Whenever we sit down with a client, we discuss how we can best tell their stories through video. A few common questions are universally helpful for those looking to produce a video, even though every organization would prefer to hear its story told differently. The following is a comprehensive list of the essential video production questions you should ask yourself before you begin your next project.
How Would You Describe Your Three Key Messages?
To ask the right questions during video interviews, do some research and understand what you’re trying to convey.
In many cases, companies fail to communicate anything valuable in one video. To successfully transmit the information to your target audience, you need to identify the most important aspects of your message.
To avoid information overload, we recommend coming up with three key messages for your video. First, be clear, concise, and inspirational. Then, write them down and use them as filters for all interview questions.
As an example, let’s say you want to communicate three key messages with a particular video:
- There’s a specific problem with how things are handled.
- Implementing our solution is easy with our representatives
- We provide the best solution on the market for that problem.
You should ensure that every interview question you come up with can be answered with one of these three key messages.
- There is a specific problem with how things are currently being conducted, which makes your product necessary.
- If someone asks, “Why should they choose you?” we are more likely to provide a solution than anyone else.
- We make it easy for people to begin using our service.
There is a strategy behind every successful video. There is a limit to how much information the human brain can process at one time. Showing up one day with a camera and microphone probably will not result in an outstanding video. Having a clear message is essential.
Why Is The Video Being Produced?
The most common request we receive is for companies to create a video on their website. Producing a video for your website is essential as it can convey the most information in the shortest amount of time. However, investing in a video goes beyond checking a box. As a result of this approach to video production, not only is the message confusing, but it is also difficult to measure the effectiveness of the video.
Write down a well-thought-out vision for your video that answers the question, “What are we trying to accomplish by creating this video?”?
Instead of “We would like a video to be posted on social media,” try “We would like to create a video that conveys the values of our organization and lends credibility to our work.”
Understanding the “why” behind your video will help you create more valuable, authentic, and versatile videos.
Do You Know Who Your Target Audience Is?
There’s a lot of talk about the audience because it’s essential! It’s easy for organizations to get caught up in what they want to be and what they stand for. So communication of those things is necessary, but it has to resonate with the audience they’re trying to reach.
Your self-promotion otherwise amounts to nothing more than pounding your chest.
Your video should be targeted to the audience you want to see it. Therefore, it is crucial to answering the “who” first before you move on to other aspects of your video project, such as messaging, graphics, visuals, editing, and even music selection. Here are some examples:
Messages about “taking care of what matters” and gentle editing might be appropriate for a video aimed at moms-to-be.
Using a hi-res product video, quick cuts, and energetic rock or electronic music is an excellent way to target mechanical engineers looking for tools and gadgets.
Think about the following questions when choosing what messages and video styles to use for your audience:
- Where are the viewers’ pain points?”
- Are my audience members decision makers, influencers, or neither?”
- What motivates my audience to watch this video?”
You can use these questions to understand better what type of video to create and how to craft a message that resonates with your target audience. In order to know who the video will be for before we even begin the video production process, we create buyer personas for our clients – fictional, generalized representations of ideal customers.
How Long Would you Like Your Project to Take?
The production of a 30-second video would be significantly enhanced if it only took 30 seconds. But unfortunately, it does not quite work that way. Therefore, it is vital to communicate your ideal timeline to your video team during the planning phase. By doing so, you can avoid missing deadlines as the project progresses.
There is a standard turnaround time for videos in every organization that produces or uses video production services. However, you can still achieve a faster turnaround time by simplifying the project scope if you need your video completed sooner. On the other hand, you may need some time to materialize a very complex and in-depth vision.
Is There a Budget for Your Project?
As with the video timeline, the complexity or simplicity of your video project will influence the final budget. Please ensure that your video team is aware of any specific budget you may have in mind.
Producing a video can indeed be costly. There is, however, a difference between all videos. To reduce the production costs of videos, it is important to remember that time, people, and equipment are the primary factors. It is possible to create a video that includes underwater footage, mountaintop views, and five different locations – just be prepared to spend more money. Perhaps a few short, high-level videos on your landing pages would be an appropriate use of video. It is beneficial to keep costs low by reducing the use of these resources.
