Video is the fastest growing marketing tool online. Why? Video gets more people to your website, keeps them there longer, increases conversions and boosts search engine ranking. It is therefore no surprise that more businesses are harnessing the power of video. But where to start?

Consider the analogy of building a house. You would not commission a builder without a detailed set of plans. You wouldn't tell them you'd like to build a house - not sure how big or how many rooms, needs to look great and in a good location. Oh, and either in brick or stone. How much will that cost?

It all starts with the planning.

1. Be clear about what you want to achieve

The objective of your video will inform the planning required both for production and distribution. The clearer your concept, the easier it will be for the production company to draft a brief that meets your criteria. Be clear about what you want the video to achieve and, most importantly, how you want the viewer to respond.
Ask yourself 'What is the goal for my video?' Do you want to raise awareness?, build trust?, drive traffic to a web page? Inform, introduce or instruct?. If you have more than one objective, then you probably require more than one video.

2) Define success

When you have identified specific objectives, you then need to identify how you will measure the return on your investment. Examples might include google analytics, youtube views, twitter shares, customer retention, customer feedback and, of course, increased sales.

3) Find video examples you like

Selecting videos that you like and writing a down pro's and con's list, can help you decide on style and content. Online video is more engaging and memorable than text, it is therefore essential that your video is consistent with your brand. Your production company will have ideas and suggestions based on their experience but you are the expert in your business and you will know what feels best for your company.

4) Determine your budget range

Be clear on what resources you will provide and what you are willing to pay for. Who will be responsible for the development of the storyboard and script? Will the video feature yourself/staff/customers or will actors/voiceover be required? Where will the video be shot? How will it be promoted?

Be clear on your maximum budget but start with your minimum requirements for your video.

5) Fix your timeline

It is important to clarify the timespan for the production and set realistic production goals. Be precise and organised when deciding on the available filming time. Factor in editing and review time when setting a deadline for delivery. Being prepared will save you both time and money.

If you are clear on what you want you are more likely to get it!!

Article by Mark Sidney of Nova Pictures.

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