Whether your audiences are surfing Instagram Stories or watching their favorite YouTube channels, video is one of the most compelling ways to engage them. In fact, it seems that more and more of the content we interact with on a daily basis appears in this versatile medium — whether you’re watching a branded motion graphic or a video of your sister’s new puppy. But even though marketers already know the power of motion graphics and video, not everyone understands the steps to successful marketing video production.
With video more dominant than ever, the ability to successfully manage a project involving video or animation production and design is more and more essential for today’s marketing professionals. That’s because posting just any video is no longer enough. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to produce a high-quality — and highly strategic — video or motion graphic.
But fear not — you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’ll outline an 8-step marketing video production process that will ensure your next video or motion graphic achieves your goals.
Step 1: Identify Your Goals & Audience
Your marketing video can’t be a success when you don’t have any way to measure success. So it’s essential to take some time at the very beginning to clearly define what goals you want to achieve and who you want to reach. Once you’ve determined this, decide how you’ll measure it — whether you’re tracking site traffic, social media followers, or newsletter subscribers.
Step 2: Schedule a Kickoff Meeting
You’ll need to articulate your goals and target audience for your creative partner early on in the marketing video production process. And one of the best places to do this is in a kickoff meeting.
Schedule a meeting involving everyone that will be touching the project — from your marketing team and internal stakeholders to your project manager, content writers, designers, animators, and producers. You’ll want to make sure they’re all on the same page about what you want to achieve. That way, your creative team will be fully equipped to make expert recommendations on the style, direction, tone, length, and other features of your video.
Step 3: Write the Script & Scene Direction
You’ll want to make sure to get the messaging just right, right off the bat. That’s why starting with the script for your voiceover and/or on-screen text is a good approach. Your creative partner should have an in-house content team that can help you with this, and even conduct any necessary research.
This content team will also be responsible for collaborating with designers and animators to develop written scene direction for your video or motion graphic. Make sure to read this and the script carefully — it’s your first chance to give feedback on whether the video is taking the right direction for your goals and your brand. As is the case for the entire marketing video production process, the earlier in the process you request changes, the better, because this saves everyone involved both time and money. It’s easier to rewrite a few lines of a script than to reanimate even a few seconds of a motion graphic!
Step 4: Develop a Storyboard
An example of what a motion graphic storyboard might look like.
At this stage, the visual elements of your video begin to take shape. Sketches developed by your design team will help you envision the content, movement, and progression of your motion graphic or video. At the same time, they’ll also propose other visual features, including fonts, color palette, and design or illustration style.
Step 5: Design the Artwork or Begin Filming
Once you’ve approved the script and storyboard, your design or cinematography team will take on the task of creating the raw materials that will eventually make up your video or motion graphic.
For motion graphics, they’ll design static artwork that will be animated at a later stage. The same is true for live-action video that includes animated elements, such as data visualizations, icons, and lower thirds. For video that’s live-action only, your cinematography team will set out to record custom video. You may also choose to seek out stock or prerecorded footage where appropriate. Just be mindful that it’ll be harder to make stock video feel true to your brand.
Step 6: Record a Voiceover
The marketing video production process won’t always include this stage. That’s because you might prefer on-screen text or a completely visual experience. But most marketing videos do include some voiceover elements, and surprisingly, recording this comes before the animation or video-editing stage. That’s because your motion graphic or video will be edited to ensure it complements and enhances the ebbs and flows of the narrator’s voice.
Step 7: Animate Your Motion Graphic or Edit Your Video
Once you feel the artwork, footage, and voiceover are all the best that they can be, it’s time to bring everything together! For motion graphics, the animation stage is one of the most time consuming, as it can easily take more than an hour to animate just 1 second of video. For video, your editing team will be gathering all your raw footage into a cohesive whole. These teams will work together on the production of a live-action marketing video with animation overlay.
Step 8: Develop Custom Music & Sound Design
Now you’ll work to develop a custom musical score and/or sound design for your video or motion graphic. This stage is critical for ensuring the emotional impact and tone of your video, so something that’s custom-developed for you is almost always a better option than stock. Ask your creative partner to make recommendations on the best approach for your brand.
Finding the Right Marketing Video Production Process for You
It’s important to understand your feedback is built in at every stage of the process outlined above. This ensures that your video or motion graphic is headed in the right direction, and fully poised to achieve your goals.
But remember: the first priority of any creative agency partner should be to listen to your needs. When considering an agency, ask them what their process is and how they can work to align with your marketing team’s own project management approach. An agency that’s focused on service will offer a solution that’s the right fit — and that, in itself, is a good sign that your collaboration will be a success.