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How to produce a commercial marketing video

The most fundamental thing about producing a good commercial video is plenty of planning. Video production planning involves answering some key questions that will help define the project. These include:

  1. What is the purpose of the video?
  2. What is the core of a good message?
  3. What message do you want to communicate?
  4. What style of video do you want to produce?
  5. Can you tell a story?
  6. Where do you start?

You need to look at each question in detail.

1. What is the purpose of the video?
Firstly, decide what type of video you want to produce. There are many types of video including:

  • Advertising videos promote a product or service
  • Story telling videos tell your organisation’s story
  • Informational videos share important information with a specific audience
  • Educational videos seek to inform their viewers
  • Instructional videos provide clear instruction on how to complete a given task
  • News videos relay a piece of news

When you have figured out the purpose of your video, you can think about the type of video you want to produce. For example, if you want to create an emotional response to a product, you would create an advertising video, whereas if you wanted to market your service from a client's perspective, why note tell their story?

Tip: Have a look on Youtube and compare examples of different types, and examples of videos to see what is best going to fulfill your objective.

2. What is the core of a good message?
A good message communicates something to someone in a manner that gives them reason to accept the communication. Marketing is essentially communication, so the two are synonymous with each other.

A good message should contain, the logical and emotional elements that appeal to hearts and minds. If you concentrate on the logical, then you may create something very cold (there are times when this is advisable for pure technical messages for instance), but typically most videos perform a marketing function at some level, so you the emotional message is also important. However, if your message is all emotional you may be in danger of emotionally manipulated manipulating people. Much of today's marketing tries to skip past the intellectual, and reach the emotional, but this may be considered belittling.

Tip: Give them an emotional reason to receive your message, but also give them a logical reason to receive your message.

3. What message do you want to communicate?
You may want to make a video about a security product that protects homes. What is the core message you want to get across? 
You want to communicate security, safety, quality of product, and trustworthiness. Consider what would reach you if you were in the viewers position. When considering your core message, try not to communicate too many things at once. When people are looking for a solution, it is often to a single simple problem.

Tip: Create a Video that solves a problem.

4. What style of video do you want to produce?
The style of the video should be driven by the viewer you are trying to reach and the message you need to communicate. Creating a video style not suitable to your audience will be an instant failure. For example, choose a styles that moves quickly or one that is more consistent and reassuring. 

Tip: Study TV adverts and try to figure out what group of people the advert is trying to reach.

5. Can you tell a story?
With video you have the unique opportunity to tell a story. Not all video need a story, but when you have the opportunity, try to create one. A story will reveal something interesting, with a beginning, a middle and an end, so try to think in those terms.

Tip: Learn to spot stories in videos where you would not expect to find them.

6. Where do you start?
You should now have an outline of the type of commercial video you want to produce. 

  • It has a purpose and is categorized.
  • It has a core message.
  • The message is clear.
  • The style carries the message.
  • You have a story (where applicable).

You should now create a basic storyboard that captures your outline. This can be a simple list of text detailing the video process, or a graphical sketch. Having this will cement your ideas and help you communicate your message. If a script is needed this process will help develop a script, as it will contain key elements to build on.

A complete storyboard will be the basic outline of your video and you can now proceed to the operations stage of the project. That stage is where technical skill is applied so that you can create the video that captures your message.

Good luck with your project!

Mark and Philomena Timberlake
Business Photography and Videography