How to Write a Video Brief in 7 Easy Steps [Free Video Briefing Template]
The best and most successful video projects begin with a well written video briefing form. In this article we offer our advice on how to create one with the help of Skeleton's free video briefing template.
Last updated: 21/09/2023
If you're looking to create video content for your business, you need to start your video project with a well-written video brief.
With decades of experience producing content & campaigns for leading brands, the team at Skeleton know what a great video brief looks like - so we've uploaded a video briefing template for you to download.
Our video brief template gives you all the questions you need to be asking yourself to map out a powerful strategy to create your next video production.
Combine all of your thoughts into one place to ensure no important planning is missed. Whether you're creating video internally or working with a video agency, your brief is vital to make sure everybody involved is working towards the same goal.
Below are 7 simple questions you should ask yourself to create a video production brief that will lead to a smooth production process (and the awesome, results-driven video you're dreaming of).
- What is a video brief in video production?
- What's the purpose of a video brief?
- Who should write our video brief?
- What kind of projects are video briefs needed for?
- What makes a good video brief?
- The 7 easy steps of writing a video brief
But First, what is a BRIEF IN VIDEO PRODUCTION?
Think of it as your video game plan. It's the playbook you whip out to make sure everyone from scriptwriters to camera crews knows the game and plays by the rules. This brief guides your chosen production team, ensuring everyone aligns with your video's purpose and its desired results. No fumbles, no misdirections.
It usually covers the following:
- Objective: What's your video's endgame? Selling a product, onboarding newbies, or weaving a brand tale? Pinpoint it.
- Target Audience: Who are you talking to? Nail your audience. When you know 'em, you can charm 'em.
- Key Message(s): What are you shouting from the virtual rooftops? Decide the big and small points your video's gotta hit.
- Duration: How long's the spotlight on? Give an estimate. No one likes a story that drags.
- Tone and Style: Is your video a laugh riot, a tear-jerker, or a fire-up-the-troops anthem? Decide its vibe. Got a video you adore? Use it as a style benchmark.
- Content Requirements: Got any must-haves? List them. Maybe it's that killer product shot, your logo, or that influencer cameo.
- Distribution Channels: Where's your video making its grand debut? TV, website, Insta? You choose.
- Budget: Let's talk money. Set aside the bucks you're pouring into this masterpiece.
- Deadlines: Mark the calendar for key milestones: concept finalisation, cameras rolling, and the grand premiere.
- Additional Information: Any insider info? Spill the beans. It could be tech specs, casting thoughts, dream shoot locations, or hurdles to watch for.
A rock-solid video brief is your guard against chaos. It ditches confusion, aligns your team, and sets the stage for a show-stopping video.
What's THE PURPOSE OF A VIDEO BRIEF?
So, why should you care about a video brief? Well, imagine diving into a pool without checking its depth. Risky, right? A video brief is your pool's depth gauge. It gets everyone on the same wavelength, giving your video project a clear direction from the get-go.
Here's how it makes sure your video is a roaring success:
- Clarity and Focus: With a video brief, you'll know exactly what you're aiming for. No more shooting in the dark or guessing games.
- Efficiency: Time is — after all —money, and you don't want to waste either. A well-drafted brief streamlines the process, cutting down on back-and-forths.
- Alignment: You've got a team, and you want them paddling in sync. A video brief ensures everyone's rowing in the same direction.
- Avoid Misunderstandings: Ever played Chinese whispers? Fun game, terrible for business. A brief keeps the message consistent.
- Measure Success: At the end of the day, you want to know if your video hit the mark. Your brief sets those benchmarks.
So, before jumping into your next video project, grab that lifeline – the video brief. It's your roadmap to a killer video.
Who should write our video brief?
Your video brief should ideally be written by someone who has a clear understanding of the project's goals, the intended audience, and the key messages to be conveyed. Here's a breakdown of potential candidates:
Marketing or Project Manager: In a business context, it's often the marketing or project manager who has the best grasp of the strategic objectives behind a video project. They understand the target audience, the brand's voice, and the desired outcomes.
Client or Brand Representative: If a production company or freelancer is being hired to create the video, the client or a representative from the brand often provides a brief. This ensures your video aligns with your brand identity and objectives.
Creative Director or Lead: In a more creatively driven project, the creative director or lead might draft the brief to ensure the video aligns with their vision.
