[CHECKLIST] How to make a cool video that will catch your viewers’ attention
Video is the future of content marketing.
Without it, your marketing will only be a shadow of what it could be, because video:
- Gets more reach
- Creates a stronger (emotional) relationship between your company and viewers, customers, and users
- Communicates information more effectively
- Can be shared in social media
Plus, shooting costs have been drastically reduced, so you no longer need a ton of money to make a punchy short film.
If you feel like making a video but don’t have enough experience, go through this 30-item checklist.
That’s how we start: careful planning
- Plan ahead
Without the right foundation, you won’t be able to make a good video without missing a few critical steps, as there is a good chance that something will go wrong somewhere.
Filming, preparing, and editing the finished material is always stressful, and it’s full of moments where everything can slip and go out of control. You can minimize this risk only with careful planning.
- Determine your business purpose and your target audience
What kind of video do you want to make and where do you want to distribute it? Do you want an introduction video, a brand video, a product commercial? B2B or B2C? Who will watch the video?
Here are popular 8 video types you can use in your campaigns:
- Demo Videos
Demo videos showcase how your product works — whether that’s taking viewers on a tour of your software and how it can be used or unboxing and putting a physical product to the test.
- Brand Videos
Brand videos are typically created as a part of a larger advertising campaign, showcasing the company’s high-level vision, mission, or products and services. The goal of brand videos is to build awareness around your company and to intrigue and attract your target audience.
- Event Videos
Is your business hosting a conference, round table discussion, fundraiser, or another type of event? Produce a highlight reel or release interesting interviews and presentations from the gathering.
- Expert Interviews
Capturing interviews with internal experts or thought leaders in your industry is a great way to build trust and authority with your target audience. Find the influencers in your industry — whether they share your point-of-view or not — and get these discussions in front of your audience.
- Educational or How-To Videos
Instructional videos can be used to teach your audience something new or build the foundational knowledge they’ll need to better understand your business and solutions. These videos can also be used by your sales and service teams as they work with customers.
- Case Study and Customer Testimonial Videos
Your prospects want to know that your product can (and will) solve their specific problem. One of the best ways to prove this is by creating case study videos that feature your satisfied, loyal customers. These folks are your best advocates. Get them on-camera describing their challenges and how your company helped solve them.
- Live Videos
Live video gives your viewers a special, behind-the-scenes look at your company. It also draws longer streams and higher engagement rates — viewers spend up to 8.1x longer with live video than with video on-demand. Live-stream interviews, presentations, and events, and encourage viewers to comment with questions.
- Personalized Messages
Video can be a creative way to continue a conversation or respond to someone via email or text. Use a webcam or phone to record yourself recapping an important meeting or giving personalized recommendations. These videos create a delightful, unique, and personal moment for your prospects and can drive them further down the purchase journey.
- Decide where you will distribute the finished material
YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook? Will you distribute it as a DVD? An excellent video can also fail if the creators don’t know how they will reach their audience.
- What message should the video tell?
What do you want to say with the material? How much cheaper, better, more experienced are you than your competitors? There is no right or wrong answer, but the message is likely to be heavily influenced by your marketing strategy.
Make a video that is in sync with your other marketing activities.
- Determine the length of the video you want
A sales video is usually 30 to 90 seconds long, while an introductory film can be longer. The length and content determine the time of creating the video.
For example, a 15-minute video that takes places in multiple locations is almost impossible to record in one filming day.
- Write down what your resources are
What are your options?
Where can you film (for free, or does it require permission), who can help you within a company or circle of friends (don’t be afraid to pay if you want a quality job done)? Who will edit the finished raw material into a final video?
- Decide what budget you want to work with
Do you already know how much you are spending on the video and how much you spend to show it to your audience? If your audience is relatively small, it’s not worth spending a lot of money on it.
For example, if you show the video(s) in your waiting room and there are almost a hundred people who will sit there and watch it every day, it is good to have the finished material with a crystal-clear message that is enjoyable to watch. Even without sound.
- Make a script (you will not start building without a layout)
Every part of the scenario should support your business goal and make your message clear. The most effective way is to use clear and concise language.
