You can have state-of-the-art equipment, a bottomless budget, and access to the greatest talent, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t have a good idea - especially when it comes to producing a video that can draw attention and make your business stand out from the crowd.
But what can you do to help generate those ideas? Here are three questions to try asking yourself:
This is a surprisingly easy question to overlook when it comes to developing a video idea. Who is your target audience? What do they need? How can you best get that across visually?
It’s a question that we’ve kept at the forefront of all of our projects, and we’ve developed a firm understanding of what types of videos can work best for specific client goals:
For university clients looking to speak directly to prospective students, relatable videos that showcase the real student experience - such as our “day in the life” videos for BCU - are a great way of communicating that essential information, while remaining authentic.
Animation was a perfect avenue to go down when making content aimed at prospective international students. The clear animated icons allowed us to present step-by-step guides in a universally visual language.
For businesses with fairly complex offerings - particularly where technology is involved - a video case study is perfect for telling the real stories about how a product can benefit its target market. Take the series of case studies that we worked on with communications company Foehn and a number of their clients.
In the age of social media, brands are expected to react to what’s going on, drawing attention to current affairs and popular trends. It’s certainly something that we saw a lot of in 2020, as many brands sought to show solidarity with the struggles faced by their customers.
When it comes to making your own “reactive” video in this style, Econsultancy’s Lizzy Hillier makes a great point about the potential risks that you should consider:
“Companies that ride the wave of popular hashtags that have very little to do with their products come across as spammy and desperate. Others that seem to capitalise on bad news, such as natural disasters or the death of a person of note, appear insensitive and, quite frankly, offensive. Many brands learned their lesson early on in the social media boom.”
Thinking up how you can provide your own unique and relevant twist on something from popular culture can be a particularly fruitful avenue. Here at Ember, we took advantage of being situated in Digbeth - Peaky Blinders country itself - to produce a series of videos exploring the local characters and landmarks that inspired the hit TV drama.
When making video, your ideas are - for better or worse - defined by what you have access to in terms of budget, equipment, and talent. Though this can sometimes make it feel like your best ideas are out of reach; there’s a lot of truth to the old saying that constraints are the mother of creativity and invention.
When you simply take stock of what you do have access to, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can think of clever and characterful ways of putting them to use.
Again, there are plenty of examples of this from the last year - as brands all over the world were faced with the challenge of creating content remotely. The Drum’s list of some of the most inventive examples highlights how brands stepped up to the plate and responded with all manner of different creative solutions.
Even for creative people, there’s nothing more daunting than a blank white page. But you’ll be surprised at what you can do when you ask yourself the right questions.