Video production has become more important than ever. Nowadays, social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube can reach a higher and better targeted audience than traditional TV commercials. Videos have become the most important content on social platforms and generate 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
But surprisingly, most companies have not established a viable video production process that enables them to create high-quality videos at scale. Therefore, we will show you how to establish a video production process that optimizes your marketing budget.
What Is Video Production?
Video production refers to the process of creating video content that can be stored in analog or digital formats. Videos can take many forms, including films, commercials, explainer or image videos, and can be published on TV or on social media platforms. The production process usually consists of 5 steps: planning, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.
Traditionally, commercials were only feasible for larger corporations to produce, as television was the only distribution outlet available. According to Fit Small Business, producing high-quality commercials can cost up to $50.000. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Broadcasting costs average $155,000 but can climb to more than $1 million.
This is where social media comes into play by providing new publishing channels for videos. The costs per thousand impressions (CPM) usually range from $7 to $10 on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. While a company still needs a large budget to produce a commercial, other video formats, such as explainer videos, can be produced at relatively low costs.
Plus, companies do not need to invest in a publishing budget at all. Instead, they can make use of organic growth by creating viral videos. This new business model allows smaller companies to create enough traction with the help of a unique video strategy.
Before we outline the 5 stages of video production, we will demonstrate why your business needs to establish a video production process in 2021.
Why Is Video Production More Important Than Ever?
Many smaller companies still underestimate the power of video production in 2021.
Video content has the potential to be your most important marketing tool, boosting sales and spreading general awareness of your brand, product or service.
First of all, realize that the customer journey has changed dramatically since the arrival of YouTube and Facebook, etc. According to Wyzowl, 69% of respondents said they prefer to watch video content in comparison to the 18% who would rather read a text-based article, website or post.
Furthermore, the same survey revealed that video consumption has increased to 7.5 hours a week during the last 3 years. In 2020, people watched an average of 18 hours of online videos per week.
Companies have reacted quickly to these changes by constantly increasing their video output. According to Animoto…
- …96% of marketers have already spent their budget on video ads.
- …70% of businesses created more videos than the year before.
- …91% of marketers are happy with the ROI of video marketing on social platforms.
- …85% of marketers find videos effective to get attention online.
- …93% of companies added new customers because of video commercials on social platforms.
- …Facebook is the most important social platform for videos, followed by YouTube and Instagram
It’s clear that the video production process is closely related to social media. As a result, most commercial videos produced today cater to a social media audience and those platforms’ special requirements.
Next, we outline the importance of a solid video production process to reap the best results.
Why Should You Have a Solid Video Production Process?
You might ask yourself why you need a solid video production process. As already pointed out, the customer journey has changed drastically, and consumers are spending much more time on video content as opposed to text-based media.
Additionally, video consumption varies a lot. There are multiple outlets where you can share your film, and all of them have slightly different requirements in terms of format, length and preferences of the target audience.
This means that you may produce several video variations, each one tailored to a different platform and audience.
Videos are great investments that usually lead to higher sales. According to the State of Video Marketing Survey 2021 by Wyzowl, 87% of participants reported that video productions lead to a positive ROI due to higher sales.
As with any other investment decision, you need to decrease risks and uncertainty as much as possible in order to reap the best results.
Establish a video production process for better results
According to Merriam-Webster, a process is “a series of actions or operations conducting to an end“. In order for a process to work efficiently, you need to establish rules and guidelines of how to approach each important step in your video production project.
By setting up a proven video production process, you bring structure and a predictable outcome to your project. You will know where possible bottlenecks are waiting and how you can navigate them in the most efficient way.
First, we introduce you to the 5 stages of video production, so that you can structure your video production workflow according to your individual project needs and resources.
What Are the 5 Stages of Video Production?
How do you create a video step by step, and what are the 5 stages of production? Let’s take a deeper look into the 5 stages of video production.
1. Define objectives, audience and budget.
What is video planning? All good commercials start with a good idea. The development stage kicks off your video project and defines your objectives.
In this step, you identify your core audience and narrow down the type of video you need to create. Usually a video is not created in isolation but as part of a larger corporate video or brand management campaign.
You also need to keep your distribution strategy in mind. On which social media channel(s) do you want to promote your video?
With your budget in mind, you can develop script ideas and a storyboard without becoming too specific. This is a good opportunity to formalize your brainstorming process.
Whether you are working in the same, physical office or remotely, you can make your team’s brainstorming process more efficient by adding general rules and guidelines to develop the most creative ideas.
While the development stage takes place in-house, the rest of the production process is usually outsourced to a video production company or agency.
What are the 3 stages of video production? The main production phase of a video project includes pre-production, production and post-production. During the pre-production stage, you clarify more details.
If you have never worked with a production company before, your first step is to get in touch with several agencies to conduct interviews and get a feeling about the pricing and cultural fit.
Once you make a decision on which team is best for you, this production team can support you by finalizing the script and storyboard. Additionally, you can formalize the pre-production stage by making use of annotation and markup tools such as Filestage.
Filestage enables you to upload your script to a centralized platform where internal and external stakeholders can make comments and discuss changes in real time.
Our storyboard checklist consists of 8 steps and helps you save time when creating your storyboard while making sure you don’t miss any important detail.
Get the free storyboard template
During pre-production, your chosen production agency will also provide you with an exact breakdown of all required elements, including staff, such as the director or camera crew, and equipment needed.
Discussions with the video agency will give you a better idea of whether your budget is sufficient or whether you need to go back to the drawing board and make additional changes to your plan.
At the end of the pre-production stage, you should have a final schedule containing the timeline, milestones and deadlines of your video project.
In the production phase, your ideas come to life. Production encompasses the actual shoot of your film project. The success of this stage depends on the project details outlined in the definition and pre-production steps.