It is important to understand that the cost of your video directly reflects the number of professionals required to execute the vision. If your story requires multiple cameras and multiple shoot dates, a multi-camera shoot, an audio technician, and a field producer will likely cost more. On the other hand, you will probably need to spend a little less on your budget if the best way to tell your story can be captured with one camera during one half-day shoot.
Does your Video Contribute to a Campaign or Strategy?
The use of video can be a great way to complement a goal-oriented campaign. Nonetheless, if your video is part of a larger initiative or strategy, make sure your video team is aware of your plans. A smart video company can help you gain a deeper understanding of the larger vision to maximize your efficiency.
With a clear blueprint of the information you are trying to capture, you can often extend your video shoot by just a few hours, resulting in more bang for your buck (and who wouldn’t want that?).
What are your plans for Measuring Results and ROI?
Do you want to drive video views? Demonstrations? Sales? What about donations? Depending on the metric, a different video strategy is required. It’s often about the bottom line in marketing – and understanding your success metrics can help shape the vision of the video.
Consider what would be required to make the video successful with your entire team. The metric may be the number of leads generated, views on YouTube, dollars donated, or a combination of these (Having your video production team work toward the same goal increases internal buy-in when implemented.)
If you seek more exposure, views or social media shares might be what you are looking for. In addition, to increase your lead generation, you may wish to add a call-to-action button at the end of your video that provides a link to a page where viewers can fill out a form in exchange for more content or a preliminary service (e.g., an eBook, a free consultation/assessment).
In addition to providing a framework for ROI, setting smart goals in advance will also give a direction for the whole project, from planning to execution.
What Emotion are you Trying to Evoke?
Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is to decide how you would like them to feel after watching your video. Engaging content makes people feel something, which is the job of the person who creates the video and its message.
If a specific audience watches your video on your website, through an email campaign, or at an event, what action do you envision them taking after the video fades to black? Your messaging, the visuals, and the overall tone need to reflect the general feeling you want to create, whether you want someone to reach into their pockets for tissue and chequebook or click the “buy now” button.
A study conducted by OkDork examined the 10,000 most shared pieces of online content and found that the most common emotions were:
- Awe (25%)‘Popular
- Laughter (17%)
- Amusement (15%)
- Joy (14%)
- Anger (6%)
- Empathy (6%)
- Surprise (2%)
- Sadness (1%)
- Other (15%)
It is unlikely that having your video shared online will be your ultimate objective, but the study demonstrates that different emotions resonate with people at different levels. So when creating your video storyboard, keep this in mind.
Are there any Specific Visuals That Should be Captured?
Though it’s important to consider any key events, scenarios, or people that would require scheduling during the video shoot before identifying specific shots and visuals to capture.
For example, suppose your manufacturing facility is the busiest right before the holidays. In that case, you may want to schedule the video shoot during that period to demonstrate the breadth of your capabilities.
In Whose Name Will the Organization Speak?
It is common for many companies to automatically turn to the C-suite when they are in need of spokespersons or characters for their company videos. The boss should not be used as the voice of a video, regardless of how photogenic or enthusiastic they are. In some cases, a CEO speaking into the camera can seem a bit stuffy since they often try to communicate too much in a short period.
In order to generate revenue, your CEO may give the audience the “wow factor,” but what you really want is the “trust factor.” It is vital to capture the essence of your organization, which is usually better communicated by those working on the ground floor. Your organization has contributed to improving someone’s life, so when they speak highly of your work, they speak from first-hand experience.
It is important to remember that your speaker does not necessarily have to be an employee of your organization. The best choice for your video content may be to hire a well-spoken client or a paid on-camera talent.
What Questions Should You Ask the Interviewees?
Video production requires the creation of interview questions. In the event that you are working with a video producer, ask them if they can assist you in creating interview questions. If you are making your video, craft a couple of questions for your subject.
Prepare five-pointed, open-ended questions in advance and send them to your interviewee. It is important to consider their perspective on the issue – what could they say about it that no one else could? Whenever possible, avoid closed-ended questions (i.e., questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”). Your next great sound bite may be hiding in the following answer, so listen for opportunities to ask a follow-up question.
It is essential to ask your interview subject not to memorize the questions – just to get a sense of them and how they might respond. You might veer off the script with follow-up questions if anything comes to mind during your conversation.
Is it a Good Idea to Script Answers to The Questions?
