Creative, informative, and persuasive videos can be indispensable to your marketing strategy, as a well-executed video can help turn viewers into clients. If you’ve been tasked with creating a marketing video, asking yourself questions to direct your process can help you develop a strong creative strategy.
Although each video you create will be different from the next, you can ask many of the same essential questions for each video. Your answers to these 17 questions can help you tell a story that impacts your audience and drives them to take action.
The first key question to ask yourself before creating a marketing video is what goal you want to accomplish through the video. This question helps you establish your central purpose, which directs all subsequent decisions in the creative process.
Many professionals use an acronym known as SMART to develop goals that are:
A SMART goal makes it easier to establish and achieve measurable results. For example, your goal for creating a video might be to increase social media awareness for your new app. In this case, your SMART goal could be to “increase social media followers by 25% within the first month after releasing the video.” Because this goal contains a specific metric, a time constraint, and the project’s purpose, it fulfills the SMART criteria.
Your audience informs every part of your production process, so it’s important to know your audience and understand how to reach them. Think about what kinds of videos your target audience watches. For example, if you have a makeup company and your audience enjoys watching makeup tutorials, consider making this type of video to promote your new product. You can also think about the channels you can use to reach your audience, including specific social media platforms, to help you start brainstorming the best ways to promote your video once it’s out.
Stories are compelling because they introduce stakes, and information delivered in a story format is often more memorable. As you consider the storyline of your video, it’s helpful to define these storytelling elements:
Determining these storytelling elements before you start your video can help you start the process with a concrete narrative strategy, which can streamline your efforts.
It’s important to understand the timeline you’re working with before you start making your video, as this can help you break the process down into stages. Creating your own timeline based on the deadline you’re provided can help you communicate with collaborators and clients regarding realistic delivery dates.
Determining your budget early on can help you gauge what kind of video you’ll have the resources to create. By comparing your timeline against the video’s allocated budget, you can get an immediate idea of what kind of video you can make with the resources you have.
This question can help you start building a foundation of ideas for your video once you’ve established the relevant background information and technical requirements. If you don’t have any topic ideas yet, your team can carve out time for ideation. If you already have topic ideas, you can start narrowing down a main topic or focus based on what you know about your audience and your overall goal.
If you have the ability to determine your video’s basic format, think through different types of video—like an interview or an animated video—to choose the approach that best suits your top goal, target audience and storyline. For example, if your video is part of a promotional campaign for a toy store’s new collection, you could plan to create an animated video that appeals to young children.
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Marketing videos may be stand-alone pieces, or they may be part of a sequence of videos made to garner consumers’ interests in your brand or products. If your video is a stand-alone project, this may allow for more flexibility in creative direction. If your video is a piece of a larger project, you’ll want to make creative choices that are on-brand with the campaign’s message and blend seamlessly with the existing video content.
Understanding the video approval process can help you make sure your video meets your stakeholders’ expectations. The approval process may include an expectation for how many rounds of editing the video will go through and who will sign off on each stage of production. Knowing this information allows you to delegate tasks and communicate with the appropriate parties regarding each production stage.
Considering where your final video will debut can help you make important production decisions. For example, social media videos often utilize bold graphics and a fast pace to gain viewers’ attention, while videos embedded on product websites may work to provide more detailed information to the audience.
This question can help you understand how your video should impact its audience. When you know what emotion you’re trying to evoke, you can choose artistic elements like imagery and sound that appeal to this emotion. Connecting with your audience’s emotions is important because a successful emotional appeal can prompt them to take action, whether it’s making a donation, subscribing to your newsletter, or buying your product.
It’s important to know the expected duration of your video before you create it, as this can help you estimate how long the project will take you with the resources that you already have. Think about what duration works best for your video’s purpose and intended publication channel. For example, a social media video may be less than a minute long, but an embedded website video may be several minutes long.
The audio component of your video may require its own production process if you are recording voice-overs or commissioning music. As with other creative choices, your use of audio can both inform and persuade the audience, providing them with insight into your product or service while appealing to emotions such as humor, happiness, urgency, or fear.
It’s also worth considering the circumstances that may require you to update the video. Because well-executed videos can take significant time and resources to create, it’s useful to prioritize evergreen content and design choices. You might design the video so that any elements that may change in the coming weeks or months, such as mention of a promotional sale or use of the company’s current logo, can easily be edited out and replaced with new content if needed.
The video’s script solidifies the story and integrates other creative components such as audio cues. You might write the script yourself, enlist help from your company’s copywriters, or hire external writers. The script decisions you make may depend on your video’s complexity, budget, and timeline.
If you or your client already has a vision for the marketing video, watching the videos that inspired these ideas can help you replicate the original videos’ effects in your own project. You might note things like each video’s pacing, length, emotional appeals, and use of audio as you consider how these elements will work together in your own video. Consider creating a virtual vision board or using another organizational tool to note the other videos that you and your collaborators enjoy so you can easily refer to them throughout the project.
Establish your video’s key performance indicators (KPIs) before you begin working, as this helps keep your production process aligned with your desired goals. Your KPIs might be social media shares, click-through rate, or conversion rate. The goal is to know how you’re going to define your video’s success. You might use or modify the SMART goals you developed in response to a previous question to clarify your KPIs.
Knowing your video’s KPIs can also help you choose the right calls to action to place in the video. Including these appeals in your video can prompt your audience to take action—improving your video’s return on investment (ROI).
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