The Complete Guide to the Corporate Video Production Process
In this guide we’re going to take a step by step look at all of the stages of the the corporate video production process. Video production can involve lots of moving parts but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of the time it’s about knowing what to exepct and what questions to ask.
So lets start at the very beginning.
Making the Case for Video
If you head up a marketing team or you deliver marketing services for your clients then it’s quite possible that at some point you’ll need to make the case for video as a part of that marketing mix.
In order to get CEO’s and senior team members on board you’re going to need to demonstrate the purpose and the value of using good quality video content.
A decent video company is going to be able to help with this part of the process by supplying case studies and examples of successful work that are going to help you illustrate your case.
Return on Investment
Beyond that there are several factors which are useful to think about, here are three things that will help get the right people on board
- If it’s made well video can often have a good shelf life of up to 3 years. Some of our clients have run paid seasonal campaigns for three years in a row with the same piece of content. Or another way of looking at it is that you could invest steadily over several years and build a library of evergreen content that you can keep cycling on multiple channels to stay front of mind.
- Video is a rich form of media, that means you can pull it apart and use the elements in several different ways. The audio can be transcribed, the video can be converted to stills and longer videos can be re-edited into short social media content. We all know how hungry social media audiences are and repurposing your content in this way gives you multiple assets from one investment.
- Good video is seen as a premium marketing strategy. Like Hagen Daz or iPhones. When you market with video you are adding credibility to your brand and telling the world that you’re a company that takes itself seriously.
Production Company vs Freelancer (Videographer)
These days there are plenty of professionals to choose from, some work independantly and some as teams. Which you choose depends on how complex your project is and how much you want to be involved.
If you need someone to come and film an event for a few hours or edit a few simple clips then a freelancer might be the right choice.
Some production companies may be able to offer you an hourly rate for small jobs, so check. But larger companies will usually want to focus on larger projects.
If your project requires some thought and an understanding of audiences, marketing and platforms, then a more experienced production company will be worth the extra investment.
When it comes to choosing the right video company, make sure they’re asking you the right questions. They should be asking you what your objectives and aims are, and advise on what type of content best suits those aims.
When you hire a professional video company you’re hiring an experienced team that can look after the entire process for you.
Hiring a freelance camera person is the equivalent of hiring a catering firm for a wedding, where as hiring a production company is like hiring a wedding planner who will organise all of the elements and get things done for you.
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When it comes to making decisions in any process it’s really important to limit the number of voices that are involved. That’s quite obvious when it comes to practical matters, if you’ve ever tried to organise a day out with 10 other people you’ll know how complicated it can get.
The same is probably even more important with any creative process. Good ideas can quickly turn into average ideas when too many people are given influence over them. Abbey Road was written by four people, had it been 40 people the results would have been quite different.
So to avoid this it’s really important to keep communication channels simple and clear. If you can report back with creative drafts to one or two senior team members it gives the project a much higher chance of success. And importantly that efficiency of communication it’s going to help keep it on budget too.
Remember: if you’re hiring a video team to help you, their objectivity and creative experience are why you’re looking outside of your own company to get things done. So it’s important to make use of that.
Planning & Pre-Production
Whenever you create video content you’re investing your time as well as your marketing budget so it’s really important to allocate a chunk of that time for researching and planning your project. This is going to give the video the best chance of success and make the most of your investment.
If you’re experienced in marketing you’ll be familiar with some of these ideas but it’s useful to view them in the context of a video project.
So firstly who is your audience? That can be a simple question of demographics like age and gender but it also filters down to social channels. Where do they hang out and what are the requirements of that social channel or platform? The answers to this question might determine how the video content is prepared and delivered.
Next up what’s your objective? Are you driving traffic to your website? Are you looking for broad brand exposure? Are you educating a smaller number of people?
Often these questions are connected to the buyers’ journey or funnel. It’s important to understand at what stage you are talking to your audience with the video content. If it’s for a paid social media campaign to attract attention you need your video to be engaging and snappy, but if it’s content for your website then people have already found their way to your site when they’re watching it, so it’s a warmer lead and you can spend longer telling your story, or helping them make the right decision. You can also use video through the sales and post sales process, again this type of video is different in both style and content.
Once you’ve established those key answers you can start to look at the creative and strategic components of your video content. This is a good time to do some competitive analysis and a decent video production company will be able to help you source ideas from great content and study competitors videos to find gaps in the market.
From there they prepare a full creative brief and cost it accurately. For more information about budgets and costs watch our Budgets video via the link below.
When you’re working on a video project for your company, the production (or filming days) can feel a little nerve wracking, especially if you haven’t done it before. Rest assured this is going to be resolved with meticulous planning. The production company’s project manager is responsible for organising crew, locations, permissions and all other logistics related to your project. They will have everything covered and checked off (twice over).
If you’re using actors, the project manager will source and arrange all of the talent. We have a pool of agents and actors that we trust and work regularly with.
When it comes to interviews the subjects should be pre-arranged and prepared. Ideally your production company will work with you to select interviewee’s that are articulate and camera confident. So we recommend that the director on set conducts the interview, that’s going to mean they can extract the answers in the right way and make sure everything works when it comes to the edit. A good interviewer will also be able to put people at ease and help them open up to the camera.
It’s always nice to see clients on set or location, but it’s certainly not a requirement and if you’re happy that the pre production has gone smoothly you can let your production company get on with it if you prefer.
If you’re intending on using office premise for a location, you need to make sure there is a suitable quiet space for interviews if necessary. Also make sure all staff and security have been informed of the shoot.
Production crews can vary in size, a simple interview with a CEO might only take one camera person. More complex interviews or projects with multiple contributors might require a team of two or three. Projects for broadcast TV could be ten or fifteen strong.
But most camera crews are fairly small and nimble these days, it’s worth checking with your company so you know what to expect on the day and to make sure they know what the available space is.
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Editing & Publishing (Post Production)
Tracking results and measuring success should be at the forefront of any good video company’s agenda nowadays, so make sure you are having this conversation with them from the outset.
Once a video project has been filmed the production company should be able to make a good start on the edit based on the plans generated in the pre-production process.
Revisions are a part of any editing process, essentially you’ll get a draft of the edit when it’s close to completion and at this stage you’ll be able to feedback and request changes to the structure or elements of the film. These changes should be part of the agreed budget but they are limited in terms of how much is possible. So removing a few lines or changing the order of something is very simple. Adding a new interview or changing the location is going to require a new shoot and subsequent revision of the budget.
Once the core film and accompanying social edits and assets have been completed it’s time to publish your work. Measuring the impact is a crucial part of the success of the video.
So have you got your Google Analytics set up? Do you have a Facebook Pixel installed? Have you got a social media campaign set up to broadcast the content regularly?
Remember only a small portion of your audience will see the film when you post it in social so think about using automation to post it regularly across multiple channels when you launch it. Don’t worry about it being seen twice. We watch adverts over and over again on television everyone is used that.
Once you’ve released your video collate all the feedback and data and review it’s success so that you can feed that learning into your next video project.
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