Video Production Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide

February 20, 2022
February 20, 2022 Zee Dichev

Did you know that 87% of businesses are currently using video as part of their marketing strategy? Video advertising is a huge opportunity to promote your brand, relate to, and engage with your audiences.

However, making video content can seem overwhelming if you have no experience in film production. In this article, we touch on a very simple structure that will help you if you consider incorporating promotional videos within your content. Continue reading for a step-by-step guide on the video production process, video production tips, and how you can get started today!

Pre-Production

If you’re new to film production you may not know how to make video content. It’s important to understand that there are three stages to video production. The first stage is pre-production, the second stage is production, and the third is post-production.

In the pre-production stage, most of the planning takes place. All of the intentional planning before the shoot will save you time and money in the end, so don’t skip over it!

Objectives

When building business video content, you first want to set clear objectives for the video. What do you hope to gain from creating this video? By setting these specific objectives, you’ll be able to understand what success looks like for you and your team.
Are you using video advertising to drive traffic to your website? Gaining awareness around a new product? Think about what actions you want your customers to take.
Remember that many marketing initiatives fail due to poor planning and understanding of ROI. This is why it’s important to start with your objectives right away.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what your objectives are, think about the problem you’re helping your customer solve. You can also try using the SMART technique to help identify your goals.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Script/Storyboard

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The next step in the pre-production stage is to develop your script and create a storyboard. Even with short videos, scripts are important to help plan and outline the shooting of the video ahead of time.

A script should be engaging, informative, interesting, easily digestible, and conversational. You’ll want to write a script as if you’re speaking to someone in person about your brand. The script can also include key elements of the video including location, props, actions, and actors. A team member from the writing, creative, or marketing department should lead script development.

A storyboard helps to visualize the actual video and is usually led by a member of the design team. Storyboards are drawings or images of each sequential scene in the video. Some film productions will also use a scamp instead of a storyboard. A scamp is a higher-level version and simply gives inspiration to what the look and feel of the video will be.

Remember that your video content is branded content. Make sure you tell a story in your video instead of advertising your product and/or service. This will help your customers better relate to your video.

Budget/Schedule

Once you have your story laid out and planned shot for shot, you can begin creating your budget and schedule. Budgets vary from company to company, but it’s important to keep your objectives in mind. While you develop your budget be sure to include the equipment and labor costs you’ll need for the video.

Create a schedule that leaves room for re-shoots if necessary. A schedule will also include scouting locations, the time it takes to get certain licenses if necessary, finding studios, etc. If you’re working with a video production company, they should take care of these logistics.

Crew/Talent

The last piece of pre-production is acquiring the talent and crew necessary to shoot the actual film. Depending on how involved the production will be, you may need to hold auditions for certain roles. If it is a smaller production, involve your co-workers! Invite your team members to be a part of the video for your brand.

Production

Now that the pre-planning is complete, you can start the production stage. If you don’t know how to make a video, follow this quick guide on what happens when the director says “action”!

Shooting the Video

The production stage is meant for professional videographers and directors. Directors will direct the talent and the crew to make the video you created from your storyboard and script. They will also be in charge of making sure the shots look great with the correct lighting and colors.
The storyboard and script will also help inform the videographers of what b-roll (extra footage for editing) they’ll need to get. They will also have more insight into which camera angles are best for each scene.

All of the planning you did in the pre-production stage will directly influence the production. If you’ve done your job in preproduction then shooting the film should go smoothly.

Post-Production

Once the filming is done it’s time to move onto the final post-production stage. This stage is meant for the editing process, adding any additional special effects and music, and distributing and promoting your film.

Edit Film

Editing your film should be done by a professional editor. They will know how to take the many hours of footage and select the best takes to use in the final video. They will then use their skills to cut the film together according to the script and storyboard you laid out in the pre-production stage.

The editing process will make it so your core message shines through the video. Once the film has been put together cohesively, you can then think about adding any additional special effects or graphics.

Add Special Effects and Graphics

Sometimes, you may want generated graphics and other special effects to help your video come to life. This could include animations, CGI (computer-generated imagery), or any overlay text.

Remember that not every video needs these extra touches. Only add these in if it adds to your core message. It’s important to find the balance between adding too much and not having enough. Video production agencies will be able to help you strike that balance.

Add Music or Voice Over

Almost all videos will include a voice-over track and/or music. You can leave the musical choices up to your editor, or you can think of some ideas in the pre-production stage. Be sure when choosing the music that it complement’s your video’s tone and mood.

Remember that most music is copyrighted and will require you to pay to use it. However, there is free public domain music out there that you can use. Your editor will know the difference between both. If you want to purchase music be sure to add that to your original budget.

If you’re using voice-overs, remember to include closed captions in your video so it remains accessible to everyone. Also, be sure to include the voice-over script within your original script during preproduction.

Distribution

Once your edits are complete and you have your final video, it’s time to distribute it for the world to see! The most popular venues for videos include YouTube and Vimeo. You’ll also want to distribute it on popular social media sites such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and more, as well as your website.

All of these channels have different size formats for their videos. When your editor renders the video, be sure they have all available sizes so you can upload it to any channel you need.

Promotion

Now that your video is uploaded it’s time to promote it! Advertising your video will help you reach your original objectives. Video advertising can be done in a number of ways.

Use organic and paid social media to get your video in front of a targeted and relevant audience. You can also embed your video into your email marketing campaigns to reach your current audiences.
If you have a blog be sure to embed your video there as well. Optimize your video descriptions and metadata with your keywords to help you promote via SEO (search engine optimization). You’ll also want to include a CTA (call-to-action) within your description and promotional messaging.

Make sure that while you’re promoting your brand new video, you are using UTM tags to measure your traffic. You will also want to keep a close eye on your view count. YouTube and Vimeo both have great analytics that will help you measure the effectiveness of your video marketing campaign.

As much promotion as you do, you should be measuring the analytics just as much. Keep your ROI in mind! The analytics will not only help you see how well your video did, but it will also help influence any future video marketing campaigns.

Video Production

Video production can seem overwhelming. If this is the first time you’ve decided to embark on video advertising, you’ll want to go through each stage carefully and concisely.

Use the pre-production stage to plan as much as possible so your production stage goes smoothly. The effectiveness of the first two stages will also impact the post-production stage. Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want this video to be and to accomplish.

For more information on film production and how to get your project off the ground, get in touch with us today!

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