BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
The best way to get somewhere is to know that you are trying to get there from the outset. Almost every project that doesn’t come out well can be traced back to the initial briefing. Be really clear, and make sure all the stakeholders are aligned and know what the project
is aiming for.
KNOW THE AUDIENCE
Having a clear understanding of exactly who the audience are is essential to making content that resonates with them. The better you know them, the better and more effective the content that you will be able to produce for them. This partially explains why YouTube video bloggers have been so successful.
CREATE A BRIEFING DOCUMENT
Getting alignment across all of the people involved in the project is key to its success. It can often feel like you don’t really need a briefing document, but it is always required. If it’s worth making a film about, it’s worth taking a few minutes to jot down who it’s for and why you’re doing it. Even if this is just in note form.
MAKE IT SHORTER
Nearly every film ever made could benefit from losing 10–20% or more of its length. Condensing the, no doubt, killer content that you have will only improve its average quality, making the film more energetic, more impactful and just generally better. This can take real discipline, but it is always worth it.
Your content will have to compete with so much noise, so you need to give it every possible chance to succeed. This means being bold with your thinking, being bold with your creative ideas and being bold with your strategy. Don’t produce work that doesn’t aim to be great. It’s not worth it.
THINK ABOUT DISTRIBUTION FROM THE OUTSET
Making sure that your film gets seen is essential. Where it is going to be shared plays an important part in the way that it will be made: the style of the messaging, the length and the CTA. Because of this, it’s important that the distribution of your project is thought about from the initial-briefing meeting. This will ensure the whole project is consistent, and will improve your return on investment.
Getting the results you are after takes time and perseverance. It is unlikely that you will see results overnight. Because of this, you need to agree on a plan and then see it through. This will require consistency. Most YouTube stars spent years broadcasting to a handful of subscribers before their audiences grew to the millions some of them enjoy today. What sets the successes apart is their ability to keep going. You should also keep reiterating your content as you build on successes and learn from setbacks. Understand what it is about the successful content that resonates with your audience. Do more of this to continually make your material better and more fit for purpose.
MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE
Filmmaking is a creative process. Because of this, it can flex to incorporate all sorts of things that you might want it to. Whether you already have lots of great footage, a stunning office or some stunningly talented staff, you should include this in the briefing document, so that the creative team can make the most of it in their thinking.
DO IT PROPERLY: DON’T BE WASTEFUL, BUT DON’ T BE CHEAP
Video is an extremely flexible medium, and technology gets cheaper and more accessible by the day. Because of this, it’s amazing what can be achieved with even a limited budget, particularly if you are able to do a lot of the production work yourself. Don’t be cheap, though. To achieve great results, you have to invest in doing it properly. More budget means more time, and more time means better thinking, which will lead to a better result.
Last, but not least, it is essential that you enjoy the process. Of course, it can be challenging and sometimes frustrating, but the very best films that we make as a company are with the clients who enjoy the process. They are open-minded and want to work with us to make it good. If you open your mind to the possibility that this can be an enriching, exciting and fulfilling experience, then great work will follow.