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How to Write Your Business Video Brief

Professional video cameraA video is an amazing way for your business to get across its personality and key messages. Yes, you’ve made the right decision!

But before you can even get to the briefing stage, there’s a whole lot of work you need to do.

Wait – work? Why am I working if I’m paying for a video?

Because whatever you’re paying, you’ll get the max benefit for your money if you put in the prep.

What YOU need to decide for your business video brief

1. Your video’s vibe

Make a list of words that describe how you want the video to feel. They should get across your company’s personality so be as emotive as possible. ‘Professional’ doesn’t tell your videographer much. Try to capture what it is that makes your business feel professional in some better adjectives: dependable, solid, trustworthy, capable, calm.

If you’re a bakery, you’ll want the audience to get that you’re friendly, passionate, cosy and welcoming. Your videographer is likely to translate that into lovely warm tones, lots of panning over delicious bread and cakes, artisan shots of rolling out kneading bread.

If you’re a robotics company, you’ll probably be after a slick, high-tech, next-generation feel. That’ll translate into quick cuts, pacey music and a steely colour palette.

But it’s got to start with the adjectives. And once you know what you ARE, you need to make a second list of what you definitely ARE NOT.

2. Your video’s key messages

Why do you want this video? To tell your potential audience some important things, right?

Make a list of everything you’d really love people to know about your business – don’t worry about the wording, for now, just the gist. It’ll be too much for one video, so try to then distil it down or prioritise the items.

Aim for three super important messages, with a few little bonus sparkles that are less important.

My imaginary florist’s key messages for her business video brief:

  • We hand-select fresh flowers from Leadenhall Flower Market every day at 4 am
  • Our florists can create anything from a good luck posy to weekly hotel arrangements
  • We’ll deliver your flowers free when you spend £30 or more

My imaginary florist’s secondary sparkles:

  • The shop is run by three generations of the same family
  • We won Local Business of the Year 2017 for our excellent service
  • We also sell cards, chocolates and gifts

3. Video format

Do you want an entirely animated video? Footage? Bit of both?

Most videos use some animation even if the focus is largely on footage. You might want to animate some key stats or overlay some text for emphasis.

It’s getting more and more common for videos to be shot in portrait – because that’s how many people consume video now, on their phones. Even YouTube, defiantly landscape for years, is now introducing vertical video. Depending on the platform your audience will view your business video on, it’s something to consider.

It’s also best practice to include either text on screen or subtitles. This is partly an accessibility thing (people with sight problems can use software to read the video to them) but it’s also to keep the video useful for anyone with their sound off. The majority of mobile users are going to watch your video on silent, so it needs to communicate just fine without sound.

4. Shots you particularly want

If you’ve seen a video you love but you’re not quite sure why it’s likely down to how the videographer filmed it. Keep a collection of videos you’d like to emulate in some way.

Want a particular view of your showroom? Desperately hankering for drones? Note it down. If you actually have to get out a pen and paper to sketch the shot you mean, I promise your video guys will not laugh; they’ll thank you.

5. Your brand’s style guide

Colours, fonts, icons. Whatever you use as a brand, you need to supply in your business video brief. Consistency with your website, emails and logo will make the video feel like YOU.

This sounds like a lot of prep when you’re already planning on paying out bucks for the video creation. Trust me – it’ll be worth it when your videographer delivers the perfect business video on the first go.