Video production is one of the most popular marketing tools in business today. However, it’s a pretty big topic that can seem overwhelming. Therefore, we’re are going to simplify it for you right now.
By the end of this article, we will show you everything you need to know about video production so that you can create high-quality videos that are sure to succeed.
We’ll start by looking at what video production is, types of videos, and what they are best used for. Then we’ll look at the equipment and the video production process, and finally, we’ll go over some tips for making your videos more engaging.
What is Video Production?
Video production is the creation of videos. It can be as simple as shooting a short clip on your phone or it can be an elaborate, multi-camera shoot with crew members, actors, location scouts, etc.
Businesses use videos for either internal purposes, like training and onboarding, or external purposes, like case studies and product demos. Any video content produced falls under the umbrella term ‘video production’.
What is a videographer?
A videographer is a person who specialises in video production. They are responsible for the production of a video product, from the filming of events to capturing footage and creating video marketing material. The term "cinematographer" is sometimes used interchangeably with "videographer."
There are three options to consider when hiring a videographer:
Hire one in-house - If you’re looking to make a lot of videos in the foreseeable future, then this option is preferable. You will be able to get a consistent style, look and feel. However, for complexity and variety, you may need more of an agency.
Hire a solo freelancer - This is great for one-off shoots or single events. It can save you money while getting the job done more quickly
Hire a video agency - When working across a range of video types, bigger productions and complex video shoots, this is your best option. It will cost more, but the results are worth it.
Why are videos important?
The best way to convince you that video production is important and that you need videos for your business is to show you the statistics.
Wyzowl launch an annual video marketing survey, and here are some of their recent numbers:
- 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
- 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
- 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
And then there are the average hours of online video watched per week:
The statistics prove that people love videos and are more likely to make a purchase after watching one. So not having videos will hurt your business.
Types of Videos
A company's founder or origin story tells how the company was founded. It can include why the business was started, who the founding members are, their motivations and the challenges they’ve faced to get where they are.
Company stories are created to build brand identity and humanise your company. These stories can help customers relate to your brand and help build trust. Your company’s story is unique, that’s why it needs to be in a video.
Onboard new customers, train new and existing staff, educate users or simply create a library of helpful videos to train people using your tools. The potential for training videos is endless!
Training videos include how-to’s, step-by-step instructions and demonstrations. They can list specific actions to be taken, or educate you on broader topics.
When done right, they can save your company lots of time and money in ongoing training. Particularly things that are frequently repeated, like onboarding new staff.
Showcase your product or service's amazing features and functionality. From initial launch videos aimed to generate hype, to brand videos, product features and demo videos to showcase to customers exactly what they’re purchasing and how to use it.
The sky is the limit for ways to get your product out there with product videos! They make your customers visualise using the product for themselves and can feel the benefits - making them automatically want to make a purchase. Check out these tips to get more engagement from your product videos..
Video case studies tell the story of how a customer was before and after they used a product or service to achieve success.
Storytelling sells and video case studies combine the power of storytelling with the power of showcasing real customer experiences and results. Great case studies take you on a journey and are emotional and engaging. Check out why case studies are important for your business.
The best testimonials come from the heart. They are descriptive and use evocative language, rather than just ‘this product is great, blah, blah, blah’. A great testimonial should have the customer:
- Describe how the product or service made them feel
- Talk about the results they gained before and after
- Give little details, nuances and unique experiences to them
Explainer videos are short, engaging videos that tell the story of a product, service or idea. They’re typically 2-3 minutes and have one clear message to deliver.
Great videos will tell the viewers what they need to know about your product in a way that is easy to understand, turning viewers into customers by answering their questions and helping them see how your product can solve their problems. Check out the advantages of an animated explainer video.
Videos for social media and ads
A video ad is a promotional video advertising your product or service. It can be anywhere from a 5-second preroll on YouTube to a 2-minute video on a website.
Great social media videos are short and sweet, hooking the viewer in during the first few seconds. You need to have a clear call to action, getting customers to click and pay. And NO extra filler material! They should be concise and keep customers glued to the screen.
