When creating great marketing video content, attention naturally falls to the quality and creativity of the video production company – and they are of course vitally important.
But a production company can only work with what it is given. To create impactful videos that will achieve your communication goals, they need a clear creative brief.
Writing a brief is probably the most underrated step in the whole video production process, and it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. You’d be surprised how often people realise, when it comes to writing their creative brief, that they don’t actually know what they want.
It’s worth spending time to get it right. Video can solve many business problems – whether that’s the need to increase brand awareness, connect with customers or employees, generate sales, or cultivate your employer brand – but the people making the video can only do that if they understand those problems first.
Here’s what you need to include in your video brief (though if you’re really strapped for time, we’ll let you copy ours – just don’t tell anyone):
What are you trying to say to your target audience?
Boil it down to a paragraph. Zero in on your most important messages (we recommend no more than three), and then strictly prioritise them. Depending on the length of the video, you may not be able to get them all in, and that’s not a bad thing – very often a single, clear idea will have much more impact than several competing ones.
Why are you saying it?
Be upfront with your objectives and how you’re hoping video production will help achieve them. It could be to generate customer buzz for your latest product launch, encourage sign-ups to your newsletter or increase followers on social media – be as specific as possible, and explain succinctly how this objective fits in with the broader business strategy or project.
How are you going to measure whether it’s worked?
Videos aren’t exempt from the old management rule that only what gets measured gets done. Your goals should be clear, quantifiable and realistic – vaguely suggesting ‘we want the video production to increase awareness’ is about as bad as ‘we want the video to deliver six million app downloads on day one’.
Who are you saying it to?
Define your target audience. As with every other aspect of the video brief, detail helps. What age are they? Where do they live? What job do they have? What matters to them? All of this will affect video production choices from the soundtrack to the actors. If you have distinct audience segments, it may be that multiple videos tailored to these segments will be more effective.
What do you want them to think/do/feel?
Your target audience has just watched your video with its finely-tuned messaging. Now what? In support of your overarching goals, your audience will need to be moved towards thinking (‘product x could be good for my husband’s birthday’), feeling (‘your brand is cool’) or doing (‘I will buy product x’). Think through what calls to action could support this.
Where are they going to see it?
Video is deeply contextual. Your message will look and feel very different in a 16-second TikTok video than it would in a 45-minute deep dive on YouTube. This has deep implications for everything from format (mobile videos need to be responsive and have readable captions) to scripting (videos on social channels can’t rely on narration as feeds default to mute). Connect it back to your audience – where are they most likely to be, and what are they doing there?
Who are you, anyway?
An awkward question, ahem, but quite important for a video production company to know. This goes beyond the standard About Us spiel. What’s your brand identity? What’s your tone of voice? How do your customers see your company? How are you different from your competitors?
What ideas do you already have for your video production?
You’re engaging a video production company because you trust that their creative skills and experience will deliver a more powerful video than you could do yourselves. But that doesn’t mean you can’t suggest ideas. It may be that you want employees or executives to feature as talking heads, or have locations available for filming – let (us) the video production company know. Your video brief can overview key links, examples, story ideas, or video content. Get in touch.
When do you want it?
Clearly, you’re unlikely to get a masterpiece at 48 hours’ notice – but the best video production companies have access to resources to deliver on a tight deadline if needed. Being upfront also enables you to find out right at the beginning if your time frame is feasible.
How much do you want to spend?
Another area where being upfront can save a lot of time later on. Giving a realistic budget allows you to open the conversation about what you can achieve, and how best to meet your objectives. There may be more economical options for video forms that you haven’t thought of; alternatively, multi-video campaigns targeting different audience segments may give you a better ROI if your budget allows.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to write your creative video brief and get moving. For a pro tip, try to keep your brief brief: while it’s true that the more informed your video production partner is, the better job they’ll do, any more than about two pages is probably too much info at this stage.
Similarly, try to avoid being too rigid in what you request. It’s a bit like commissioning an architect to build you a house – if you think you know house design better than them, you may as well just do it yourself; if you want the best results, see it as a partnership where you both bring a uniquely valuable service to the table.
See where your video content can take your company.
Get in touch or…
Click here to download a copy of Wooshii’s video production brief.
Wooshii is an innovative video production company with the capacity to create video anywhere in the world, in any format, using a talent network of over 16,000 plus experts. Wooshii works with world-leading organisations across multiple industry sectors to enable consistent and reliable video production at scale, supporting a wide variety of internal and external marketing and communication functions.
Need help devising your video strategy or perhaps want to discuss your productions needs, give Wooshii a call today.