2 March 2016 Video learning

Marketer's Guide to the Corporate Video Production Process

How to Plan Your Way to Success

Using video for corporate messages is very powerful. The way to get the most out of your content is to plan for success before you even think about picking up a camera.

Skeleton have years of experience creating powerful corporate video & content marketing strategies for clients like Boots, Samsung & Experian

We can help you plan for success:

Tell us about your project or call us on 0845 003 7720

Guess what? Great video marketing isn't just about cameras and microphones.

It's mainly about planning, forethought, and a kick-ass strategy.

So here's where you're at: you need video as part of your marketing strategy, but aren't sure where to start.

Put down the camcorder and relax.

Whether you're:

I promise we'll get through this together.

This massive guide will walk you through, in detail, the 9 steps you need to take to achieve awesome things with your video content (or, how to stop worrying and learn to love video planning).

Plus, you can download it in the form of a free checklist to work through at your own pace.

Whether you're working with an experienced video agency (full disclosure: we are one) or a freelance filmmaker, or producing one piece of video content or many, the steps to successful video are always the same.

I'm going to show you the whole process from start to finish.

Ready? Let's jump in.


Warning: this post is pretty epic. To jump between sections, just use these links.

1. Video Objective2. Target Audience3. Core Message4. Video Strategy5. Video Production Brief6. Creative Approach7. Script & Storyboard8. Analytics & Hosting9. Market & Promote


Download the Video Production Process checklist


Icon for Video Production Process Step 1Step 1: Decide on Your Video Objective

What's the first step to doing anything in marketing?

Working out what you're doing it for. Your end point.

Surprise, surprise (or not really), it's no different with video.

Before you do anything else you need to come up with an objective for your video content. Why do you want video in the first place? What are you aiming to achieve?

Don't fall into the trap of wanting to create video for all the wrong reasons.

Here are some really, really bad reasons for wanting video (look, you're not a robot  they might be part of why you want video, but they shouldn't be the only reasons):

  • You just feel like you need video
  • You want to be able to show off to your friends and family
  • You're jealous because everyone else has video
  • You don't think your marketing efforts are really awesome until they include video

Why are these reasons so terrible?

Well, they're not firm goals. There's no way to measure your success against them, because there's no way to measure how much less jealous you feel or how much more awesome your marketing is with video (at least not objectively).

That means you're setting yourself up for failure before you've even started.

If you want to create video and your only motivation is one of those goals I listed up there, stop right now. Cramming your objectives into a video-shaped box is doing it all backwards.

Let's set you up for success instead.

Video is Form, not Content

You need to remember that video itself isn't content  it's form.

What the hell does that mean?

Well, content is basically what you want to say. Form is how you say it.

Video is just one way of getting your message across. You could also express that message through an infographic, some copy, or a funny GIF (effectiveness may vary per format).

That means video isn't limited to a certain type of content, message, or topic.

In other words, video is more flexible than a ferret doing yoga. You can say anything through video.

So rather than thinking: We should create a video! It could explain our services! it's better to think: We should explain our core services to potential customers! and then work out the best way to express that content, whether that's through video or otherwise.

It's good to work from content towards form. It's bad to do the opposite.Basically, start with your content first, rather than your form.

In practice that means you should know what you want to achieve and what you want to tell your audience before you even start to think about if video is the best way to get there.

Controversial? Maybe. But it's the right way to do it.

And that's why these first few steps of the video production process (AKA the planning) are so vital.

Okay. Let's move onto actually setting out your objectives.

i) Identify Your Business Situation and Issues

First, bust open a new Google or Word document. We're going to fill this bad boy with the reasoning behind your video objectives.

Your objectives are most likely to blossom naturally from a problem, weakness, or opportunity for your business.

That's why you may want to do an up-to-date SWOT analysis of your business first of all.

Whether you decide to go that in-depth or not, you need to ask yourself how your business and its marketing efforts are doing and where your strengths and weaknesses currently lie.

Go ahead and fill this into the template or your document.

Be as detailed as you can, but don't worry about getting every single thing down. This doesn't need to be War and Peace. It just needs to give an accurate view of where your business is at, where it's acing things, and where it could improve.

For example, you might note that your business is doing well at generating traffic to your site, but having a hard time converting that traffic into paying customers. Note it down.

ii) Pick Your Problem

Call me Ishmael, because it's time to find your own Moby Dick.

From the information you've filled out, decide which of the issues facing your business you want to try and fix.

(Or which opportunity you want to go after.)

