06 Mar 2019

How to Write a Video Brief

Outsourced video content production is a considered purchase. High-quality product video will give a better rate of return in brand and sales conversion than ad-hoc user-generated video.

But one thing is for certain, video marketing – whether in-house or outsourced – requires strategy and budget. It is no longer an add-on to a core of other brand content but part of the mix.

The odd thing is this: Most marketers know that video is something they need and that it is always going to demand a chunk of budget. But the whole category is still treated as something of a chore. This too often results in the worst possible start for a project: a poorly written video brief.

Video briefs

Video briefs are really no different to production instructions for other content. They might have a few specific inherent content requirements. But generally they need to address the same the questions all content producers would like answered.

At Mendip Media we have video briefing templates to help clients get started*. We’ve jotted down all the important questions posed by our creative directors, such as:

    • What do you want your video to achieve?
    • Where will the video be seen?
    • Have you examples of video styles you like?
    • Do you have existing footage? If so what format is it and is it easy to send to us?
    • Do you have someone your end allocated to the project?

The brief for any content project is the vital first brain dump from client to producer.

What not to do

It is not always easy to give a brief the head-space it requires. We’re all busy and a video brief may be low down on a crowded to-do list. Dashing off a few aspirational lines about what prompted you to consider video in the first place can be tempting.

The problem for the producer is how to interpret a poor brief.

There are a few good reasons for bad briefs. The main one for marketing video is lack of understanding of how video is produced. Video (and even more so animation) is a process played out along a timeline where the steps are ordered. You cannot proceed to the next stage until the preceding one has been completed.

The production process

High-quality videos are created by mixing the art with a very orderly production process. The brief needs to give a steer on elements of the video. Elements like:

    • Style: graphics, animation, shot selection – aerials, slo-mo, timelapse
    • Audio: interviews, voiceover, music, subtitles
    • Output: versions for websites, social media – if so what channels, presentations, display

When a client instructs on these it shows they have taken time to understand the process and become closely involved with the project.

A well-conceived video brief will usher in a smooth production process to create engaging content that is on the mark. It might take time and a lot of thought. But setting down the framework in which your video operates will kick start a dialogue with the producer.

This will enable them to realise your vision for content that works in the space it is designed for.

By Nicky Robertson, Director


*If you would like a free copy of Mendip Media’s video briefing template, send an email to office@mendipmedia.co.uk.