How To Write A Really Good Video Brief – Part 1

This is part one of a three part blog.

Video Brief Cartoon ImageWriting a good video brief will make sure commissioning your video project gets off to a good start. It can save you time and money, and helps your video content producer deliver the video you want as efficiently as possible.

Be Clear In Your Video Brief About Who Your Audience Are and What Your Purpose Is

The first thing to be absolutely clear about when commissioning video is who your audience is – not just in terms of the people but also the nature of your audience and what you are trying to achieve with them. It’s no uncommon for organisations to leave this aspect ill-defined when they commission a video.

Many of the elements in a video brief can be adjusted later but it bodes well to have a well defined audience and a clear purpose. These two elements will chart the course to keep your video on track.

Show Flexibility In Your Video Brief

Video Checklist ImageBusinesses often come with fixed ideas about their video when they approach us for a quote. Be it a fixed idea about how long they want it to be, what kind of video, corporate or animated, whether or not to use voice over, what particular kind of music to use – these are all common.

Now some of these may be perfectly good ideas, but you will need to review them with your video production team. Experience means that they may well suggest a better approach to your brief given your aims. Sharing your ideas but retaining a readiness to be flexible in discussions will will get the best results.

Key Messages

Key messages are an obvious element of any video brief – but “brief” is the key word in this. We’re not talking about writing endless sides of closely typed A4.

Documents like these are meant to be comprehensive, but video is generally a short form medium, so you will have to be selective and precise in your messaging. Think about it – what you have read so far in this blog would take more than two minutes to voice in a video – and this is less than one side of A4.

Remember – A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

That old saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is another key thing to keep in mind. So if you want to communicate a lot in a short amount of time, it’s a good idea to think about what could be shown through just imagery and music. Recent research from Forrester highlights the fact that 1 minute of video is equivalent to 1 million words.

Tablet video imageExperienced video producers know what is best voiced and what is best left to images alone, so expect to have that flexibility mentioned above. But if you have any ideas on where the picture might carry the message best – then it’s a good starting point to list them in your brief.

For example – in a 5 or 6 second sequence of video, you could convincingly show that your staff are happy, your customers are happy, and that you operate in a safe and attractive working environment, without ever having anyone actually say this.

To be continued…

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