Following on from the example above, you might choose to improve the poor conversion rates on your product pages. Whatever it is, write it down.

iii) Link it Back to Strategy

Now's the time to make sure your chosen issue fits into your overall business or marketing strategy.

Do you have any wider goals currently in place that your video content could contribute towards?

Hint: the answer should be yes.

You want to be certain that whatever videos you create tie into your bigger aims and are relevant to where you're heading as a business.

So write down which higher-level goals your video content will feed into.

For example, by tackling poor conversion rates you might be helping to meet your business goal of generating 200 new customers this year.

iv) Construct Your Objective

Okay, it's time to get that objective down.

Keeping your problem or opportunity in mind, turn it into an objective that will also help achieve your bigger goal.

Most importantly, you need to make sure your objectives are SMART.

That means:

  • Specific (not vague)
  • Measurable (ideally containing statistics you can track)
  • Achievable (realistic considering the circumstances)
  • Relevant (tied into your wider business goals)
  • Time-bound (within a set deadline)

So if you've got a bad conversion rate on one of your product pages, your objective might be:

To improve the conversion rate on our product page to 3% by March.

v) Specify How You'll Measure Success

This is something people often forget to do, but it's so key to track how your video content is performing.

Be sure to note down specifically what numbers, statistics, or video metrics you'll need to keep an eye on to see how and when you hit your objectives.

And use the exact figure that you're aiming to achieve, so there's no room for confusion.

In this case we would specify:

We track the conversion rate of our product page. By March we want to achieve a conversion rate of 3%, which is 2 percentage points higher than our current conversion rate of 1%.

Add this to your document too.

vi) Make Note of Your Stakeholders

Finally, write down anyone who might need to be aware of or sign off on your video objectives.

This might be a Marketing Director, the owner of the business, or your direct superior. Or all three.

Whoever will need to know, it's pertinent to start getting them involved now. That way you won't come up against any surprise roadblocks further down the road.

And if you're lucky enough to have sole control over your video content — leave this part blank!

Some Common Video Objectives

Okay, I've shown you the process you need to follow to come up with your objectives, but you might still be struggling for inspiration. Well, the truth is: video can be used to achieve almost anything.

At the end of the day your objectives are going to rely heavily on your marketing strategy and the overall aims of the business.

But to help get you started, here are some of the most common objectives for video:

  • Converting leads
  • Increasing sales
  • Improving user engagement
  • Raising brand awareness
  • Launching a new product or service
  • Providing customer support

Don't feel limited by these. Video content can reach any goal, if done right (and thank goodness that's what we're doing here).


Icon for Video Production Process Step 2Step 2: Research Your Target Audience

As a marketer, you know your target audience like a close friend you don't call often enough.

That's pretty lucky, because your audience might well be the single most important aspect of your video content. And you're going to have to get to know them even better to do this thing right.

If you haven't done enough research into your target audience, there's no way you'll be able to create video that appeals to them and engages them. That speaks to their heart.

In practice that means going way beyond simple demographics like age, gender and location.

It means getting to know your audience as people.

Reinforce Your Personas

You probably already have detailed marketing personas to represent your ideal customers.

We're going to build on this and make sure you have enough primary research to really pinpoint your target audience and understand what makes them tick.

First of all, let's do some digging into a few places you might not have thought to look before.

i) Quora

First, head over to Quora.com. Type your business offering, product or service into the Quora search bar.

This might take a few tries to get the most useful results, but keep going.

For example, if you sell analytics software you could try 'analytics software', 'tracking software', 'analytics', 'business analytics', etc.

A screenshot of Quora search results.Make note of the questions that seem like ones you could answer with your product, service or expertise.

(You should probably keep a list of them in a new document, as we're going to be adding to this.)

This gives you a great indication of two things:

  • The most common problems your target audience face that you can solve
  • And the way they naturally phrase and consider those problems

All of this is precious evidence towards how your audience think and what really concerns them.

ii) Reddit

Next we're going to delve into Reddit for some more real questions asked by real people.

Like on Quora, type your offering, product or service into the search bar to the top right of the page. You'll get results something like this:

A screenshot of Reddit search results.

Click through to any subreddits (the results at the top) or single posts (the results at the bottom) that look like they might have potential.

You can also click to view more of these results to squeeze yourself further down the rabbit hole.

You'll probably find better results from the subreddits, especially if you hit on ones that are tailored specifically to your industry or niche, but sometimes you'll get lucky with the single posts too — like the post from the Analytics Consultant I found above.