- Ask pros (film screenwriters, copywriters, film editors) to check the final script and discuss it with you
This will tell you how much it reflects your business purpose and whether you still need to make changes. More eyes never hurt, and the professionals might notice something you don’t.
- When the script is ready, make a storyboard
The point is to visualize the finished video somewhat: what kind of imagery and scenes do you need to record, how long will it be, and who will be on camera?
- Collect the footage that is already available
What stock photo or stock video do you want to use? What previous recording would you like to include? Also include this in the storyboard and indicate whether the image or video is free, or if you will have to buy it.
- Write down who and what you need to shoot and what it will cost (schedule and budget).
Crew, main character, other actors, tools.
- Ask a cameraman
Or anybody who can use a camera, video recording device, and microphone so you won’t have to worry about the picture and the sound. They don’t necessarily have to be professionals – it depends what budget you are working with. For a bigger budget, get a pro.
- Select a day when shooting can take place
It might not work for everybody, so decide on your priorities.
- Check with the cameraman
Take them to the place where you will shoot the video, and give them time to get to know it very well. The angles, the lights and shadows, everything they need. If you skip this step, you might end up with poor results due to lack of preparation. Or longer a production time than you expect.
- Make a list of the supplies you need and get them preferably at 5 working days before shooting
If you are shooting offsite, such as in a rented or public location, make arrangements for available time and necessary permissions. Shooting offsite is usually the most complex, which is why most companies shoot at their own location.
- Remember, the list price is a guide price only
Don’t be afraid requesting a discount on a large order or a shoot for several days. For example, you might get a camera for a week, paying only 3 days.
- Checklist Within Checklist: What tools do you need?
- camera (with lenses)
- camera stand
- lighting system with racks
- microphone (with stand)
- portable digital voice recorder
- extra batteries
- memory Cards
- external storage
Whichever interface and distribution method you choose, always keep quality in mind. Today, it’s not worth creating a video without full HD and quality sound. It should not be filmed.
- Write a DISPO
DISPO is “Display Interactive System of Orbit Planning”. We call it a daily schedule (for example, who, what time to arrive, and what is needed, where the filming will be), and send it in advance.
- Prepare for the worst shoot
Don’t plan for the ideal shoot. Build in enough breaks, because if the shooting starts to slip, you will just end up rushing. It is very difficult to pay attention to quality in such cases. Creating a good video is not done with just a few minutes work.
- For a long shoot, provide food and water
Order food for yourself and your crew, because nobody can work well with an empty stomach. And there is nothing more unpleasant than the growling belly.
- Don’t rush the settings, and let the cameraman work
It may seem slow, but it takes time to compose the perfect picture. It’s not a two-minute job.
Best of all, you leave the whole thing entirely to the cameraman, who, if you know the concept, will do a good job.
- Always back up and copy the data stored on the cards to external storage
Not only at the end of the shooting, but also during the lunch break. The reason is very simple: the devil never sleeps, and the raw material is everything. If you lose it, you will have to start all over again.
- Script: Take notes of what you have recorded and comment on the various recordings
For example, if you know that one of the segments was not good, mark it. During the editing, you will thank yourself.
- Use a system in post-production
Make a system for yourself and follow it. Keep your raw materials in the same place (such as external storage, folder) and always back up.
- Editing the raw footage is a blessing
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just make a rough version of the material quickly, because it’s easier to polish afterwards than to look at a blank timeline.
- Use professional software
Premiere Pro for editing, After Effects for polishing. Or Camtasia. A number of tutorial videos are already available on YouTube on how to use these software tools.
- When you have an acceptable version, test it with a small group of people
Show the finished material to those you trust (most likely they will be your colleagues, not your friends). Ask if the video is understandable, or if they see something odd, and ask them to tell you if something is missing.
- Use affordable (but legal) music backgrounds
- Make a punchy headline and avoid stupid fonts
(for example, Comic sans).
- When saving the movie, we recommend the following parameters:
- For video, H.264 codec, 1920 × 1080 resolution, 24 or 30 frames per second, minimum 20 mbps bitrate
- For audio, 44.1kHz or 48kHz (usually the default setting is appropriate).
Although video-making is a profession (and you will probably need the help of a pro), you will quickly get into the process when you start doing it. This checklist will help you save time and get a good quality video without headaches.
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