Scriptwriter or Content Strategist: These individuals can also craft a brief, especially if they have a good understanding of the content's direction and the broader objectives.
Agency Point of Contact: If your company is working with an advertising or marketing agency, a contact person at the agency might create the brief. They'd typically gather insights and feedback from the client to make sure it's accurate.
Collaborative Effort: In some cases, the best briefs come from collaborative sessions where stakeholders, creatives, and strategists brainstorm and outline the project's key elements together.
Ultimately, the person (or people) writing the brief should have a clear vision of what the video should achieve and a good understanding of the audience it's intended for.
Regardless of who writes it, it's essential to have the key stakeholders review and approve the brief to ensure everyone is on the same page.
What kind of projects are video briefs needed for?
Video briefs can be used for a wide range of projects, spanning various industries and purposes. They provide a structured foundation and clear direction regardless of the video's content. From snappy ads to heartwarming documentaries, a solid video brief is your North Star. Here’s where you’ll want that guiding light:
- Advertisements & Commercials: Ready to turn heads with your brand? Craft commercials that make people stop, watch, and, most importantly, remember.
- Corporate Videos: Dive deep into the heartbeat of your company—showcase your ethos, culture, and the amazing folks behind the scenes.
- Product Promotional Videos: Unveil your latest invention! Let your audience see it, feel it, and crave it.
- Explainer Videos: Whether it’s a 'how-to' for SaaS brands or a mobile app tutorial, share your knowledge with flair.
- Documentaries: Tell the untold stories. Illuminate. Educate. Captivate.
- Music Videos: More than just a song. Paint a visual masterpiece that dances seamlessly with every beat.
- Event Videos: Make FOMO real! Showcase event highlights that make folks wish they were there.
- Recruitment Videos: Interviews. Testimonials. Give the floor to those with stories that need to be heard.
- Animated Videos: Breathe life into concepts with dynamic animations. Simplify, entertain, and elucidate.
- Short Films: Miniature cinematic wonders. Convey emotions, narratives, and visions in just a few minutes.
- Social Media Videos: Rule the digital realms. Create content that’s share-worthy and perfectly tailored for those scrolling thumbs.
- Property Videos: Showcase estates as more than just brick and mortar. They’re dreams waiting to be lived.
- Travel Videos: Ignite wanderlust. Showcase locales in ways that trigger the itch to pack and go.
- VR & AR Adventures: Dive into the future. Create immersive tales where boundaries blur between real and virtual.
- Fundraising Films: Passion projects need backers. Create compelling pitches that open hearts and wallets.
So, whatever your video venture, let your brief be the blueprint. It’s the first step to making sure your visuals don't just look good—they resonate, captivate, and inspire action.
What makes a good video brief?
Navigating the world of video production can be like traversing an intricate maze, but a stellar video brief is your trusty compass. Here's what sets a top-notch brief apart:
It's clear and concise: A tight ship sails smoothly. A prime video brief cuts through the fluff, offering pinpoint direction without drowning the reader in a sea of words. It’s like the guiding star in a dark night—visible, unwavering, and illuminating the path.
It's comprehensive: Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of instructions. A comprehensive brief is versatile, addressing every facet of production. Whether it's the lofty ambitions of your project or the nitty-gritty of technical specs, it's all packed in there, ready to reference.
It's aligned with your goals: A video without a purpose is like a ship without a compass. An exceptional brief never loses sight of the shore—it constantly echoes the primary objectives, ensuring that the end product doesn’t just look good, but it also delivers on its mission.
It's flexible: While it’s vital to chart out the course, there's beauty in the detours. An adept brief, while providing a solid direction, also leaves room for a sprinkle of spontaneity, creativity, and those magical, unscripted moments.
It's collaborative: Remember the age-old saying, “Two heads are better than one”? A truly effective video brief embraces this. It's not just the brainchild of one, but a collective effort. Drafted with insights from various stakeholders, it resonates with diverse visions, ensuring a harmonious blend of perspectives.
7 Simple questions to ask yourself when completing your video briefing template
1. Why Do You Want Video?
It might sound obvious, but you need to be clear about the purpose of your video content. What goal are you aiming to achieve? What's your business situation, and what problem do you want to solve using video?