Scan through the single posts to find questions or comments that are interesting, and add them to your research document.

A screenshot of a Reddit thread.

Do the same with the subreddits. Here you'll be able to browse posts and click through any that you think could reveal more insightful questions or comments.

Be aware that most subreddits are a mixture of links to articles and personal posts.

You can spot the personal posts, which are more likely to be natural questions, because their title will be followed by (self.subredditname).

A screenshot of a subreddit.

Make sure you've got your finds noted down, because the next part is going to require actual human interaction (!).

iii) Interviews and Feedback

This is probably the most important step of the process, and hopefully you'll already have done parts of it before.

Now we want to get up close and personal with real people (who belong to your target audience) to ask them what their biggest problems are related to your offering, and how you can help solve them.

Here are some ways you can go about getting this information:

  • Take your customers out to coffee and conduct an informal interview
  • Ask questions to your audience on social media
  • Send out a survey to customers or leads asking for feedback
  • Speak to sales and/or support about the most common questions they have to answer
  • Search social media for conversations or questions about your industry

And here are some questions that may be helpful for prising answers out of your target audience:

  • What's the biggest problem you encounter at work/home regarding X topic/industry?
  • What skills and abilities do you use every day?
  • What do you wish you knew more about?
  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful for you?
  • Where do you go to learn new things?

Obviously, you'll need to tweak those questions a little based on your business and the product or service you offer. But you get the idea.

Generally the more open-ended the questions the better. Don't box your interviewees into a corner, but let them grapple with the questions in their own way.

(Pro tip: often the way they answer the question can be just as illuminating as what they say.)

Pull Out Common Threads and Insights

It can be hard to keep track of all this qualitative data, but you're going to want to make a note of the most important points in your research document.

Now what do we do with it?

A little bit of data analysis. A little bit of sleuthing. A little bit of clever guesswork.

(Put on your Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat if you want.)

Look back through your notes. Can you see any common themes, or repeated answers, running through them? Try to identify the commonalities that tie your target audience together.

These should be real insights into why your audience act or feel the way they do.

For example, in the samples above we found that lots of people were concerned about improving their analytical skills.

Whatever you find, add these discoveries to your existing marketing personas, either by attaching your research document or pasting the information directly into your persona profiles.

You should phrase what you've learned about your target audience as a whole as if you were describing a specific real life person:

Business Owner Brian worries that he's missing out on key insights from his Google Analytics data, and is constantly looking to learn more about how to analyse his business performance.

The more you can describe your target audience like real people, the less likely you'll be to forget that they are real people, and the easier you'll find it to connect with them through your video content.

Finally, this is one of the best guides I've read to really fleshing out your marketing personas.

If you're not yet 100% confident in the detail of your personas, I recommend you work your way through it.

The truth is, until you feel like you understand what your audience most desires, what they're afraid of and what their biggest problems are, you probably won't be successful at engaging with them.

So don't be scared to get close... really close.


Icon for Video Production Process Step 3Step 3: Work Out Your Core Message

You've got your video objectives, and hopefully now you feel even more in tune with your target audience. 

It's time for the big one: to decide exactly what you want to say to that audience

This falls at the intersection between what you want to achieve and what your audience wants to know.

Your core message is the intersect of a Venn diagram between you and your audience.

That's why the basic rule here is to keep your main objective, as well as your target audience, in mind at all times. Our example objective was:

To improve the conversion rate on our product page to 3% by March.

And here's what we discovered about our target audience:

Business Owner Brian worries that he's missing out on key insights from his Google Analytics data, and is constantly looking to learn more about how to analyse his business performance.

So how do we get from that to your core message?

What Your Audience Should Feel, Think, Do

You want to achieve your objective, obviously.

In that case, what action do your target audience need to take to make it a reality? And what state of mind will lead them to that action?

In other words, what do you want your target audience to:

  • Feel?
  • Think?
  • Do?

Let me give you an example. If we want to increase our conversion rate on our product page to 3% (and considering what we found from our research) then we want our audience to:

  • Feel: invigorated, excited to get started
  • Think: our product will offer more in-depth analysis and training than Google Analytics
  • Do: purchase our analytics software

Boil Down the Core Message

Next we have to work out the one thing your audience need to know to encourage them to feel, think and act that way.

I strongly suggest you focus on a single core message. The more precision you have on what you want to say, the less diluted your point will be.

Think of your video content like a laser — dividing your video between different messages is like separating the laser into different beams. Each message becomes weaker overall.