But even with the best timeline, some variables, such as the weather, are hard to predict – this is where contingency plans are needed.
Usually, the final production timeline is managed entirely by the video agency. Equipment has to be set up, actors and the camera crew need to be on the spot and the location has to be ready. The details of the physical setup depend on the type of video being produced (e.g. animated movies require a team of animation specialists instead of a film crew).
As the production phase requires a lot of resources, it is of utmost importance to follow the production plan meticulously; otherwise, costs can skyrocket.
Depending on the kind of video and whether additional material such as B-roll footage is needed, the production stage can last from just one day to multiple weeks.
Make sure to have company representation at the filming location to review raw footage and make changes when needed.
After you have shot all the raw footage, you enter the post-production phase. The post-production stage involves viewing, selecting and cutting the footage and adding CGI (computer-generated imagery), visual effects such as lighting, music, sound, subtitles, B-roll footage and audio narration to the video. According to how well the production phase took place, you can save an incredible amount of time during post-production.
Usually, this stage is also handled by the video agency, which has an efficient video editing workflow in place and uses professional tools. Once the first draft of the final video is finished, you will need to review the video and give feedback.
Furthermore, you might need to create multiple versions of the video, such as versions in different languages, formats or lengths in order to serve different markets and social outlets.
The agency just needs to upload the video to Filestage to share it with clients. Now, all reviewers can leave time-stamped comments and annotations directly on the video file, simplifying collaboration and communication.
Once all your stakeholders have given their feedback, the video agency can make the required changes. Then, the video can be shared in another review round until everyone gives their approval. At the end of the post-production stage, you will receive your final video.
5. Distribution and analysis
In the publishing and distribution phase, you present your video to your audience. In today’s day and age, your video will most likely be distributed via social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. But there are also other ways to share your video online.
It is important to have the right workflows in place. This may include sending the video to your social media manager and establishing the best timeframe for distribution.
You might have already established a posting schedule. Your social media team will play a key role in the distribution phase to determine the best possible time slot for your video’s distribution.
You can find out more about optimal publishing times in the analytics section of your media accounts.
After your video has been posted, the next step is to analyze the success of your campaign. Did you meet the objectives established during the definition phase? What can be done better next time and how can you further streamline your video production process?
These and many more questions need to be answered in order to make the most of your video production process.
Top 3 Video Production and Review Tools That Will Simplify Your Process
You might want to create some videos, such as short tutorials or explainer videos, completely in-house. The following tools can help you create a great video.
Filestage for video review and approval
Filestage is an online proofing tool for videos and other file types that helps you streamline pre- and post-production processes. Whether you need feedback on your storyboard or approval for the final video, you can easily share files with colleagues or clients on a centralized platform.
Multiple collaboration features allow reviewers to leave timestamped comments and annotations directly on the file. Reviewers can even discuss their feedback with each other in real-time.
With Filestage, you don’t need to manage long email threads or collect feedback from different channels. Instead, all feedback is well-organized in a single place, reducing misunderstandings and making communication easier and more efficient.
Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing
Premier Pro is an advanced video editing tool to bring your raw footage to life. Features such as auto reframe help speed up your workflow and optimize footage for social platform usage, so that you have the perfect format for all your media outlets.
Premier Pro is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud. A subscription only makes sense when you plan to develop an internal production team. If you are looking for cheaper and easier tools to edit videos, you might take a look at our explainer video software article.
Adobe After Effects for post-production
Companies with capable talent and post-production tools may decide to do the entire post- and pre-production stages in-house. Adobe After Effects is a software solution that helps you add effects to your video production. From cinematic movie titles, introductions and transitions to the ability to remove objects from a clip or add logos or lighting effects, there is almost nothing that cannot be done with Adobe After Effects.
It needs to be said that Adobe After Effects has a very steep learning curve, meaning that companies that do not have the internal talent are probably better off outsourcing visual effects to video agencies.
3 Viral Video Marketing Best Practices
How can you make sure that your video reaches a large audience? Even if there is no guaranteed way to create viral content, you can follow certain guidelines to increase your chances to create a successful video and gain media coverage.
In the following section, we introduce you to three of the best viral video marketing practices you can implement in your videos.
Kitchen blenders are not often thought of as the most exciting products on the market, but Blendtec has changed this with its successful Blendtec’s Will It Blend YouTube channel. The channel uses the same formula for most of its content: Quirky videos in the style of early 90’s infomercials that answer the question of whether a specific product will blend.
Blendtec gained the most success by blending phones. These videos gained millions of views and made Blendtec a household name. With these videos, the company has created a possibility to present the unique selling proposition (USP) of its products to their audience in the most entertaining way.
Besides its entertainment value, a video project can become viral by triggering emotions. Coca-Cola is known for its emphasis on brand marketing and storytelling – this is exactly what the Coca-Cola Christmas Commercial 2020 is all about.
The video features a father who is desperately trying to deliver his child’s letter to the North Pole. At the end of his long journey, the story takes an interesting and tear-jerking twist. Within less than a year, this commercial had already gained over 8.5 million views.
While viral videos might be the holy grail of video production, you can also get consistent views by publishing a series of videos. The longer you engage, the more likely you are to increase your viewership.
ASUS, for instance, started its Pulse podcast in which team members discuss upcoming products and trends in depth. Depending on the topic, single episodes of ASUS podcasts have reached more than 60,000 views.
As you can see, video production is much more than just pressing the play button and recording actors, and it requires organization as much as the right skills and talent.
By introducing an efficient video production process, you set the groundwork for producing engaging videos that will contribute to your top line. Software and video collaboration tools help you streamline the process and cope with countless details and tight deadlines to create high-quality results.