Don't be afraid to be specific. Note down if you want your video to increase traffic to your website, create a change in employee behaviour, or encourage lead conversion (and use specific figures). Ideally you'll have measures of success by which you'll track how close your video is to reaching your objectives, so write those down too.
The entire production and planning process of your video content depends on your ultimate goals, so make sure you're confident about what you want to achieve.
2. Who Are You Speaking To?
Next up, you should consider your target audience. Who will watch your video? Will it be leads, customers, employees, or other stakeholders?
Unless you're certain of your audience, you won't be able to tailor your video content to appeal directly to them. Aim to write down as much as you can about an average viewer, from their demographics to their occupation to their personality. Our video production brief template will also help you use insights to hook your target audience.
Then note what you'd like your audience to feel, think, and do after watching your video content. The better you know your target audience and what response you want to create in them, the better your video will be.
3. What Do You Want to Say?
Taking all that you've written so far, it's time to work out the core message you want your video to be about.
Try to stick to just one core message if possible, or two at a stretch. Cramming too much information into your video just means viewers won't be able to take it all in. It's best to stick to just a few messages and get them across well.
Once you've got your core message, we recommend using supporting sub-messages to explain it. This method is called a message map, as popularised by Carmine Gallo. By constructing a message map before video production begins you'll solidify exactly what you want to express and how you'll back it up.
4. Where Will it Be Watched?
How you're distributing your video content is important, so don't miss it out in your brief. The production of your video will change dramatically depending on whether it's to be viewed on your website, on TV or during training.
Your video needs to be perfectly matched to the places where it will be distributed. For example, if you're uploading it to YouTube you'll probably want to think about a Call to Action at the end of the video to redirect viewers back to your site.
Always remember that where you put your video should depend upon who your audience are, and how you can best reach them.
5. What INSPIRES YOU?
There are lots of different kinds of video that a creative agency can make for you — 2D animated videos, 3D animation, live-action to name a few. And then there are the different purposes that videos serve: corporate videos, explainer videos, promotional videos, training videos etc.
Your video production agency will need to think about your message and target audience to come up with the creative approach for you (which you will have provided above!). And they'll also need your brand guidelines so they can include your colours, fonts, tone of voice to align with your other marketing assets.
But it'd be helpful to also provide them links to existing videos you do like, adding notes on what you like about them and why.
6. How will success be measured?
What does success look like for your video project? Do you have any specific KPIs in mind that you'll me measuring?
Understanding how and why your video content is performing across multiple platforms and channels is vital for taking your marketing to the next level.
Regular analysis and reporting across a range of metrics and KPIs mean you can chart how close you are to reaching your objectives. And that means you can fine-tune your strategy and create even more powerful, compelling content.
If you're not sure what to measure, here are some common KPIs for video content:
- Play rate
- Average viewer engagement
- Likes, shares and comments
Content on a specific website/landing page:
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Conversion rate
- Number of Marketing Qualified Leads from a played video
- Number of Sales Qualified Leads from a played video
7. What's Your Deadline and Budget?
Last but not least, it's very useful to have some idea of how much you can spend and when you'll need your video.
The more guidance you can give in terms of your budget and deadline, the more smooth the production process will be (particularly if you're working with an external video agency like us!). Even if your situation changes, update your brief if necessary and keep communication going.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP — SEND SKELETON YOUR COMPLETED VIDEO PRODUCTION BRIEF TEMPLATE
So now you know how to write an effective video production brief, what's the next step?
It's simple! You now need to find a video production agency that can help you realise your needs and vision. And the team at Skeleton would like to help!
We pride ourselves on delivering remarkable content and results - so it would be interesting to have a chat to see if we're a good fit for each other.
AGENCY SHOWREEL | SKELETON
Interested to find out more about Skeleton and how we can help?
We would be more than happy to talk through your brief in more depth, work up some initial ideas and provide you with an outline of costings for your project.
All you have to do is submit your details here
We look forward to hearing from you!
FINAL THOUGHTS: VIDEO PRODUCTION BRIEF TEMPLATE
Remember that the more detail you can include in your brief before production begins, the more likely your video is to be a success that engages your audience and meets your goals.
Our simple video brief template asks you all of these questions in even more depth, with preview examples. So now you know how to write a video production brief (and why), download our template and get started today!
video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.Marketing Manager for Skeleton — a full-service