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Video: How to Guide - Episode 1

The very first question to ask yourselves is: what would you like this video to achieve? Once this has been decided everything is worked back from there. Video is not a panacea to all ills. It can offer a fantastic visual representation of your message but if it’s direct response you are looking for, video will not always achieve it (however a later part in this series on interactive video will counter this argument!).

Your objective will allow you to offer a clear brief to your potential production partners. Your objective will also offer you guidance around the following:-

Style. Take a look around the internet, see what styles of video you, as a consumer, like. Put yourselves in the shoes of the viewer; what style of video is attractive? There are different types of camera work and editing styles that might appeal. Pick out some examples.

Tone. How would you like the message to be conveyed? Simple is often best but so is not over selling. Direct selling via video alienates potential customers. Take a broader view on how can you win people over. Humour, done well, is a fantastic way to engage your audience. Done badly and it becomes a bit embarrassing. How brave can you be?

Personality. This video will reflect on your business. The temptation is often to be conservative and that can come across as dull. Do you put a face to your film? Maybe a director, members of staff or an actor? Does it need anyone to front this at all? Will animation offer what you want to get across? It can work very well if the message is harder to explain.

Budget. A good film requires investment. To produce a rich and engaging film requires skilled technicians and writers. However these costs will still be a small fraction of producing a TV advert.

Distribution. Who do you want to see it and how are they going to see it? There are a number of video distributors that work with media sites to get video seen. But, at the same time, think about your own social channels and staff. With well thought through messaging and passion you will get the views.

Once these questions are answered it’s time to choose your potential production partners. There are many and some specialise in certain aspects of production. Look at their websites and examples of work. When you have decided, ask them to be visual with their pitch and ideas. If budget allows they can storyboard their ideas. Also what methods will they be using? What about the skills within the team?

Once you have decided on the work we go into pre-production. The production company will cover: scripting; locations; actors if needed; specialist production staff such as Director of Photography; Motion or After Effects graphics; sound engineers; planning and research. All boxes must be ticked. This is where you need to get all stakeholders to agree as this sets out exactly what will be produced for your company.

In Episode 2 we go to production. This will take a look at some of the people who can be involved in the film, their roles and why they may be important. Also we will be touching on some of the technology requirements.

Jon Westbrook is Co-Founder at