Having a pre-production process in place for your digital marketing strategy before you create your video is just like having the right ingredients for a delicious meal. You can’t move forward without it.
A great tasting dish needs a vision of the final product before anything goes into the pot, planning out the ingredients needed and preparing them each uniquely. For a quality video to launch well, vision, scripting & editing, and storytelling have to take place.
Factors that make up a Pre-Production Process
Disclaimer: The factors listed here start taking place after the budget, timeline, and type of video have been discussed.
In order to know where to start in pre-production, you have to have a vision for the final product. This involves clear communication and brainstorming with your team and your client. At Revenue River, we hold a creative kickoff meeting. The purpose of this conversation is to communicate clear expectations and define the vision of the video. Think of the completed video project as the tip of an iceberg, the part you can see above water. Everything underneath the water is what takes place in Pre-Production. Defining the vision is the massive part of the iceberg that's not seen in the final video but exists beneath the surface.
When you're talking with your team and/or client, here are some crucial talking points to include that will help you scope out the ideal vision of the final video from all angles.
Everyone needs to understand their part in the script editing process, especially if you’re creating this script for a client. Set up the expectation of team effort in responding and editing drafts of the script. The script is the foundation for all other parts of producing a video, so no one can move forward until the script is exactly how you want it. If you were to start the production process, and want or need to change the script halfway through it, the entire team of designers and editors are then working off of a different version and could communicate something that doesn't match what was produced. With this being said, remember you’re the expert – always be willing to take criticism but hold on to your industry and creative standards.
Type of Video
At this point, you should already know if you’re creating a 2D video or a Live Shoot Video, however, more definition needs to be defined within these options. Let’s say you’re creating a 2D video. Ask:
- Is it an Explainer Video about how their business works?
- Is it an About Us Video communicating the history, purpose, and mission of the business?
- Is it a How-To Video, walking the viewer through how to navigate a product or get started?
- Do you need a voiceover artist? If so, male or female?
For a Live Shoot video, decide if any graphics or images are needed in addition to the footage from the shot list. Are words on the screen needed to help emphasize a point? Will screenshots or pictures add to the description of something?
Purpose and Goals
During this meeting, you as the creative director and/or producer need to define what the purpose is for the video. What will success look like when the video is published? What metrics of measurement will you focus on? Define your SMART goals for the video. Knowing the goals a video needs to achieve are critical in making your vision go full-circle. Doing this will turn video production into video marketing.
Without knowing the answers to these questions, your final video is going to look very different from what you and your client were anticipating. It's worth taking the prep time to answer these questions so every person involved has clear expectations and goals for their part in the video process.
Once these parameters are established, you can begin the creative process of script and storyboard development.
For script development, start with the body of the content, then write the intro and conclusion. This ensures you include the necessities you’re trying to communicate and allows the intro and conclusion to come naturally as you get a feel for the flow of the script. Remember, every piece of communication worth listening to will be embedded in a story your audience can relate to. This means as you write the script, come up with a direction you want the storyboard to go.
After the type of video and topic for the video have been decided, ask:
- Where does this video fall into the buyer's journey of an Inbound Marketing Strategy? How will that affect the way in which the content is written? Does it need to be more of a high-level approach or to the point? Is a CTA necessary at the end to drive a decision?
- Whose the ideal viewer and what are their challenges or pain points?
- What’s the tone, voice and messaging being communicating?
For video scriptwriting, less is more. That’s something I remind myself of all the time. You have images that can communicate information as well, so don’t over communicate. And finally, remember to always read your script aloud, so as to hear how it will be received.
The first thing you need to start storyboarding is a finalized script. Starting this process with a half-baked, non-edited script makes storyboarding a tedious process. I don’t want to sound redundant here, but making sure your script is good to go will save you time in the long run.
Every storyboard is going to look different, but each one needs to communicate a story. You need a main character that the audience can look on and relate with. What journey is this character going through? What does their day to day life look like? Lead the viewer into following the characters journey, no matter how technical the information is. Consider the setting of the story. Will it be changing from one scene to another or does the entire script go deeper visually describing one particular setting?
Every story has transition points from the beginning to a catalyst point or the climax to a resolution. How you visually communicate these transitions helps support points in the script. Your viewer may not be able to tell you what influenced them to like or share your video, but the transitions are one of the main parts in how smooth and accurate the information was communicated.
Where can you Start?
Finally, when the storyboard is complete, you’re ready to go into the production process. Now that you’ve read through the main factors of Pre-Production for a video project, here are some helpful tasks to take action.
- Create a process of pre-production elements you’ll follow for every single video; meetings, brainstorming, questions to answer every time…the works.
- Look at your current assets and see if the script and storyboard actually tell a story. For a training exercise, rewrite a script with a new vision and goals defined and see what changes. Or pick a storyboard that needs to be reworked and create a story line of images that might work better.
- Ask what you want to deliver in the future – what is your tone and voice – how do you want your message to come across?
For your next video, try applying some of these pre-production factors and then put that video to the test when it's out for the world to see. Did you reach your goals? What are the number of views and shares for that video compared to previous ones that may not have had a vision or process in place?
As Multimedia enthusiasts, our mission at Revenue River is to bring collaboration to production as we create and execute strategies that exceed goals, expectations, and viewer experience. How can we help you with your video marketing goals?