18 Feb 2019

Commissioning Video: How To

So you want to make a video, but there’s an immediate obstacle. A lack of knowledge of where to go and how to commission this sort of marketing asset. It’s something that’s particularly evident in the B2B arena.

Anxiety often stalks commercial video projects. Especially in progressing from the idea of a video into production. This is more pronounced when the order to create video comes from the top and is dumped on the marketing manager for them to sort out.

Strategise early

Starting out with video, it can be a leap from a hope of impressing targets and stakeholders to actually producing a concrete video brief. One that outlines who and what the video should cover, and importantly where it will be seen.

Commissioning video isn’t for the faint-hearted. That’s why I recommend strategising video production early on in the marketing cycle.

Video should be nailed into the overall marketing plan; the content will follow. Video then becomes a supporting tool, complementing the direction of travel. And its value in the annual marketing plan will be well understood by the whole client team.


Budget is the one area that both client and producer do understand. Often it is the only common language at the outset of a video commission. However, some projects get bogged down in estimating cost. It can be the first and last obstacle in the commissioning process.

The remedy – if you’re serious about video – is to include and ring-fence video production in the main marketing budget.


Faced with a blank screen and the far-off vision of a well-stocked YouTube channel, how do you get going on a brief? This is the most important document you’ll create for the video producer. But don’t be afraid, it can just be a brain dump.

Bullet point messaging is appreciated. Experienced commercial producers will feast on any communications you give them. You can always refine these later.

Here is some information to include in the first brief that will help you, as well as the producer. Other data will follow later on, but the ‘who, what, where and when’ shapes the basic format and style of production.

  • WHO is the video aimed at?
  • WHAT is the call to action?
  • WHERE will it be uploaded?
  • WHEN is the deadline?

The more ideas you have the better. And if you’ve seen a video that you like it’s always good to give it as a reference.

Remember – you know your products, customers and business better than anyone else. These are things the video producer cannot know without your input. This information will light the creative spark.

Your video will start to emerge.

By Nicky Robertson, Director