But if you leave the laser as a single beam, your message emerges far stronger.

So what's your core message? What do you need to get across to your target audience so they will think, feel and do what you want (this is less evil than it sounds)?

You basically have to infer this from everything you've discovered so far.

In our example, our core message would most likely be:

Our analytics software offers in-depth analysis, detailed reporting, assistance and training, to a higher standard than Google Analytics.

Got it?

Back It Up With a Message Map

You might find it useful to use a message map to structure your core message, as best explained by author, speaker and general user of words Carmine Gallo.

Basically, the message map is a deceptively simple tool that helps you refine and strengthen your core message. It works in any medium, but I particularly enjoy using it for video.

Your message map is going to look a bit like a spider who's been in a tragic accident. Something like this:

An empty message map.

You want to put your core message in the big circle at the top. In our example this was:

Our analytics software offers data and support that is better than Google Analytics.

Now you want to back that up with three or four sub-messages that support your core message, like a little backing group for your main star.

Underneath, add any specific details (like statistics or examples) that reinforce your sub-messages.

Here's what it might look like when you're done:

A full message map.

The idea behind the message map is that you can explain the entire thing in as much detail as you want, depending on the amount of time you have.

When it comes to video, this helps to keep things open and means you can base the length/complexity of your content on your audience and objective too. We'll get to that in a bit.

Is Video the Right Format?

Now's the time for a bit of an existential crisis.

Remember what I said about video being a form, or way of expressing your message?

So far we've been assuming that video is the form you want to use to get across what you want to say, but now let's make sure.

Here's what we've worked through:

  • Your objective
  • Your target audience
  • Your core message

Keeping all of those in mind, are we still certain that video is the right way to:

  • Achieve your objective?
  • Reach and engage your target audience?
  • Express your core message?

Don't freak out at this stage. Because video is so flexible, it can be used to accomplish almost anything. It's pretty much impossible that you've managed to find a goal, audience and topic completely incompatible with the format.

However, just like any format video has its own strengths and weaknesses, and you might realise that another form of content could be more effective.

If that's the case, then go back to the drawing board and make damn sure your form matches your content.

But keep in mind that what you've learned may inspire you to see other ways that video content could contribute to or support your objective.

Here are a few reasons why video might not be the best way to do what you want to do:

  • Your target audience does not watch video, does not have access to the internet, or has difficulty taking in visual content
  • Your core message includes a large amount of detailed, complex information, that might be better suited for a whitepaper or article (but video could still offer a simple overview of this info)

(And if none of that has raised red flags in your brain until now, I think we have bigger problems.)

In other words, if video was irreconcilable with what you want to say you most likely — hopefully  would have realised it already. So chill. We got this.


Icon for Video Production Process Step 4Step 4: Build Your Video Strategy

Now we're sure video is the right medium for your message, I can breathe a sigh of relief. We're on the home stretch.

This part of the process involves getting a bit more specific and logistical.

You've basically got a bunch of answers to tackle to help construct your video strategy. I'll list them here, and then we'll go through them one by one.

  • How will your video reach your target audience?
  • How will you reuse and repurpose your video?
  • What's the timeframe or deadline?
  • What budget are you working with?
  • Who will produce the video content?

One small tip before we get started: remember how your objective had to be achievable? Make sure your strategy is too. If you leave yourself 2 weeks to create your epic video with a one-man band juggling every role, you're gonna have a bad time.

i) Reaching Your Audience

First of all, how are you going to distribute and market your video content to ensure it gets seen (and engaged with) by the right people?

This plan can be as simple or as complex as you need, but it should ultimately be based on what you need to achieve to reach your objective.

For example, our objective for the analytics company is:

To improve the conversion rate on our product page to 3% by March.

In this case we have it easy. Distribution-wise, all we need to do to is place the video in a prominent position on our product page.

(Thinking that we could put it elsewhere too? Hold your horses. That step is coming up next.)

But let's say we had a trickier example:

Our objective is to drive 2,000 visitors to our landing page this month.

Here we'd need to put our video content somewhere that would help drive all that traffic, in places that we knew our target audience frequented. Our marketing plan might include several steps:

  • Placing a strong CTA at the video's end, leading viewers to our landing page
  • Sharing the video on our social media channels
  • Writing valuable, related articles that include the video and featuring them on sites our audience visit regularly
  • Using paid promotion to advertise the video to our target audience on Facebook
  • Sending out emails containing the video to your leads
  • Connecting with influencers and encouraging them to share the articles or video

ii) Repurposing the Video Content

Once you've marketed your video, how are you going to reuse it to maximise your ROI?

