Before and after content is a marketing industry staple. It’s the epitome of “show, don’t tell,” giving your audience a clear understanding of what your product or service can do for them.
Before and after photos are popular, but before and after videos are becoming increasingly common as a dynamic alternative. Applying the before and after concept to video allows you to capture all the benefits of the format while also capturing the benefits of video.
If you’re ready to make a before and after video for your brand, here are five best practices to apply to your production for optimal results.
1. Understand Your Audience
The first best practice is to understand your audience. This is a must for any marketing tactic, but it’s especially important for before and after videos. Why? Knowing your audience will help you to hone in on the elements of the transformation that are most likely to convince them to buy.
You’ll also be able to assess other specifics like where to distribute your content, what tone your video should take, and even what the video’s call-to-action is. None of these elements are one-size-fits-all, and having a firm grasp on your audience will help you get the details right.
2. Start with a Script and Storyboard
Next, make sure to prepare for your production with a script and a storyboard. You might assume that a before and after shoot is simple enough to skip these steps, but the truth is that almost every video should have a script and storyboard to guide the process.
This advance planning will help you to maximize your time on production day and ensure that your content tells a cohesive story. Without this prep, you may find that all you have is the before and after concept with no further framework to help guide the video.
3. Take Photos
While you’re capturing your video content, make sure to take some photos, too. This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people miss out on the opportunity to accomplish two goals at once.
Since you’ll already have a designated setup that shows off your product in the best light, it’s a no-brainer to capture still photos at the same time to maximize your on-set content. While the photos may not be necessary for the video itself, you’ll be glad you took them for future marketing tactics and campaigns.
4. Show Multiple Angles
In both photo and video content, make sure to capture multiple angles to give viewers the clearest understanding of the transformation. For example, if you’re showing a backyard before and after your furniture installation, make sure to show the perspective from a few vantage points to paint the full picture.
Again, capture more than you think you might need on-set just to give you options for the video edit and for future marketing assets. The more you have filmed, the more flexibility you’ll have if your vision changes slightly in post-production.
5. Keep Most Elements Consistent
Lastly, keep anything outside of the scope of the transformation consistent. Don’t mess with lighting, angles, or other technical details from the before shots to the after shots. This serves a few purposes. First, it makes it easier for audiences to hone in on exactly what changed. They’ll be forced to notice the focal point because everything else blends into the background.
It also protects you from a common complaint with before and after content, which is that these supplemental elements were altered to make the transformation look more extreme than it actually was.
We’ve all seen haircut transformation videos where the “after” shot suddenly has beautiful lighting, expert makeup application, and a smiling subject while the “before” shot had none of these things. Audiences can see right through this, and they won’t appreciate your attempt at trickery. Instead, keep everything consistent and avoid this potential deception.
Here’s an example of a before and after video we made for an interior design client. See if you can spot the tips above!