Animation videos are a type of video that is created using computer-generated imagery (CGI). The animation can be done in 2D or 3D. Animated videos are a great way to reach a broader audience.
The power of animated videos is that they can be watched by people of any age. There is no language barrier and the videos can be watched at any time, making them a great marketing tool for brands.
The video production process
There are three phases to the production process. Pre-production, production and post-production.
Pre-production (off to the drawing board)
Before reaching the point of filming, you need to know what you’re filming. From the idea and script to the casting and location scouting, storyboarding, set design, and budgeting.
Production (Let the cameras roll)
This is when the actual filming happens. The crew or the videographer gets together and the camera starts rolling, capturing all the action.
Post-production (That’s a wrap)
Once you’ve shot the footage, you need to do something with it right? That’s where post-production comes in. Everything from organising, editing, colour grading, sound design and adding any graphics and animations. You will end up with a finalised video ready to publish.
Why are the individual video production stages important?
1. Preparation combats perspiration
Remember that feeling of walking into a test you didn’t study for in school? That relatable panic of being unprepared to accomplish your task is not something anyone wants to recreate.
2. You can’t fix an idea in post-production
If you start out unclear on your message and don’t develop a solid script and an actionable plan to execute it, you’ll put too much pressure on the post-production process to save your investment.
3. Teamwork makes the dream work
Video production is a collaborative process. What you do or don’t do can affect important steps integral to the completion of the project. When everyone has the same roadmap, everyone is heading in the right direction.
Phase 1: Pre-Production
Pre-production can be broken into two phases:
Stage 1 - Developing the concept
Where narrative film production starts with developing scripts, corporate video production starts by identifying target audiences and researching market goals.
Are you making a video to create brand awareness, generate leads and sell a product or educate and train customers? Is the video a stand-alone piece, or is part of a series? Is it part of a larger strategic campaign or is it singularly targeted? During development, you need to answer these questions and more, figuring out the who, what, where, why and how of your video production.
Development is the phase where you answer the following questions:
What are your objectives?
Why are you making a video? Who’s the audience? What do you want people to gain from watching it? Like any content, a video needs a goal from the very beginning to guide the project and measure its success
Who is your target audience?
A successful video knows who it’s speaking to. You need to know the common problems, questions and interests of your audience. What do they connect with, and how you can relate to them?
What is your core message?
Think about what your audience needs to do after watching your video and work backwards from there. What is the call to action? Is it to click a link, make a purchase, register for a call or simply subscribe to your YouTube channel?
Once you know what they must do after watching, determine what your audience needs to see in your video in order to take that action. This will become your core message.
How will you reach them and on what platform?
Where will your video be hosted? Where will people watch your video? Is it a post on Facebook, or an Instagram story? Or perhaps it's a TikTok or YouTube video? Think about the screen size and the ultimate duration to keep your audience engaged.
These decisions need to be made very early on.
Timeline & budget, what are your constraints?
It’s easy to get carried away thinking about visual effects, on-screen talent, location and music fees, equipment rental and production insurance. However, you need to be realistic. How much money are you prepared to spend? What time constraints do you need to meet?
Always Plan and Develop the video concept with the end goal in mind
Most importantly, after understanding your target audience, your ultimate goal with the video and budget considerations, what story are you telling with the video? What message are you hoping to leave the viewer with and how do you want them to feel? How will you measure if you’ve been successful?
Stage 2 - Creating the video brief
If you’ve done the hard work in development, the creative brief should be a breeze. It’s basically taking everything into account that you’ve identified as important for your strategy, be it corporate videos, narrative entertainment or video marketing and distilling it down into actionable goals.
Write your script
Make your script natural and engaging. Use easy language that is targeted to your audience and be as concise as possible. Your creative approach from stage 1 should heavily influence your script and your research should ground the message behind it.
Writing the script is about being detailed and specific. It’s not an outline. If it’s a testimonial or interview, write out the questions. If it’s a narrative, include the locations, descriptive action, characters and dialogue. Write all the visual and audio elements that make up the video strategy. It shouldn’t be complicated, but it should be thorough and definitive and it will probably take many revisions to get the script to a point where everyone on the video production team is happy.
