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Corporate Video Production: How to Get Started (Checklist)

As video continues to be adopted by the business world there will be many of you who will want to get started but wont be so sure of what the process should be.  To help you get started, I wanted to outline the major steps that will apply to most video projects, no matter what use timeline, budget, department or business function they apply to. Think of this as a checklist to help guide you, but that some of these steps, or additional ones may apply depending on your situation. Lets start with the BIG QUESTION….

  1. *Why?: *This really is the big one. Why are you making a video in the first place? It may be because you think a marketing video giving an overview of your company is a smart experiment, maybe you need to hire better employees so you think a recruitment video will help, maybe you want to ‘add some sizzle’ before your CEO takes the stage at a conference. Any ‘why’ will do, it’s just really good to know the reason behind the initiative in the first place because it will likely shape the rest of the project.
  2. *Goals: *This one may be one the same as ‘the why’ but it might not. I like to tie the goals to a step in the sales cycle: In other words, are you trying to boost awareness, educate them further about a product they already know about or convert them to close  the sale? I think that by having just one goal you have a much better chance of achieving it, too many goals make for longer, more convoluted messages that may be in conflict with each other.
  3. Audience: *Who is your video targeted at? The more narrow you can make it, the better. By determining who, where and when you want to reach is critical to shaping the shape, length tone/style of the message.
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  4. Timeline: *If you have 1 day to produce a video, your options are limited. With too many months, the message or conditions may change.  I’d estimate our typical timeline is somewhere between a couple days and a couple months. It may be very different for you, just consider what the involved elements are likely to be and you can get a sense for what kind of window you may need.
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  5. Assets: *In many cases, you may have more available assets for a video than you realize. Perhaps you have a ton of high resolution photos, a charismatic marketing exec, a nice looking office, all these are potential assets that can go into producing your content and they can save real time and real money if used wisely.
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  6. Budget: *If your goal is to produce a cool and interesting video and you don’t have many resources, having a healthy budget means you can likely use some budget on graphics, high quality video production, voice over, music, a studio, etc. It’s worth noting that if you don’t have much of a budget, but you do have time, you may be able to call in some favors or find a student to help out, but if the goals are important,  finding that person and relying on them is a big gamble.
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  7. Production Partner: The best way to make sure your goals are met is by working with a production partner with the skills, experience, talent and availability to bring your project to life. Remember that video production is a service, not just a deliverable and you want to work with someone who helps make the process easier and the outcomes better.*
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  8. *Plan: *Once you have your production partner involved, you can start to develop the project plan.
  9. Message: The most important part of your video is the message, you have to make sure that you are focusing on saying the right thing. It’s easy to say too much, to go too long – keep it simple, keep it on target. Be bold and decide what you really can cut. *
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  10. Creative: *Once you know ‘what’ you want to say, then you can establish the creative of ‘how’ you want to say it. This is the step where you determine the style of how you will  communicate visually and with audio to get the message across to the right people in the right way.**Always ask yourself: “Does the creative support the goals, audience, message, timeline and budget?” If not, go back to the drawing board.*
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  11. Feedback & Approval process: It’s important to establish a process for when and how you will be able to review the milestones in production and how to give feedback. By creating gates at every major  step in the production process, you can make sure you  are on budget, schedule and message. Be careful that the approval list isn’t too long, too may cooks spoil the soup!**
  12. Greenlight!: *Once you have all these taken care of, it’s time to ‘greenlight’ the project and get started! You’ll want to review these during the project to stay on track and add any other steps that are relevant to your specific project. *

*Congratulations! *You are well on your way to getting started on your video project, is it too early for some bubbly?

Want to learn more about using online video for your organization? Download our free Online Video Marketing Guide: Learn How to Promote your Business with Video (Free Download)

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help answer them.

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