- Who is my audience? What do you want your video to say? And to whom? The most important part of your branded video is saying the right thing, to the right people. Consider who will view the video when it’s complete—now, and in months or years to come. Are you targeting prospective clients who don’t know anything about your brand? Or speaking to familiar clients about a new feature/product? Get in the mindset of your target audience before you start collecting any other ideas for your promo video, and keep referring back to your target audience throughout the process to make sure you’re still headed toward that goal along the way.
- Where will the video be used? On your own website, you may want to showcase videos as the main feature (like Splendor Films)… or you might opt for a subtle approach, implementing video as a background feature (like our own Doodle Dog site). Perhaps your videos won’t be housed on a website at all—crafting videos intended for social media can drive traffic to your site and attract new customers. Informational videos can also work well on a branded YouTube channel, or a Vimeo account. Based on this information, consider the appropriate length of time for the video, and any other aspects that are important (sound, lighting, etc.). Think back to your target audience, and where you can best interact with them online.
- What do I wear? Don’t panic! No need for a wardrobe crisis here. Wear what makes you comfortable. If you normally wear a T-shirt and shorts, don’t step into a suit for the shoot. You don’t want to risk looking unnatural or uncomfortable; confidence is key. Plus, a branded video should be an authentic representation of your business and the people behind it, as they are.
- Who should be in the video? Again, think back to your target audience to make sure you’re on track with the right people featured in the video. Find people who fit the target demographic; this will be a subliminal message to viewers as soon as they play your video. If you market to 25–35 year old females, a 45 year old man could give the wrong impression. Also, think about extras. Do you need to look like a bustling office? Or have extras acting as clients? Make sure you have enough people on hand for video shoot day.
- Where do I shoot my video? Consider a location that fits the vibe you want to present. If your brand is crisp and fresh, look for a video site with a clean background and plenty of white space. On the other hand, if your brand is uniquely eclectic, film in a location that fits the same feeling. Don’t forget to think about lighting as well! If you’re not sure about filming locations, ask your videographer. They’ll have the experience to help you scout out the perfect spot.
- What do I bring? You’ll definitely want to bring props. Think about items that set the tone for your custom branding. Collect items that speak to you, and items that practically represent what you do… we wouldn’t want to film a web designer’s video without ever showing a computer. It also helps to bring something you can actually use—having something to do with your hands will help make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Pack a pretty notebook and pen, or your favorite coffee mug. Accents like florals (thank you, Branching Out Events!), coffee table books, or magazines can also add to the scene. We had a few of our favorite branded items handy as well (business cards, pencil bags, notebooks) to use throughout the office.
- How long will it take? You might be surprised how much time goes into capturing a well-executed brand video. Even if you only want a 30-second film, it may take a few hours of videography to get just the right shots. Don’t try to squeeze in your shoot between client meetings or over lunch break. Plan ahead, take the day off. Block out plenty of time to get the shots you need—everyone will be more comfortable and relaxed without any pressure to rush the video shoot, and you’ll be happier with the final result. Ask your videographer for specific details, and tell them which scenes are most important to you. Keep in mind that ample time allows for the spontaneous, candid moments of creativity that often turn out to be the best shots.
- When will I get to see my video? This will depend on the videographer and the scope of your project. Your best bet is to be clear about deadlines with your videographer so you both understand expectations beforehand. In general, most videos will take a few weeks to process—after all, shoot day is only the first step! Your filmmakers put a lot time into editing your video, so be patient as they craft their work.
- Can I take pictures? Yes, and you should! Have one of your team members snap a few shots on their phone during the shoot (see our favorite candids below). Even better, plan to take some styled photos before your videographer arrives. Take advantage of the fact that your branded items are all collected in one place, looking polished. The snapshots will be perfect for sharing on social media later on.
- How do I get the word out? Ta-da! You’ve got an awesome branded video, thanks to a talented videographer. It’s time to share the news! Social media can be a huge help to spread the word. Take a look at our Launch Tips too, as these can also apply to launching a promo video.
How to make a video promo for your website
One of the things we love most about our Doodle Dog family is its collaborative nature. The people we work with are always coming up with creative ideas and bringing unique talents to the table. Thanks to one of those talented connections, Jeff Coombs of Splendor Films, we were able to work together to create a branded promo video… and we made note of all the tips and tricks you’ll need to create your own. Here’s our list of the top ten questions to ask yourself when custom branding a promo video: