched by a single viewer at work or at home. We think of these as passive viewers and you need to make the video as punchy and memorable as possible from the word go to make sure they don’t simply stop watching! This is even more important if they are likely to be watching on the go using a mobile or tablet. On the other hand some videos have a captive audience – for example training videos or a sales presentation. In these cases you can let the subject breathe a little more and go into more depth because you can be sure the viewer will watch to the end.

Q3: What should you feature in your video?

Different types of video featuring people, products and placesA lot of this is down to what the viewer will find interesting and/ or visually appealing. But broadly speaking your video should feature one of the following:

People – including customer testimonials and staff interviews

Projects – demonstrate real examples of what you can do for your clients.

Products & Services – highlight specific products and services you offer in more detail

Of course these are not mutually exclusive and if you want a high level introduction to your business you could include aspects of all three. But often having several tightly focused videos is more effective than one very broad one.

Q4: What’s the purpose of your video?

Often a video has a very simple purpose: to introduce your business and brand to an audience. But even so it pays to think about a ‘call to action’ – what do you want someone to do after viewing your video? You might want the viewer to visit your website, to purchase a specific product, or to share the video with their own friends and colleagues. At the very least the final screen of the video should point them in the direction you want them to go. You might also want to think about where the video will sit on your website and the wider context of how it is viewed by a visitor to the site.

Q5: How will you measure the success of your video?

On a very simple level the success of online video is measured in the number of hits or views. But this can be a false measure of success – the chances are your video won’t appeal to a wide audience so a low number of views isn’t necessarily a problem. Instead the success of your video might be measured by an increase in visits to your website or a spike in sales for a particular product. Deciding these goals in advance can influence the specific messages of your video.

Thinking about these questions should help you make the right decisions when it comes to thinking about what type of video you want to produce and what the best style of media is. If you’re thinking of approaching a production company it might be useful to jot down a few ideas based around the above pointers first so you’ll get more out of your initial discussions and give your video project a solid footing.

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