Having a production workflow is crucial to online video success. In today’s In-Sites, we’re providing you with a close look into our online video production process from pre-production to distribution while providing tips for your next video shoot.
Stage #1: Pre-production
Research and Planning
You want to focus on two major areas during the research and planning phase—your audience and your keywords. With your audience, you want to get a pulse check on topics of immediate interest. For example, if you analyze that in the past month, people have been focusing on website redesign tips, then it would be within your best interest to provide that insight to your audience.
Once you’ve established a topic, look for effective keywords to use within your video’s meta description as well as within the video script. If your video is not scripted, keep these keywords in mind during your video shoot and find ways to include them naturally into your content.
Next, write an outline or a full fledged script for your upcoming video. Even if you don’t record everything written down, it’s best to have a point of reference during the production. Be aware of who you are creating this video for, what type of video content you are creating, and how long your video should be. Don’t fluff your script to extend the length of the video. Always make sure that you create a script within the guidelines of your audience’s average watch time and that it is consistent with your brand’s tone and style.
Key takeaway: If you are writing a script, have your Content Manager or Strategist proofread the copy. During the writing process, some key points may become accidentally omitted or the copy may not translate well for video. Check for clunky copy, omitted keywords or other important data—preventing the loss of your video’s message and purpose in the process.
With every video, you want to make sure you have everything you need for your video shoot. In fact, here is a checklist of what you should plan for in advance:
- Script or outline: Make sure you have the finalized script or outline available before you plan the design assets and other props needed for the video.
- Video subject: Who will be the subject of your video? Whether it’s an in-house team member or an outside talent, you want to make sure that they are booked and raring to go the day of the production. It is also within your best interest to send your finalized script or outline to your subject. This gives them adequate time to prep beforehand.
- Design elements: Will this video need animation? Is the entire video animated? Will you need a title sequence, onscreen text, etc.? List all the design elements necessary and make a reference to this design asset in the script. Help your design team by preparing in advance your specific design needs and indicating where they are placed in the video. Build consistency in your videos by creating a style guide in preparation for all the editing, audio, and visual tweaks.
- Props, makeup and costumes: Will you need props and costumes during the video shoot? What should your video subject be expected to wear? How should the hair and makeup be? Where will this film be recorded? Create a style guide for props, makeup, costumes, etc. so that you are not stumbling the day of the video shoot.
If you plan out ahead of time who your video is for, what your video is about, where it will live, and how your audience will be able to see it, you’ve laid out the groundwork for a successful video process—Direct Images Interactive
Stage #2: Production
Teleprompter Notation and Observation
If you are using a teleprompter, import your script into the teleprompter and take notes on any changes the actor makes during the video shoot. Film scripts are a crucial point of reference for your design team. If nothing else, keep an up-to-date outline throughout the video shoot that your design team can use during the editing process.
Key takeaway: Be observant, especially with your video subject. If your subject is tired or stumbles through some of the script copy, it is imperative that you catch this during the video shoot. That way, you don’t have to create a whole new production just for a few preventative retakes.
Social Media Campaign
Instead of combing through the final video to find teasers for your social media, have someone record behind-the-scenes photos or video clips to share with your audience. For example, record a mini behind-the-scenes series—showing what topics you plan to talk about in your next video or mini interviews with the online video production team.
For more information on the most important item to have during your video shoot, watch the following video:
Your video may take a long time to create depending on what kind of video you create. For example, a live video process that takes as long as the session is live versus a full production video which includes a video shoot, editing time, and a review process. That’s why deciding on what kind of video you want to create is very important.—Direct Images Interactive
Stage #3: Post Production
Import and Edit
Your design team is now in charge of combing through the imported videos for takes they can piece together—providing a succinct flow from the start of the video all the way to the end.
During the editing process, look out for potential thumbnail images. You can either take stills during the video shoot or screencap a portion of the video for your video thumbnail.
With your rough video edit and thumbnail done, it’s time for the final review. Go through your video at least three times and keep an eye out for specific items. First, check the flow of the entire video—Is your message clear from start to finish?” Second, review design—making sure that the onscreen assets are on time and are visually appealing. And finally, be thorough with the timing of the audio and visuals—analyzing whether or not the audio matches the visuals, etc.
Once the final video is approved, it’s time to render it and upload it to a video hosting service. Choose one service as a personal library for your content then decide on secondary hosts during the distribution stage. For instance, we use Wistia to host our In-Sites video series. But once we have that uploaded and staged on our website, then we upload our videos to other services like YouTube and Facebook for further video reach.Finally, take your script copy and provide an accurate transcription for your video. Google favors close captioning, and if your copy is rich with keywords, provide transcription copy.
Stage #4: Distribution
Stage and Distribute
Host your video on your website by taking the video embed code and embed it onto your website. You can embed the video in your blogs or you can dedicate an entirely new section of your website for your video series.
Once your video is live, you have a week to get your content out there. Create teasers, share the link, etc. Whatever your resources look like, you should do all that you can to get as many eyes on your video as possible. For more information on distributing your content, check out the following video:
Get your stuff out there and bring them back to your website through strong call-to-actions or references to additional blog posts or videos that are hosted on your site.—Direct Images Interactive
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