Video can be an amazing tool to communicate, entertain, persuade and enlighten. But like any tool, careful consideration of how you use it results in the best end product. With more and more people making use of video to bring life to their message, it is important to take time on the front end to plan your video effectively.
Steps To An Effective Video

-Define your purpose.  Setting a clear goal for why you are doing a video will help guide the entire process, and keep you from getting sidetracked along the way.  Ask yourself what you want your viewer to walk away knowing, feeling, or doing after they watch your video.  Anything that does not directly relate to that goal shouldn’t be in the video.

-Define your key points.  Make a list of all the things you would like to include in the video to support your purpose, and then prioritize.  Once you see them all together, you may realize that several overlap and can be combined, or you may see that some aren’t as important.  Always keep the key points in line with your purpose and goals for the video.  You will have a lot of important things to say, but if they don’t clearly lead to the purpose you have already defined for this video, put them on a side list for a future video project.

-Define your style.  Will you want this to be a formal and serious message?  Quirky and fun?  Conservative, or off the wall creative?  Knowing the tone and feel you are going for with your video will help your creative team write a script, decide on a set, music, live presenter or a voice speaking over graphics, and more.  And remember, you are trying to grab a viewer’s attention.  Don’t be afraid to explore interesting ideas to achieve that.

-Define your length.  In general, short is sweet.  Go back to the purpose of the video, and let it be a guide.  If the purpose is a short documentary, then it will need to be longer than a video clip giving a product introduction on your website.  Videos much over 2 minutes lose viewers quickly, and if you can get your point across faster, even better.  You can’t achieve your purpose if your viewer never sees your message.

-Define your script.  Because you have taken the time to do all of the other steps, your script is now ready to be written.  Having your purpose, key points, style, and target length will let your scriptwriter weave it all together into something with impact.

Business In Your Palm

Business In Your Palm

Remember, videos engage sight and sound together, which is part of the power of video.  Using language that moves quickly but clearly and always supports your purpose will make your script effective.

If your video will be mostly music with graphics to get the message across, your story still needs to flow seamlessly, taking the viewer on a journey through your key points to reach an understanding of the ultimate purpose of your video.

Think about your favorite commercial, movie, or even your favorite book.  They captured your attention and kept it until the end.  As it progressed, you were totally engaged and wanted to know where it was going.  And when you got to the end, you were at the purpose – even if the purpose was to leave you wanting more!

Video is powerful, and when you follow the right steps, it will have all of the elements to make your message be in perfect focus.