There's so much noise online it takes more than a smartphone and the click of a recording button to produce video content that stands out in congested web traffic. 300 hours of video are uploaded and over 4 million videos are watched every minute on YouTube. That adds up to an unbelievable 6 billion hours of video that are consumed every day on just one major digital platform.

If you are serious about capitalising on video content to boost awareness, engagement, leads and sales; it’s important that you pay careful attention to all five phases of the video production process. Yes, traditionally there have been three phases - preproduction, production, post-production - but when you consider how important strategy development is at the beginning and distribution is at the end; we prefer to look at them as distinct phases.

SO, wHAT ARE THE 5 PHASES OF VIDEO PRODUCTION?

A full video production service take you from conceptualisation to completion in the following five phases:

Phase 1: Strategic development

  • video marketing strategy
  • content goals
  • brand guidelines

Phase 2: Pre-production - planning and coordination

  • content strategy
  • content goals
  • project scope
  • budget
  • timeline
  • story and script creation
  • talent scouting
  • equipment sourcing
  • location scouting

Phase 3: Production - creative execution

  • set up sound and lighting
  • primary photography
  • B-roll capture
  • voiceover recordings

Phase 4: Post-production - video editing to final product

  • sound mixing
  • visual effects
  • video editing
  • final delivery for distribution

Phase 5: Distribution

  • distribution
  • optimisation

Looking for a video production company in London?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 1: STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

Strategic development ensures that the video content communicates the right message to your target audience to maximise reach and impact. It’s important that video content supports your brand’s positioning in the marketplace and resonates with your customers with the end goal being to generate authentic leads, boost sales and get maximum return on your video production investment.


HOW TO DEVELOP A VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY

A video marketing strategy sets out the plan of action to integrate engaging video content in the overall marketing strategy. Video content is used to build trust and customer rapport, raise awareness, promote a brand, generate leads and boost sales.

There are 8 steps to developing a video marketing strategy for your brand:

Step One: Understand your target audience

The crux here is to understand your video target audience well enough to know what content resonates with them and how they consume video content. In other words, what channels are they more likely to be on and what format do they respond to best.

It’s a good idea to invest in analytics and marketing metrics which measure the effectiveness of video campaigns across various channels, examine what works or doesn’t work, how the digital marketing platforms have evolved and uncover trends and insights that point in a new direction.

Step Two: Establish your video marketing goals

What are you trying to achieve with your video marketing campaign? Is it required to build brand awareness, educate and inform, motivate and inspire, drive traffic to your website or generate authentic sales leads? This determines what you say, how you say it, where you say it and how much money you spend.

A video campaign that is designed with a clear goal in mind will be far more effective than one that isn’t. Video content with a distinctive purpose that’s distributed and optimised effectively will give you a good return on your production investment.

  • What is your emotional goal?

Trust, peace-of-mind and excitement or fear, mistrust and apprehension… this allows you to emotionally engage with your customers. Video content that resonates emotionally with your target audience is the best type of video to produce.

  • What is your physical goal?

What do you want your customer to do? Tell a friend, share the video, open a link to a webpage, register for a webinar, make a call to the company, buy the product… this is known as a “call to action” and is the ultimate goal of any video marketing campaign.

Step Three: Check for brand consistency

It’s very important that your video content compliments your brand strategy. The video message and its creative style, tone and manner needs to be consistent with the brand across all platforms; from print and email to your website and social media channels.

What you say and how you say it in a video must stay true to your brand’s positioning. In other words, the place that the brand occupies in the minds of your customers and how it stands apart from its competitors.

Step Four: Set a realistic video production budget

Don’t overspend or underspend on your video production. What you spend depends on your content goals. Throwing ‘money at it’ won’t necessarily guarantee the video campaign will be a success; at the same time, underwhelming your target audience is a waste of money and a missed opportunity if you don’t get the ‘call to action’ you desire.

Your video budget needs to partner perfectly with your video goals. This goes hand-in-hand with understanding your video consumer; what digital channels you’ll find them on, how they like to be spoken to and how they consume video content. Only then can you decide how much you need to spend to create the type of video you need.

 Step Five: Choose your digital channels

Facebook probably pops up first when you think of video marketing and even though it’s the biggest digital marketing channel in the world, it isn't the only one. You can’t say for sure which digital channel(s) is best for your target audience until you understand them well and how they consume video content.

