11 Things to Consider When Making Your Next Video

If you are embarking on the creation of a video for your organization there are plenty of things to consider that can make your job easier. The eleven points we make in this video are a good starting place as you begin to wrap your head around your own project. Let’s look at each of these points with a little more detail.


What story are you trying to tell? This should be the starting place for all the videos you make and also the ultimate marker of success for your project; did you successfully tell the story that needed to be told? The more personal elements that are in your story, the more likely it is to connect with your audience. Why? Because your audience is human and as humans we have an amazing ability to connect with one another through and because of our stories.

So are you telling the right story? To determine that, ask yourself these questions:

What do you want the viewer to take away from this story?

Why should we tell this story?

Is there a better, more important, or more pressing story that we should tell right now?


The budget for your video is a major factor in determining the approach to telling the story. It costs money for crew, equipment, talent, etcetera and you as the client have the best idea as to the amount you can dedicate for the project. You can play the game with your production company of having them submit an estimate and then negotiating on price points until they hit your target budget number, but the process typically moves faster and smoother when a client is forthright about needing to create a project within a specified budget amount.

There are a million ways to help tell your story and knowing your budget allows us to corral or expand our ideas to fit the budget you need to work with.


What are the goals you have for this video. Typically you have a message that needs to be conveyed to a specific audience, which ties directly back into Number 1 and Number 7, but beyond that, what are the goals you want the video to achieve for you? Higher sales? Product or service awareness? Setting your Team up as the experts in your industry? Something else? Whatever the goals you have, it can be helpful to write them down as you move forward with the project and then set some markers along the way to let you know if the video has helped you accomplish your specific goals.


Where do you plan to release the video? Television? Social media? Vimeo and YouTube? Your website? Will it be jammed into a PowerPoint presentation after a heavy lunch or will it screen at the local cinema before this week’s blockbuster? Where you decide to tell your story is important as it may impact your approach to how you tell your story, both from a technical and cinematic approach.


Who are you trying to reach with your story? The more defined your target audience is, the better you can shape the story you want to tell. If you need to reach high school females you’ll take a different approach than if you are trying to reach older baby-boomers. The worst thing you can do is to try and make a video that will reach everyone. Why? Because most likely the approach will be so watered-down and generic that instead you will reach no one with your message. Be as specific as you can when trying to define your audience. It’s often better to make two or more videos to reach different audiences than taking one single attempt to reach them all.


How do you want to position your brand in the piece you create? Some people will simply put their logo at the end of the story, while others will fill the piece with t-shirts or ball caps that carry the company logo. As you watch our video about the 11 Things to Consider When Making Your Next Video you can see 7 instances where we included the Paladin brand in the piece. Only one of those was in the original footage—the sign at the very end. The other 6 uses of the Paladin logo were created in the edit suite where we composited our logo seamlessly into the scenes. Look for it on brick walls, wood counters, etc. That’s all part of the creative ways you can use to promote your brand while you tell your story.


We’ve already covered Story in Number 1, so what’s the difference between Story and Message? According to the National Storytellers Association, Story is, “the art of using language, vocalization, and/or physical movement and gesture to reveal the elements and images of a story to a specific, live audience.” The Message on the other hand, is what the audience takes away from the Story. What do you want the audience to remember? What do they need to know when it’s all said and done? The balance should always be in favor of the Story versus the Message. Message is often seen more as selling an audience, whereas Story should be seen more as connecting with that audience. If you lead with Message most audiences will sniff you out and immediately determine it’s a sales pitch. If you lead with Story, you will pull your audience in and then more subtly be able to give them the Message they need to hear.


What Style should you choose for your video? Here are a few options:

Documentary, Live Action, Animation, Motion Graphics, Talking Head, Voice Over Picture

Then blend one or more of these with a tone like Dramatic, Straight-Read, Comedic, Serious Business, etcetera, etcetera, and you can develop a Style that works for your piece. Never forget Number 5 when determining your Style.


Does your story need a Spokesperson to be told and if so, who is the best person to fill that role? It’s often assumed that the owner or a higher-up within an organization should be the Spokesperson for a video, but this is certainly not always the best option. Sometimes the owner or the person with the fancy title does not have a good on-camera presence. The best person may very well be someone further down the chain. Don’t be afraid to use someone like this for the role. It can not only build their excitement and enthusiasm about their job, but it also can give them a sense of belonging that can pay dividends for years down the road. I recently saw a Core Values video for a large organization where the Spokespeople were kids of the company’s employees. It was cleverly done and surely had to build morale amongst the employees as they saw their (and each others) kids talk about the company’s core values. If you can’t (and even if you can) find a Spokesperson from within, see Number 11.


I cannot emphasize this enough… everything you create can be repurposed down the road. Whatever you shoot today should become part of your library that you have access to tomorrow, next year, or 20 years from now. It’s never been easier to store digital assets, but the challenge comes in finding what you need when the time comes. That’s a topic for a different article, but for now know that there will come a time where you may need to repurpose the video you shoot today. Simultaneously, there may be great material you shot a decade ago that will be perfect for the story you are telling today. If you don’t save it, you won’t be able to access it and use it when you need it.


Lastly, we hit on the important role of Professional Actors. When should you include professional actors in your piece? This is not often an easy, simple decision, because acting is very subjective, but let me put it this way: In 30 years of creating video content I have never said, “boy, I sure wish we wouldn’t have used a professional actor on that piece.” On the contrary, there have been plenty of times when the company’s talent was sub-par and they brought the entire piece down a few notches in quality. Your story is too important to let that happen, so know that money spent on Professional Actors is typically money very well spent.

These are just a few of the things you should consider when making your next video. I hope you found it helpful. If there is anything we at Paladin Media Group can do to help with your next production, please let us know.