Your guide to video production planning during Covid-19
Proper video production planning will guarantee that you have the right content for the right target and meet your marketing goals. Excellent video production planning starts with clearly defining your objectives and understanding your target audience. This will help you craft the perfect message for your video project. In these times of Covid-19 we all want to ensure the safety of our production team and crew. Our guide to video production takes you step-by-step through planning and creating the ideal video, with special guidelines for production during Covid-19.
Precautions to take in your video production planning during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Safety first! It is possible to create great video content while still keeping yourself and your crew safe from Covid-19. You want to set a great example for your clients and for your crew and minimize any liability you may have.
Here are our top tips for video planning during Covid-19:
- Have a Covid-19 brief with your entire team. Be sure they have been tested and can recognize the signs of Covid-19 and agree to follow all safety protocols.
- Masks! Local regulations vary from state to state and even within states. Model best practices by wearing masks at all times! But what about those in front of the camera? Try to shoot outside, keep the group shots small, keeping to maybe 2 or 3 people.
- Wear gloves when possible and bring extra gloves and masks for the team.
- Be sure to bring what you’ll need to disinfect all equipment after a shoot. This includes cameras, tripods, microphones, and lenses.
- Be sure to wash all of your clothes worn on the shoot immediately upon returning home.
- Keep your onsite crews small. Try to stagger the talent so they are not onset at the same time.
- If any of your crew are in high-risk situations or areas, they must self-quarantine for two weeks.
- Use remote-controlled cameras when possible.
- Consider the use of remote talent, directed by video call! Ship any props or wardrobe to the talent, and have your director talk through lighting, sound and background settings with them in advance.
- Don’t overlook the effectiveness of user-generated content. There is lots of good stuff out there.
- Limit travel to locations as much as possible. Keep the teams small and be sure they are committed to best practices.
The bottom line is we can safely keep the cameras rolling during Covid-19 but we bear the responsibility to follow safety guidelines and go the extra mile to keep our teams safe!
Pro Tips and stats
Video content is more important every year. Whether the platform is YouTube, Instagram. Facebook, or your website, consumers love video. Check out these stats:
- Even emails that have “video” in the subject line get a lift in open rates.
- By 2022, video is expected to make up more than 82% of all consumer traffic.
- YouTube traffic is second only to Google
- Over 80% of businesses use video in their marketing.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to dive in, but here are some insights and pro tips for video marketing. Planning is everything. Pre-production is the most critical part of a video project and the foundation of your video. All must understand the vision for the project, as well as the goals and budget.
Be clear about your goals.
A good video starts with a clear vision of the objective of the project. The more specific you can be, the better. Every bit of content has the ultimate objective. The purpose may be to introduce your brand, announce a promo, or build your brand. Try to make the goals for the project detailed, measurable, realistic, and time-bound. Thinking about what business problem you are trying to solve with the project is the best place to start. What will be your measure of success? It may be units sold, visitors to the site, sign-ups, or anything else that can be measured.
Getting to know your audience
All customers are not alike, which means they may not all want to see the same content. Take advantage of Google analytics and sales insight to develop customer avatars or personas. This will define your audience and inform your marketing decisions. The more narrow your target, the better you can target and speak specifically to them in a relevant way. Remember, when you try to talk to everyone, sometimes you reach no one. Your goal is to create content that appeals to and engages your most valuable audience. What is their pain point? What will they relate to? How can you make them take action?
Hone your message
Make your message as clear and concise as possible. Again, don’t try to tell everything in one video. Choose the one message that best serves the goal of this specific video. Are you selling a specific product, trying to send viewers to your site, or introducing your brand. Don’t underestimate your viewer and assume you need to explain every little detail in a preamble. Start the story in the middle getting right to the meat. Focus on the “why” of your product or service. Why does it matter to the viewer? What’s in it for him? Most important, be clear on what you want the viewer to do after watching the video. Be sure to tell them by including a prominent call to action.
Be realistic about your budget.
The more specific you are about the video’s goal, the easier it will be to set your budget. This needs to be done early on. You do not want to produce a low-quality video that represents your brand poorly. So be realistic, and stick with your budget. A good production company will develop concepts that meet your goals but still stay within your budget.
What now? Create a strategy for your video content
Every video needs a strategy behind it. This includes whether you produce it in-house or externally, how you will distribute it and where you can repurpose it and use it across multiple platforms.
Write your video production brief.
Summarize all of the items above in a video production brief. Like any creative brief, it will include your objectives, target audience, what you want from the audience, your messaging, and budget.
Develop your creative concept
How can you best convey your message? This is the idea or concept for your video. It will usually come from your creative team or outside agency once they know the project objectives.
The perfect script
A compelling script should be transparent and feel honest. It should establish you as an expert and your brand as trustworthy, so don’t overstate or use hyperbole. The creative approach or concept will inform the script. Above all, stove to be genuine, authentic, engaging, and concise.
A storyboard is a great way for all involved to visualize a project. It is merely a sequence of images or drawings that show the shots that will make up your video. It will be a great tool in helping plan the shoot, establish the budget, and create your schedule. You’ll be thinking about locations, shots, lighting, and more.
Load your best 8 seconds first. The average attention span and many viewers will not stick with you. So try to frontload your most important and most engaging content to pull in the viewer. And choose the right length based on video purpose and platform. Shorter videos have better engagement. Videos of less than 60 seconds have a 68% chance of being viewed to the end, while a video over 20 minutes will only hold 25% of viewers.
Plan the shoot
The storyboard is your first step in creating a shot list for every scene. Your list will be a detailed schedule of locations, camera shots and angles, lighting, actors, special effects, and more. This is your blueprint, and pre-planning is essential to keeping you on track, on budget, and on schedule.
Your list might include:
Scene number, shot number, locations, shot descriptions, action and dialogue, props, and other notes. Your production schedule can be developed from this. Your production schedule will contain everything about your shoot and needs to be maintained and updated each day.
Once the shoot is completed, editing begins. Your editor will pare down hours of footage to the best final takes. They may also use B-roll to supplement their shots. The editing includes audio mix and soundtrack, voiceovers, and any special effects.
An often overlooked step is setting up analytics and analyzing the results. Set up your analytic tools and check them on an ongoing basis. This is an opportunity to adjust and revise for the next time or add or reduce spending on the distribution.
Video is the fastest growing online marketing. Consider adding it to your marketing mix today. Speak with a full-service agency like C&I Studios to see how they can help you plan your video production and integrate it into your marketing plan.