Pre-production is one of if not the most important part of videomaking. This applies to both professionals and amateurs. While it is kind of boring, you can’t afford to skimp out on it, as shown in the end product. So the question is, how does one go about doing pre-production, and what are the necessary steps. If you have no clue about what I’m talking about but want to level up your video-making game, make sure to stick around, as I’m going to share 10 pre-production tips to create successful video content for your blog.

Let’s get the basics out of the way first and define what pre-production is. We can define pre-production as the work put into a product before the full-scale production begins. While this can be applied in many industries, when talking about video creation, we generally mean the process that takes place before filming starts. This can range from knowing your audience to making sure that you know what video format you will upload. This brings us to our first tip.

Write a script

Page from “Down by the Riverside”, written by Charles S. Joyner.

For the love of God, please write a script. There is nothing more aggravating than having to sit down and watch an hour-long video about a topic that could have been covered in five minutes or less. It’s no longer 2010, and the age of creating long and drawn-out commentary videos has long passed. In its stead, short, concise, and to the point videos reign supreme. Something that can’t be achieved without the use of a well-written script.

Define your message

This can vary heavily depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your video, but make sure that you know what your video is about in every single case. By doing this, you can make sure that your video resonates with your viewers.

Know your targeted demographic

Marketing man hands people

If you want to create a video that resonates with your audience, you are first going to have to know them. This is easier said than done. Depending on what kind of blog you are running, you will have to gather information about your viewers. Platforms like Youtube already do that for you, but if you plan on directly uploading content to your blog, you might want to consider using a marketing tool like Mailchimp or an analytics tool like Google Analytics.

Create a production itinerary

While it might seem counterintuitive, by spending more time upfront, creating a plan, you will spend less time in the long run — set concrete dates for filming, editing, and posting your videos. Not only will you save time, but you will also create a habit, making it easier to be consistent. By creating a clear and realistic plan, you can not only make your life easier, but you can better engage with your audience. Building up hype and a loyal fanbase can be easily achieved by being consistent and well-organized.

Budget matters

Black calculator near ballpoint pen on white printed paper

Depending on what type of video you are making, you will greatly benefit from creating a clear budget and tracking expenses. This can come in handy as you can benefit from a tax deduction in certain cases. Now I’m not a lawyer or accountant, so I suggest that you contact a professional who can properly help you in this regard.

Video length

Make sure to find that perfect length for your video, as this will boost viewer interaction and engagement. While the ideal length can vary, there are a couple of general pointers to keep watch for. One of them being that If you are selling a product, keep the video short and sweet. This could tie in with the tip about knowing your audience, but it’s important enough to be mentioned on its own.

Utilize social media

stockpack

By utilizing the power of social media, even before you publish your video, you can reach more viewers than you normally would. Having said that, you want to make sure that you are not too zealous when teasing your next video, as that might have the opposite effect.

Secure talent and create a call sheet

Now, this tip obviously isn’t useful if you will be filming yourself, but in the case that you are hiring professional actors or someone to do a voiceover, make sure that everything is in place, from checking if your schedules align to making sure that people have the right equipment or apparel. It might sound banal, but small things like this make sure that your video looks professional and that your talent doesn’t come to the shoot in a Hawaiian shirt. If you plan on doing longer shoots or employing more than one actor, we suggest that you take the time to create a call sheet.

Location, location, location

Film crew

Once again, this isn’t really necessary if you are filming in your office, but if you plan on renting out a studio, make sure to do this well in advance. Not only that, visit the location in advance. This will avoid confusion on the day of the shoot. If you plan on doing filming outdoors, make sure to check the forecast and keep in mind that you will need different equipment depending on the time of day.

Inventory

Pretty straightforward, but really useful. Make sure you have everything you need before commencing the shoot. From lenses to lighting, by keeping an up-to-date inventory, you ensure that everything runs smoothly during filming.

Over to you

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many nuances that we can’t even come to predict. That’s why we would suggest you take some time before the shoot and really think about what you are getting yourself into. Filming videos has never been easy, but a well-made commercial or product promo can impact your company in great ways. Because of that, we hope that these 10 tips made you more aware of the steps that are needed to make sure your video is the best that it can be.