To be brief or not to be brief? That is the question…

How to write an effective videography brief to get the most out of your video production partner…

Increasing in popularity since 2016, video content has become an integral component to marketing strategies across many industries, with over eight billion views on Facebook across the globe, every day.  Social media accounts benefit from higher engagement rates and websites with film content produce an increased dwell time, which not only helps to improve your SEO, it also encourages higher click-through-rates.  Like any well executed marketing activity, before you begin to think about your distribution strategy, you must first plan your content. 

Pre-production is essential to the success of any filmmaking process and at this stage our projects team work with you to understand your marketing strategy, goals and objectives as well as content purpose. We then work to create a watertight plan to stylistically represent your business just as you imagined.  Before any of that can take place, we need to understand a little more about the brand, your business needs and any ideas you may already have around the finished product.  So, here are some top tips on what to include when writing your brief… 

  1. Provide a strong foundation of background knowledge

    Whilst we can gain a good understanding into who you are and what you want to achieve from your website and marketing channels it is useful to get our hands on information like your overall business objectives, marketing goals and brand guidelines.  Having an insight into where the business is going as well as company values, tone of voice and the do’s and don’ts of brand presentation is very useful when planning video content.  Also, any previous content generation you have done in the past with your positive and negative feedback will help guide our pre-production team to plan a film project that you’re proud of. 

  2. Work out who is your target audience

    In line with your marketing objectives, we want to know who you’re trying to reach out to.  Is your video content going out to potential investors or are you looking to reach out to your current customer base to encourage repeat business.  If you have demographic data to include, such as age, location and interests this will help our pre-production team create engaging content that is relevant to your target audience. 

  3. Tell us what your video content goals are

    Detailing the purpose of the content in your video brief allows the pre-production team to really hit the nail on the head when it comes to planning and delivering according to your business needs.  For example, you may be looking to showcase your overall brand or have more specific goals in mind such as increase website traffic for a new product range from your social media channels. 

    It is worth noting down how you would like the audience to feel when they see your video as well as how you wish them to interpret and act on your messaging. Perhaps you want to evoke a specific emotion that may move them to engage with your marketing content or even better, convert into a sale.

  4. Include direction on your style preferences

    Hand in hand with your brand guidelines, a lead on what stylistic approaches are appropriate for your brand is extremely useful as well as any must-have moments.  Try adding in links to your video brief with competitors’ content and even video content from businesses outside of your industry that you particularly like the look of. 

    Here’s some examples…  Have you thought about including drone footage like our video for No.14 Verbier or even a time-lapse?  Do you want people in the film looking directly to camera like our video for Willans Solicitors or would you prefer it to feel like a behind the scenes approach?  Would you like the footage to feel fixed or maybe you would prefer a handheld camera motion?  Perhaps you want to explore animation instead?

    The more information on styles we have, the better so including things you don’t like in your videography brief are just as significant as the things you do like.  

  5. Tell us what your videos are going to used for

    Being explicit in your expectation of content output is key to a successful partnership, which is why it is beneficial to include how many minutes or edits of video you are expecting at the end of the project and where you will be using it.  Video required for your website will be entirely different to film content required for your trade stand.  So, understanding its purpose within your marketing strategy will allow us to ensure the finished product not only meets but exceeds your expectation.

  6. Give guidance on your budget and payment terms 

    Communication is key and by providing a budget upfront in your brief will save you time.  A budget allows your supplier to clearly understand what your expectation is as well as how much resource to put towards your video production.  You’re far more likely to receive a proposal that’s relevant to your video production needs as well as having new videography that you’re incredibly happy with.  Don’t forget to discuss and agree payment terms as well as the delivery date of the assets required.

    All in all, think of it like this… you’ve been asked to host and cook dinner but you don’t know how many people are eating, how old they are, if there are any allergies and intolerances, the location and setting of the table, the date and time of the dinner and even if there are certain foods people hate.  The likelihood is that you’ll cook a huge rib of beef and whilst it may be delicious, it turns out you’re catering for two vegan children and a week later than required.  


So, to be brief of not to be brief?  That is the question… that we’ve now answered.  It really is true when people say knowledge is power and sharing as much information as possible will only help to produce effective and engaging video content. 

Hootsuite [Online] Available at: https://hootsuite.com/resources/social-video-checklists