Video production can completely transform the way you communicate with customers, if it’s planned properly.

At 7video, we’re advocates for following best practice in the planning and pre-production process for film and animation projects. Doing so saves our customers substantial money, time, and resources later on.

Hiring a skilled video agency is just one step towards ensuring a great video. It’s still crucial that you have clear objectives and a fantastic plan in place when you approach a company like ours. Consider these 7 tips for pre-production before you get started:

  1. Understand the timescales for your project
  2. Define your customer demographics
  3. Draft a clear message
  4. Plan your budget
  5. Write an interesting video script
  6. Get to the point within 8 seconds
  7. Plan the ideal video length

1. Understand the timescales for your project

It’s key that you understand this. When do you need it by? Have you considered how long it will take to plan and produce? Remember to discuss this with us at the earliest opportunity so we can agree a production schedule to ensure your targets are met. All projects are bespoke varying quite a bit in terms of the time needed, so it’s important that we have this conversation. 

2. Define your customer demographics

Researching your customer demographics will position you for success. In-house, create detailed profiles that represent your target viewers and unveil their interests and needs. Document these findings to carefully narrow down your audience.

It’s impossible for any film or animation campaign to cater to everyone, so focus your energy on attracting customers within a specific profile group. Having the average customer for your company in mind will empower us to create a video that looks and sounds authentic.

This is a great example of a video we made when the project really understood who there audience is:

3. Draft a clear message

After you define the people your video is addressing, the next step is to solidify the specific message you wish to convey. While it’s tempting to try to say everything at once in one video, this can dilute your key messages.

Pick specific objectives and draft clear messages. We can then support or help refine this, but it’s equally vital for you to know the message you wish to convey specifically with your video.

An explainer video describes features of your product, a message from the CEO spells out your values or a YouTube ad may be related to current trends.

An important tip is to refrain from explaining what you do. Instead, stick to what you are promoting or explaining. A video with a concise message will have a longer run time and provide a better return of investment.

Here’s a superb example of an animation we made with a really clearly defined message:

4. Plan your budget

A vital aspect of pre-production is to plan a budget in advance. Having a set budget will better equip you to maximize your deliverables.

Help both your team and our team get on the same page about financing to accelerate the production process. Consider factors such as the film or animation style you want, who is going to be interviewed, what is going to be featured, location details, voice-overs and props for conveying the message. 

Remember: a bad video is worse than no video at all. Try to be clear with us about your budget, as we can work with you to maximise what you have to produce a quality video that won’t harm your company’s image and will do a better job of accomplishing your goals.

5. Write an interesting video script

Making a video script engaging should be obvious, yet some companies get stuck focusing on formal language or protocols instead of engaging material.

You may not know how to write a good script but you should already have your key messages which can help inform it.  Once you’ve got something down, we can help support you to refine it. Then make sure you review and critique the script so that you know your message is spelled out clearly before finalising the video.

Modifying the script during the production stage can cost additional time and money because once the storyboard is created, you’ve already invested in the work that goes into production.

This powerful video we made was a huge success, thanks to its script and direct messaging:

6. Get to the point within 8 seconds

Eight seconds is the average attention span of an internet user. Your opening message should become clear in that time. With a clear script and close collaboration with our team, being succinct in the first few seconds will further the strengthen your message.

This is a great example of an animation we produced showing how to get to the point quickly:

7. Plan the ideal video length

It’s unwise to start the production phase without debating and finalising the ideal length of your video.

Keep in mind the ideal video lengths:

  • We recommend that the majority of videos are a maximum of 90 seconds.
  • For YouTube ads, the optimal length is 30 to 60 seconds.
  • YouTube videos are best kept between 8 and 10 minutes.
  • TV commercials should be between 60 and 90 seconds.

The stereotype that short videos are more watchable isn’t always true. In reality, it is most important to create a video that viewers want to keep watching or we can split your video into shorter versions for different channels like social media.

With an optimal video length, you will attract and retain viewers.

Ready to go!

Once you have finalised the above factors, you are ready to go into production. It requires planning, time, and focus, but you can do it.

Your team and ours have the ability to create compelling video content by keeping firmly in mind these important pre-production steps.

While you are here why not watch some videos on our website for some inspiration.

And remember to get in touch with the team if you need our support.

Contact us