Everything You Need to Know About Video Review and Approval in 2021

How can you speed up your video workflow while improving your overall video quality? 

The secret lies in the video review and approval workflow – an overlooked process that delays video projects on a regular basis. In this article, we show you how to structure your video review workflow to save valuable time and make the most of your resources.  

What is Video Review and Approval?

To better understand video review and approval, we first want to answer the question: What is video production? 

The video production process consists of 5 steps;  the video review and approval process is a vital part of step number 4, the post-production step. 

1. Define objectives, audience and budget

Structure your ideas and define your objectives, core audience, type of video and distribution strategy. At the end of this stage, you should have developed your initial script ideas and storyboard.

2. Pre-Production 

In pre-production, you finalize your storyboard. Most companies collaborate with video agencies to create the final storyboard. At the end of the pre-production stage, you will also have a detailed cost breakdown and project timeline.

3. Production

This is the actual shooting stage of your product video. As this stage is the most cost-intensive step, contingency plans will help you cope with unforeseen events.

4. Post-Production

This stage involves the video editing workflow where you view and edit your raw video files. You will also add CGI (computer-generated imagery) or other effects such as audio, images, visual elements or narrations. 

The review of the video is also an important part of post-production to make sure the video meets your clients’ expectations. In this step, you share the draft of your video with clients and stakeholders to get feedback. Afterwards, you adapt the video and share it again to get more feedback or the final approval. 

Of the 5 stages, post-production is the process that can take up the most time.

Video Review and Approval - Post Production
Source: Video Editing Agency on Pinterest

The reasons are manifold, but all are closely related to the video review process, including: 

  • It’s difficult and time-consuming to collect feedback on videos, as reviewers need to write everything down in a separate document or email.
  • Different reviewers can’t discuss their feedback with each other, leading to unnecessary review rounds. 
  • With no clear structures or review tools in place, misunderstandings are common.
  • Editing and revising the video based on the feedback is time-consuming.

The good news is that with an established video review and approval process – managed with a tool like Filestage – you can avoid all of these time-consuming pain points. 

With Filestage, all you need to do is to upload the video file to the centralized platform and grant access to team members, external clients or collaborators. They can now leave precise and time-stamped comments directly inside the video file.

5. Publishing and analysis

In the last phase, you publish or share your video project according to your distribution strategy. In the end, you also need to evaluate your success by comparing the outcome with your initial goals and objectives.

The Advantages of a Video Review and Approval Process

You might wonder how approval software can help you save time in post-production while improving the overall quality of your video. In the following section, we take a look at 3 of the most important benefits of setting up a video review and approval process. 

Ensure high quality & brand consistency. 

By setting up a thorough review workflow with a tool like Filestage, you have all of your files on a centralized platform. Here, stakeholders can access relevant videos and leave their feedback directly on the file. Plus, you can easily involve multiple reviewers, such as product owners or brand managers, to ensure that all mistakes are spotted and all brand management requirements are met. 

Receive clear feedback for improvements.

A structured process can support you in organizing your feedback and the editing process. 

With a capable video review and approval software, you can:

  • Keep all your feedback in one place.
  • Add time-stamped comments to a specific spot in the video.
  • Use annotation tools to make your feedback more precise.
  • Upload attachments to comments to provide further information.

Facilitate collaboration.

Advanced video review and collaboration software such as Filestage comes with a variety of valuable video collaboration tools to support you and your clients. Editors and reviewers can discuss their ideas in real time on the platform, saving days or even weeks of time in comparison to traditional email communication. 

Furthermore, to streamline communication, you can mention other team members in comments and enable automatic notifications.

How to Structure Your Video Review Process 

To save valuable time in post-production, you need to structure your review processes and make use of approval software. Setting up an efficient process takes less than 5 minutes but can save you hundreds of work hours and even improve your video results.  

1. Upload video files and invite reviewers.

Once your editors have turned your raw video files into a movie and added any and all effects, you can upload the draft movie to your review platform and invite reviewers to view it and leave their feedback. 

You can also invite internal colleagues and even external stakeholders by adding their email addresses or sharing the review link via chat messenger or email.  

Video Review Process - Invite Reviewers to Team Review

2. Receive and discuss feedback.

Now, reviewers (whether they are team members, clients, or collaborators) can access and leave comments on the video project in their browser. They can also discuss ideas and changes with other reviewers in the comment section in real-time. 

Video Review Process - Recieve & Discuss Feedback

Video review software such as Filestage offer many automation features that remind invited reviewers to leave feedback by a specified date.  

3. Make changes & upload the revised version.

After all reviewers have left feedback, the editor can jump in and start making revisions. Collaboration features allow editors to ask questions to reviewers as well, in case certain comments or suggestions are unclear. 

Once revisions are finalized, the editor can upload the second version of the video. Now, the same reviewers can have a second look at the revised video and leave more comments if needed. 