You do repurpose your content to get better returns, right?

I thought so.

You should never forget about a piece of video content once it's fulfilled its initial purpose. You might have achieved your objective, but that doesn't mean you can't squeeze more precious marketing juice from your video.

Waste not want not, and all that.

Here are just a few ways you can repurpose your video content to improve ROI:

  • Create a shorter cut of the video for use on social
  • Adapt the video into a pre-roll advert on YouTube
  • Write up a transcript or blog post based on the video
  • Put the video in new places, like on your website homepage or in your shop front
  • Show the video as an introductory piece within other content
  • Use the video as part of an internal training programme

Not all of these will necessarily work, of course, for your specific video. Whenever repurposing video, be sure to keep your objective, audience and core message in mind at all time (sound familiar?).

But it's also important to keep an open mind about how video content can be reused so that when opportunities arise you're able to jump on them.

In the case of the analytics software product video, I would suggest reusing the video as email content to encourage leads at the bottom of the funnel to convert, and also using a simplified version (or versions) of the video on social media to educate the target audience about some of the unique benefits of the software.

iii) Setting Out Your Timeframe

What's your deadline? Figure out when you need your video content by, then put in place a timeframe.

But be prepared that video can take longer than you first presume. Building out your strategy, planning the shoot, filming, editing the footage, and preparing and executing your video marketing can all take weeks if not months.

That's just the way things are if you want to do video properly.

(And don't think that animation has it easy: it can take just as long, or longer.)

iv) Securing Your Budget

You probably have a budget in mind already. It's worthwhile having a ballpark figure to work with, but don't be completely inflexible when it comes to the cost of your video.

One of the biggest mistakes those new to video content make is allocating all of their budget to the production of the video, without leaving any for marketing that video. How is your video content going to succeed if you can't kick-start the distribution process to your target audience?

Answer: it most likely won't.

v) Deciding Who Will Produce the Video

So, how is your video content actually going to be made... created... birthed? 

You've basically got 3 options:

  • Create the video internally, with an in-house team
  • Hire a freelance filmmaker or small video production company
  • Work with an experienced video agency

This decision boils down to the ambitiousness of your video, your deadline, budget, your video skills and experience in-house, and how much support you want when planning and producing your video content.

Well, what can I tell you. I work for a video agency, so my recommendation is that you create a partnership with a video agency who can really get to know your business, what you want to achieve, and how you can get there.

If you want to do video well, most internal teams won't cut it (unless you're already set up to produce lots of video) and very few production companies will offer proper support when it comes to strategy or planning to generate the results you need.

It's more of a 'turn up and shoot' kind of affair.

Any good video agency can help you work through all of the ground we've covered so far in planning your video strategy, all the way up to production, marketing and beyond.



Icon for Video Production Process Step 5Step 5: Write a Video Production Brief

Great! You've got a strategy for your video content. Now it's time to write it all down.

You're going to need a new document.

(Or download our video production brief template. It comes with examples!)

The point of the video brief is to help hone your rough planning into a sharp tool that will ensure your video content turns out the way you want.

There's no new information to add, but you should write down clearly all the research you've found and decisions you've made so far.

This is also the last chance for you to reassess all your planning. Are you objectives and timeframes definitely achievable? Are you focusing on the right direction for your business and marketing?

Cut any unnecessary or conflicting information.

Accurately present all your work so far.

Allow the brief to be as detailed as it needs to be, but don't be afraid to get rid of anything superfluous.

Your video brief will become the manual that your video is based on. During production, this is the document that will be referred to time and time again for answers and inspiration. It should explain everything about what you need your video content to achieve, how and why.

If it's not in the brief, it won't make it into the video. Don't miss anything important out!

Remember: your video content will only ever be as good as the brief it came from.

I'm not saying this just to scare you. But take the time to make sure you're happy with your video brief before you dive into the next steps of producing your video marketing content.



Icon for Video Production Process Step 6Step 6: Develop the Creative Approach

We're getting into actual production territory here. If you're working with an agency to help your video content become a reality, this is almost certainly something they will assist you with.

The fact is, although you have your core message, we haven't yet discovered a creative approach for your video.

And they're not the same thing.

Your message is what you want to say to your audience, but your creative approach is the manner in which you say it.

(That's kind of like the distinction between content and form, but this time we already know that our format is video  we're delving into what exactly that form should look like.)