Choose a digital marketing channel(s) that fits well with your video marketing goals. The four best marketing platforms to consider are:

Your own network

Mining leads from your existing network is a powerful place to start. Send video content to your current database that is relevant and engaging. The ‘call to action’ should get them to click through to your webpage where you can capture their information and your sales team follow up on the lead; or the person makes a phone call to the company, direct to someone waiting to respond to the customer’s enquiry.

Corporate video blogs (vlogs) on websites are highly effective. They allow you to emotionally engage with your viewer and paint a visual picture where written content on webpages can be tedious to consume.

Social media platforms

Top of mind is Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat; whatever suits your content strategy best. Optimise properly to break through the video congestion and grow your video presence organically.

Paid advertising

Paid ads are one way to give your video content a significant boost. This includes Google AdWords and AdSpend. Paid ads is where video distributers pay for their video content to show up on the first page every time a user searches on the relevant keywords.

Content marketing takes time to build and optimise naturally. Paid advertising is the short-cut to super boosting what you hope to achieve in the long run with organic rankings, but it can be expensive in long run.

Step Six: Set up a system to capture leads

Generating leads is the primary goal of content marketing. In this instance, content is broadcast through a video. Consider setting up an email gate because this method of capturing leads follows the content wherever it is shared on various social media platforms.

Basically, gated content means a visitor must provide an email address in order to receive something valuable in exchange. The key is to encourage the viewer to enter an email address as part of the ‘call for action’. Someone who is willing to give you their personal information (name, contact number and/or email) is a genuine lead.

It’s essential to determine the best time and place to use email gates to generate leads. Email gates or any other method of capturing personal information can make viewers suspicious and are sometimes off-putting; chasing your viewers away, rather than engaging with them.

 Step Seven: Distribute and optimise your video content

Videos need to be distributed to the right channels and optimised properly in order to be viewed by the right people and to generate authentic leads. If you understand SEO (search engine optimisation), you know that optimisation is extremely fluid; the search algorithms that Google and YouTube use change constantly. You need to keep up with current optimisation trends to stay ahead of your competitors.

Search optimisation uses tactical methods to drive ‘first page rankings’ on search engines such as Google. Examples include quality content, backlinks, custom thumbnails, captions and popular tags, a compelling ‘call to action’ and relevant keywords in the description and title. The goal is to make your video content search friendly so your target audience can find your brilliantly-made video.

The most important element of video optimisation is understanding the role of titles and meta-descriptions. These incorporate keywords that customers enter into the search bar on Google, Facebook or YouTube to find what they’re looking for. They’re also known as ‘search queries’.

A video transcript is another effective method of boosting your search prospects. It’s where you do the hard work for Google and YouTube by extracting the content which is naturally scattered with keywords that your target market searches on. You stand a better chance of Google and YouTube qualifying and ranking your video content if you alert them to the context of the content.

 Step Eight: Monitor how the marketing strategy performs and adjust as necessary

Keep track on your video’s performance and change any element that is not working as well as it should be. Your video marketing strategy needs to be timely, relevant, memorable and optimised if you want to see a return on your investment in full video production services.

It’s wise to invest time and money in social media analysis, using advanced technology such as Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics. Learn to identify video marketing trends and find out who is watching your video, how they are consuming the content and whether this is translating to lead generation and business profits.

Video-based analytics provide you with valuable information on how long the target audience spends watching your video; in other words, the average viewer’s attention span. Your video may be too short, slow to get to the point or is not engaging. Monitoring your audience’s digital consumption patterns will help you tweak current videos and do a better job at creating new ones through a professional video production agency.


Looking for a video production company in New York?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 2: PRE-PRODUCTION

The pre-production phase sets the groundwork for the production phase. This is when the planning, research and problem-solving happens to ensure the filming process runs smoothly and on time.

The production phase typically deals with:

  • video production brief
  • content goals
  • scope of project
  • creative vision
  • final budget
  • project timeline
  • scheduling
  • storyboard creation
  • script writing
  • interview questions
  • talent scouting
  • casting
  • equipment requirements
  • location scouting
  • site visits
  • scheduling
  • graphic concepts
  • wardrobe planning
  • equipment planning

PHASE 3: PRODUCTION

This is the fun part of video production when all the research and planning comes together to create the perfect video for your target audience. A professional video producer will translate your video content goals into a visual masterpiece.

The production phase typically deals with:

  • setting up sound, lighting and video equipment
  • a-roll footage
  • b-roll footage
  • interviews
  • voiceover recordings
  • supporting graphics

The difference between a-roll and b-roll footage?

A-roll footage is the primary raw footage used to create the final video. It’s an old-fashioned term that was more relevant to big screen and television film-making when raw material was captured on celluloid film.

B-roll footage provides supplementary material that is usually gathered by a separate team. It includes footage from stock libraries that provides supporting imagery and cutaway shots to expand upon the video storyline.

B-roll footage is particularly useful for documentary videos. It’s also used to capture behind-the-scenes footage which is used in a preview videos, when required.


PHASE 4: POST-PRODUCTION

The producer and editor work together in the post-production phase to create their magic. The video production team supports them behind-the-scenes.

The post-production phase typically deals with:

  • music selection
  • sound effects
  • visual effects
  • colour correction
  • audio sweetening
  • supporting graphics
  • interview transcripts
  • video editing

The post-production phase takes the raw footage to ‘first edit’ to be provisionally approved and any changes made; to the final approved copy which is ready to be distributed and optimised.


Looking for a video production company in Los Angeles?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 5: DISTRIBUTION & OPTIMISATION

Distribution and optimisation is essential to get a return on your investment. The research, planning and beautiful filming doesn’t count for anything if your target audience doesn’t find you in the intense clutter of videos on the web.

Today, video content is created for its marketing purposes but more importantly, for its SEO purposes. SEO means search engine optimisation and is the process a company goes through to ensure its website ranks high on the search engines for relevant search words and phrases. The ultimate goal is ‘first page’ ranking on the three biggest search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Google loves video content. There’s no doubt that videos boost online visibility, drive more traffic to webpages and increase website rankings on search engines. This is why Phase 5 of the video production process is so important.


What is targeted distribution?

Targeted distribution is the task of placing video content where your target audience will find it and consume it. The distribution strategy is a critical element in the video production process and it needs to be strategic and selective.

Thorough research helps you understand what your target audience wants to see, where they want to see it and how they want to see it. Clever distribution puts your video in front of the people who matter.

These are your distribution options:

Your own business resources

Company website

Customer database

Instore/inhouse presentations

Blogs

Corporate marketing material

 

Social media platforms

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

WhatsApp

 

Public relations tactics

Press releases

News sites

Exhibitions

Product launches

WHAT IS OPTIMISATION?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) are the tricks of the trade used to make sure Google notices your online content, approves of it and recommends it to readers. You want your webpage to be on the first page the comes up for a search query and that can only be achieved by producing content that is relevant, engaging and authoritative.

You can pay to rank on the first page (paid adverts using AdWords and AdSense) or you can use professional optimisation techniques to rank organically, in other words by natural progression.

 

HOW TO USE VIDEOS TO BOOST SERP RANKINGS

SERP means Search Engine Results Pages. These are the pages that Google displays in response to a search query. Everyone wants to appear on the first page but it’s not easy. Uploading a video to your webpage does not boost your rankings; you need professional SEO tactics to beat millions of webpages to achieve the hallowed first page ranking.

Videos that achieve high rankings on SERP have the following characteristics:

  • the video content keeps them engaged so they watch the video for longer and don’t ‘bounce’ to the next video
  • the viewer acts on the ‘call to action’ and ‘clicks through’ to the website
  • viewers share it which tells Google it is relevant and useful
  • viewers link it to another webpage which tells Google it is authoritative content

Looking for a video production company in San Francisco?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


IN SUMMARY

We hope that this guide has shown you that there is a bit more to the video production process than you might have initially thought. That said - it really isn't as complicated as some companies would have you believe - particularly if you have a video production company at your side who knows what they're talking about. The web is heavily congested with video content and it’s only going to get worse, which is why the strategy development phase in the beginning and the distribution and optimisation phase at the end will only continue to grow in importance.

Don't be daunted by the video production process - employ the services of a professional film production company in New York or wherever you are based. Starting off on the right foot and ending at the right place will save you time and money and ensure you get a good return on your investment.

Casual Films is a full-service video production agency that partners with your business to place the best video in front of the people that need to see it.  Whatever you're trying to achieve, we'd like you to think of Casual Films as guardians of your video marketing strategy, making sure that your video project achieves exactly what you need it to. 


Whatever you're trying to achieve take a moment to consult our easy to follow guide to writing briefs which will make your video more engaging, memorable and ultimately effective.

Topics: Production process, Being a better commissioner

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