CREATING AN EFFECTIVE VIDEO BRIEF

Discover how to create an effective brief for your next video project by following our simple 5-step guide.

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As with anything in business, proper planning prevents… well, you get the idea.

Video production is no exception. To achieve fantastic outcomes from your next video project you will want to get organised right from the outset. 

A video brief is the perfect way to do this. A brief helps you to organise all of your ideas for the project – the content, the audience, where it will be promoted and that crucial deadline and budget.

Creating a clear and detailed brief is a good first step before approaching your video production company for a quote. It’s also a great way of pitching your ideas to other stakeholders within your company and makes sure everyone involved in the project is working towards the same goals.

This practical guide takes you through the 5 key steps in preparing your brief. We’ve even created a free template for you to download and get started right away. It couldn’t be easier!

Download the Video Brief Template

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Step 1: Purpose

To begin with, you should outline the purpose of the video. The focus here isn’t so much on what the video is going to be like, but rather what it is intended to achieve along with how the company or department will benefit from that.

Clearly defining the purpose of the video is key to success.  If the aim is to show it to customers or to other businesses, then you should have goals in mind from it – such as generate revenue, increasing customer numbers or building up a brand presence.

It's often sensible to limit the number of messages in a single video. One message is great, the more you try to pack in, the less effective it will be. Remember K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

If you’re using your brief to pitch the business case of video to your colleagues, you might want to include some figures pertinent to their role and duties E.g. “increase website sales by 15%” or “reduce staff training time by 10 hours”.
 

Step 2: Audience

Closely tied with the idea of purpose is the idea of the audience.  Once you know whether you are creating a video for internal or external use, you can then begin to consider the exact audience in more detail. 

For example, where will the audience watch the video?  If you plan to share it across social media sites such as YouTube, then you should consider the length of video that this audience prefer consuming. The same goes for if the video will be displayed on your website, used in training sessions or presented at trade shows. Always have your audiences’ viewing habits in mind.

You may also want to consider how you want the audience to feel – are you seeking an emotional connection? Do you want to impress them? Are you seeking to put a human face on the company?
 

Step 3: Content

Once you have an outline of the purpose and audience for the video, you have a good basis to begin to consider the content that will help you achieve your goals.  Take the time to list everything you need the video to include. Think beyond just the video footage itself – consider still images, graphics and animation, in addition to the people involved. 

You may want to use interview sections with staff or customers, or footage from your premises or off site locations, depending on the topic.  Would a narrator or a voice-over help bring everything together? Will suitable music add emotion to the piece and help engage your audience?

This step should be an outline (notes/thoughts/ideas) and will inevitably be developed in partnership with your production company.

Other items to detail in the video brief will be practical considerations such as where and when will the video be shot? Put some thought to issues such as health and safety implications, and how the shooting will fit around the working day.
 

Step 4: Promotion

Considering how your video will be promoted from the outset will ensure it meets its purpose and reaches its audience. Start with where people will view the video; something that you considered when looking at the audience. This will help you determine the best format for the video and factor in other requirements E.g. making the video available on DVD.

Likewise if your video is intended for your customers, will additional spend need allocating for promoting it with paid adverts on websites like YouTube and Facebook? When will this promotional activity take place?

If you're using a full service production company, they should be able to help you with optimisation, promotion and analytics.

It is equally important to plan promotion for videos that will also be used internally. Ensuring your colleagues see the value of using the video will help achieve the best pay-off or return-on-investment.
 

Step 5. Budget & Deadline

Perhaps the most complicated part of the video brief is considering a budget, especially if this is your first video project. Start by discussing the project with other stakeholders to determine what budget is available. This will help you establish a spend limit and give you a budget range to work within.

Go through all the points detailed earlier in your brief to highlight any potentially unexpected expenses that could occur and allow for some budget flexibility. Consider 'production value' - do you need just the basics (standard filming and creative), or would your video benefit from more creative latitude (likely to keep people interested for longer and convey a more premium feel). Perhaps your message needs even higher production values, such as complex and detailed creative input, professional actors, specialist cameras or drone footage.

There’s no golden rule to pricing a video. You’re paying for creative ideas, filming, editing, specialist equipment and potentially some marketing and analytics too. Budget ranges for a 90 second video: standard production value (£1500 - £2500), typical production value (£2500), high production value (£2500+)

The next step is to engage a professional video production team who will use your brief to prepare a schedule and accurate costing for the whole process, including pre-production, the actual filming days and editing days. Allow time for reviewing the video and any additional shooting days if it is discovered that something extra is required.

Sometimes you are a position where you don’t have a set budget for your video project. In this situation, the video brief becomes even more important to allow us to offer you a quote.  With a detailed brief, we can give you an idea of the costs to create the video for you to then take to relevant management to discuss.

Finally, the deadline needs to be included in the closing part of the brief. Whether it is a rough one, say one or two months’ time, or an exact date to coincide with an event such as Christmas or Easter, having a set timeline for when the video will be completed and released is the final, important step in creating the brief.
 

Time to Get Started!

Using this guide and our free template, you will quickly be able to produce a brief suitable to take to your video production company for an accurate quote. It will also provide the clarity that everyone within the business requires, laying out the goals and conditions for the video that can guide the entire process.

Download your copy of our free template now to make a start on creating your brief today and capture that video vision in a clear and organised format.