A Client’s Guide to a Successful Video Project (From the Perspective of the Production Company)

By, Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Our clients come in all shapes and sizes, and we thrive on that kind of diversity. Each project we take on presents a new opportunity to create something special. And, whether big or small, our end goal is always to successfully complete each project; however, to do that, we need our clients’ help. That’s why we have put together a few tips that will help guide clients down the path of success!

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1) Know Your Goal, Know Your Audience

Two of the very first questions we ask clients are: “What is the goal of the video?” and “Who is the audience?” By establishing these two points upfront, we begin to map out, not only what the content should be, but how best to present this information. How we approach a profile video is different from a product video, a client/customer testimonial, and a 30-second spot. Each type of video comes with its own characteristics, and that’s what makes each so unique. Here is where we begin to mold the foundation of the video. The goal and the audience are the driving forces behind the project, and we can only fully understand these with the help of the client.

2) Budget Wisely

Following “the goal” and “the audience”, understanding the budget is next in line. It is no surprise that the budget plays a major factor in the overall project. Establishing the budget early on in the project allows us to pitch creative ideas within the set scope. Pre-production, production, and post-production costs are factored based on the scope of work determined through collaborative conversations with our clients. We prefer to be transparent with our clients in regards to cost, so they will know exactly how the budget breaks down before signing the contract. This way, there are no surprise costs down the line, and our focus can remain on other contributing factors to complete the project.

3) Keep it Concise

More times than not, the content of the video will come from interview answers, scripted narration, on-screen callouts, or a combination of these. In using any of these methods, the information will be presented throughout the video, and the best way to keep the audience’s attention is to keep it concise. This applies to the interview answers, or the verbiage of the script, or callouts. We never want to overwhelm the audience with information; we want to provide them with just enough to understand. Concision is often an overlooked quality of a successful project; however, it can make all the difference. We strive to find that perfect balance between a video that is concise, yet still feels complete. Following the video, audience members should be left wanting to learn more with a desire to carry out the call to action.

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4) Prepare for Production

Just as our Project Manager or Producer serves as the liaison between the client and the production crew, our hope is that our main contact from the client’s side will also act as the liaison for the rest of his/her team. This mean relaying production preparation notes to those who will be a part of the video. Employees should be made aware well in advance that a production will occur, and given direction (if necessary) on their appearance for the day of the shoot. Perhaps employees should be wearing company branded clothing, or asked to dress more formally than usual. Whatever the case may be, they should be prepped on this ahead of time, not the day of the shoot.

On this same note, preparing for production means tidying up the space that the crew will be working in. Many of our productions take place on location--meaning not in the studio--and this location is often the client’s office, facility, factory, etc. Just as the appearance of employees is important, the state of the work space is also reflective of the company. For example, if we will be capturing footage at someone’s desk, it would help if yesterday’s lunch is not still sitting out next to a scattered pile of papers. A quick office clean up prior to the production day goes a long way in the overall polished look of the video!

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5) Utilize the Video

Congratulations- the video is completed! A lot of work has gone into creating this video, so why stop there? Now that the client has this vital marketing tool at hand, it is time to go out and use it. The final piece of a successful video is how effectively it is utilized. Most videos will live on a client’s website, and that is a perfect place to start. These days, when we search online for a company, we have come to expect a video on the home page. Once the video is up and running, many clients think that is it; however, there are many more uses, including social media, conferences, tradeshows, and email marketing, just to name a few. John Scaletta, Motion Source’s President, hits the mark with this explanation, “You’re not buying a video; you’re buying what a video can do for you.” Exhaust the ways to share the final video, reach a larger audience, and make the most of your investment.