If you’ve arrived at this page, you probably don’t need us to tell you that video content is a must-have for your marketing. It’s a proven way to engage people, it increases your SEO ranking and Google just loves it – after all, Google owns YouTube. You know you need video but what next? If you have no experience with video production, the process can feel daunting.

If you’re considering hiring a professional video company, they can walk you through the process. A good company can make things easy with advice that will save you dollars. Whether you decide to get full video production or shoot your own videos, the key steps to an effective video that will drive sales, get clicks and engage your customers are much the same.

Here’s a quick summary of the process.

Creative Brief
You know your business, but do you know your marketing goal? Do you want to inform clients about your product or show it in action? Do you want a slick website video, or do you want encourage potential clients to visit your site with a ‘how to’ guide on YouTube? This is really the most essential part of the process – basic project planning. You wouldn’t buy equipment for your business without researching first, right? Having a clear goal will get you the best results.

Once you have your goal, before any filming has started, your production company (or your friend with the DSLR camera) will help you work out the content of your video. If this step is done right the process will go far more smoothly, so make sure the person in charge of the video production and the contact at your business can both stay engaged and be there to answer any questions.

Pre-production
Here’s where you get past the ‘wish list’ and get back to reality. What can you actually afford for your budget? How long will it take to capture the footage you need, making sure it looks as professional as possible? A good production company will discuss the shoot with you in advance, agree on a strategy and pricing, work out where and what they’ll film, and set up a clear script or a storyboard that shows everyone what to do. This gives everyone a clear plan with enough time to capture what you need within your budget.

The Shoot
Contrary to popular belief, this can be the easy part – assuming you’ve done a good job of the pre-planning. Everyone should have a call sheet or script, everyone knows what they need to do, and the process should be relatively stress free. A well planned shoot will include extra time to deal with the unexpected (like getting a fit of nerves on camera) and leave enough time to capture all the footage, fix any problems and still run to time.

Editing & Post-production
Here’s where the magic happens. Or depending on your view of editing, the stress. Editing can be a time consuming headache if you’re unfamiliar with the software or techniques used by professionals, and costly if your shoot wasn’t well-planned. If everything has been planned effectively, a professional editor can put your video together easily – like the pieces of a jigsaw.
They’ll create a rough cut for you to review. This will include any graphics or sample titles, voiceovers and effects, and music that will be present in the final. If any changes are needed, they’re made at this stage. After approval, the edit is fine-cut and any sound editing and colour grading is done to really polish the finished product.

Delivery
You will have already have decided your delivery method during Pre-production, and a professional editing service will determine the right output for your needs. They will deliver your video in the best format for embedding on your website, display on a TV monitor (for a conference, for instance) or for TV broadcast, or format it for DVD production. Again, your goals, time and budget constraints will determine the best options for your business.

This basic guide gives you a rough idea of what you’ll need to consider when making a small business video, but for a really professional and effective video it’s worth seeking advice from a professional video production company. Try Sonic Eye for your video editing or video production.

For examples of what we can deliver, take a look at our Small Business Video Portfolio.