Create your storyboard
Storyboards enable you to visualise how your video will look. From how your video will be shot, to what you’ll need to animate and if any footage or elements need to be sourced. It will help you translate your ideas into tangible, visual goals and identify any issues that could arise.
Add as much detail as possible. What subjects need to be where? What is the lighting like? How about colouring and framing? The level of detail is ultimately up to you and the type of video you’re creating. But the main goal is to have a plan of the shots you need to capture on shoot day.
Scout locations to film in
Assuming your video is live action, you’ll need to source locations and make plans for the filming day. If you need to film outside or at specific locations, you will need to attain permission ahead of time
You’ll need a camera, a microphone and lights as a starting point. Depending on where you’re filming, you may need power, more lighting, green screens, reflectors, multiple cameras or additional microphones. Refer to your storyboard and your shot list to make final decisions on what equipment you need.
By this point, you should know what type of video you’re making and whether you need to cast talent.
If your video needs a voiceover, think about the kind of personality and tone your target audience will respond to. If you need actors, what gender, height, aesthetic or culture do you need to represent? Do you know people who can fill the roles or do you need to cast a professional?
Schedule your shoot
Your plan is all laid out and all that’s left is to make a schedule for the day of filming. Organise the day around how much you need to film, the distance between locations and your talent's availability.
Locations, crew, equipment, talent, makeup and wardrobe, permissions and shot lists/storyboards to be locked in well in advance. The more prepared you are, the smoother the day will run and you’ll avoid having to reshoot and spend thousands of dollars on redoing things.
Phase 2: Production
There is now a plan, script and storyboard. Locations have been secured and any permits acquired. Actors have been cast, a crew hired and equipment attained.
The production phase is when all the hard work comes to life and the elements needed to produce a finished video are captured on camera.
Set up the lights and cameras
Your schedule should factor in setup time and the amount of setup will depend on how many locations you’re shooting in and how many types of shots you need.
Your storyboard will tell you ahead of time what kind of camera and lighting setup you’ll need. Depending on how elaborate your shoot is going to be, setting up the camera may be as simple as using a tripod or as complex as multiple camera jigs or building a crane. Either way, make sure you’ve scheduled enough time to set up.
Direct the talent
Directing talent and influencing the way they deliver the script is crucial. From voice tones to speed, dynamics and style. It’s up to you to capture the performance you need out of your actors to make it relatable to your target audience.
Get B-roll footage
While you should closely follow your shot list and storyboard, you should always try and capture more. Take the initiative to capture extra footage to cut away during the editing process. This may be shots of your location(s) from different angles, shots of the crew and talent setting up—anything that catches your eye and fits the theme of your video, including behind the scenes.
Phase 3: Post-Production
Post-production can be summed up as editing footage and mixing all sound, colour, captions and effects.
If it wasn’t clear already, then let me make it clear now. The more planning you do ahead of time, the easier this process can be. The post-production process involves stitching together the best shots, adding graphics, colouring footage and working on sound design. This is where your videos will really start to come alive.
Edit and post-produce the footage
Sort the footage and create a rough cut
The first step in editing is to compile the best shots and import them into video editing software. To make things easier, cut each clip down and dump them in a rough timeline. Group and organise B-roll footage and add markers on key statements. From there you can move the shots around and create a rough cut.
A rough cut is a preliminary or unfinished version of a video that can be used for feedback before the final edit.
Record a voiceover (if necessary)
If your video needs a voiceover, now is the time to get it. If you haven’t already, go and cast talent to find the voice style you’re looking for. Just like with actors, voiceover artists need direction. Make sure you’ve found a sound that appeals to your target audience and reinforces your core message.
Once you’ve got the voiceover file, insert it into your video timeline and sync it to the appropriate footage.
Good music can make or break your video. It’s the final element that can take your video to a whole new level. You can add background music to simply fill the space, cover any audio snips and simply keep people engaged.
Or you can use multiple tracks to create feelings and highlight different parts of the video. This can help tell the story and help the audience feel they’re progressing through the content. Just make sure your video is long enough for multiple songs - cutting between music in a short amount of time can be distracting.