Broadly, the creative approach to your video content will help us decide:

  • How that video will look
  • How it will sound
  • How long the video will be

So what should you base your creative approach on?

What you want your target audience to feel, think and do after watching your video content.

We already did this bit. Let's revisit for our analytics company:

  • Feel: invigorated, excited to get started
  • Think: that our product will offer more in-depth analysis and training than Google Analytics
  • Do: purchase our analytics software

The most important of these three is what you want your audience to feel. This tells you your end goal: you need to inspire that emotion in your viewers, so what creative choices can we make to get there?

This will affect several aspects of your video, which all combine into the overall creative approach:

  • The colour scheme
  • The filming or animation style
  • The musical and sound effect choices
  • The language in the script
  • Any actors or voiceover
  • The video speed and length

So let's get started.

Do Some Initial Brainstorming

Your brain is probably already swarming with ideas for this video content. We want to try and free them while avoiding preconceptions along the way.

That's why we recommend starting with a brainstorming session.

Begin by getting all your ideas written down somewhere by yourself. Then meet with a small group. You should all contribute the ideas you've thought of on your own before starting to bounce new combinations and solutions off each other, merging and growing and building together.

Once you have a good pool of ideas, it's time to cull them.

Keep in mind that your aims are to come up with creative approaches to video that:

  • Make your audience feel the way you want them to
  • Do not conflict with your core message
  • Support your video objective
  • Are not completely unrealistic considering your budget or deadline

So cut any approaches that don't meet those basic criteria.

Get Inspired By Those Who Do It Well

Now it's time to venture out into the world and find examples of video content doing it right.

For this exercise, get specific. We're looking to make a video for a product page that encourages our target audience to buy, so let's watch product videos for inspiration.

Your goal is to watch some successful examples and try to pull apart why they work.

(I usually search Google Videos, YouTube and Vimeo for these.)

What do they do right? How could they be improved? And do the examples have any things in common that make them effective?



Here's an example of a massively successful series of product videos from Blendtec.

The famous "Will It Blend?" series has boosted sales of the company's blenders by 700%.

So, what do these videos do well?

  • They show the physical product in action, and its speed and strength
  • Rather than dully explaining the blender features, they let the product do the speaking (and naturally mention some of the features, such as setting and speeds, throughout the videos)
  • They create a sense of awe and excitement in the audience
  • They have a charming, cheesy style of presentation
  • They reinforce the fact that these blenders are powerful, heavy-duty appliances

How could they be done better?

  • They could cut down the long introduction, which might improve engagement rates 

Now let's look at a very different type of product video.



This is of course an Apple video for the iPhone 6s.

Here's what it gets right:

  • It's short and to the point, telling you what differentiates this new iPhone model from old ones
  • It shows you these new features in action, being used by real people
  • It's vibrant, fast-paced, funny and doesn't take itself too seriously
  • It invigorates and inspires viewers
  • It positions the iPhone as a product that makes your life easier, faster and better

How could it be improved?

  • A/B tests could be carried out to analyse the length or amount of details included, but it's pretty spot-on already

So what do those product videos have in common?

Well, apart from them both including smartphones (that was a strange coincidence), here's what I would say are the major similarities:

  • They both feature a humorous, pleasant tone of voice
  • They both help to excite their audience
  • They show their products in action, and how they work
  • They stress their product's USP and help to differentiate them from competitors

Now it's time to compare your own video content and see if you can apply what you've learned to it.

We're also looking to create a product video that excites our audience, and encourages them to buy. It seems that adopting a similar tone of voice to these examples and showing the unique features of our service in action could also work effectively in our video.

One word of warning: always remember that just because another company did it doesn't necessarily mean it's right for your company.

You're a unique business with your own industry and audience, and you have your own unique marketing strategy.

Even if you find video examples from within your own niche, always bear in mind that you have different strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities than other businesses, and your video content needs to be tailored to your own position on the market — nobody else's.

This leads us to...

Find Your Own Angle

So, keeping in mind that you're a unique business, what differentiates you and affects how this video content may turn out?

For our analytics software provider, the most important consideration is that they offer a fairly intangible service. That may make it harder for them to show it working in action in an exciting way.

Also, they probably don't have as much budget to spend on their video content as Blendtec or Apple.

Now take your initial brainstorming ideas, and what you've learnt from watching some examples.

Do you have any solid creative approaches emerging yet?

