As a video production company, here at Kartoffel Films we consider the actual making of the video only half of our job when it comes to working with our clients. The other half of what we do is carefully designing the video, from the ground up, so that it achieves every client’s ultimate video objective, a good ROI.
Every conversation we have with our clients begins with a set of questions we want to know to ensure we’re going to approach their video & video objectives in the right way. Upon feedback, we’re able to offer our clients tailored video design tips for better video production.
The first set of questions we ask our clients when beginning their video
- Who’s your audience?
- What are the 5 key messages you’d like to convey to your audience through your video?
- What platform(s) will you be using to reach your audience?
- What’s your deadline?
Why do these questions matter when it comes to your video?
Who’s your audience?
A video can be the most beautifully crafted piece of content but if it doesn’t strike a cord with your target audience it’s ultimately not achieving its purpose.
So we start our conversations off dissecting who the video is actually for, so we can cater the creative to the people that matter. This will allow us to make relevant decisions when it comes to the tone of voice and the format of the content.
Tone of voice
Speaking in the right tone of voice is just as or even more important than what you actually say. Saying something that speaks to your audience in a way that they understand is one of the first steps on your journey of making a successful video that connects with your audience and inspires them to take action. The tone of voice starts with the script, is then handed off to the talent you cast to appear in your video, and then ends in the editing room, from the music you select to the type of motion graphics you use.
How you tell your story through the medium of video will again depend very much on who your audience is. Will your audience be more interested in seeing a ‘How-To’ video or will they prefer a visually engaging animation? Will a fast-paced talking head video be more their cup of tea or an acted out narrative piece?
What are the 5 key messages you’d like to convey to your audience through your video?
Narrowing down your key messages to just 5 or less objectives is important to keeping your video focused and engaging. When investing in the video it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to give your audiences a lot of information in one go, but we also advise our clients to select just a few key messages per video to ensure your audiences absorb what it is that important for them to know. Otherwise, it risks getting lost in the weeds.
So really distill what you are wanting to achieve with your video and what your intended takeaways for your audience are. Once we know this we can come up with the most creative approach for getting this across to your audiences without the information feeling like a stream of information that is simply just ticking boxes.
What platform(s) will you be using to reach your audience?
You’ll notice that a lot of these questions will be interconnected and here’s a prime example. The platforms you use to reach your audiences should be the platforms your audiences use. So ask yourself, where is your audience? Where do they go to find out the kind of information you are offering? And remember less is more. If your audience isn’t using a platform regularly then don’t put time and resources into establishing yourself on that platform. You’ll get a better ROI by doubling up on just a few targeted and relevant platforms than spreading yourself too thin just because those platforms exist.
Researching Social Media Platforms
Once you decide on the platform(s) you will be using to show your social media video. It’s important to ensure the video you are making is made for that platform.
Considerations to keep in mind when producing video content for Social Media Platforms
Your video having the right aspect ratio for your intended social media platform is necessary for a high quality, polished finished. Here is the correct aspect ratio for the most commonly used social media platforms.
This is the content you post on your accounts grid. Here you will need your content to be in a 1×1 aspect ratio, which looks like a square.
Here you will need content that is 9×16.
Twitter requires 16:19.
The recommended aspect ratio is between 9:16 to 16:9.
LinkedIn native videos can either be 1:2.4 or 2.4:1.
Instagram Posts that will be displayed on your profiles grid can only be 60 seconds long.
For Instagram Stories allows you a 15 second limit per individual Story. However, if you upload a video longer than that it will chop up your video into 15 second segments.
The maximum length for videos on Twitter is 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
You can upload up to 240 minutes of continuous content via your Facebook feed.
Your Facebook Stories can be 1 to 120 seconds long.
LinkedIn allows you up to 10-minute videos for your feed.
We normally advise clients have us export their videos in 1080p for social media platforms. We may of shot it in 4K but very rarely will you require a 4K output. 1080p provides great resolution and also plays well with average internet speed.
What devices will your audience be using to view your content?
Another thing to keep in mind when producing video is what device your target audience predominantly uses to access their video content. Phone? desktop? iPad? We always check the video on the primary device to ensure that it looks good where your audience will be watching it. Looking out for things like: are the subtitles readable? Does the framing of the shot look ok? Optimising content for the intended device gives the content a layer of polish that will boost the overall video quality.
Burnt in subtitles
Because videos autoplay on most social platforms, a lot of viewers watch without sound. Or platforms themselves, like Instagram, mute content by default. So subtitles are important to ensure your audience is able to understand what is going on even when on mute. These can be burnt into the video file, or you can upload a…
Video SRT Files
.SRT file, which is a proven way of lower drop off rates and SEO benefits. A .SRT is a plain-text file that all the information required for the subtitles, including the start and end timecodes to keep your subtitles in sync with your audio.
Video content that works without sound
Or you could go one step further and make content that works without sound. Like the video we did for one of clients below:
Yes we produced some lovely sound design to bring it alive but for audiences watching without sound they can understand everything that is happening without a single subtitle. So it’s worth thinking about telling your story just through visuals.
Start your video off strong
Social media platforms is not the place for a slow burn. You need to tell your audience in the first split second why they should continue watching this video.
Think about your thumbnail
A thumbnail is the image that audiences see before a video starts. And can be the difference between someone deciding to stop scrolling and watch your video or keep on scrolling and not watch your video.
So thumbnails are high stake elements and shouldn’t be an afterthought. Making sure that you build the thumbnail into the process. Maybe even get a couple of stills during the shoot or perhaps coordinate a separate set up and capture something quite abstract. Whatever you decide, your thumbnail needs to be inspire people to watch.
Then think about how your video sits within your platform
Our clients Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube profiles are an extension of their brand. So every piece of content uploaded onto these platforms has to feel cohesive. Which is why we take our clients brand guidelines very seriously and use this as the starting off point for any creative ideas we put in front of them. Because we want the videos we produce for our clients to feel like they are organically produced for them and could only be for their brand.
Your Call To Action should be the destination
Every video you make should have a CTA and from the beginning be purposely leading up to that CTA. Which is why before we start writing a script for our clients we always ask them, ‘what’s your call to action? What do you want your viewers to do the moment they finish watching your video’. Once we know that we can work our way back.
What’s your deadline?
One of the best things you can inject into your video project is time. Time for us to really develop the creative. Of course we often work within very tight turnarounds and we always ensure that the video is of high quality and bespoke. However, there is always a sheen of something that little bit extra special when we have time to stretch our creative muscles.
We are often making videos that will be consumed by people with a diverse range of needs. Which is why accessibility is something we focus on a lot. This could be ensuring the text graphics and subtitles are the right size and are onscreen for long enough, to avoiding fast-flashing content. Which helps our clients reach a broader audience.
And finally, keep it creative
It’s no secret that people are inundated with content everywhere and all the time. So capturing your audience’s attention in that sea of noise is challenging. However, good creative – content that feels fresh and interesting will command attention. It’s something that will never go out of fashion.
Making videos that are effective and achieves its objectives requires a 360 degree look at the end to end usage. Which is why we work with our clients to design briefs that act as a checklist for all of these elements. So that all of these things are pre-planned and not forgotten about. It is much easier to amend a brief than it is to reverse engineers a final video.