7 Steps to Creating the Perfect Video Brief for Your Agency

29.04.2020 Content Strategy
Eoin Dowdall
Creative Director

A successful video production always starts with a strong video brief. This will allow you to give coherence to your ideas, but also – and maybe more importantly, it will allow your media agency to understand the content you want to create. Here are the things you need to consider when putting together a brief for an agency.

1. What Is Your Primary Goal?

This is the first thing you should ask yourself. All media should have a purpose. Why are you investing in the creation of this content? How will this video help you to achieve your wider campaign or business goals? 

Sit down with your team and decide what the primary goal is and how it aligns with your wider company objectives. Doing this will underpin the rest of your brief and allow you to focus your approach, style and delivery of your content. Going forward, these goals will also allow you to measure the success of a campaign. 

writing a video brief for an agency

5 common video goals

Here are some examples of goals you could set for your video:

“To position our audience to empathise with our beneficiaries and ultimately motivate them to donate funds.”

“To inform people about our event and encourage them to pay to attend”

“To educate people on health & safety in our workplace”

“To raise awareness of something that is important to our business.”

Always be clear in what it is you want your video to do and not do. But limit how much you set out to achieve in one video. Setting too many goals is the quickest way to derail your content. 

Summarise your goals in a sentence or two, this will be a good indicator of whether your video has a clear cut purpose.

2. Determine Your Target Audience

Once you know what the purpose of your video is, you need to think about who you want the video and messaging to appeal to.  Your first instinct may be to create a video that appeals to the masses. It makes sense; tailoring your content to more people, means more returns…right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. 

Making a ‘one-size-fits-all’ video is simply not possible as different people like different things.

Instead, think about who will be most receptive to your goals and make content for them. Once you identify a target audience, you’ll be able to make creative decisions using demographic assumptions.

3. Carry Out Competitor Research

The last thing you want is to put time and money into new content for it to just get lost in a sea of other same-y videos. You want to be able to stand out from the rest of the market. So, the best way to do this is to have a nosey at what your competitors have been doing. Watch some of their videos, write out what you like and don’t like about it, what you see a lot of and also what you think is lacking. Use this insight to think about how you can take your project one step further.

video brief for an agency

4. Decide on a Budget

Giving your agency a brief without a budget is probably the equivalent of trying to drive a car without brake pedals; you’ll head quickly in the right direction but you’re heading for a car crash if your agency doesn’t know when to stop.

The budget will always inform the creative. Your agency will struggle to know where the limits are if you don’t indicate what’s affordable and what’s not. That amazingly perfect idea they’re writing up for you? Well, it may be a costly one and a waste of time if you can’t afford it…

Prior to seeking out any agencies, give the project a budget. Discuss with you team what would be an acceptable amount to invest in the content. 

5. Shortlist a Few Agencies 

Many agencies sell video production services, but it is important that you commission the right agency for your project

It’s always good to explore content creation with more than one agency. This will allow you to receive different creative approaches to review and you will also be able to compare pricing, ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your budget.

Avoid trying to enter into discussions with too many agencies though. It’s always best to keep your shortlist… short, so you can really focus on a few strong creative approaches you really like.

A simple shortlisting process

When you’re ready to send out a video brief, you can decide which agencies are more suited to your creative needs by focussing on the following:

  • Which agencies are most suited to the type of content you want to create?
  • What types of businesses make up their clientele? Are there any reviews you can read?
  • Take a look at their past work to get a sense of their main focus areas. 
  • Take note of any work you like, as visual references are a great way to advise on your style preferences.

how to write a video brief

6. Keep It Brief

Could you have guessed! A brief needs to be just that – brief. More accurately, you need to strike the balance between writing too much and not writing enough.

DO ensure that you provide agencies with enough information to deliver what you want. After reading your brief, any agency should have a strong sense of what you need. 

DO NOT fall victim to over-explaining. This will make a brief difficult to digest and your messaging may become convoluted. You will have opportunities to fine-tune any details further on in the creative process.

7. Trust Your Partner Agency

You’ve chosen to commission an agency to bring your ideas to life and it’s a smart choice! This is what they do best and you can trust them to make the right creative calls for your video content. 

Sometimes ideas evolve and your agency may advise and suggest on things that you weren’t expecting, leading your content to look a little different than what you originally had envisioned. But these choices will always be in the best interest for your video.

 It can be a little daunting putting your faith in their expertise, but try to not get too attached to ideas you may have and give your agency the space they need to create. A successful project will always start and end with good collaboration and open communication, so work closely with your agency to ensure you create together something that will keep eyes glued to the screen!

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