It is unlikely. A genuine, thoughtful response is what you are looking for, not a robotic one. It is usually the case that fresh, off-the-cuff answers will result in natural reactions and compelling sound bites unless your interview subject is ineloquent or uncomfortable with impromptu responses.
What Happens if they Don’t Get the Answer Right the First Time?
Since most video interviews will not be live, provide your interview subjects with the opportunity to retry if they misspeak or stumble during the interview. When your subject does not understand the question the first time, ask it again so they can respond naturally.
For some individuals, being on camera can be a challenging experience. Try asking your interviewees some warm-up questions rather than getting right down to business: rather than getting right into the topic of your interview, throw them some off-topic ice-breakers. An experienced video producer can make the interviewee forget that they are in front of a camera by making them feel like they are speaking with a friend.
What Will be The Location of The Video Shoot?
The location of the shoot is often determined by the story you are telling. Many of our photo shoots take place on location, whether at your company’s headquarters, industrial factories, or in beautiful outdoor settings. If you require studio space, you may be able to control lighting, use a green screen, or eliminate noise during your shoot.
Most organizations have limited options for where their video can be shot, mainly if it is intended to portray the company’s culture. However, when choosing a location for your video shoot, keep the following points in mind:
- Keep noise to a minimum. A sound bite can be ruined even by something as subtle as the buzz of a fan.
- Make sure your backgrounds are simple. Throughout your story, you should focus on your primary characters. Occasionally, it is acceptable to show work being done in the background – but this quickly becomes distracting. You should use background action sparingly for effect rather than as your landscape.
- It is better to have more space than less. An average video shoot requires a video producer, a shooter, multiple actors, a camera, lights, and audio equipment. It would be best if you avoided crowded conference rooms and offices. These things can crowd a space more quickly than you may have imagined.
As a general rule, we advise clients to select a location that accurately represents their organization while keeping the selection process as simple as possible!
Is it Appropriate to Correct Someone if They Say The Wrong Thing?
Giving your interview subject some time to complete the question is advisable. Whenever possible, do not interrupt your interviewee while speaking, even if they are off-topic, as you will risk taking on an opportunity for a great sound bite. It is only natural to react in response to the words we hear. That is okay – even preferred – if you try really hard to refrain from speaking.
After they have answered the question, if you feel that they have missed the point, you may take a moment to explain what you would like to discuss before asking the question again.
Can Anyone approve the Final Video?
Before you begin working on a video project, it is essential to identify who will be the key stakeholders involved in the review process and revisions. According to our experience, the CEO or a small group of marketing representatives will sign off on the proposal. To ensure you do not fall behind on your project schedule, you might want to add a few extra days to your project timeline if your company has many approval layers.
To avoid conflicting feedback, it is best to elect one person who will be responsible for all edits. This process can be simplified in order to minimize confusion regarding the importance of the revisions.
What will the Hosting, Distribution, and Repackaging Process of The Final Video be?
When planning your video, keep the end product in mind. Will it be hosted on YouTube? Would you like to link it to another video? Will it be posted on Instagram or emailed? Is it all of the above? The audio or graphics within the piece should convey this message to the audience.
Assuming what you already know, you can assume a few things about a great video:
- You likely have a captured and interested audience if your video is specifically designed for an event.
- When launching on social media, your objective is to capture your audience’s attention. Produce and publish a short, high-energy teaser of the full video on social media that links to the full video.
- To embed videos into an organization’s emails, you will need a hosting platform that allows embed codes to be seamlessly copied and pasted.
The production and editing of a video will differ depending on where it will be used. Throughout the process, consider what kind of end product(s) you want to achieve. Ideally, you do not want your video investment to be partially wasted because you did not plan how it would be used in advance.
Don’t Ask, “How Long Should We Make the Video?”
It is true that you do not wish to bore your audience with a 20-minute video about your culture. Additionally, you should not attempt to summarize your organization’s history and mission in an 8-second blitz. In spite of this, setting a specific runtime for your video ahead of time is not the best approach. Rather than determining the length of the video based on its content, let the content drive the length.
It is important to note that if your content is good, people will stick around and watch. If it is not, they will not!
The Next Question should be: How do I do this the Right Way?
While you can get a lot of insights from this process, in the end – you need a professional team to turn this ideal into a reality.