I'd say the analytics company wants a piece of video content that:

  • Is no longer than it needs to be while containing enough information about their service
  • Stresses the unique features of their analytics software
  • Shows footage of their service working side-by-side with Google Analytics
  • Includes a knowledgeable, pleasant and funny voiceover
  • Is accompanied by an upbeat piece of music
  • Inspires and excites the target audience

That gives us a great framework for creating the video content. It isn't fully fleshed out yet, but we have a solid starting point.

Finally, it's important that your videos don't look like everyone else's, but reflect your business, brand and offerings.

Inject some personality and uniqueness into your video content.

If you're just starting out, this often means doing things a bit differently than others in your industry: don't worry about taking on Red Bull just yet.

But if you can add some of your genuine identity to your videos, whether that's clips of your office dog or a distinctive voiceover style, you'll find it easier to stand out from the competition and become more memorable to your target audience.




Icon for Video Production Process Step 7Step 7: Write the Script (and Storyboard)

As we get further and further into the realm of production, you may feel more and more out of your depth.

That's okay, because this is less about marketing now and more about making videos, which you probably know less about.

If you need help, don't suffer in silence. Find some experienced people to assist you in turning your video marketing dreams into reality.

Alright, onto the scripting.

Generally I recommend that scripts be written by an experience script writer. However, you may want input on some of the language or branding, at least in an initial draft.

(Looking for a tidy template to help organise your script? Download our video script template.)

Having said that, everything in your script should come from your video production brief and your creative approach. Don't try to add anything new at this late stage. If it hasn't been agreed at this point, it doesn't need to be in there!

Here's an example of a piece of video content with an awesome script:



 What does it do right? What are the basic elements of a successful script?

  • Keep it simple, clear and conversational
  • Don't include buzzwords, jargon, or unnatural language
  • Speak directly to the audience if possible, with personal pronouns like "you" and "your"
  • Tell a story to hook your audience
  • Be concise, and never repeat yourself (without cause)
  • Maintain a consistent tone of voice
  • Keep your core message, audience and objective in mind
  • Include any other necessary details about characters, scenes or shots

It might take several drafts before you're happy with the end product. Don't be afraid to keep returning to it with tweaks, amends and rewordings.

Also, make sure you do a table read before you sign off the final script.

Words often sound very different in your head than they do coming out of your mouth!

Once your script is done it serves as a blueprint for your video content, which should now be ready to shoot.

Consider a Storyboard for Complex Videos

You may not need one, but if you're creating an animation or a very complex live action video, it's advisable to create a storyboard or scamp (a rough mock-up of an idea) to help visualise how it will turn out.

(Are you thinking about making an animation? This post will help you make your mind up.)

Here's a scamp we created for one of our video projects.

As you can see, this process gives you a clear visual indication of lighting, colouring, framing, transitions and any other complex aspects of your video content.

A scamp from one of our video projects.Your storyboard or scamp can be created using drawings, stock images or stock footage.

It doesn't need to be an artistic masterpiece, but it does need to show the most important visual aspects of your video.

As I said, whether you'll need a storyboard or scamp will depend on what kind of video content you want to create and how complex it is. Most of the time you'll be fine with just a detailed script.

Don't Forget Your Call to Action

Every good piece of video content should contain a Call to Action.

What exactly is a Call to Action, or CTA as the kids are calling it nowadays?

It can be anything. But basically, it's something that encourages your audience to take action.

Remember your objective?

To improve the conversion rate on our product page to 3% by March.

And what you want your audience to do after watching your video content?

Do: purchase our analytics software

So in the case of our analytics product video, we clearly want a CTA at the end encouraging viewers to buy the analytics software. This could be a simple button leading through to the payment page.

Each CTA should be tailored to match your specific objective.

Here are some common actions that CTAs in videos (which can be buttons, links or forms) encourage the viewer to take:

  • Buying a product or service
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Watching another video
  • Downloading a free offer
  • Visiting a website or landing page
  • Sharing the video on social

 Once you've decided on your CTA, add this information to your script.



Between these steps is where the "lights, camera, action" of production takes place. This includes: planning the shoot, creating a call sheet, editing the footage, adding graphics, and selecting appropriate music (and much more).

All of this will be done according to the plans and strategy you've already put in place.

See why that was so important?

If you've entrusted the production of your video content to somebody else, have faith and let them do their job. It's hard to let go of your baby, but believe us — it's best for everyone.

And if you're looking to produce a simple piece of video content on your own or in-house, we recommend you follow the outstanding Wistia guides.




