If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. So if you want to produce videos that send the right message, you need to be able to explain your brand to the freelance video creators you hire. Here are five steps you can take to ensure that your videos appeal to your brand’s style and identity:
1. Communicate your brand identity and target audience.
When you hire a freelancer for a project, describe your brand and the audience you’re targeting. The easiest way to do this is to come up with five adjectives that describe your brand’s identity or that you want the tone of the video to embody. The voice should also be right for your target audience depending on who you’re trying to reach, such as millennials or baby boomers.
2. Create production and style guidelines.
Creating a standard set of guidelines for your freelancers to follow will go a long way to ensuring that they understand how production will work and how the video should be shot and edited. Your production guidelines should include needed equipment, specs, format, shot lists, framing and audio tips, effective interview questions, and more. Style guidelines should be about the visuals and how you want the video to look and feel. Send your freelancers visual references that exemplify what you’re looking for in terms of graphic elements, font type, framing, interview style, etc.
3. Go heavy in pre, light in post.
The best predictor for success is for you as the producer to be heavily involved in the video’s pre-production and lightly involved in post-production. The earlier you get involved, the more control you will have. Wait until the footage is back and you’ll be left working with what you have, which can be limiting. It’s a big upfront investment of your time but it will pay dividends. Before your freelancer heads out for the shoot, make sure you have a shot list ironed out, ask for a rough treatment to understand how they plan to tell the story, and what elements they will capture on camera. Make sure they have a sense of the best potential bites and moments to capture and that they understand your brand documentation.
4. Produce your own pilot.
If you want to film a video series and ensure consistency from one episode to the next, you can achieve the best results by producing the pilot in-house. This will ensure that you have a great reference to share with freelancers, have worked out the kinks, know how to produce it, and can share that learning. You can also do this if you are producing one-off videos that you want to be in a similar style.
5. Work with just one editor or edit in-house.
While you can hire freelancers from all over the world to shoot material, you’re always going to have more control on the final product if the raw footage is sent back to one individual. If you have video editors in-house or a freelance editor you could hire through Storyhunter, having one person doing all the edits will make sure that your videos come out with a similar style that embodies your brand.
By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor