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Epic video content starts with a well written video brief.

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What is a video brief?

A video brief is a document that details and summarises what you as a client want out of your video production project. Creating a succinct and well-informed brief means your production company can deliver exactly what you’re looking for, so getting it right is key.

Here’s how to write a commercial video brief in 9 easy steps.

1. What’s the purpose of your video project?

This may sound obvious, but really identifying the key criteria of your project is essential to the success and delivery of your final video. Whittle it down to one sentence that fully identifies the objective of the video. Is it a promotional video aimed to generate brand awareness in a certain demographic or is it an internal messaging piece for company employees? Having a clear understanding of the purpose of your video in the simplest of terms, clearly communicates what are the key deliverables to your content agency, meaning they can deliver a video that does just that. In a nutshell, your video brief should include what is it you want to say or achieve.

2. Who are you targeting?

You’re likely to have a clear idea about who your target audience is and who your buyer personas are, but if not here’s a handy hubspot blog to help you figure it out. After all, if everyone is your target audience then nobody is! Knowing who you’re targeting is a major player in creating an appropriate and engaging video that effectively reaches your audience, so if you haven’t already figured this out make sure you do before writing your video brief and approaching your creative agency.

3. Where will you publish your video?

Where you’re publishing your video content affects a host of factors that your video production team needs to be aware of. For example, knowing which platforms your content is going to be posted will determine all aspects of the video production including the length of the video, the location of on-screen typography, which format or aspect ratio the video needs to be exported as, its choice of music or voice over, or even whether your video loops continuously or not. Deciding which channels your content will utilise is essential to make sure your content agency achieves your project goals, and is an essential step to any effective video brief.

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4. How long will your video be?

There is no ideal length for a video, each project is completely different and will vary according to specifications detailed in your video brief. Figuring out the length of your video is essential to deciding on production factors including budget, editing and filming criteria so knowing this is essential.

5. Tone of voice and brand guidelines

 Your company’s tone of voice reflects your brands’ personality and values, helps to connect with your audience and makes you stand out from your competitors. Making your creative agency aware of your tone of voice will mean your video speaks to the right audience and consistently conveys its personality. The same goes for your company brand guidelines. Any brand colours fonts or creative combinations that are consistently used across your visual assets should be provide to your visual agency to ensure they’re in the know.

Not sure on your brands tone of voice, check out this blog for a handy list of tone of voice dimensions.

 

6. Non negotiables and existing assets

You may have some important non-negotiables that will be need to be incorporated into your video, this may include a logo, tagline, audio idents and so on. Make sure you provide these essential assets to your visual agency and inform them of your video requirements.

Unless starting a new project or concept from scratch, you may already have branded assets that can be used in the production process. For example, If you’d like animation within your video, you may already have assets that can be used by the animators or if you want CGI, do you have CAD files or illustrations that our designers can use? Providing your creative agency with a list of both your non-negotiables and existing assets can save you time and money, so be sure to do it!

 

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7. What is your budget?

 A smaller budget doesn’t mean your video won’t be as effective; Knowing how much you’re willing to spend means your production team can make choices about filming, editing and video aesthetics to ensure your project stays within budget. Most importantly be honest, transparency is key to ensure both parties are clear on expectations and can meet the project goals efficiently.

8. What are your deadlines?

Be clear on your deadline expectations. This can be a specific date you want your final video by, or multiple deadlines for each stage of your video production, for example casting or scripting aspects. Having a clear timeline can help both you and your creative agency keep on track with your project. 

9. Seen something you like (or dislike)?

Whether you have a list of content you love, or an idea you scribbled on paper at 2am, it will all help your agency get a feel for what your project will look like. Providing examples is invaluable to your creative agency and will allow them to really understand you and your brand, meaning they’ll create content that meets your vision. 

Not sure what content you should be looking for? Here are some examples:

  • Reference shots – this can include a specific camera angles or shots from a video you may have seen and loved.
  • Previous video content – They don’t have to be on a related topic, but showing your creative agency past projects will help convey what you’re looking for.
  • Competitor videos – looking at what your competitors are doing well is a proactive business strategy. This doesn’t mean copy your rivals, it means take inspiration from what’s working and put your own spin on it or let it help get your creative juices flowing.
  • What you don’t like – whilst doing this you may see shots you really dislike and definitely don’t want.

Let your agency know! Together all this information builds a clear picture of how the video will look and ensure your 100% happy with the output. 

Get started with your video brief by using this handy template or, click below to start your project.

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