5 Tips For Planning Your Business Video


The Video Stewards produce many different types of video projects within a given year. In 2015 so far, we’ve worked on or are currently working with a handful of Fortune 500 companies, some of the best medical practices in the Carolinas, national best selling book authors, the auto-sports industry and some of the best local small businesses.

We tend to produce videos from the ground up, from first vision to the big screen; Other times, non-local clients need a video production crew to cover something going on in our region and need a credible company to handle the gig.

As most know by now, videos are a great and effective inclusion to your future marketing plan. Often times though, the business owners ideas, or lack of ideas don’t always add up or lean toward a persuasive video format that will entice their prospects or reap many benefits moving into the future.

This often happens when common mistakes our made during the planning process of any video production.

Here are 5 helpful tips to consider before diving into to your next video shoot:

1. Understanding The Potential Usage of the Video Materials.

We were recently booked by a company seeking our services to cover a live conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Videography services only, no post-production requested at first. (Post-production definition: Video editing, graphics, special effects, audio mixing, color correction & grading, final delivery, etc.)

This scenario usually includes filming the keynote speaker in his/her entirety, following them throughout their delivery and then at the end of the day supplying the client with a hard drive of all the raw footage.

Here, the business owner and marketing director only wanted the speakers covered and didn’t consider the additional investment to include extra “broll” footage of the event, including: on-camera soundbites with the company management, employees and clients at the event, coverage of  interior / exterior product displays, other attendants and random beauty shots from the location.

After pointing out the possibilities of what additional videos could be pulled from this huge event and showing them some examples we’ve done for similar clients in similar scenarios, they opted to take the shoot up a notch to include these additional elements. Good choice.

Planning to film additional footage and soundbites will allow multiple purposes for future marketing endeavors. Yes, this often requires more crew, gear and cameras, as well as post-production time – but well worth its weight in gold when you now have a handful of videos that can be produced from one video shoot, rather than only one straightforward outcome.

Also, ask yourself this: Do you really want to handle the post-production side of the all the raw footage filmed?  A decision should be considered to allow the video production company that filmed your event to handle the post production. (The Video Stewards in this case.)

Dealing with HD video formats, conversions, prepping footage, creative vision & production, video editing, motion graphics creation, technical hiccups, etc., can be a little overwhelming if someone on the team is just a novice.

You should definitely consider taking a huge load off your back, stay busy with what you do daily and allow a creative artist to oversee all of the post-production for you. Ideally, the one’s who originally filmed the footage since they’re familiar with what they filmed and the techniques they use. (The Video Stewards.)

2. The Shoot Isn’t The Most Important Thing Going on that Day.

There you are, production day.

The video crew will be there soon to begin setup for a full day of filming and you realize yourself and others involved in the video have a 11:00am business call and will need to break away to take the call, therefore stopping the progress and the momentum of the shoot all of a sudden. It’s sometimes difficult to get back in the groove, when you step away to conduct business and have other things on the mind upon your return.

Not good. Be sure to set aside the entire day for exactly what it is: A company video production day in a controlled environment.
This will mean anything and everyone needs to be aware how important it is to “get the shots” and be available for their part in the day.

If planning isn’t involved, how can a prospect visualize your thriving business when the place is empty because staff weren’t made aware that they may be seen in the background and depart for the day, leaving you with an empty place of business that’s less than thrilling.

Or your client room is dull and empty because you forgot to find or ask people to act as “stand-ins” to fill your waiting area.

Attitude. This is another important aspect of the day’s filming. It’s important to be ready for the shoot physically and mentally. Be happy, excited and flexible.

If Bob down in the Research & Development department gets the memo the day before the video production day- he might not be too happy when a camera crew invades the area he’s developing the latest breakthrough product for the company.

If aiming to produce a professional video with all the bells and whistles, everyone most understand that multiple takes will be needed, lots of footage will be captured and the day will normally run long. Patience is a virtue and will pay off in the final product. Rush through everything or try to squeeze in too much in too little time and it shows.

So… best to hold a company meeting to discuss the importance of the video that you are investing in. In the long run, everyone having an understanding of what is going on and what is expected from them will show up in the final video.



3. Planning Talking Points but Not Scripting Everything.

Although you do what to decide the general nature of the questions that will be asked in the interview, nothing is worse than seeing someone trying to say word for word all their talking points about a particular topic related to the company.

Instead, just have a conversation about each topic. (Imagine yourself in a coffee house with your favorite brewed concoction, patiently talking with a friend about your knowledge of the happening within the company.)

Breath, relax and know that you don’t have to nail it on the first, second…or heck, even the third take. As you need to come into the video shoot showing patience, so does the production crew.

We live in a day and time where people want real. Come across plastic or scripted and people get bored, uninterested and quit watching.  Deliver your knowledge in a professional, natural manner. Try not to be too stiff and rigid. It will look bad on camera.

When selecting those who will be spokespersons for the company, try to find people who are naturals.

Plan this ahead of time and and prep them for what will taking place and what the talking points will be related to. Coach them on being natural and relaxed.

Commission those who enjoy a good conversation and can deliver words well without referring to anything scripted.

Find upper management who can invest their professionalism and gift of gab in the form of great soundbites on-camera for the video.

Select staff and employees who are excited about working with the company and have great personalities.

Choose clients that will deliver a great testimonial for your company and praise their experience doing business with you. Make sure they are the type of clients you want to serve as a sounding board for what you do.

4. Clean Up The Place of Business Before Shoot Day.

Take time beforehand to organize and tidy up the working areas of your business that will appear in the video.

This list includes:

1) Organizing office spaces and working areas.

2) Taking sticky notes off computer monitors.

3) De-clutter office area and/or cubicles.

4) Remove empty soft drink bottles, potato chip bags or junk from areas.

5) Straighten framed pictures on walls.

6) Clean entrance door glass or other glass and monitors from fingerprints.

7) Straighten and organize the company conference room.

8)Spruce up building exterior area of trash or other eye sores if possible.

9) Remove anything that can date the video. (Employees photos, holiday decorations, signs or images that you shouldn’t be seen.)

10) Don’t allow the intern with loud bumper stickers to park near the front to avoid capturing when filming exteriors of your establishment.

Make it a group effort and have the team work together to be ready for the video shoot. Do a final walkover to ensure everything is looking good.

Definitely don’t wait until the last minute to pull this off.

5. Don’t Over Do it.

If filming an “Overview Video” or an “About The Company Video”…interviewing everyone on the team will result in one overly long video that most people won’t stick around to watch anyway.

An ideal time of about 2-4 minutes should be able to include about 3 – 5 staff members and a couple client testimonials for this type of video.

Carefully select those people you feel will have the best ability to deliver information regarding your company in a relaxed, polished manner. (Let those know who didn’t make the cut that it’s nothing personal.)

Scott Steward