Seven Tips on Making a Successful Video Production

Producing a video for your company can be an exciting and potentially stressful experience. There's more to it than simply assigning a video production company to the task and crossing your fingers.

To get the most from your video production dollars, we'll take a look at seven top tips for making your corporate video a success.

1. Start with Results. The first step is to work out exactly what you want your video to achieve. Is it to train staff on a new procedure or is to increase interest at trade shows? Design your video concept around the desired result. Often clients get caught up with showing off their company that the main message gets lost.

2. Write a brief. Once you know what you want to achieve, work out what you want to show and explain in your video. Formulate a brief that specifies your objectives, target audience, the countries your video will be viewed in and any required languages. A list of all the shots that you need is also helpful. Will the bulk of the shots be at your premises and do you need your CEO to talk to camera? Video production companies will try to calculate how many days filming are required to work out the cost, so it's important to know how much needs to be filmed at the outset.

3. Know your image. What sort of image do you want to present to your customers? While watching your corporate video, your customers will be left with an impression of what type of business you are and what to expect when doing business with you. If your television program happens to be radically down-market than your up-market product suggests, then you create cognitive dissonance in your prospects. This will mean that your viewers will be left with an uneasy feeling that something isn't quite right with your company and will automatically distrust your message. To avoid this, make sure the quality of production reflects the quality of your product/service. This can involve using a professional camera operator with broadcast quality gear to having a graphic artist design maps and titles.

4. Messages. One of the key areas to work out is what communication messages you need to get across. Work out the 4-6 key messages and develop the video around these. If you have too many messages people will tune out. Essentially, make sure you give information that your audience wants to know (not what you think they ought to know).

5. Script. The script provides the backbone to any video project. It's always worthwhile spending extra time refining the script. As a rule of thumb, it needs to be completed before any filming begins. The best kind of script is short and sharp and revolves around your main messages. The quicker you can get your message across, the better the result. Avoid putting everything into the script, as wall to wall voiceover is quite tiring (and boring) to watch.

6. Assign a contact person. A designated person from your firm will need to be available to work with the video production company. The production house will need script information and approval, help in organising shoots, copies of your logo and other relevant materials and someone to view a draft of the video and then finalise. This person will also need to make sure that the look and feel of the video best represents your company.

7. Get expert advice. A good production company will be able to advise you on the best format for your needs such as the music, the filming, editing style and how the schedule will run. They will also be able to take your brief and come back with a range of suitable suggestions. Don't stress about the technical issues. That's the job of your producer.

(c) Marie-Claire Ross 2005. All rights reserved.

Marie-Claire Ross is one of the partners of Digicast. Digicast works with organisations who are not satisfied that their marketing and training materials are helping their business grow. She can be contacted at mc@digicast.com.au. The website is at mc@digicast.com.au

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