Video Review Process - Make changes and Update Revised Version

4. Get approvals.

The previous steps may take several rounds before all reviewers are satisfied with the video project. For added transparency, project managers can download a review report where all comments and stakeholder approvals are saved with timestamps. And now, the approved version of the video is ready to be distributed!

Filestage see approvals at a glance

Scale your review and approval process

As you can see, setting up a solid video review process to get feedback and approvals for  your videos is pretty simple. 

Not only is review software used by agencies to collaborate with clients, but it is also used by marketing departments who create content in-house, e.g. for a marketing campaign.

Whether you have videos, legal documents, a new online brochure, or creative images to design, an approval workflow can help you manage almost all your outputs and files.

Therefore, we recommend integrating the review process into as many of your workflows as possible to get the best results and make the most of your software.

5 Important Video Review Software Features 

You might ask yourself why you need video review software to optimize your video process. In the following section, we describe 5 of the most important features of the best video review software you will find on the market. 

Video Review and Approval - 5 Important Video Review Software Features

Support for multiple types of video files

For the most flexibility in your processes, video approval software should support all common video file types, including MOV, MP4, 3GP, AAC, AVI, FLC, MPEG-2, WMV, h.264, Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHD or DVCPro. 

Time-stamped comments & annotations 

Time-stamped comments and annotations allow reviewers to leave precise and clear feedback directly on the video files. This avoids misunderstandings that can arise from lengthy and confusing email chains. 

Review steps 

These tools can also help you structure your creative video approval process with review steps. You can create custom review groups for internal and external stakeholders or different teams and separate the review process accordingly so that multiple people can give reviews with their own unique perspective.

Set due dates

For better time management, you can add a deadline to each individual file. This gives reviewers more clarity and allows them to better structure their work. Additionally, reviewers will receive automatic reminders from the tool so that they can leave their feedback according to your schedule.

Automatic version control 

Automatic version control helps organize different versions of your file and allows you to easily switch between versions to keep track of changes. Another benefit of version control is that reviewers always see the latest version of a file so that they never waste time reviewing an outdated version.

Top 3 Video Review and Approval Tools To Simplify Your Process

What are the best tools for video collaboration and review? Let’s take a look at the most commonly used video approval software available to structure and streamline your creative video projects.  

Filestage for marketing and video projects

Filestage - Video Review and Approval Tools

Filestage is one of the best cloud-based video review and approval tools. 

On the platform, you can set up an approval workflow with multiple review steps to separate, for example, internal and external stakeholder groups. Plus, you can invite as many reviewers as desired. 

After the video (or any other file type) is uploaded to the platform, reviewers can leave time-stamped comments and make annotations directly on the file. Additional collaboration features allow reviewers to discuss their feedback with each other in real-time. 

Since Filestage supports a wide range of file types, it can support your process during both post- and pre-production. 

Frame.io for production projects

Frame.io - Video Review and Approval Tools

Frame.io is an advanced cloud-based collaboration tool that allows your team to work remotely on video content. 

This online tool offers unique features and integrations, such as “Camera to Cloud”, which enables instant uploads of video files to the platform while the camera is still recording. 

Once the camera starts recording, you can even watch the live stream from anywhere in the world on multiple devices. 

Frame.io caters to larger agencies, as it offers too many features for a smaller company. The tool offers a free trial with limited features.

Vimeo for social media-focused projects

Vimeo - Video Review and Approval Tools

Vimeo can support you during your publishing and analysis stage. 

Vimeo is a cloud-based tool that allows you to create, manage and share creative video projects. You can also create virtual events for online platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube and use graphics or engagement tools. 

Furthermore, Vimeo offers analytical tools for published video content, so that your team can gain better insights into all your projects. The solution is especially useful for a company that produces in-house videos such as online explainer videos or social media content. 

However, for higher quality, creative corporate video productions, Vimeo might not be the best tool. 

The Importance of a Solid Video Review and Approval Process

With the appearance of social media, it has become much easier to distribute creative videos to a larger audience in comparison to expensive TV commercials.

Due to the wide range of social media channels, you can produce a single video and by making small changes to the format, you can distribute multiple versions to virtually all of these platforms.

The following picture depicts the most-used social media video platforms in 2019: 

Video Review Process - Importance of a Solid Video Review and Approval Process
Source: Digital Marketing Community

Furthermore, with the help of modern online platforms, you have a solution that specifically targets your core audience.

Even though its advantages are worth the increased effort of creative teams, social media comes at a price. 

Your company may have spent thousands of dollars producing a captivating and creative online video project just to find out that people make jokes in your comment section about spelling mistakes, bad acting or just the entire idea of your video project. 

This can seriously impact your brand image and ruin your marketing projects.

Conclusion

Nowadays, videos are more important to companies than ever before. Virtually every company produces more and more creative videos to stay competitive on each social media platform. 

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you structure your video production workflow with a solid review and approval process to produce creative videos much faster and with even higher quality.

The right review and approval software and tool helps you save hundreds of working hours, collaborate efficiently and unleash your team’s creative potential.  

Get your best work approved with Filestage

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