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Video Marketing 101: How to Handle Unexpected Creative Input

14 Min Read

Since more and more companies are investing in video marketing, you want to make sure you’re not left behind. So you’ve probably done the research and you might know what type or style of video your company needs, but what else will you need? Does your company have any other requirements that’ll make creating your video difficult?

Companies don’t usually create their video marketing strategies with this in mind. You might think about your ultimate goals or your budget, but what about those requests you can’t control, like when your CEO says your company logo needs to be in the bottom frame of the video at all times? This seemingly innocuous requirement can actually disrupt the production process if you haven’t thought it through — the logo will get in the way of automatic captions on social media, making them unreadable; if you heavily feature your product, your logo may overwhelm the viewer with branding; the logo’s color may even clash with your background or location of your shoot.

How can you plan for these things that seem virtually unplannable? Don’t worry! Video marketing can be wrought with unexpected challenges, but we’re here to help simplify the planning process and get you ready for any creative issue that may come your way.

Facing Unexpected Creative Requirements

As a video production agency, we know unexpected creative requests or issues can come up suddenly. That isn’t inherently a problem, but it can cause hiccups in the production stages if you aren’t prepared.

Let’s take a look at just a few issues that can come unexpectedly.

Script

Once you write your script, it can still be totally subject to change. To avoid any last minute changes, ensure all the appropriate people have looked at it and reviewed it before you begin filming. This includes any marketing managers, directors, or executives. Get their final stamp of approval before proceeding and give yourself plenty of time. This doesn’t mean other changes won’t make their way in, but at least this way you start with a strong foundational script.

If you anticipate having too many cooks in the kitchen (or too many people providing feedback in an unorganized manner), consider video with narration. Voiceover is easier to record and edit than actors are, so this could be a quick solution to dealing with script micromanaging.

Eczo Bike – Lifestyle // Lemonlight from Lemonlight Media on Vimeo.

Graphics

Did you plan on including any graphics or animation in your video? This could be a double-edged sword — although graphics can add extra oomph to a flat video and help with branding, they can also be a source of last-minute creative pain.

To avoid any unexpected graphic edits, be sure you have a detailed storyboard that outlines exactly what each scene of your video will look like. This should enable every interested player to imagine exactly what your video will look like, graphics and all, before it’s created. If there are major edits to any graphic element, this is where those edits should be made.

Edits will still arise afterward, and that’s OK! Hopefully you’ve got a stellar in-house or contracted team of editors who can work magic in a short amount of time. To help you prepare for the addition of any new graphics you may not have considered, make sure to film extra b-roll of unbusy, plain space, like your office, a wall, a storefront, or your product in a shallow depth of field. This simple background will allow for the overlay of graphics that could tie in nicely with the rest of your video. Similarly, film interviews with plenty of surrounding space — you may end up creating a graphic out of something someone says.

Teplo // Brand from Lemonlight Media on Vimeo.

Branded Elements

Remember that logo scenario? Creative brand requirements like this are probably the most common you’ll face. Depending on how big your company is or how many people will be reviewing your video, you’ll get any mix of feedback, including, “This doesn’t feel branded enough,” “This needs to feel more branded,” “It doesn’t feel right,” and “The branding is off.”

How do you make sense of that? Though it may not be clear, this feedback likely refers to one of the following.

Brand Logo

Sometimes, the color, placement, and size of a logo can make all the difference. Consider how heavily branded your video should be. If you’re targeting those in the awareness stage, your video should skew less branded. In the decision stage, heavier branding is better. Consider starting or ending with a branded card or focusing on the product instead of a logo. Whatever you choose, plan it before production begins so everyone is on board with what this adds to (or detracts from) your video.

Brand Imagery

You’ll clearly be thinking about everything from your actors to your location. This all plays into your video’s imagery, but so do things like props, lighting, colors, and any other aesthetic that conveys an emotion to the viewer. If your storyboard doesn’t help you convey these emotions accurately, try putting together a mood board. This will give you (and everyone involved) a good idea of the feelings your brand video’s props, colors, and overall imagery bring. This will not only help your company’s decision-makers envision your video, but will help guide the production and set teams.

Brand Voice and Personality

Is the tone of your video correct? It is formal enough? Playful enough? This ties back greatly into scripting, but also in the direction and guidance of your actors and the type of video you’re filming. A tips and tricks video, for example, can be a lot more playful than an instructional video. You should have a good idea of your brand’s voice based on other marketing materials you’ve created, as well as any audience focus group testing. Find the right balance and make sure your actors hit the tone you’re going for.

Inspired Interiors (2017) – 30 Sec // Lemonlight from Lemonlight Media on Vimeo.

Product

Is your product or service the focus of your video? Make sure before you get far along in the video production process that you think about how much you want to highlight your product or service. This is another area where creative differences can be disruptive. You may want to focus more on the narrative, while your marketing manager may want the product itself to be the star.

As always, planning for this creative element is the key. Make sure you and your entire team are in agreement about how much your product will be featured and in what circumstances. Will the product be in use? Will it receive its own solo shot? Will it be in-frame on interview and b-roll footage? Think about these as you’re crafting your shot list and as you explain the purpose of your video to important stakeholders. If you’re just starting to introduce the problem consumers face in the awareness stage, your product shouldn’t be in the first few seconds of your video.

If unexpected changes occur, and more product shots are necessary, think about creative ways this can be done. Maybe an animation or graphic of your product will do the trick? Maybe you can use footage of your product in a store or on display?

If the argument is that you need the product to be shown to increase your branding, maybe you can work on the other creative elements, which are easier to produce on a short budget and in a short amount of time, instead of increasing your number of product shots. Consider all your options and see which is right for you.

Pursecase // Brand Video from Lemonlight Media on Vimeo.

Timeline and Deadlines

This is not a creative element itself, but creative requests can affect your timeline long term. Make sure you give you and your team enough time to handle any updates, changes, or new creative requests. Any setback could push your entire production and distribution back and that could be detrimental.

How to Plan for Unexpected Creative Requirements

Have a purpose for every decision made when it comes to your video. You may not be able to anticipate every need that’ll come up, but you should certainly have a good reason why something can or can’t be done.

As we’ve outlined, most of what you can do is preventative. Plan well, give yourself lots of cushion time, and be communicative with all members of your marketing team so they know exactly what to expect and when it comes to your video.

With plenty of time for edits, you should be able to get what you need. If not, think of ways to accomplish your creative goals in the most cost-effective and time-sensitive way. Re-editing is easier than reshooting. Redrawing storyboards is easier than reshooting. Adding in new graphics or voiceover is easier than reshooting. Keep this in mind as plan out your video and gather feedback. Unless you can rebook a location and hire the same actors, reshooting will likely always be the most expensive and time-consuming option.
Hire an Agency and Save Yourself the Trouble

If you have an expansive in-house team, including a video director, production managers, editors, marketing strategists, and more, then your best bet is to schedule and create your brand video yourself. If you don’t, organizing calendars, hiring talent, planning out scripts and storyboards, and directing will be a very big challenge. These are all crucial creative steps, and there are people who dedicate their entire lives to doing it right. Why try to take everything on yourself?

We’re a little biased, but hiring the right agency means all these crucial steps will be taken care of. The right agency should be very responsive, have a ton of ideas to meet your needs, and help you through every step of the process, including outlining these complex creative elements and more. And the right agency will do it for a price you can afford.

We know how overwhelming creating a video can be — let us help you! We’ve created over 4,000 videos since our launch in 2014, and we’re only getting started. Our expertise has made us one of the premier video agencies in Los Angeles, and with offices located nationally, we can help you create the perfect video no matter where you are.

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