How to plan video content and prepare for a shoot

By: Christopher Fox

As digital marketing specialists we’ve seen video become an integral content-type, whatever the business, campaign, or audience. But how do you plan video content and prepare for a shoot?

Regarding Social Media Marketing, long gone are the days when crafting beautiful, on-brand messaging was enough. To ensure engagement in our posts, the accompanying content needs to catch attention and drive the audience towards an action.

Almost nothing does this as effectively, and impactfully as video content.

For some audience members, the long form written content on your website (whilst crucially important to ensure it’s optimised for search), may be digested more easily, effectively, and quickly if distilled into a video.

Written content can also be elaborated on, using video content as the vehicle, with the huge added benefit that videos embedded into websites tend to reduce bounce rate. Engaging users in your content and holding them on your website for longer periods of time, increases conversion and lead generation opportunities.

Regarding outreach, video can be used to turn an all-too-familiar “why on earth is this stranger trying to sell me something?” moment, into an “Ooh, well, at least this is a different approach” moment, as the recipient’s guard clatters to the ground, letting your message filter through.

Of course, we can’t talk about video content and neglect to mention YouTube.

Not only is YouTube an easy way to host your videos, so they can be embedded into websites or utilised in social media marketing and outreach projects, but the platform presents another audience-building opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

how to plan video content

How does your business begin producing video content?

We find that lots of business owners, interested in video marketing and the results they’ve heard it can produce, retire it to a list of marketing ideas they feel require considerable investment in both time and money.

If you have the available budget, investing in pro-shot video content could be a great use of funds, but the assumption that high-quality video content requires considerable budget is unequivocally false.

Allow us to also debunk the belief that a “techy type” is necessary to pull-off effective video marketing. Got an iPhone, or a run-of-the-mill action cam? Then you’re all tooled-up! No need for special hires, or dedicated budgets.

Now we’ve put your mind at rest, let’s get started.

Asking yourself the following questions will help you position and style your video content, as well as establish the different utilities of it.

  • Does your business market B2B or B2C?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What age are they? What type of people are they? What kinds of content do they consume?

Identifying your audience is your important first step. Are you selling products/services to businesses, or to consumers? How will this affect the tone, positioning and even the style of video content?

If your audience are professionals, how will you make your video content reasonable and appealing to them, whilst attracting and engaging them? How do you strike that balance between standing-out and alienating your audience?

If they’re consumers, what will your unique angle be to stand-out from the many businesses entering the video content arena? How is your business positioned?

  • What is your brand?

It’s crucial to bring your brand and style guidelines through to your video content, along with considering how your audience and the rest of your industry views you. Will your content be consistent with your ultra-professional image, or will you take a bolder, and more creative approach to make your messaging and content really fly?

  • How’re your competitors tackling video marketing?
  • How would you do things differently?

Benchmarking your content against that of your competitors is a great idea.
While it’s enormously unwise to copy the form, content, and style of your competitor’s video content, benchmarking will help you focus your efforts, find your unique style, and help you begin your video marketing journey with more effectiveness and direction, having no doubt seen some examples of “let’s not do it like that” video content.

how to plan video content

The practical planning of video content

Now you have a better idea of how you’ll position your video content, the style of it, the message/brand/image you wish to convey, and even a clear idea of the things you’ll avoid, it’s time to plan how your business will create and deliver video content.

  • Will there be a single individual creating and featuring in all video content?
  • Will there be multiple people within your organisation featuring in the videos?

These points are important to consider. Related to the previous benchmarking point, by researching a range of video content by similar businesses, in similar industries, with similar audiences, you’ll uncover practises you wish to adopt.

It’s also important the two questions above are considered in conjunction with:

  • Will you be producing different series of videos, each on a particular topic/service/product or type of messaging?

Will there be a different individual featuring in each video series? What will each person bring to their videos that is unique? Taking this approach with video content could help focus your future output, by helping gauge which series of videos, and the individuals featuring, engaged audiences the most, led to the largest number of conversions, or generated more leads etc. But it’s not essential.

  • Will you be recording your videos in a rough-and-ready fashion with an iPhone and basic, factory-loaded video editing software?
  • Will you be setting up an environment in which you can shoot videos in a consistent way, time after time, with backdrop, and perhaps audio equipment etc?

While either approach is valid, it’s important that a routine of good planning (which we’ll dive into further), regular video content creation and reviewing video analytics to gauge success/audience engagement is established.

Look out for part two of this blog, titled “Aligning video content with your marketing strategy” where we’ll explore aligning video content with your marketing strategy, and how to prepare an effective shot list. If you can’t wait to get started on your video marketing, get in touch via the form below.

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