Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate. So, if you’re looking to stand out in marketing or learning, creating video content is probably one of the best choices you can make. In the past, the cost of filming made it nearly prohibitive for smaller companies. But with recent advances in technology, video is now more widely available than ever before. In fact, there’s no longer a good reason to hold off on creating great videos content.

While video might be more accessible, it still comes with a lot of logistics on the way to the finish line. There’s a lot to think about, especially if you’re a first-timer. To avoid analysis paralysis when starting a video project, here are some steps you can take behind-the-scenes to overcome the barriers and make a strong start.

1. Brainstorm about your objectives for the video

Think about what you want to communicate in your video. This might sound rudimentary, but you might be surprised how many people decide they want a video and stop the planning there. In fact, if you want an amazing video with an impact, deciding on your objectives is one of the two most important parts of the process. Don’t worry too much about shots, lighting, and storytelling — leave that up to the media team. For the best video, focus on your objective.

Here are a few topics to think about during the brainstorm:

  • What marketing or learning objectives do we want to communicate?
  • Who is the audience for our video?
  • Do we need to do any research into our audience?
  • Why is video the right way to talk communicate this objective to this audience?
  • How many videos do we need to make? Will a single video work? Or a series?

2. Think about video objective + brand

Also, it’s important to think about your business. What is your brand? How about your visual identity? The video needs to do two things:

  • Convey your objective
  • Fit with your business’s brand and visual identity

So in addition to considering your objectives, think about the feel of the video. Are you interested in something formal and corporate? Something creative and casual? Maybe an informal, conversational business video?

During the brainstorm, you might get some great ideas for mediums other than video. Never throw out any ideas during this stage — you never know when they’ll turn to gold.

3. Study video examples you like and dislike

Once you’ve determined your video objective, you have two options. You can skip to Step 3, or you can perform some independent research. Ask yourself and your business the following questions:

  • How are our competitors using video?
  • What do their marketing videos look like?
  • What do we like and dislike about those videos?

Get online and do some research. Find videos that are convincing and effective, then analyze why. Video can be powerful, especially when you use it to tell a story with power and passion. (Check out some of the top ads from the 2019 Super Bowl.)

4. Build a strong partnership with a great media and design agency

You need a media and design agency that will work closely with your business to create the best video possible. So, look for a team that doesn’t just think outside the box, they leave the box completely.

Just remember that while a good media team leaves the box behind, a great media team still knows the box exists. The point is finding a balance between fresh thinking and keeping a traditional enough foundation to appeal to your audience.

While looking for this dream team, don’t be afraid to shop around. Find the team who will go above and beyond to turn your ideas into something even more amazing than you imagined.

5. Focus on clear communication

Once you’ve found your media team, give them the information from your brainstorm and strategy meetings, set a few healthy boundaries (like a budget), and let them flex their creative muscles. The team will do some strategic brainstorming about your video, dream up a few on-brand and audience-focused ideas, and come back for your thoughts and opinions.

If you have a great team, they’ll probably come back to you with three specific ideas. Here at Maestro, we explain this idea trilogy with a beach metaphor.

Comfortable on the beach

This first idea keeps you safe on the beach. In other words, it shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. In fact, the beach idea will probably be your favorite, at first. The idea will be on-brand, and it will also clearly communicate your objectives to your audience. It’ll probably look fantastic, too.

A few steps out into the water

This idea might be a little startling. It will draw you away from the beach — until you’re about waist-deep in the water. But keep an open mind. This idea will also bring you the freshness and differentiation you need to stand out among the crowd. And it’s even more effective if all your competitors are still playing on the beach.

Beach? What beach?

This last idea leaves the beach behind completely — you’ll probably reject this idea at first glance. But give it a little time, and put some trust in your media team. They won’t bring forward ideas they’re not confident they can pull off. In fact, at fourth glance, you might just get the confidence to start swimming. To do something different. To take a risk. If done right, different is powerful, especially when you need to get separate yourself from whatever competitors are still swimming in the shallows.

Once you decided how far from the beach you’re willing to go, it’s time to get started.

Just start swimming

When you look at your first video five years from now, you may wonder what you were thinking. And that’s OK. The important thing is getting started. You can strategize and brainstorm for weeks, but that won’t get great video content out into the world. The more you do, the more you’ll learn, and that will make each new video better than the one before.

Want to see a video that increased target engagement by 2x?

Check out the video we created for Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Watch now