This week, Premier League team Crystal Palace set a record for all the wrong reasons: they made the worst ever start to a season. In fact, no other team in the 129-year history of the English top flight has ever lost its first six matches without scoring a single goal.
Have you ever felt like, despite the best attempts, your video channels just fail to hit the target?
There is a way to get more from the marketing videos you put online. Whether you’re planning a product explainer video, case study, or advertising piece, preparation is the key to making sure your next video is a hit.
In this blog, we examine the initial steps to approaching video content, making sure your project starts more like Manchester City than Crystal Palace.
Where to Begin?
Every design project should start in the same place – by putting in place a creative brief.
A creative brief is just as it sounds – a concise description of what you want to achieve with your project. A way of setting out targets from the start, so that everyone involved in the project is on the same page.
It’s often best to begin by thinking about your overall goal, purpose or expected outcome: what is it that you actually want to achieve?
The goal of the project is the reason behind what you’re doing and should be the main driver behind all the decisions that are made throughout the project.
Ideally this goal should be measurable so that the effectiveness of your video can be qualified and quantified in a meaningful way.
Just like the goal on a football field, the purpose of the creative brief – your goal – is to define the parameters of where to shoot. Without this, we’re kicking the ball aimlessly in any direction.
Here are some goals you may have for your video, along with measurable outcomes that could demonstrate the goal has been achieved.
|Increase awareness of a product or service||Number of views, comments, and Likes on Social media|
|Drive short term sales||Number of purchases|
|Provide help to customers||Number of phonecalls and emails sent to customer support|
|Provide details of product features to potential customers||Number of sign-ups to mailing list|
|Increase brand advocacy||Number of favourable reviews on e-commerce sites|
What do you think Samsung UK identified as the goal for their recent web series The Domestics? What could they be using as a measurable outcome?
Identifying your audience
Another important question to ask is, at whom is your video aimed?
The more focused you are on your target audience, the more you can fine-tune your message, and increase your chances achieving your goal.
Be super specific when choosing your target audience, and the message will be much stronger as a result. This tone will permeate throughout the project, influencing style and narrative further down the line.
The soap brand Dove have developed a very strong voice, as seen in the following piece. How would you describe their target audience?
When you’ve pinpointed your audience, you can then commit to learning more about them, and how you can talk to them more intimately.
What’s the problem?
The answer is found in demonstrating to your audience how your content can add value.
There are various different ways of adding value, but one approach is to ask yourself: what problem am I solving for my audience?
Sainsbury’s Youtube channel is full of useful examples of content that adds value. Rather than focusing on product promotions, Sainsbury’s aims to solve the problem of how to keep meals interesting…
Seeking out the problem that your audience is trying to solve is a really strong way of connecting with your audience, and adding value.
Forming the Brief
When you have made firm decisions around measurable goals, target audience, and adding value, you’re in a great place to formalise these into a creative brief which will serve as the foundation for your video project.
You can use the following template to capture your brief in a few neat paragraphs:
[Brand name] are creating an online video with the intention to [project goal].
Success will be measured based on [measurable outcome].
The video will speak to [target audience], and will add value by [problem being solved]
In this video from Nintendo, the hosts discuss the history of the classic game Metroid.
Using our template, the project may have started with this creative brief…
Nintendo are creating an online video with the intention to increase awareness of the upcoming game Metroid: Samus Returns.
Success will be measured based on the number of shares, views, and positive comments on Youtube.
The video will speak to young gaming enthusiasts, and will add value by offering facts and analysis of the Metroid series.
When you have your creative brief in place, you’ll find it invaluable to be able to refer to it when making decisions and involving new team members.
It’s often tempting to dive into a video project head first – planning the style and story of your piece before taking time to properly consider these fundamental choices.
This stage takes a little time, and there are a few tricky decisions to be made. But when you’ve formed a brief like this, you’re off to a great start.
With a fully formed brief, you have a firm foundation on which to build your video project, and confronted a lot of issues up front that will save you pain in the long run.
Ready to take the next step? Let’s see if animation is the right fit for your video…