Telling Your Story: Video 101

By August 6, 2019 Cardigan

In today’s high-tech business world, video is a hot commodity. From YouTube tutorials to TED talks every company has a story to tell, and video is the preferred media in which to tell it. Why? Because it puts a personality to a product or company, and it can be far more entertaining than simply listening to another lecture or attending another meeting. But how do you create a video that effectively delivers your message – or story – to the right audience in the right way? While video is definitely a creative medium, there is a formulaic approach to take before, during, and after those cameras roll:

1. Define Your Purpose

As a producer, I would argue that this is the most important aspect of the process. If you don’t have a clear purpose for your video, you can be sure that it won’t resonate with your desired audience. How do you define purpose? Ask yourself what it is that you want your video to accomplish. Once you establish a purpose, you have to identify your audience, and decide what feelings you want to evoke in them through your video. What actions do you want them to take after they watch it?

2. Preparation is Key

If you don’t grab the audience’s attention within the first few seconds, they will disengage. Preparation is key to creating a video that will make people actually stop what they are doing and watch.

Spend time creating (and revising) a storyboard and a script – even if the video is an interview, you’ll need this to come up with the questions that will be asked and to determine any b-roll you might need. Scout locations and select wardrobe and props – scenery and other visuals help you to convey your message and set the tone for the video.

Deciding who you will use to tell your story or get your message out clearly, concisely, eloquently and in an engaging manner can sometimes be the most challenging element to nail down. Finding the right person (or persons) who fits the tone of the video you are aiming for is important.

Nail down the logistics. Consider what equipment you will need and how many people you will need to have on hand to shoot the footage and make sure your storytellers look the part. Prepare a production schedule and coordinate with everyone involved to make sure that they show up on time, and know exactly what each of their responsibilities are day of the shoot so that everyone shows up “ready to roll.”

A little (ok, it’s actually a lot of), preparation goes a long way in creating strong content.

3. Execution, a.k.a. Action!

Create a stress-free working environment by making everyone comfortable and keeping everyone on schedule but always be ready to have to execute on the fly, too—because something unexpected will always happen and you need to be ready with a back-up plan.

If possible, keep an eye on what the videographers are seeing through the lens so that you know when you’ve got the shot and you can move on. But also have trust in your team and their skills when you can’t be there to see what they are seeing – if you’ve clearly communicated with them the purpose and vision, you can have faith that they are getting the necessary shots. Finally, don’t be afraid to draw emotion out of your video subjects. Today’s audiences crave authenticity – look for those nuggets of gold and chase them.

4. Delivery

The magic happens in the editing room, but no amount of editing can save a video lacking in purpose, planning, and execution. On the flip side, editing can also change the tone of your video if not careful.

For example, if the video is not quick and upbeat in nature, then avoid choppy edits. Don’t save the best footage for last—put it right up front because that’s what will grab attention and keep it. Make sure the final product is cohesive from music to edits to color correction, and that it aligns with company’s visions, goals, and standards.

A video can be a highly effective tool for both internal and external communications, creating a platform for sharing your message with your audience in both an engaging and informative way. If you, like most, are outsourcing your video production, it’s important to us at Cardigan that you understand these steps and that we keep open dialogue throughout each step of the process so that we can ensure we tell your story in the best way possible.

Looking for someone to help you tell yours? Contact us, we’d love to chat with you!

In the meantime, you can find more samples of our work here.

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