How To Write A Really Good Video Brief – Part 2

This is part two of a three part blog on writing a video brief. You can read part one here.

Avoid ‘Back of an EnvelopeBack of the envelope image’ Brevity

The previous section to this blog explained how you need to be concise in preparing a video brief. However, too little information can also be a problem, so you will need to avoid vague descriptions when identifying the messages you want in your corporate video. Simply putting down that one of your key messages is ‘health’ or ‘the government’ will not be enough to enable your production team to develop the right kind of treatment or script.

If you are too brief or vague in your video brief then your producers are going to have to spend more time exploring your messaging with you before they can get on with actually making your video. Good video producers are happy to do this, but sparse briefs can cause unnecessary delays and false starts for your team and may even lead to confusion about what your message is.

The best way to go about this is to think what you would SAY to someone if you were put on the spot to sum up the position or offer of your business rather than what you would write in a report.

Essentially, it’s how you would pitch your offer to a customer. This will bring you closer to matching your thoughts to the time constraints of video.

Be Up Front and Clear About Your Budget – Yes,really

It seems to a lot of business owners that it’s common sense not to reveal your budget on the basis that if you do your suppliers will just up their proposal figures to your maximum budget and you won’t necessarily get the best deal. While this may occasionally prove true with inexperienced or sloppy suppliers, such a tactic is soon exposed with a bit of close questioning by managers on the process, expertise and technology.

On the other hand, there are many compelling benefits in being transparent about your budget when thinking about your video brief.

Avoid ‘Stab in the Dark’ Proposals

Say what you mean imageCan you imagine going into an estate agents to buy a four-bedroom house, but you decide not to tell them your budget. How do you think that discussion would unfold?

First off, so much time would be wasted while you were shown properties that were either beyond your financial means or below your expectations. Just as with house buying, when it comes to video production the possibilities are endless and a 2-minute video can cost anything from £500 to £20,000 upwards depending on a whole host of production choices.

By not revealing your budget you can end up with an unrealistic and unaffordable proposal landing in your lap or conversely – a proposal that isn’t ambitious enough for what you plan. When this happens, you will have missed the best opportunity to get the most appropriate and meaningful quotes bec
ause video producers are forced to guess at your budget.

By giving an indication of spend, your video production company will be able to produce a realistic and achievable proposal with a whole range of carefully explained options at the upper, middle and lower end of your budget. This puts you fully in control of how to get best value for your money.

Compare Apples with Apples

Apples and oranges imageIf you send your video brief out to several companies without giving any idea of what your budget is, they are likely to assume a different level of budget, so you end up comparing prices for briefs that are radically different. It’s like comparing apples with pears.

Because one company pitches to you at £2000 and another one at £6000, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one is more expensive than the other. The range of video brief you get back may be completely different in their range and scope and it can be that one  company guessed you had a smaller budget than the other.

To test each of your potential producers, give them your budget and then see the different ways that they respond to the same budget limits. From this you get to compare apples with apples, and gain a better insight into the strengths of each video production company.

Nail Your Facts and Figures

Stats imageInclude any hard facts that absolutely have to be expressed in your video. Again – be judicious about these and keep them as concise as possible. These might include things like the number of people that work for you, the percentage sales growth achieved by your company or the number of people turning to your charity for support. Double check all your facts and get them signed off by senior management.

Knowing about vital facts early on means they can be integrated smoothly and intelligently into your video right from the start, rather than shoe-horned in as an after thought.

To be continued…

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