Today, we cover how to get from, “Let’s make a website video,” to seeing it live and in all its glory online.
At Firm Media, we create videos that convey the purpose and features of our clients’ websites. Our aim is to tell their stories in an engaging way that will lead visitors to make a purchase, hire their services, or take another action.
Below, we describe our basic process for making videos. The availability of high-quality, low-cost hardware and software means that do-it-yourself types can take on the project themselves. However, without strategic and technical experience, you may spend more time and money than if you had hired a professional, and your work may not represent your brand as well.
Step 1: Plan
When we create a video for a client, we are telling website visitors a story that will lead to action. If we were to begin shooting without a plan or ordering up animation without knowing first what we want to say and how, it would waste a lot of time and lead to a poor result.
Instead, we define how that story should play out on-screen by using an interview/workshop strategy. In this process, we work with our client to develop a message and begin to formulate a series of sequences for the video. Also, we determine what elements are required for production.
A website video may incorporate any of these elements:
- Live footage
- Text and graphics, like an animation of action on a website
- Audio, including the narration of the video
- Other effects, motion graphics and/or transitions
From there, we decide how to source the material we are going to need. This may include working with the client to pick locations for shooting and deciding which staff to interview.
Step 2: Produce
If a website video relies solely on animation, graphics and voice-over, it is not necessary to shoot live video. Instead, we will spend more time gathering the virtual resources, arranging for voice talent and working with clients to create and refine content.
Assuming that we need live video, we arrange everything for the day of the shoot. That means
- Day-of talent such as a make-up artist and/or host
- Equipment like lighting, cameras and green screens
- Locations that are prepped and secured
- Clients ready to be on camera
A schedule is crucial both to the video and to our clients because it identifies when we will be shooting. Where we will shoot and who needs to be present. It saves time and moves the production along more efficiently. We stick to this basic plan once we have it in place. If someone comes up with an inspired idea, we’ll take it into consideration, but we avoid having to create solutions on the fly.
In the final step, we publish. We aim for website videos that are between one and two minutes. Our goal is content that is short, compelling, and conversion-friendly.
Two points are important here. First, a video should lead to a preferred user action. Some examples:
- Providing a telephone number to call the company
- Inviting the visitor to explore a website’s products for sale
- Encouraging the user to register for the site or friend and follow via social media
We tie this conversion message to the website by placing navigational elements, forms or other information on the same webpage as the video. This encourages the visitor to take action.
Second, the video should be an extension of the client’s brand. From a visual standpoint, video titles and color palettes should be in line with the website. Also, the video’s content should match with the company’s identity. We are aiming to tell a story through the video that reflects a client’s brand, whether it wants to emphasize professionalism, local experience or creativity.