And remember, music should complement your video’s tone and help communicate your core message.
Create the final edit
Editing is an interactive process. Once you have the rough cut, show people, ask clients' opinions and gather feedback. From there, you can keep refining and getting the edit right to make a final video worth sharing with the world.
Final edits should be cut to the music, matching the voiceover and getting the core message across. There is an art to video storytelling, and with practice, your videos can get better and better.
Include graphics, animated text and special effects
Graphics, animation and animated text can help bring your script to life by further emphasising key points and demonstrating core messages.
For example, you might want to include animated graphs or illustrations or show animated mockups of a product or service. Perhaps you simply want to talk over a screengrab showcasing where and how to use the UI.
There are a number of common graphics that occur on many videos:
- Animated lower thirds to provide the speaker's details
- Opening and closing title animations for educational purposes
- Captions and animated text to further illustrate ideas
You can be creative and push colours to become more abstract or perhaps black and white. Or you can make the process easier by using the auto-colouring features on video editing software. Whether you do it yourself or get a professional colourist to go through shot by shot, colour grading can reinforce your visual brand in your videos.
Remember, whatever you do, try to keep your colouring consistent with any future videos you make.
Distribute and promote your video
Render the video
The video edit is now complete and it’s time to get it out there. You’ll need to render the video in the appropriate format and aspect ratio.
Check out everything you need to know about sizes, resolutions and lengths of videos. For most platforms like YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn, the mp4 format is best. If it’s for Instagram posts, you need to ensure it's cropped into square or vertical video aspect ratios. If it's for Snapchat, Facebook or an Instagram story, it will need to be a vertical video. Online videos can be liked and shared, with the potential of reaching virality.
Publish, distribute and promote your video online
Distribution can involve sharing your video on social media, embedding it in an article, adding it to eLearning content, airing TV commercials, asking industry experts and influencers to share it, putting paid advertising behind it or sharing it via an email newsletter or your own YouTube channel.
However, remember that it should fit into the strategy you’ve previously mapped out, focusing on reaching your target audience in the most effective way possible. With the aim of getting the greatest ROI. Don’t go crazy buying ads if it will leave you over budget with no return.
Video production steps: summary
The video production steps are:
- Pre-production - Develop your idea, identify your message and plan all the elements for production. From script to storyboard and a shot list.
- Production - Capture and create everything you need
- Post-production - Edit and colour grade footage and mix all sound, captions and effects
- Distribution - Publish on multiple platforms
How to hire a video production company
Sure, you can do it all yourself, but you might notice that you want a little help with some or all of the steps in the video production process. Video production companies are the most popular and effective way to get in front of your target audience. They can help you by giving you a voice, telling your story, and showing your products in the best light possible.
If you’re looking for professional help with creating your video you have a couple of different options:
- Hire a local videographer
- Use a video agency
- Find a video production company to partner with
Start with a simple Google search for video production services and then check out their websites and customer reviews to understand what they offer and if they’re the right fit. Both with freelance videographers and video production companies, prices can vary widely depending on the type and scope of your project. Be sure to communicate exactly what you need and expect from your finished video.
Learn more with a comprehensive guide to what goes into the cost of video.
Video production is a complex process that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It can be challenging to produce videos on your own, but it is not impossible. With the help of this article, you will have the knowledge and tools to start your video production journey today and produce award-winning videos for your brand.
Start Creating Professional Videos for Your Business!
When creating a video, remember to be organised, do your research, and preempt as many of the complications as you can in the pre-production process. If you’re too overwhelmed, consider outsourcing parts of the process to professionals, especially when it comes to producing, presenting, shooting, directing and editing.
Video can take a lot of effort to produce. But if you organise yourself well, and have a focused strategy behind it, you’ll end up with a standout product that your viewers will love and share.
Create Professional Videos for Your Business!
TM Creates specialises in creating trust-building video stories that are both compelling and uplifting. With powerful, honest videos that illustrate your narrative, you can inspire your customers and build long-lasting relationships. To get started, click the button below.