Creating the perfect video involves a lot more than picking up a camera and shooting from the hip (though there’s a place for that too). This checklist can be applied to any marketing video you create.

We’re in the business of events, so our top suggestion is starting an event with a jaw-dropping WOW video that emphasizes your theme. 2017 is the year of experience in events and conveying your theme with video to kick things off can be a powerful way to immerse and engage your audience.

The Checklist

[  ] Define your audience. Get specific. If you’re trying to reach CIOs, what are the demographics for the specific industry(ies) you’re targeting? Your video will reach people, not titles.

[  ] Select one message. Choose one message and goal for each video you create. Don’t try to explain five different products and services, try to sell them, and incorporate a case study all in the same video. Make sure your message is clear when you keep it concise.

[  ] Set your goal. Each video should have a clear goal, ideally tied to a measurement. Want people to understand your product? Contact your team? Get excited about the speaker about to come on stage? Set one clear goal for each video.

[  ] Define your budget. Marketing video costs can vary widely, from shoestring (DIY) to grand scale production. Setting your budget at the outset will help you choose the style of video, make production choices, and manage expectations with management.

[  ] Choose your style. Animation, live video, combination? Decide what style of video will best convey your message and fit your budget.

[  ] Determine your ideal video length. Attention spans are not long, but chances are your ideal prospect will put in a little bit of time. 5% of prospects will stop watching a video after 1 minute, 60% will stop after 2 minutes,[1] so pick a time between 30 seconds and 2 minutes to play it safe. Keep in mind the channel through which you’re sharing the video too when you make your decision.

[  ] Write your script. Based on the message and goal you’ve chosen, write your script. You can engage a consultant or company with formal video script-writing experience, or write straight from the heart and have a professional editor polish it for best results.

[  ] Include your hook in the first 10 seconds. Make sure people know who the video is from and what it will be about in the first 10 seconds

[  ] Include your CTA at the end. Tell people what you want them to do at the end of the video with a clear call to action.

[  ] Be authentic and share expertise. People trust peers and experts these days for buying recommendations. While you can’t be a peer, you can be an expert with thought leadership marketing. Authenticity works in your favor.

[  ] Create a storyboard and shot list. Unless you’re DIYing your video, your video production partner will usually take on this step for you. A storyboard is a scene by scene visual sketch of how the video will unfold – a sort of comic book version of your video. This is extremely helpful, particularly for more complex videos, as many people have trouble visualizing concepts. A shot list goes on to list, in writing, camera placement and video direction.

[  ] Create your timeline / production schedule. This is your project management tool and should be visited regularly to manage project stakeholder expectations. Are you working toward a drop-dead date, like an event? Schedule back from that.

[  ] Decide where to shoot your live video and visit those locations. Whether you shoot at a studio or on location, visiting ahead of time will let you get a grip on power supplies, lighting, best location for set-up, sound issues, etc. And don’t forget budget impact when deciding on studio vs location shooting: shooting on location can be more expensive with travel and equipment transportation costs.

[  ] Choose your main presenter / narrator. If you decide not to bring in a pro for voice over work on animations, or to be the face of the company in live video, be sure to select someone with an authentic, engaging presence. If you’re going with someone in the C-Suite and the talent is not there, bring in a coach! It’s worth it. And don’t forget the importance of rehearsals!

[  ] Shoot, Edit, MARKET! We’re condensing here, but this is a pre-production checklist after all!

With the availability of live streaming video platforms, prosumer video cameras, and easy-to-use editors, creating slick marketing videos is easier than ever. If you haven’t incorporated video marketing into your content marketing efforts yet, 2017 is the year to get to it!

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