Icon for Video Production Process Step 8Step 8: Set up Your Analytics and Hosting

Your video content should now be nearly complete! High five!

While the final touches are being put on your video, you need to make sure you've got the right analytics set up so you can track your success towards your objective.

Right at the beginning of this post we laid out the video metrics you'd need to measure to do just that. Here's what we specified for our software company:

We track the conversion rate of our product page. By March we want to achieve a conversion rate of 3%, which is 2 percentage points higher than our current conversion rate of 1%.

(Confused about which metrics mean what? Read our guide to the 7 most important video metrics.)

All we need to do now is make sure we can track the metrics we've identified. In this case, it's simple. We can use Google Analytics (or an alternative analytics service!) to measure the conversion rate on our product page.

This would be achieved by creating a goal for the specific conversion you wished to track.

If you do happen to be using Google Analytics, here's a great guide to setting up conversion goals.

However, you may want to measure more complex video metrics like engagement rate, for example.

This is when the conversation moves onto video hosting too.

Host Your Video Content According to Your Needs

If your plan for video includes putting it online (as it most likely does), you need to host it somewhere so that it can be marketed and distributed according to your strategy.

This means uploading your video to an external third-party hosting service. You'll still have access to your video content and can embed it wherever you like, but the host's servers will house it.

A good video agency may well handle hosting your video for you. However, if you're responsible for the job then you basically have three options:

  • Hosting on a paid platform like Wistia, with advanced analytics and optimisation
  • Hosting on a free channel like YouTube, with fewer metrics and less control
  • Self-hosting on your own server

As with most things, your final choice will depend on your video marketing strategy, your budget and your expertise in the area.

If you need to track engagement rates or other complicated video metrics, I highly recommend you use a paid video hosting platform (most free video hosting channels do not offer these metrics).

(And hosting your own video is just a complicated mess that I'll never ever recommend.)

In fact, no matter what your situation I recommend you host your video content on a paid platform.

You'll gain access to detailed viewing data from your video content, like engagement graphs and heat maps, and you'll have full control over how, where and when your video is distributed.

Basically, if you're serious about getting great results from video then you should invest in paid hosting. Free channels like YouTube simply don't offer enough security or data to enable you to track your success or improve in the future.

Keep Analysing and Learning

Hopefully by now you'll have made a decision as to where your video content will be hosted.

You should also know how to track the video metrics you need to measure your success.

Now it's time to build a simple plan for how often you'll collate and analyse the data (this could be once a day as soon as the video is launched, shifting to once a week or once a month after the initial rush).

Keep your information nice and tidy in a relevant spreadsheet.

As soon as your video content goes live, try and learn from this data. Why are you getting the results you are? What could be causing your audience to act this way?

And most importantly:

Are you achieving what you set out to achieve?

And what would you do differently next time?




Icon for Video Production Process Step 9Step 9: Distribute, Share & Promote Video

It's go time. It's time to set this sucker live and implement that big old marketing strategy we built way back in step four.

Remember that? Here's an example plan we came up with:

  • Share the video on our social media channels
  • Write valuable, related articles that include the video and feature them on sites our audience visit regularly
  • Use paid promotion to advertise the video to our target audience on Facebook
  • Send out an email to your leads containing the video
  • Connect with influencers and encourage them to share the articles or video

Well... I don't have much more to add at this point.

Just get out there and make your strategy a reality.

It's important to be flexible at this stage. If you find you need more marketing effort to achieve the results you wanted, then you may need to double down with more paid promotion, email campaigns, social sharing, or whatever.

That's why it's so key to start measuring video analytics from day one — so you can react accordingly and maximise your chances for success.

And once the initial excitement is over, don't forget about your video content.

Hopefully you've already achieved your objective, in which case, great!

But any good video is a long-term investment. You can keep using it and promoting it for months, if not years, after it was first made, whether that's in its original form or repurposed to achieve other goals.

(And while I'm on the subject, don't forget to reuse your content like you laid out too.)

Treat your video like any other piece of quality content in your marketing repertoire. It should enjoy a long, fruitful and useful life helping you to market your business and complete other corporate aims. Aww.


That's the Corporate Video Production Process

That's it! Congratulations for making it through the entire guide. You're a real video trooper.

Now you're ready to create your own corporate videos as part of your video marketing strategy, put into practice all the things you've learned, and achieve incredible results and ROI from video content.

Get your free Checklist to the Corporate Video Production Process

Lydia Cockerham

Written by Lydia Cockerham

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